Crate Games Squared Part 1: Text Instruction
Goal: Crate Games squared will teach your dog to drive straight if you fall behind on course. Your dog will be driving between two crates without head checking, as your dogs understanding progresses, you will move the crates further and further apart. This game focuses on your dog using your motion to drive straight lines on course but we use a model your dog already understands of driving between two crates. Ensure you have great fundamentals of Crate Games from Prep School in your training prior to starting this lesson.
Equipment: 2 soft sided crates, food and toy. Note: If you only have one you can do this game between one crate and one dog bed. If you have no soft sided crates you may choose to use two dog beds.
Suggested Training Area Size: 20’ x 20' (6m x 6m)
Step 1: Start with 2 soft sided crates a few metres apart with the openings facing each other. Make sure the crates are secured down or supported with sand bags so they don’t tip over when your dog is driving into the crate with speed. The distance between the crates will be about 9’ (3m) apart to get started.
Step 2: Start your session with playing a session of YerOutYerIn in each of the crates. Lead out just enough to set a line and drive straight. Release your dog and drive your your dog to the crate straight ahead. Work both sides.
Step 3: Add distance to create the next challenge. Increase the distance between the crates to 30feet. It is important to not loose the drive between the crates so adjust the distance so you still have that component of the game. Work this distance looking for no head checks before adding a distraction on either side.
Step 4: The next stage will be to add a distraction on either side of the two crates to challenge your dog driving straight. Add distractions to either side of the centre line between the two crates. This can be food or toys or anything your dog loves.
Step 5: With success move your distractions to closer to one of the crates. (We are farther behind in this set up and the dog may make a improper choice. Build confidence but allow failures.
Rewarding reminders for Crate Games: Throw the cookies (or toy) as dog drives into the crate. Do not lure the drive ahead by throwing the cookie in before your dog completes the task of driving into the crate. You can utilize a training partner to throw the cookies/toy but ensure your dog is not predicting or relying on your partner’s presence or position to drive to the next crate.
If your dog is not powering ahead of you, go back to Prep School: Crate Games and work the game YerInYerOut building value for driving into the kennel with you close by. It is important to revisit Crate Games often for all parts of Handling360 troubleshooting. Do not be discouraged Crate Games is a foundation game for drive, control.