How to Resolve Escaping out of Crate

If you currently have a dog that that is an escape artist, you may have immediately skipped to this chapter. Dogs that break out of crates usually become very anxious when the owner leaves the home. Because of this anxiety, destructive behavior often occurs once the dog makes their great escape.

Resolving this issue can be difficult because once the dog has learned that breaking out of the crate is possible, you can bet they will attempt it again.

In order to be able to contain these types of dogs, you have to do two things. The first procedure is to reinforce the weak points of your crate or purchase a different type of crate altogether.

To reinforce a wire metal crate, you can use zip ties on the areas where the crate fastens together. Once you zip strip it, you will not be able to break the crate down without cutting the zip ties. You will also need to reinforce the door. To do this, you will need a few metal clasps such as the ones you can find on the end of your dog’s leash or you can use a carabiner. Once you close the door, connect the clasp so that it connects the door to the frame of the crate. Pay special attention to the bottom of the door as this is a weak point where many dogs slide out.

If your budget allows, you can purchase a heavy duty steel crate that is built with metal bars rather than wires. Dogs are not strong enough to bend the bars on this type of crate. I have had one dog to date that was able to figure out how to unlatch the door clasp with her paws to free herself. This was remedied by attaching a chain around the door and frame just in case she was able to undo the clasp again.

A plastic crate is also a good choice for dogs that can break out of metal wire crates. Plastic crates are more secure than the ordinary metal crates but are not as tough as the heavy duty steel crates.

If you do have a Houdini, make sure that you do not leave any collars on the dog while they are in the crate. The collar can get stuck while they are trying to escape and cause choking.

If your dog is escaping out of the crate, it is obvioius that your dog is not comfortable being crated. Begin building positive associations to the crate and start training your dog to stay in the crate for short periods of time with the door open. This stay exercise is very effective at changing your dog's perception of being inside the crate. Use food rewards to reinforce your dog for staying in the crate. Slowly increase the amount of time your dog can maintain the stay up until 10 minutes.

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Published on July 23, 2017

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