Today, we're going to work on the trick of going to your crate or sending a dog to their crate. It's not only a convenient trick to be able to just ask your dog to go to their crate, but it also helps in conditioning them to get to like their crate more and to settle in there.
To start out, I'm actually just going to feed my dog in the crate a little bit and get her used to this being a pretty good place to be. She's hanging out in it getting treats. She should learn to like this pretty fast, and realize that it's paying off for her pretty well to be in the crate.
A couple of things I have for this trick are a clicker, which I'm going to use to mark the moments that she gets things right throughout this process, and I'm also using a leash, which I have attached to her so when I let her out, she can't just go run away and decide that the rest of the room is more fun than the crate.
So now that I've fed her a few times in here, I'm going to try opening the door. If she goes to get out, I'm actually just going to close the door on her, kind of like that. If she decides to stay, I'm going to click and give her a treat. I'm going to try that one more time. Open the door. If she chooses to stay in there, I click and give her a treat.
The next thing I'm going to do is open the crate door and let her make her own choice after I let her out. I'm going to step on her leash so she can't just run off. OK. If she chooses to go back in, I'll give her a treat for that. OK. Here you go.
When you have that going, and your dog is repeatedly running into the crate voluntarily, you can try putting a cue on it. So you let her out. OK. OK. And when you think she's going to do it ... Come here, Betty, let's try one more time. Go to your crate. I can click there. In later repetitions I might want her to lay down first before I click. OK. Go to your crate. And when she does that, great. You can give her a treat.
And that is sending your dog to your crate.