I thought I had created a slight problem with Freya when I recently did a little bit of box-work with her inside the house. I used her crate as the box, and it seemed to have all gone very well, helped her settle and find her “place.” After a few times of successfully settling on the box, I now had an issue getting her in the box when I simply wanted to crate her and not do a box challenge. Whenever we got anywhere near the crate, she was surging upwards to get “on the box.” So I found myself muscling a 65 pound dog into her crate. She was panicky because I was leaving, I was stressed because I was late for an appointment, and it was quite a struggle. This had never been an issue for us before! Ugh…
I pondered my dilemma as I drove away. I was kicking myself for creating this problem, but then the answer came to me: “I need to get the inside of the crate to be the end of the box challenge.” But would it work?
When I got home, I let her outside while I rearranged the furniture in my office. I took my flimsy folding table and put the crate on top of it. As soon as she came back in, I had her hop into the crate, easy peasy! She actually wanted to get in the crate (which was now also a box). As an added bonus, the table was wobbling under her weight, just like a balance board. So she had to settle herself in the crate in order to find solid ground. Cha-ching! I’d struck gold.
Later in the day after she went out again, I invited her back into my office while I was working (since she still needs supervision in the house). The Pergo floor doesn’t offer much comfort for a dog and she had no soft place to lay down. So she actually went over to the table where her crate was and asked to get in! Brilliant. I opened the door and she hopped in. There’s a wool blanket in there, and after rooting around for a minute while the table gently wobbled, she plopped down and had a nice snooze.