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Crate Training

I have a ten week old Vizsla male. He is very intelligent and can already "heel", "sit", "stay", "come", and "be quiet", as well as he knows that "kennel" means to go into his large pet porter. The problem started with "kennel" and has progressed into other areas that he chooses to defy me. In the beginning I would give the command "kennel" and sometimes he would look at me, then bolt for the nearest cover and attempt to hide in a spot where I could not reach him. Often If he does not want to obey similar commands he will do the same thing. I may be unique but his blatent refusal and "hit the high road" attitude really makes me furious. How should I deal with this deviant behavior? He knows the command I give him and simply chooses not to follow it. Should I be harsh on him in hopes that it will not progress into the next few weeks when his formal training begins? or should I chalk it up to "he's a puppy" and let it slide without punishment. (I don't mean in the form of blatent physical abuse) I have thought of using a check cord with the slip collar and giving the command "kennel", if he runs past the kennel and hides, I would "check" him. Is this a good idea, or is it too harsh on him at his tender age? And if it is a good idea, what should I do if it happens and I am not near a check cord and collar?


Ten week old puppies are still very young. From your description it appears that your dog has been drilled on a variety of commands already. It is very likely that your dog's avoidance behavior is being caused by stress and compulsion you may have applied in training. I would not recommend too much physical restraint or correction at this age. With puppies it is important to use very positive and inviting techniques to entice a puppy into compliance, then consistently re-enforce appropriate responses.

Try this:

Feed the pup twice a day. Prepare his food while he watches. Put the food in his crate, close the door and don't let him in. If he is intent on getting in, open the door and let him in. After he is in tell him to kennel. In a few days you will begin to reverse the negative association with the crate. Next step is to use a treat (hot dog pieces are good) to further re-enforce the command. Tease him with the treat and throw it in the crate. As he goes in tell him to kennel. For several weeks you need to always have a treat to entice him into the box and to build a positive habit of obeying you. All dogs must learn to learn and this is where it starts. Use food treats to guide the pup into sit, down and come commands instead of using correction or physical restraint.

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retriever Kennel
Highland Retriever Kennel

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