The Silky Terrier goes under a couple of other names such as the Sydney Silky and the Australian Silky Terrier. They were originally developed specifically as family pets, but they are from a bloodline that is considered to be master vermin hunters. While highly intelligent little pups, they also have a very stubborn streak that can make crate training them or training them to do just about anything more challenging than with other breeds.
Like any other breed of dog in the wild, Silkies would seek out a cave or other form of hiding place to use for a den. A den gives him shelter from the weather, from any predators, and a place to sleep. In your home, the only predators your pup is likely to encounter is your kids, and your cat if you have one. But, at the same time, he still needs a den to sleep in and get away from everything and everyone.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to train your Silky to see the wire crate you so lovingly bought for him as his personal space or den. Since this is his natural instinct anyway, all you are really doing is bringing this buried habit back to the forefront. Every dog needs a place he can call his own, just like he would have out in the wild.
To do this, you need to turn that metal and plastic crate into an inviting and comfortable den your pup will look forward to spending time in. Sounds impossible, but it's not really. All you need to do is outfit his crate with a few creature comforts such as a bed, carpeting, toys, a water bottle, and a blanket to turn it into a cave. The more comfortable you make it, the more time your pup will want to spend time in it.
Choose a crate that is big enough for your pup to stand up in and move around in. Don't get carried away, stick to the size recommended for your pup. If you get him one that is too big, he may start using one area in it as a bathroom. When choosing a location for your pup's crate, you need to find a spot where he can be part of the family, but is out of the main flow of traffic, so he doesn't get over-excited.
Along with this, you need a plentiful supply of treats, patience, and time. Silkies are very stubborn by nature, so be prepared for this to take you a significant amount of time. The more you practice, the faster it will go for both of you.
is a crate or a playpen?
Hello Rebekah, A crate is different than an exercise pen. A crate is a smaller space than an exercise pen and has a top and bottom - unlike the exercise pen. Crate training can also be used for potty training because a dog has a natural desire to keep a confined space clean - an exercise pen generally isn't small enough to work for potty training that way, but an exercise pen can be wonderful as a safe space for pup to spend time when they won't need to go potty soon - to prevent destructive chewing and keep them safe in your home when you aren't able to supervise. Most methods for crate training can also be followed to get pup used to being in a pen too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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