My Thoughts on the Swedish BAN of Dog Crates. The Hardest Dogs I’ve trained…

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1:32 What is the most difficult behavior case you’ve ever taken on?
5:47 My dog barks ALL THE TIME at what seems like nothing!
8:36 We took our dog to a pro for a bath and now he’s terrified!
10:35 What do you do when a dog is not very motivated by food or toys?
13:05 Can you train 2 dogs at once… with 2 people training each dog?
14:24 Why does the leash trigger my dog to have an outburst towards other dogs?
15:54 Are crates the next shock collars? The illegal crate debate

50 Comments on “My Thoughts on the Swedish BAN of Dog Crates. The Hardest Dogs I’ve trained…”

  1. On leash lunging and reactivity is THE MAIN thing I’m working on with my 1 year old Irish Poodle. I would love more information on “no on leash greeting” more visualizations of how a dog should look when walking on a path with bikers and dogs and other things going on. I’m having a hard time breaking it down into manageable steps

    1. My dog used to bark at every dog and act all tough and I made sure the leash was on him more because I had been training off leash at home so he acted differently on leash. And then I just started training basic obedience like sit leave it look at me with the other dog twenty foot away and if he was still barking at the dogs then we were too close so I’d move farther away and as long as he was obeying me, sitting and looking at the dog while being quiet and giving his attention to me when I asked we would slowly move closer but if at any point he started barking again we moved farther away and worked farther away again for a day or two. Now we can walk up to dogs and talk to the owner and he doesn’t react badly at all He does still pull sometime and his tail is wiggling he wants to see the dog and we are working on just having him sit or keep walking and for the most part he does ignore them completely now. But for months I had to make sure I’d go out of my way to be far enough away from any approaching dogs for my dog to still listen and as your dog fails you learn how far that distance needs to be. If your dog is failing you are still to close and expecting to much And over time if you are watching your dog very closer you can learn what actions your dog does before they bark and then you can redirect them into a sit or walk around in a circle or walk a bit farther away instead of letting them bark For my dog he would zero in on the dog with his eyes and I could see him building and then if I didn’t do anything he would react barking and pulling. I would usually walk in front of him or into his nose so he had to break the eye contact he had with the dog and then we’d keep walking with his back to the dog and then we’d sit and observe the dog where he could still listen to me so we weren’t just walking away and ignoring the dog completely it’s important to stop at the point where your dog is comfortable and let your dog observe the dog. If your dog reacts at any point then add more distance back and be sure to give them things to do at that distance so they don’t still try and build like I said for me sitting and observing worked for my dog but some dogs you may need to keep moving moving in circles or moving three foot closer and then farther away just keep the dog busy so they can’t stop and build and react. Good luck! Hope this helps

    2. Also my dog is 9 months now and I still probably wouldn’t expect him to walk very far nicely on a bike path with other bikes and dogs and people. When someone was coming towards us I would step off the path as far as he needed and then let him observe quietly from there. I think he could walk a little ways while meeting people on a small path and he’d do great but maybe for only ten minutes then it’d be asking to much because it’s hard for him and it’s training the whole time. a dog only has so much of an attention span and if they have a reactive background being able to get their attention is super important for any success so try to walk where their isn’t dogs or the dogs are far away your dog barely acknowledges them. It was super stressful for my dog and me to be close to other moving things so walking where there wasn’t lots of people or walking where we could get distance from the dogs but still close enough to close to observe them was important. When zak trained chop he trained him similarly. He started far away and slowly worked closer as long as chop was responding still

    3. my dog is 4 years old , what i have started doing was leash work where i take the leash , so what i do is i take 1 foot forward and when he moves i say no then take 1 foot back , this way i can train him to walk together with me , i got this method from Tibor to the rescue , i hope this helps. since i have done this method my k9 always by my side.

