Monday, June 18, 2012

The 'Ins and Outs' N 'Ups and Downs' of training with a Soft Crate

One of the things on my "To Do List" this summer,
 is to polish up my Crate Games.  

On that list is 'Sends'.  
Both Seeker and Nettle tend to 'look back', 
vs. driving forward, so out came the crate. 

Yes, that's cross stitch. 
No, I don't think I'd ever do it again. 
Yes, Mad Dog chewed the patched corner. 
Nettle chewed the patch. 
(Probably not in the circumstance you think)
No, the Border Collies, nor Nina would 

Back to my Crate Game practice. 

I took this crate out to the yard to do some short - 5' - 10' sends.  Both dogs did great with the sends, 
and some 'In/Out' games. If you haven't done Crate Games, you seriously need to consider it.  I can save your dog's life!  I may have saved mine....another post, another time.

After we were done, I left the crate outside, with the dogs, while I did a few outside chores.  I came back about an hour later and called them inside.  The border collies came.....the PWD didn't.  Hum......  So I called, "Net, Buttercup, Nettie, NETTLE"....nothing.  I know, 'How many Nettle's do I have?', apparently 4, that's about right for the number of her personalities.  Now, she has jumped the fence earlier this spring, twice, both resulted in being up inside in her crate.  She hasn't done it since.  I'd been outside, I hadn't seen her, and she would have come to see me, so I was kind of concerned, but not panicked.  

I walked around the corner of the house, and the crate was tipped so the door was up.  That was strange.  I looked down inside, and what do you suppose I'd captured!!  One goofy grinning PWD!  Made me laugh!  What a nut!  Then of course I saw that she'd chewed some of the 'pre-chewed' part of the door.  Oh well, no big deal. NAUGHTY NAUGHTY NETTLE!!

Later we went back outside to add some distance to our sends. I learned, that you really do need to secure the crate somehow if you're sending a dog that will bank off the back wall.  That darn Seeker! Yep, he rolled the crate backwards, ending up facing the opposite least the door was now flipped open.  It did take me a couple times to get him to drive back in with the same intensity.  Lesson learned!  STAKE IT!

It does actually have 4 little tabs that you can stake.  Unfortunately, my little LLBean tent stakes couldn't hold it, so I'm going to have to find something else.  In the mean time, I put it up against the fence.  At least it won't flip over backwards again. 

BTW, Nettle also chewed off the buckle that holds the crate together while folded.  I guess I should be too surprised, she chews EVERYTHING!!  At least she left the 4 bottom tab things alone. 

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