The dog crate is one of, if not THE most useful dog training pieces of equipment you could own. For our discussion here we will be referring to it as a containment and management tool for young and/or untrained dogs. How to get your dog moving in and out of the crate. A video will follow at some point, so please tune back in for more.
First, remove everything out of the crate. Blankets, dog toys, chew toys, everything. Secure the crate door to an open position either with a piece of string, bungee cord or just remove it completely. Some dogs are noise sensitive and if they accidently slam the door they might freak out and hesitate the next time.
Now put the crate in a sterile environment such as your kitchen so your dog or pup can’t get too distracted. Have your dog on a leash so you can have some control. Have about 10-15 pieces of hot dog at the ready. The pieces of hot dog should be cut to about the size of a pencil tip eraser. Show your dog you have a treat in your hand. He should get very excited and follow your hand around. Place the treat just at the opening of the crate. Some dogs you can just flip the treat anyplace inside and they will just run right in a eat it. As your dog starts to catch on place the treat further and further back in the crate. Never push or verbally demand your dog to enter the crate. Just be patient and wait soon he will be walking right in.
At this point I am going to assume your dog is easily going into the crate to eat it’s prize. I would strongly suggest you use the best possible treat you can get. Hot dogs, cheese, goldfish crackers, left over steak, chicken, you get the idea. Now when your dog goes in get ready to give a second treat. The first he gets when he enters just as before, the second comes from your other hand as soon as he turns around to look at you. Now since he can only attain this position from the inside of the crate he will be doubly motivated to get in there. Do this every day about 15 or so times a day. All dogs are different so how fast or slow will be determined by your dog, and your consistency as a dog trainer. At some point you may start to see your dog start to enter the crate on it’s own, Aha! That’s what we have been waiting for. When that happens give your dog the treat the moment it turns around to look at you.