    4. I had a standard poodle mix (lost her this year 😢)
      I got a front fix harness and longer training lead.
      I held the excess lead in a loop, when she pulled I turned in the opposite direction, whilst simultaneously dropping the lead. Very quickly she realised I was going back home and she got the message. In a few minutes her pulling was fixed!
      No harsh methods, just a bit of patience and lots of praise, love and a bit of chicken. 😂
      She was also an energetic greeter 😳 I stood still crossed my arms and said off! ( didn’t even look down until she was calm on all fours) then lots of love and praise. If she got over- excited – same again – arms crossed no touching, just said off!
      Very quickly she stopped jumping up and wild greetings 😅 and I just had to say off! On rare occasion that she forgot.
      Poodles are extremely intelligent, fun and wonderful companions. I hope these work for you too. ❤️

    5. I also have a 1 year old Irish Doodle with leash lunging and reactivity, but it’s only under certain conditions. He loves people, but he reacts to strangers when I’m walking him in an outdoor environment by barking and lunging. I’ve especially noticed it on hiking trails and if a stranger is coming up behind us quickly. That is the only time he behaves this way. I hike and walk by myself, so I wonder if he’s protecting me. (I really have no idea.) So far, I try to handle it by having him sit and watch me as the person passes by. In an indoor environment, he loves strangers and never does this.

  2. Oh Inertia! She melted my heart when she came up to Bree for cuddles! I really wonder why dogs don’t enjoy baths. They can lie down in a puddle and be happy as can be, but once it’s in a bathroom the reaction goes from “OH NO” to best case “sigh ok let’s get it over with”.

  3. Just a small addendum to the Swedish crate law. You are allowed to have a crate if the door has been removed. So you can have a crate as long as the dog can enter and leave as they please.

    I do live in Sweden and I do have a crate with the door removed as a safe space for my dog, I taught him that it is his place and that if he needs to be left alone he can go there and no one will mess with him. Thus far it has worked really well, he tends to go there when he is not feeling well and will naturally go there if someone comes over that he is not very comfortable with. I do inform friends visiting of that as well and they appreciate that he has a clear way to indicating to them if he wants to be left alone or not (especially the friends that are not used to dogs)

    1. Thanks for the clarification. It’s so interesting to see the different laws in different countries. As far as I’m concerned, the animals of the United States would really benefit if the U. S. had laws much more like those in Sweden.

    2. I am not in sweden but austria and crates here afaik are only allowed for car drives. Could be wrong though, I use a outdoor dog house for my dog inside as a “crate” because it’s more comfy for her than a crate and she cant walk in and out whenever she wants to, which makes sense, it’s her safe space

  4. We only use a crate when people come to the door, but our dog goes into her crate voluntarily all the time. Yes, I enjoyed the candid talk during this video!

  5. Yes, I have experienced two dogs that lunged and barked on leash. One slipped out of her collar and attacked another dog!!!! Luckily, neither dog was hurt; but that was scary and humiliating.

    The dog that I had the closest bond with ever used her crate when she felt she needed a break from people and our other dog. Most often she was at my side; but at other times, you might find her in her crate with the gate wide open. 🥰 I don’t know about scientific evidence for crates; but I was concerned about using a crate at first. However, I was at my wits end because my beagle was tearing up things that could have harmed him when I was away from home, carpet and padding with tacks and electrical cords to be precise. Before resorting to a crate, I did lots of research including calling veterinarians and trainers. I read in one book, I don’t remember which one, that crates mimic the den and are a source of security for a dog.

    I don’t like the term owner either. I use “the dog’s human”. Recently, I’ve been fond of the term guardian, but I forget to use it.

    It bothers me that dogs are considered property. Personhood?, well that might be an insult to the dog. 😆 I don’t even refer to a dog’s character as it’s personality, out of respect for the wonderful creatures they are. I call a dog’s character his/her dogality or character. I have a strong reverence for the canine world.

  6. Hello again from Sweden!
    Thank you so much for taking my question, I was curious about your thoughts. I didn’t intend to put prong collars, shock collars and crates in the same category as they are separate issues. I looked into the crate law a bit further and it turns out that you can have a crate but you have to remove the door, it’s not enough to just leave the door open. It is also not legal to keep your dog in a crate in a car for more than three hours if the car is stationary. The thinking behind this is that a dog should not be kept in a cage without the option to leave, unless it’s in a moving car. The main reason being that there is a big risk that the owner will misuse the crate either intentionally or by ignorance. Another reason is that the dog must be able to find a way out if there’s a fire or some other danger. I haven’t looked into any studies though. Also it has never been legal to sell puppies in pet stores either. Another law that might interest you is that it’s illegal to leave a dog alone without supervision for more than five hours, although I don’t see how that law could be enforced. By the way, we have alternative names for owner and it’s “Husse” for the male owner and ”Matte” for the female owner. They are nicknames from way back when the male owner was called “Husfar” or house father and the female owner was called “Matmor” or food mother. Everyone use these nicknames over here 😊 Thanks again and sorry for the long reply.

