How to Get a Dog Out of the Crawlspace

One of the interesting statistics that I get with my WordPress blog is a summary of those terms that were used in search engines to find something I’ve written. I came across this interesting phrase a couple of days ago: “How to get a dog out of the crawlspace.”

My mind leapt ahead to imagine the drama unfolding in some poor fellow’s life. His dog is under the house in the crawlspace and won’t come out. He’s at a total loss what to do. So he runs inside and puts the question to Google. Curious, I put the phrase to BING.COM. And I swear I saw no clear path to my web log. Maybe he used a different search engine.

There’s another thing that I noticed… there was no real answer to the question! OMG, we need to help this fellow.

INSTRUCTIONS: How to get a Dog Out of the Crawlspace

I have to assume that there’s not room for you to wriggle into the crawlspace yourself, otherwise you would have done so. Either that or you’re afraid of the spiders and rodents and snakes that live under there; or you’re reluctant to expose your clothing or your skin the slimy or dusty conditions.

The real question shall be whether the dog is just being reluctant to come out… or he’s somehow trapped.

The Reluctant Dog

First of all you must have some kind of opening that allowed him to get into the crawlspace in the first place. Logically that will be the way he needs to get out as well. I’d recommend getting a weenie out of the refrigerator and get yourself down at the entry hole and call to your doggie whilst waving the weenie around in an enticing manner.

Dog’s are encouraged and attracted by playful and high-pitched voices. Try an expression like this when calling your dog: “Puppy Puppy Jeep Jeep!” It might be a good idea to take a slip leash with you, offer the food treat through the loop of the leash. It’s what I call a “dressing treat”. As the dog’s head passes through the loop to get to the treat you pull the cinch closed around his neck and you can haul him out.

The Jaws of Death

Okay, it’s possible that he’s trapped in the crawlspace. Note that carpenters don’t much care about nails that go through the floor and are exposed in the crawlspace since nobody ever hangs out down there. Another possibility is that old sloppy electrical work has cords and cables that can entwine and trap the dog.

In this case you’re going to have to bite the bullet. If there is actually room for you to get into the crawlspace yourself you’re just going to have to man up and stop being such a woos and go in there and get your dog.

If there’s really not room for you to crawl under… then you’re going to have to start dismantling something. If the crawlspace is defined by a wooden skirt it might be a good idea to pull it off the house at the point that is nearest to the dog.

Aside from this, you could actually take up the floorboard over the spot where your dog is trapped.

Lessons Learned

Don’t let this happen again. The health and safety of your dog is your responsibility. You need to create a barrier to the dog’s access to the crawlspace. Perhaps a little latched trap door would do the trick.

Just remember this… he’ll do it again.

Pinwheels

Here’s one of my favorite exercises. I know I have a different take on handling pinwheels than most of the world. But it truly gives me an opportunity to teach handling with a killer instinct rather than the survival handling so often practiced in the world.

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Purpose:

To learn to think outside the box. Students get a lot of work with two basic movements, the blind cross and the tandem turn.

Specified handling:

Mostly what we’re interested in is a handler who stays in constant and fluid movement. That means making handling decisions based on the dog’s position relative to the handler. Run the dog, not the plan!

Sequences:

  • As shown
  • Others, as directed

Tips:

If the handler is ahead of the dog, he should be able to “step outside the box” into a blind cross. You can’t cross in front of the dog if you are behind the dog.

When planning for a tandem turn the handler should arrange to arrive at the jump at approximately the same instant as the dog. Beware of menacing the dog from the landing side of the jump.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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