Training your dog to love the carrier
Having trouble getting your furkid to go into a newly purchased carrier?
Here are some tips to help train your dog to enjoy using it!
To train your dog to like the carrier, you need 3 things:
♡ Your dog's favorite treat ♡ Safe and comfortable dog carrier ♡ Lots of Patience
♡ Daily Practice
Step 1: Introducing the Carrier
Open up the carrier fully, let your dog explore it without interference for a few days. Some dogs especially puppies might play with it for awhile while others may leave it alone.
Step 2: Making the Carrier interesting
After a couple of days introducing the carrier, place some treats INSIDE the carrier, you can try guiding your dog to the treats using your finger/hand. Your dog might just take the treats and finish it outside, this is okay because when your dog goes into the carrier, it is also being conditioned to trust the carrier as well as leaving it's scent onto the object. After another couple of days, weeks or months of practice depending on how often you do it, you may notice your dog looking for treats in the carrier, this is a good sign! If your dog happens to really hate the carrier and do not even take the treats, do not worry, just leave the carrier where your dog can access whenever it wants and try again the next day. NEVER force your dog into the carrier the first time you introduce it! Most people can't wait to try out the carrier by carrying their dog and force them inside. This may stress your dog and make it afraid of the carrier, imagine you are thrown into a luggage and locked up without knowing why.
Step 3: Allow time!
By following the instructions above your dog will one day start going into the carrier to look for treats, do reward them more yummies when they do that. Every dog is different, some dog takes weeks, other take months, if your dog had been traumatized before then it would be best to get a trainer (we have the perfect course for this!) to work on rebuilding confidence before getting back to the carrier. I would always recommend new dog owners to prepare a carrier once they bring their new dog/puppy home, this is to let them get used to it earlier on before they develop any habits, with early preparation you can also bring them out in no time! During the first few trips, you may want to bring them on short trips, no longer than 30 minutes for a start, some dogs may feel uncomfortable, some may vomit because of the shaking of the carrier especially in the car or when you are walking with the carrier on your shoulders, it is very much similar to car sick.
Below is a video on how i get Amber used to her carrier, she seems to love it more than us, always jumping into the carrier without telling her to, she knows that going in means we are bringing her somewhere fun. Do note that the video is from 7 years ago so the instructions in there may not be as updated, do follow this blog post for better instructions :)