  7. While I have enjoyed a selection of available training videos, I appreciate your videos the most. To me, you’re the most real, with real expectations, results and experiences. Too many trainers seem to display mostly perpetual amazing results. You’re my go to 👍🏼

  8. What I appreciate about your videos is that you’re willing to show the moments of struggle while trying to keep the pups below their threshold. It helps those of us who are novice guardians see that it’s to be expected for things not to go as perfectly as it seems to go with other dog trainers videos on YouTube. Once I grasped a better understanding of FF training and keeping a journal, I was able to celebrate the small victories over time. I admire what you guys are doing and have seen how much you’ve evolved in the last 7 years and I support you.

  9. I am from Germany and crates are not really that common here, they have gotten traction in the last years but mostly people do not use them very much for training. We did crate training when we got our Labrador as a puppy almost four years ago. He is our first dog and so we read many books and watched a lot of (your) youtube videos to be as well prepared as possible. We also checked out some dog trainers in our area in advance and booked puppy socialisation and training classes from his second week with us on.
    The first day we brought him home we were prepared to slowly introduce the crate and not to rush things and the first thing he did when we got home was to march into his crate and to fall asleep, go figure. One of us did however sleep next to his crate the first two weeks so he would not panic with being all alone.
    I do not know if potty training would have worked as well and quickly (just four weeks and after that no more accidents) without being able to crate him at night and when we had to leave the room to go take a shower or something. We just wanted him to be safe as long as he did not know the rules well enough to be reliable with leaving human things alone.
    We also would never leave him in there longer than maybe for the duration of grocery shopping or a doctors appointment once we gotten him used to being alone. Also he still likes to go in his crate when we have many visitors or when he feels otherwise overwhelmed or there is scary noises outside or something.
    So we are definitely pro crate and plan on using it the same way with our second puppy which we plan on getting in about two years when our older Lab is about 6 because we read that that is a perfect timing to get a second dog when it comes to age difference.

    1. We use our crate the same way as SisterPanic, especially during puppy and teenager phases. Cannot imagine a training regimen without crates for most breeds. Maybe there are magical dogs out there who train perfectly and swiftly, but that seems rare.

  10. I actually really appreciate the realistic side of showing that it’s not always going well and fast, because that can put unrealistic expectations on people who try to train their dogs, and then they give up ’cause nothing happened in two weeks.

  11. Great video! Please keep doing these types of videos. I love them! I am for crates to keep our dogs safe and assist with potty training. I can’t imagine having a puppy and not having a crate to help with keeping them safe. My 6 month old puppy loves her crate and is calm and quiet in there. She wasn’t that way initially but after about 1 month of really working with her she really enjoys it and is very calm. Also, I hadn’t heard the term guardian before for what to call ourselves. My husband and I just use the term parent. Thank you both for your candid opinions and knowledge on training and raising dogs! It is so helpful!

  12. I love, love this talk. It helps to be accepting to the diversity in the dog world jut like in the people world. we need to understand our particular dog and its behavior. I now have a very reactive and nervous dog, and having had dogs all my life, this experience is is totally new to me and I feel like a beginner dog owner. Every other dog was so easy in comparison. I like to see the challenging dogs you showed. It doesn’t help me to see the techniques on dogs that are not really as reactive. this is real! The approach of ‘from the inside out rather than the outside’ in is a welcome message. My dogs’ crate is her safe space in her anxious world. Totally agree with rethinking “owner” term.

  13. Thank you for being honest. I like that you show realistic dog training sessions because most of the time it never goes good the first try. It helps alot when a dog trainer thinks of dog’s as individuals and how age or breed play factors when it comes to training them. I consider myself a pet parent because I feel like I’m their parent, especially when you have them from a puppy.

  14. Love this video!

    I know it’s mentioned every time in the comments… the content of your video is such a different tone than the thumbnail and title of the videos. The content shows off your curiosity, honesty, emotional intelligence. Very warm and wholesome. I wonder if many like minded people never see your videos because it doesn’t seem like a science-based, emotionally intelligent approach in the thumbnail. Also, it’s hard to refer back to videos to see what the topic is.

    It’s not your fault—you have to play by YouTube’s rules and what the algorithm demands. But, “fight the man” when you can!

    1. We literally spend hours on title and thumbnail meetings and test a variety of titles and thumbnails and monitor their performance in real time. Unfortunately “a conversation on dog training and answering your questions” would get zero clicks. However, those who do click tend to watch for a long time. So that’s good!

