Crate Training for adult shiba
  • takumi2takumi2
    Posts: 85
    I am planing to take my 9 year old shiba to Japan with me in Sep. He will be in airline's cargo room for about 12 hrs. I don't want him to be alone being there scared for such a long time and I feel very bad for him, but that is the only way for me to bring him to Japan.

    I am thinking I need to start training him to be comfortable in a carat as much as possible.
    He has never been crate trained before and I am afraid he would not like it. He gets very scared every time when I carry folding grocery shopping cart and tries to be away from it, which is kind of similar material to what you see on crates, the wired metal parts of the crates (I have not bought a crate yet).
    But I definitely need to train him to be comfortable and feeling secured in a crate as much as I can no matter what.

    Please advise how to crate train adult shiba.

    Thank you.
    Post edited by takumi2 at 2017-04-17 04:16:02
  • WrylyBrindleWrylyBrindle
    Posts: 3184
    The kind of crates that airlines accept don't have that much wire- just the door. So start with making sure you choose an airline-acceptable crate - the one he will actually fly in- and teach him with that. The airline will have their crate requirements on their website or you can can and ask- pay attention to the size of the crate- it has to be big enough for him to stand up in without bending his ears down.

    First you make it inviting in there- leave it in the room with the door open. Put a blanket in there. Occasionally hide treats in there (or toys- mix it up) for him to discover on his own. Don't close him in. Encourage him to go look inside if he isn't going in on his own.

    When he is comfortable investigating the crate, give him a long-term goodie in there- like a stuffed Kong. and close the door for a few minutes while he enjoys it, then open the door with no fuss and let him wander out when he's ready. The idea is to make the crate a cool place to visit, and a place of calmness.

    If he wanders in there on his own , or even looks in there, notice it and toss a treat inside and walk away.

    Eventually he will seek the crate as the way to nice things happening. Then you can practice closing him in for very short times, and then gradually extending those times.. Then you can crate him and go out briefly. Come back soon, and let him out- keep the mood calm and quiet and 'its no big deal'.

    You are very wise to start thinking of this and practicing with him now before flying in September! :)
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  • takumi2takumi2
    Posts: 85
    Thank you for detailed advice, WrylyBrindle!
    I just bought a crate for him and will start training him as soon as it arrives. I really hope that he finds that crate to be his favorite place.
    Wish me luck :-)
  • Question, for an overseas flight, don't they usually sedate the dogs? I really think you should look into that because even if he's crate-trained very well, the long flight is still gonna be miserable and agonizing. When my friend's family moved from India to Napall, they had their Tibetan mastiff sedated and he woke up about 15 minutes before they reached their destination. :)
    Are you moving to Japan permanently or just vacationing?
  • takumi2takumi2
    Posts: 85
    I am moving back to Japan permanently, that's why I'll take him with me. Otherwise I would not give him such a horrible experience.
    Most airlines do not recommend sedating animals during the flight because of the risk of injury while transporting them.
  • PoetikDragonPoetikDragon
    Posts: 2816
    @crazydoglady NO! Sedation is against regulations and could very likely kill the dog. It slows their breathing and heart rate, which is extremely dangerous in thinner atmosphere.
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  • takumi2takumi2
    Posts: 85
    That's why I have no intention to sedate him.