Susan Garrett's crate games really are amazing. We have friends that take theirs to a puppy kindergarten teacher who has a whole class devoted to them and they have been so beneficial and fun.
- Some crate game ideas
- Crate train during the day as well.
- Feed the dog in the crate.
- Drop special treats in the crate while the dog is watching, and eventually transition to 'surprise' treats in the crate.
- During the day, do short bursts of crate time. Reward for two paws in the crate, four paws, door closed for three seconds, etc. You get the drill.
I found with my pup that crate training at all hours helped best.
I closed to the door so he was stuck in the room with me. Then I put treats and toy in there and let him take naps in there with the door open. Then as he was asleep I would close the door on him so when he woke up he would be used to having the door closed. I would then only let him out once he stopped whining. Then at night I would put the kennel back in my room.
We still had to deal with some whining but it stopped much faster
I noticed after about a month when I'd go sit on my bed and he'd eventually go and lay in his kennel. After he'd lay down I'd close the gate after a few minutes, slowly increasing the time. Eventually I would let him have free roam of the bedroom at night and now he's allowed to go between a few rooms at night, not that you have to choose to not crate at night.