  15. Great video! My fiancée and I have 7 month old corgi, and he loves his crate. What you were saying about the crate being like a bedroom really resonates with our experience. When we tell him it’s bedtime, he climbs right in and puts himself to bed. Love the videos Zak, couldn’t have trained him so well without all your help!!

    1. Oh and don’t worry, I don’t see him as fully trained yet. There are still lots of fun experiences and learning opportunities in the future for the three of us!

  16. I really appreciate how you talked about “hard to train” dogs and what it means to really commit to the dog and how they can succeed as an individual. Seems rooted in common sense, right? What if someone gets saddled with the laziest Border Collie to ever roam the earth? Maybe someone adopts a Basset Hound that somehow has a desire and budding skill set for agility or other high energy activities? These things happen. What to do? Learn who the dog is and go from there. 🙂

  17. I have been seeing more and more “”””balanced”””” training methods on youtube personalities and it truly disgusts me, and fills me with fear for what the public’s understanding of dogs actually is. Thank you for continuing to talk about why you teach and train dogs the way you do. Thank you for everything you’ve put out into the world.

  18. Another thumb up from me! Thanks for this video! While I love watching your training videos, I like to get your thoughts on dogs in general. You are the experts and your opinions are incredibly valuable to us pup parents (my preferred reference instead of owner since my dogs really “own” me! 😍). I’ve learned a ton, but know there is a ton more to learn. So I’m all for keeping these types of videos coming; maybe even a routine inclusion of them, like once a month??? Love and pats to Inertia and Veronica and thanks for all you do! ❤

  19. Not a professional trainer, but working in rescue, I’ve “trained” many dogs. The toughest dog I ever trained was one we ended up adopting (as she was deemed “unadoptable” due to her extreme fearfulness) who was a puppy mill survivor. She’d never been socialized and was afraid of everything (including people, anything and everything in the house–TVs, the refrigerator humming, the printer printing, mail coming in the house, a package being delivered, etc. etc. etc.). She was difficult to train and we spent the first six months we had her just gaining her trust–no training at all. Just giving food, treats, etc. and establishing that we weren’t going to hurt her, the TV wasn’t going to eat her, the mail we brought into the house wasn’t going to come to life and tear her liver out, etc.). When I first started to train her, she was afraid to move. She’d just stand stock still. I started by playing the “gimme game”. Give me a movement–any movement (move a toe!!) it was thumbs up and treat (she was afraid of the clicker, so I borrowed from training a deaf dog and her “click” was a thumbs up gesture). It took weeks before she felt comfortable making even small movements. We taught her the very basics (sit, down, back up, stay, leave it, drop it, watch me, and touch) and never went beyond that with her. We never took her out on walks or in public because of her fearfulness–she’d be so afraid and it was just cruel to take her away from her home (she became comfortable in our home/yard). Our vet would almost always come to our house to see her because if we took her to the vet, her temperature would be very high and her blood pressure would spike. On days she had to go to the vet’s office (because they needed equipment they couldn’t bring to the house or something), we had to take her temperature two hours before we left, then an hour before we left, and then an hour and two hours after we got home (because her temp was so high at the vet’s office–it’s like she was deathly sick, but it was just fear). The vet wanted to make sure her temp was normal in her normal environment. And that was WITH meds on board!! She’s the toughest I’ve ever dealt with, but we loved her to death. We lost her a couple of years ago and still miss her.

    1. @Nicole Brennan Puppy mills are a pure hell for the poor dogs in them. We lag far behind most other industrialized countries where puppy mills are illegal and do not exist. They are flourishing here and the “standards” set forth by our government are cruel, at best. And we really aren’t “wonderful”. We were just able to provide a safe haven for Lina.

  20. I’m raising my first puppy as an adult (beagle, 4 months now) with my GF and your “real” approach to training has been a HUGE HELP, we thought we were doing a terrible job and that she would grow to be a misbehaved dog or something but the more we read and look at your videos the more I notice how in other training videos people hide the truth behind training. We read a lot and researched training before getting her, and yours are the videos that come closer to reality, including blogs and such.

    In short thanks to your videos we are happily raising her and not feeling guilty and we just now understand is a completely normal puppy and all our fears were baseless. Also she is a very good learned and has overcome so much “bad behavior” so fast, thanks!

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