Jail Break!

My Staffordshire terrier Robin has a really annoying habit of just blowing their crate door open as soon as I unlatch it at class! (It’s an indoor ring so she isn’t in danger at least) She is super strong, and really fast, so before I can catch her she’s flying towards the agility obstacles without me.  What can I do to stop her?  She’s not aggressive, but I’m worried about the other dogs, or if she does this at an outdoor ring.

That is worrying!  I would start by crate training your dog at home with something just as exciting as agility equipment – dinner!  Crate Robin, and then fill her bowl.  Let her see you add something delicious, too.  You may need a helper ready to pick up the bowl before she can get it, in case she DOES break past you.  Ask Robin to sit, and give her a treat.  Put firm pressure against the door of the crate so she can’t push out as you unlatch it, and open the door.  When she starts trying to barrel out, shut the door firmly so that she can not, and ask her to sit again, and drop a treat into the crate with her.

Repeat that until she stays sitting in the crate even as you open the door. (This may take a few sessions!) Release her with an ‘okay!’ to go to her foodbowl.

Now that she can do this at home, try it at class.  Don’t let her have her turn until she’s letting you open the door without charging out!

 

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