Tips for Kennel Training a Alaskan Malamute Puppy

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 15, 2017

In this in home puppy training session in Omaha we did some kennel training with Flora, a 5 month-old Alaskan Malamute puppy who looses control of her bowls when left alone inside the crate.

One of the first things I asked Flora’s guardians is if they trained her to use the kennel or simply put her in a crate. It doesn’t occur to many people that we need to teach a dog to be calm in a kennel.

Actually as a dog behaviorist, I find for most dog behavior problems the humans haven’t taught the dog how they want to behave. In Flora’s case, it wasn’t so much dog behavior though, she was so fearful of being left alone in the kennel that she peed and pooped inside it.

The good news is its relatively easy to help a dog get over a fear of the kennel. Or in Flora’s case, being left alone in a kennel. I share some crate training tips to help Flora get over her fear of the crate in the video below.

When you are crate training a dog or puppy, going slow and one step at a time is the puppy training secret that matters the most. The idea is to help the dog practice being calm in the crate for progressively longer periods of time and with different conditions; door open, door closed but unlatched, door latched, door closed with humans out of the dog’s eye sight.

Positive crate training like this takes time, but when done properly stops the dog from being fearful of being in the kennel at all.

I did suggest that the guardians set up a puppy play room like I did for my puppy Quest. By setting up a play room like that, the dog can actually crate train itself. This is because the only soft place to lay in the puppy play room is inside the kennel with the door set so its always open.

I also suggested the guardians use this puppy feeding technique to help Flora develop a more positive association with the new puppy room. This will distract her by preoccupying her attention via a positive reinforcer. The more time she spends in this room with good and positive things, the more comfortable she will be there. She is likely to whine a bit, but if the guardians use the toy feeding approach I outlined to them, she should quickly learn to relax inside her room on her own.

We wrapped up the session by shooting a roadmap to success video filled with all kinds of positive puppy training tips and suggestions. You can check it out by watching the video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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