I have been incorporating the Crate Game premise into the boys interactions with their car crates (wire) and soft crates. A couple of months ago I had purchased a Vari-Kennel on Craiglist and tonight I had some free time. I thought I would take our Crate Game playing to the next level - play it for REAL - work past the Are You a Gambler Stage (Stage 2).
I have a large mud room that was probably a porch at one point. It is where I work on a lot of agility and obedience related things during the winter. The Vari-Kennel is in this room. I decided I would work with Bug first since he was acting like a wild man. I had bought some maple cured turkey as a high value treat.
Bug didn't even want to LOOK at the Vari-Kennel. I am not joking. He thought it was creepy. So, I waited and waited and waited. And Bug offered me downs galore...closer and closer to the crate, but still he would not get in. Finally I put some turkey at the very back of the crate. Bug looked at it, downed, barked at me, looked away. Nope, no dice.
I put more turkey in the back of the crate. Minutes pass, Bug downs, barks, looks away, stands up, downs. Finally, he GINGERLY puts a paw into the crate. Only to turn around and run away. Okay. He comes back....two paws in the crate, then bolts. This went on for some time. Finally he was confident enough to reach the turkey at the back of the crate and eat it.
I repeated the turkey at the back of the crate and then quit for the night. We'll have to get over the Vari-Kennel fear before we play any Crate Games in it. :-) It is odd because he loves his soft crate and doesn't mind his wire crate. Ah well....Bug is Bug.
Ike thought Crate Games in the Vari-Kennel was a blast. We also worked on some downs with duration and he was MUCH better than last time we practiced. I think the time off (a few weeks of not much practice of anything) was good for him.
2 weeks ago