If you have a pup that loves to escape and want to know how to make a dog crate escape-proof, here’s the scoop. Many pet parents don’t like the idea of putting their dog or cat in a crate. However, giving your pet crate time is part of their training and education. Although cats don’t have the same instincts as dogs, they enjoy napping in their crate and love having their own space.
Dogs have evolved through the centuries but still have basic instincts that make them want a den in which to feel safe and protected. When crate-training is part of your dog’s education it soon understands that their crate is a safe place. Your dog will welcome a private space to relax, sleep, or just get away from the family activity. A crate is necessary for crate training and is a helpful solution:
- To curb chewing
- For potty training
- For older dogs
Crates are beneficial when you want your dog to adjust to a different environment. Older dogs often have more problems adjusting. When your dog is accustomed to its crate and you move to a new home, the crate is familiar and will make your dog feel at ease in your new surroundings. This s why it’s important for pet owners to learn how to crate train a dog. It’s a good idea to get your dog used to be crated for part of the day before going on a vacation. Many hotels and condo rentals are pet-friendly but expect owners to keep their dogs crated when they go out. As much as a dog may love its private space, there are times it may try to escape. Here’s how to make your dog’s crate safe and escape-proof.
Determine The Problem To Find A Solution
Before you secure the crate, so your dog doesn’t get out, you have to determine what’s causing it to want to escape. Most dogs are content to spend time in their crate. A dog that has a comfortable bed and blankets sees the crate as their den. Most dogs will retreat into their space when the door is left open. Many dogs will seek out their crate when you have visitors with children. It’s important for the dog to know that the crate is his den and not punishment.
Why Do Some Dogs Try To Escape From Their Crate?
Dogs escape their crate for many reasons. A dog that runs past you when you try to close the door to the crate is an indication something may be scaring him. If your dog tries to escape a locked crate (and some of them do), it could be a sign that he’s fearful of something or is feeling anxiety over being in an enclosed space. It could also be plain separation anxiety. When your dog exhibits any of these behaviors, you may have to start over with your crate training to help your dog to re-adjust. One of the best training tools dog parents have is the best dog crate. Here are some essential tips to make sure your dog is well-adjusted and feels comfortable in its crate.
The Canine Personality
There are obvious differences between cats and dogs. Some cats love spending a lot of time with their owners. However, many cats tend to prefer more downtime to themselves, especially if there’s any disruption to their schedule. Dogs have friendly, outgoing personalities and love nothing more than getting attention from their owners, going for walks, and having a lot of playtime in the yard or dog park. Dogs love curling up on the couch with their owners. One thing dogs don’t like is being deprived of their owner’s company for long periods. Many dogs will whine, bark, or howl when their owner leaves the house. If you use a crate, start with using it for short naptimes or as a place for your dog to eat its meals. Introducing the crate properly will hinder a dog from escaping and associating the kennel other than a safe space.
Why Is My Dog Chewing His Crate And What Can I Do?
When a dog obsessively chews on his crate, it’s a sign that something’s going on. You need to determine the source of the chewing. Some dogs will chew on the nearest object out of boredom or due to anxiety . If you have a young dog, the chewing could be because it’s teething. When a puppy is teething, it will grow out of the chewing stage. You might buy dog chew toys that are teething specific,
Suggestions For When You’re Out Of The House
If you’re going out for long periods, you could ask a friend or one of your neighbors to come in and check on your dog. You might leave a radio on. Some pet parents play videos on their TV for their dogs when they’ll be out. Many of the pet-related channels on YouTube have playlists to relax dogs or cats that are quite effective. Another option to avoid keeping your dog crated for long periods is to have a pet sitter come in once a day to play with your pup or go for a walk. The trick is to keep a dog busy and entertained to avoid destructive behaviors.
The Teething Puppy
A good suggestion for a puppy that’s teething is to wet a dishcloth, twist it into a rope, and put it in the freezer. The cloth serves the same purpose as a frozen toy and reduces the pain in the puppy’s sore gums. If your dog is chewing because of boredom, the frozen rope toy is still a good idea. Providing more entertainment like extra play or going for walks will alleviate the boredom.
