I figured since my dog is such a popular topic that I will give you an update on how he’s doing.
Over a month ago, a bought Abner the carry-on I plan on taking him in when we fly to Germany. He’s almost a little too tall for it but he can stand and turn around in it which is really all that matters.
How did I decide which one was the best for my little one?
Well, I poured over site after site (all Pug related) looking for the best way to carry Abner with me. There were a few brands that were recommended. One that was repeated often was Sherpa. This brand has been known to be airline approved. You can even buy certain models that have the seal of approval of major American airlines (American and Delta). I made sure I bought the biggest one that will still fit under the seat in the plane. And look! There’s a picture of a pug on the box!
Now the trick is to get him inside. He has only ever been in a crate when he was crate trained as a puppy. Since then I have given him free reign of our home and he has never needed it. So of course he is very wary of it. So I had to take the first step: leave it out and open for him to see, touch, sniff, and maybe even get inside without consequence.
Eventually I had to get him inside. I can by myself but it feels like trying to push a watermelon through a purse. Sometimes he struggles because he thinks it’s a game. But every time I do get him in there, I make sure to shower him with treats. I want him to associate it with something positive so he never sees it as a punishment. Treats are the ultimate positive for my pug.
But things weren’t progressing as fast as I would like, I still struggle to get him inside. I scoured the internet for little tricks and I found a nice site called The House Breaking Bible. They had great tricks in teaching your dog to see the crate as a positive thing.
I’m still on the first step (which is the big one). I went out and bought some good bacon jerky (because the biscuit treats weren’t really working as well). I threw a couple pieces in there to force him to go inside and retrieve it. Then I would put a couple inside and close the carrier with him on the outside. I use reverse psychology to make him want to get inside. Eventually I would like for him associate that going inside means these treats.
This has yet to happen. I still have to put him in myself (it is less of a struggle now) but once inside, I can leave the door open and he will stay put. He knows that if he stays he will get treats.
The trick is also to only reserve these treats for the carrier otherwise he will get confused. It’s still a work in progress but we’re getting there.
What tricks do you have?