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DVD Review: Susan Garrett’s Crate Games


Whether you’re a first time dog owner or an experienced agility competitor, I believe there’s a place for Crate Games in your home. And no, watching YouTube clips online is NOT the same as having watched the DVD 😉

My team and I had a review of our week two Youngsters class a couple of weeks ago, and we discussed why it can be hard to persuade people to go to the effort of bringing along a crate to their lesson. Especially with a big dog!

The thing is, Crate Games are useful for bog standard stuff – such as everyday home-life skills:

  • Sleeping in overnight
  • Travelling in the car
  • Going to the groomers or vets

But most people tell us that their dogs ‘don’t mind’ being in their crates. On further questioning it’s usually because the dog has shaped them not to shut them in (by whining or barking!), and they don’t go in voluntarily but usually after a biscuit or a treat 😉 And that’s okay – but it could be so much better.

Because the wonderful thing about Susan’s approach in the DVD is that it’s not really about crates – it’s more about the benefits you gain from the principles and human mechanics of playing them.

The fundamental principle is that of choice. She simply demonstrates how you can shape the dog’s choice using a crate door through games. The crate door merely assists the dog in being correct, and at the same time hardwires us to help them in other situations then too.

Being able to see the choices our dogs see makes a huge difference to our communications with them. When we can begin to understand what they perceive of the world, we can begin to make the behaviours we would like the most attractive option for them.

What difference would it make to your life if your dog didn’t rush to get out of the front door ahead of you? How much nicer would it be if your dog would wait patiently until you invite them to leave the car when you open the door? As an agility handler with multiple dogs, how cool would it be to have your dog’s close by waiting their turn quietly so that you could switch between them for exercises?

Crate Games will give you and your dog the skills to do all these things and more. It will help you create a permission based lifestyle in which your dog minds their P’s & Q’s happily and enthusiastically. What are you waiting for? 🙂

Where can I get a copy?

Today I’m grateful for the lessons I originally learned in Crate Games with my dogs. Because it means that when I’m teaching I can have them with me from demonstrations, but more importantly, when I look over at them during a lesson they make me smile 🙂

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