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Our Border destroys things while we're away and yelps when he's in a crate.

You've done well anyway by buying a crate for your dog. Just as in any situation: prevention is better than cure. This is especially the case with a destructive animal.

Your biggest problem now is to teach him that a crate can be fun, which is not the way he feels right now.
Start with giving his food (still 3 to 4 times a day) in the crate. He also gets his cookies, chewing stuff and toys only when he's in his crate. Never put him in the crate as a form of punishment, it has to be fun.
Also take care that he himself goes into his crate, instead of forcing him in. Put his tray with food in the back of the crate and lure him inside. Do not (!!) close the door, but give him the impression that he controls the situation. If he finishes his meal he can walk out again. To accelerate this process just throw five bits in the crate. He goes in, eats them, comes out again, you throw five bits in the crate, etc. Slowly give him more and more bits and close the door for a moment. Slowly increase the time the door is closed.
Also give him his chewing stuff in his crate. This gives you the opportunity to increase the time he spends inside the crate.

If he lies down to sleep somewhere, carefully put him in the crate. Don't give him the opportunity to sleep anywhere else. He will eventually get tired and falls asleep inside his crate. You can then close the door. Keep an eye on him and the moment he wakes up (before he starts to yelp) you take him out to urinate. This way you teach him that the crate is great fun. But: slowly increase the time he spends inside.

Furthermore it's important that you let him be when he's in his crate and starts to yelp. I know it drives you crazy, but believe me: when you don't do anything it will stop by itself.
What is the case: he feels lonely and wants your attention. The strange thing with dogs is: even negative attention (you getting angry) is a form of attention so he gets his way. The next time he yelps even louder because you will come to him again. You are angry, but attention is attention. When he stops yelping when you are angry with him you will praise him and he also gets positive attention.

A short summary:

  1. make the crate great fun
  2. let him yelp
Especially an intelligent dog as the Border Collie learns fast and understands very soon that he gets out of the crate faster when he's quiet.

If you have to go away for a longer period, make sure he is very tired and give him a good meal. Now he will sleep extra long with his stomach filled: tired but satisfied. Let him yelp at night, just put in the earplugs and within a week it's completely over with as long as you are consistent. So never give him attention when he's in his crate.

Copyright © 1998-2013 Jigal van Hemert & Danielle Boshouwers
This page last modified: Friday, 01-Aug-2008 17:07:12 CEST
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