When I first got Ares, I made sure to crate train him immediately. I have a studio apartment so blocking him into one area or room just isn't an option for me. We started by saying "Ares, kennel" and putting a treat in the cage so that he had to go in to get it. After awhile, he caught on and would either take his treat from my hand and walk in, or walk in when I was holding the treat.
Luna's at the stage where she won't go in her cage until she has the treat in her mouth. It's the good thing about pugs - they are incredibly food motivated.
We have several different types of treats - small ones for training and large ones to act as rewards for going into their cage. They more or less know the difference between the treats although that's probably because the training treats are usually hanging out in various spots in the apartment while the large treats are always right by the kennels.
Mike pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago that if the door to Ares' cage is closed but Luna's is open, Ares would go into her cage to wait for his treat. When he tried to show me, Ares actually opened his own cage to go in! It's hilarious!
I finally caught it on video. You can hear that I don't actually make any commands for him to go in kennel, he goes in when he sees me pick up the baggie of treats (which you can hear in the video).
Ares is such a smart boy!
Alternatively, Ginger is so untrained to go into her kennel (that tiny little airline approved carrier in the bottom of the screen) that I have to throw her treat into the back of the cage to get her to go in.
Also, I don't really know the difference between cage, kennel, and crate. I use them all to mean the cage that they go in when it's time for me to leave. Because I work long hours, they're ONLY in there while no one is home and they usually get a hard toy to chew on and a squeaky toy to play with. (I'm not sure at this point if I can ever trust them to stay outside of a safe blocked in area.)
The newest trick they're learning is:
1) I won't open Luna's cage if she's barking or whining.
2) I won't open their cages unless they're sitting.
3) They don't leave the cage until I give them the ok.
I'm hoping this will keep them from jumping all over me every time I walk in the door. It's such a bad habit that I still haven't managed to break Ares of doing.
PS. We have a really exciting week coming up! We should be getting our BarkBox and Pawalla Mini this week (BarkBox is INCREDIBLY late this month) AND our friends Maximus and Annabelle are coming back for a visit! I'll have 5 dogs running around my small apartment for about 2 days before Ginger goes home. Keep me in your thoughts, I may go insane!