Every time it’s time for bed, I feel awful when I close the door to the kennel. It’s not that I think Jayden doesn’t like it. He goes in with tail wagging every night. I always give him some kibble when he goes inside, so when we come in from final relieving and I take his collar off, he walks over to where the treat pouch lives, waiting for his treat.
I think part of why I get sad when I shut the door is because I can’t touch him. He’s in the room with me, right by the bed, but he’s enclosed and away from me. So I’ve really wanted to show him he doesn’t have to sleep in there unless he wants to. But every time he’s gone in and I leave the door open, he comes out and seems all confused. When I get in bed, he wouldn’t settle, so finally I’d put him back inside and he’d settle down and sleep.
So last night I decided to try a new tactic. The kennel door doesn’t stay closed unless it’s latched, so I put him inside, gave him kibble, then propped the door closed, using the arm of the sweatshirt I drape over the top to hold the door closed. Then after I was settled, I moved the sweatshirt so the door would open on it’s on.
I got up at one point and when I came back, I reached in the kennel and he was all curled up in the back of it, but he licked my hand, yet still stayed in there.
This morning I woke up to him resting his snout on my bed hehe. I fell back asleep and when the birds started chirping and I woke up again, I reached down and he was asleep on the floor right next to me.
So, I think that’s the way to do it. Let him get comfy in the kennel, give him his kibble, then let the door open on it’s own so he knows he can be where he wants. I like having him right next to me where I can just reach out and touch him. 🙂