Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 1 in Kennel Training

Yesterday I went to Petco and purchased Mandi's kennel to start training her with it.  One of the main reasons of injury for pets while traveirling on alines is due to the dog not being used to his/her kennel which leads the pet to attempt to escape the kennel.  If the pet isn't trying to escape the kennel, usually the stress of being away from it's owners, in a strange and loud environment, is enough to cause health issues that can be detrimental to the pet.  So knowing all of this, I went and bought the kennel early so we can start working with her.


The only other time she has ever been in a kennel was when I shipped her off to get her spayed so she doesn't exactly have good memories connected with the cage which makes it even more imperative that we do this.



I took her with me to the store to make sure I got the right size and I'm glad I did.  The size that I was going to purchase online for her would have been too small so we ended up going up to the Series 700 size which was also $15 more expensive.  But I'd much rather her fit in the kennel and be able to make it through the baggage check at the airport than save a couple of dollars.

It was an interesting experience trying to fit this HUGE kennel in the back of the Mustang and it eventually led to us breaking the kennel down and having to pull the seats all the way forward to squeeze the kennel into the back.  lol

But nonetheless, we got it home.  I've read a couple of articles on how to start getting your pet used to the carrier and all suggest starting off really slow.  To do this, disassemble the carrier and use only the bottom portion of the kennel for the first couple of weeks.  This allows the pet to investigate the kennel and go into it without feeling trapped.  It is also suggested that you include some toys or objects of the pet's so that they don't feel as threatened by the object.

I set Mandi's up to include her blanket that is normally on her bed. It's ugly and looks like an over-sized cat box, but it'll do for now. =P
 Now once the kennel is set up, you should never force your pet to go inside.  You can tell them to go lie down in it or place treats inside, but don't physically place the pet in the kennel, it just add anxiety to the situation.  Allow the pet to investigate the kennel and go in at their own pace.  After just a few short minutes, Mandi started sniffing everything out and trying to decide if she should go inside.


We must be doing something right too because about an hour or two later, I was sitting on the couch reading when I heard some rustling in the kennel... Mandi climbed in and fell asleep!

In about 2 weeks we'll add the top portion without the door and go from there.

So here's to a happy training experience!!

UPDATE:  Part 2 has been added to the blog.

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