Join Date: Jul 2015
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You have one week. Seems like you could work on getting her to enjoy her crate a little each day to make it less scary when you leave her for two hours a week from now. Do you have a clicker? If so, click at the moment she does what you want, then follow with a treat. The clicker marks the behavior, and the treat reinforces. Without a clicker, you could just say something short to represent a click (Yes! or Take! or tongue click)
Click/Treat when she moves toward the crate.
Then when she touches it.
Then when she puts a paw in.
Then when she goes in.
Then when she turns and looks at you.
Then when she stays in there and looks at you.
Then when she stays in there when you take one step away.
When she lets you close door then open right back up.
Close door, count to one.
Lock door, open right back up.
Move crate to different part of your house.
Take crate into neighbor's house.
There are all sorts of things you can do in this week to make her feel more excited about her crate.
Also, figure out what treat she's wild about that she can have only in the crate. A pig's ear, for example. That could distract her from your departure and keep her busy for part/most/all of the time you're at church. A stuffed kong could work too, although I never figured out what exactly to put in a kong to make it last without being too filling. (Others?)
Please let us know how the week goes and how it goes at Christmas. (Also, can you get there early to practice with the crate before you leave for church?)