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Now that Biscuit has a nice, new mesh crate, I intend to crate him at trials. He's been crated before, but only in the car, since he's a tad reactive. He Often barks when I leave him, and he strains toward every dog we walk past. I've started breaking him in to the new crate, and he's fine with it. He'll sleep for as long as he's left in. I can sit on the couch within eyeshot, sit by him, or cook/eat in the kitchen where he can't see me, and he doesn't fuss. But when I tried going upstairs the other day, he started growling loudly and barking a tad. He stopped as soon as I came downstairs again, and slept like a baby.

I have a trial next weekend, and I'm getting cold feet about crating him in the building. We're celebrating 2 years of trials. I don't want to stress him out now!

Does anyone here crate their dogs at trials? How did you work up to that? Should I let him bark out his sorrow until he settles (I did that to break him in to crates as a puppy, but I'd like it if his new crate is more of a 'den' than a 'holding tank'), or should I comfort him? In your honest opinions, could he be ready by this weekend? If so, what should I do to get him there?

Thanks!
 

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I'd go with a friend and practice "being in crate" as an exercise, but have your friend help mind your dog when you need to leave him behind. Treat "being in crate at agility trial" as a brand new skill. Get there early & set up in a place as quiet as possible. Do crate games when you are with him, have friend do some soothing activity with dog (walk?) when you need to be alone.
Have fun.
 
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Thanks, I'll try that. :)
 
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