The Dog That’s Bored
When a dog is bored, he’s more likely to get into trouble and chew on the nearest available object, and that could his crate. Your dog needs activities to keep him:
- Out of Mischief
You might consider dog daycare for a few hours each day. Dogs love interacting with other dogs and making new friends. Daycare facilities for dogs offer a lot of stimulating activities. After a day of play, your pup will be ready to relax and enjoy your company in the evening.
Choosing The Right Crate For Your Pup
When you’re choosing the crate for your dog check the construction to make sure it’s put together securely. If you have a large breed dog, you’ll need an extra-large dog crate so the dog can move around and lie down comfortably. Pet suppliers make dog crates for every size and breed so you can find one that’s perfect for your dog. A crate that’s flimsy may have to be replaced in a year. It’s a good idea to compare brands before you buy. A crate that’s rusty or old may not be safe. If you buy a secondhand crate your best bet is to buy one that hasn’t been stored outdoors.
Creating The Perfect Den
When you put it together, here’s how to make a dog crate more comfortable for Fido:
- Provide a cozy bed and warm blankets
- Favorite dog treats and chews
- Toys and interactive puzzles that stimulate your dog
How To Make Your Dog’s Crate Escape-Proof
If your crate is brand new or a relatively new model, chances are, it’s one of those escape-proof dog crates, even for the most persistent pups. You may pay more for a permanent, solid crate. However, they’re designed to last a long time. Some wire crates that fold up for storing aren’t as well-built and less sturdy than the permanent variety. If you purchase a wire crate you can reinforce it and make it more sturdy by using zip ties.
Here’s How To Do It:
Attach zip ties to each of the four corners of the crate at the top and bottom. Attach the ties from the outside of the crate and cut the ends so your dog can’t chew them. You can even reinforce the bottom of the crate by drilling small holes in each of the four corners of the crate tray and attaching zip ties to the walls of the crate. Zip ties are effective for crate surfing dogs and even cats.
Always Check The Latch
When you come home and your dog runs to the door to greet you it’s a sign he may be letting himself out of his crate. Some people underestimate a dog’s intelligence. Most dogs can figure out how to open a latch that isn’t secured properly. It’s possible for a dog to undo a latch from inside its crate. If necessary, use a length of chain and a clip to close it. However, you should never use a padlock to keep it closed. In an emergency, rescuers might not be able to get your dog out of the crate. If you use a chain it should be short. A longer chain may allow the dog to open the door enough to slip through.
Crate Training Is Essential
The best way to make sure your dog understands the crate is his den is with firm but very gentle crate training. Regular training sessions will teach your pup to be comfortable and happy in his den. If your dog still tries to escape from the crate after regular training sessions, you may want to consult a professional trainer.
One of the weakest points on a dog crate is the door and latch. Dogs that escape from their crate by running past you when you’re fastening the latch have behavior problems. Sometimes the dog will want to play and spend time with you. When your dog is being stubborn, a tasty treat inside the crate will entice him. Try this for short periods until your pup understands he’s not being punished. When a dog gets into a routine there’s less likely to be behavior problems.
How do I get my dog to stop escaping the crate?
The most effective way to stop an escaping dog is with gentle, firm training. If you have a persistent dog you may have to secure the latch with a short chain and twist ties to prevent him from getting out. If you try the suggested methods and they don’t work, it’s a good idea to discuss the issue with your veterinarian. Another way to handle the problem of a dog that escapes from the crate is to work with a professional dog trainer. Professionals can teach owners methods to help get a dog that escapes under control.
How do you reinforce a dog crate door?
You can secure the latch of the crate with a short chain and a clip. Using a longer chain may result in your dog getting past you and out of the crate. An important point to remember is to never use a padlock on a pet crate. If there’s an emergency your pet needs to be out of the crate as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to always leave your dog’s leash close to the crate in case he needs to get out in a hurry.