If this causes you to shake your head, reread Pink-Plaid-Couch.
However, if you do not own a pink plaid couch and you wish to keep your furniture, crate train your dog. The key component of crate training is to crate an environment your dog wishes to be in. If your dog actively seeks out solitude and quite in a spare bedroom, or in the basement, put his crate there.
If he prefers to be where all the action is (living room, kitchen), put his crate there and consider the following:
1. Does he chose to lounge on the perimeter of the room or in the corners? If so, put his crate there.
2. Think cozy, and add a soft blanket.
3. Think den-like space. If you have a wire kennel where he can easily see all around him, consider draping a blanket over his crate, as this will crate a dark den-like experience.
4. Dirty laundry. Do you have a old under shirt you are not emotionally bonded to? If so, leave it unlaundered, smelling wonderfully like you and sacrifice it to the dog. He will find comfort in your smell.
5. Now it’s time to slowly introduce the crate. Leave the crate door open (a bungee works fabulously), and throw treats inside. Do not push or shove him–big no no, since you want him to seek it out on his own. Leave bite-sized treats at the opening and just inside the threshold.
6. Treasure hunt. Hide his favorite toy in the crate under the covers. Do this a few times and he’ll start to see out the space in search of loot.
7. Now when his head is in the crate drop treats threw the crate openings, as if manner were falling from the sky each time he steps into the crate when he is inside the crate.
He will venture out of the crate and look at you, look at the ground, look at you again. Look away and as soon as his attention focuses on the crate, and again you can drop treats from the openings. Do this as as if the crate were a parallel universe and whenever he’s in the crate, treats fall from the heavens.
If you have any additional crate training tips, leave a comment!