How to Crate Train an American Eskimo Puppy

Medium
2-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

There was a time when we could commonly see American Eskimo dogs performing a range of complicated tricks in circuses around the world. Today, these adorable, all-white pups are becoming extremely popular as pets. They are highly intelligent and easily trainable. The most important thing to keep in mind is that as long as you remain consistent and show your Eskie plenty of love, he will happily learn any trick you want to teach him, including how to go into and stay in his crate.

Dogs are, by nature, inclined to seek out a safe place or den where they can go to get away from everything. In the wild a den is a dry place in the storm, a place to hide from predators, even a place to raise a family. In your home, your pup will come to see his "den" as a safe place where he can go to get away from too much excitement, take a nap, and to stay when you are not home. 

Defining Tasks

Training your Eskie to use his crate is far less about making him stay in a secured crate out of trouble and more about making it a home, at least to him. Be careful not to use time in the crate as a form of punishment. When you do that, you make it almost impossible to train your dog to see the crate as his den. He will have such a negative impression of the crate that almost nothing will entice him to go inside willingly.

On the other hand, as long as you use positive reinforcement methods, your pup will soon come to see his crate as his personal "den." Bear in mind that all dogs learn at different rates, so be very patient and keep working with your Eskie. In time you will find he not only accepts the crate, but you will probably find him napping in there frequently. 

Getting Started

The younger your pup is when you start working on crate training, the better. But, at the same time, you can teach an adult Eskie this same behavior. One of the most important things about this training is that you must have the right size kennel. You'll need a smaller one while your pup is young and then a larger one once he outgrows the first--or a larger one that can be partitioned into a smaller space for the puppy months.

Beyond this, you need all the creature comforts of home for your pup. This includes a mat or wall to wall carpeting (a soft floor to lay on), a big comfy bed, some colorful toys to play with while he is in his crate, and a blanket you can use to cover the crate to turn it into a nice, dim cave. Of course, you will also need a healthy supply of your pup's favorite stinky treats. 

The Follow the Treats Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
The set up
Set up the crate and bring your pup over to it, talking to him in a happy tone. Entice your pup to approach and enter it by dropping a trail of treats that lead to the door and inside all the way to the back of the crate. Repeat this until your pup will walk calmly into his new crate.
Step
2
Meal time
Once your dog is walking calmly into his crate, start putting his food dish at the back of his crate. If he enters, goes to the back and starts eating, go ahead and close the door. If he balks, try moving the dish a little closer to the door until he will enter. Then slowly work the dish further back into the crate.
Step
3
Longer and longer
Now leave the door closed for longer and longer periods of time before you open the door and let him out. If he starts to whine, cut back on the time to when he last succeeded without fussing and try again.
Step
4
Add the cue
Time to add the cue word "kennel" or "crate" to the action and increase the time. This time call him over and give him your chosen cue, when he goes in, give him a treat and close the door. Leave him there for a few minutes and go sit somewhere. Let him out and take him out to pee.
Step
5
The rest is up to you
Keep working on this to extend the time until your pup can stay in there for as long as necessary. It won't be long before your pup sees his crate as a safe place and spends time in it on his own.
Recommend training method?

The My Safe Space Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Create his personal space
Set up his crate in a convenient spot where the whole family likes to hang out. Install the carpet, add the bed and toys, and make sure it is nice and comfortable for your pup.
Step
2
Meet your new space
Let your pup take his time sniffing around the crate and if he feels like it, wander inside. This might take a while; he won't go inside until he is fully satisfied it's safe to do so. Be sure to praise him and give him a treat when he does. Repeat for several days, until he seems to have no problem going in and out.
Step
3
Closed in
The next time you see him wandering into his crate, go ahead and close the door and praise him. Start with a short 5 minutes, then let him out.
Step
4
Add more time
Now it's time to extend your pup's time closed inside, slowly in five-minute increments at first to get him used to spending more time in his crate.
Step
5
No more than 2 hours
The first few times you leave your dog in his crate for an extended period of time, be sure to keep it to no more than 2 hours. If he whines during this time, ignore him. This teaches him that unacceptable behavior does not earn rewards (getting out). Once your pup is an adult, he will be able to stay in for longer periods of time as he matures and he can hold his bladder for longer periods of time.
Recommend training method?

The Sit and Toss Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
The open door
Set your pup's crate up and add the interior décor. Then either take the door off (if it comes off) or tie it back so that it will stay open.
Step
2
Find your spot
Find a spot near the crate where you can see what is going on and where you can easily toss treats into the middle of the floor.
Step
3
Toss the treats
Start by tossing a treat and using the cue "crate" or "kennel" to get your pup used to associating the cue with the action and the desired result (dog in kennel eating treat).
Step
4
A step to the left
With either a step to the left or a jump to the right, move out of the way so your pup can easily walk out of his crate. As he is coming through the door, give him the cue ("come out") and praise him when he does. But no treats here, you want him to associate going into his crate with getting the treat.
Step
5
Work, work, work
The rest is all about putting in the time and effort to extend the time your Eskie spends in his crate. By the time he is an adult, he should be able to stay in his crate for long periods of time, such as when you have to go to work or need to go out for the day.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd