My Springer Spaniel has gotten a little more resistant to the come command when she knows it means “Get in the kennel.” At night, she goes in between nine and ten. And like clock work, she wakes me up at 2:00 am. I am sure I have started a bad habit, but I am afraid the neighbors are being disturbed. She still digs once or twice a week during the day. It’s like she goes into a panic after 4 to 5 hours in the kennel.
1. Go to her and make her come when you call her, if you do not see that she moves to respond within 1/2 a second of your command. But I personally like to use a specific command such as, “Get in the kennel.” If she doesn’t immediately move towards the kennel, I will go and get her and walk her in the kennel. If you wait to see if she’s going to respond, then she will wait to see if you’re going to make her. (That is, until the behavior has become a conditioned response.)
When you say kennel, you mean a crate– for at night, right? If not, then this is where she should be sleeping at night. Put her in the crate and then give her a cookie. This will reinforce that going into the crate is a positive thing.
2. For the outside kennel, buy some hardware mesh or chicken wire and put it under the entire kennel run and then put about an inch of dirt on top of that. Dogs don’t like digging and clawing against this type of material.
3. Increase her exercise regimen. Buy yourself a bike and take her for a 2 mile run each day. It’s good for you, too… and it will work wonders in reducing your dog’s boredom.
That’s all for now, folks!