A dog crate can be an excellent addition to your home. It helps you keep your dog in one spot and minimize damage. But, some dogs find it hard to stay in the crate and always seem to find ways to escape. You need to know how to make a dog crate escape-proof.
How can you make a dog crate escape-proof?
You can make a dog crate escape-proof by reinforcing it, buying a quality crate, and crate training your dog. When you buy a crate, assemble it properly per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ensure you let your dog pee outside before putting them in a crate.
There are different opinions when it comes to crates for dogs. But, having a good crate has many benefits when at home or when you want to travel together. Therefore, make it a point to invest in a quality crate that’s hard to burst open for bigger breeds or chew.
In this article, you can learn why your dog might be escaping from the crate. Also, learn how they escape the crate and different ways you can prevent this from happening.
8 Ways to Escape-proof My Dog’s Crate
Once you know how your dog escapes their crate, you can take the necessary steps to stop the behavior. Crates are important when you want to leave your dog in the house alone. Here you can learn how to make a dog crate escape-proof.
1. Pick the Correct Crate Size
There are many ways of making a crate escape-proof, but you first have to pick out the correct one. When a crate is too small or too big, your dog won’t feel comfortable in it. So, before doing anything to prevent escaping, ensure you get the right crate for your dog.
Usually, sellers will have recommendation charts depending on the size and breed. Small dogs don’t fare well in huge crates and vice versa. So, when you want to foil escapes from the crate, pick out the right one for your pet.
2. Do Some Crate Training
Training is crucial for your dog, even crate training. The training helps your dog learn that being in the crate is good and escaping is bad. You might need to repeat the training for some time, but eventually, your dog will learn. Proper crate training is part of good behavioral training that ensures you and your dog have the best relationship.
3. Invest in a Good Quality Crate
Is your crate good or poor quality? A poor-quality crate is simply too weak or easy to escape. So, even the best-behaved dogs find it hard to resist getting free.
Therefore, always ensure you spend a little more money buying a quality dog crate that suits your dog.
4. Find Ways to Reinforce the Crate
Sometimes, your dog may find ways to get loose, even from the best crates. This is where you have to take drastic measures to keep them inside. Find ways to do extensive reinforcement on the crate, especially if it’s collapsible.
Collapsible crates are easy to store, but they have specific weak points. One of the best ways to keep the crate intact is by adding zip ties to the corners. After adding the zip tie, cut them short to prevent any chewing.
Another tactic that reinforces your dog’s crate is adding a padlock. As mentioned earlier, some dogs can reach and move the latch. This is how they get free and wreck your home. It’s better to change the lock mechanism of the crate or add a padlock.
Lastly, you can add metal structures to the sides of the crate. These come in handy if you have a plastic crate. The metallic reinforcement makes it hard for your dog to chew or knock their way out of the crate.
5. Make the Inner Part Comfortable for your Dog
Is the inner area of your dog’s crate bare, or does it have some comfort? Add their favorite bed and a few toys in there. This makes your dog feel comfortable, and they won’t want to keep escaping.
Making the space comfortable and adding some gentle training are excellent tactics. You won’t even need to close the door when your dog enters the crate one day.
6. Proper Assembly
Did your crate come with a manual that guides you when assembling? Always review the crate assembly process to see if you missed a step or two. Usually, a crate’s structure becomes weak and easy to exploit when you don’t assemble it properly.
A simple mistake like a missing part can be why your dog finds it easy to escape the crate.
7. Add Some Few Distractions
Boredom is among the main causes of escape. A bored dog will always want to find a way to entertain themselves. Nothing can hold them back if they find a way to escape the crate.
So, always ensure your dog isn’t bored while in the crate. Implore a few distractions to keep them engaged for the duration. Leave your dog with their favorite toy or something to chew on. Chewing a chew toy, for instance, keeps them busy and less prone to escaping the crate.
8. Pick the Right Crate Location
At times it’s more than making the crate escape-proof. The crate location can also cause your dog to want to get free. If you have the crate next to the window where your dog sees the road, it can lead to escapes.
As your dog tries to get free and to the road, they can implore brute force or chew their way out of the crate. Also, if the crate is next to a vent, this can lead to lots of discomfort. Usually, dogs love being cool in summer and warm in winter, but staying too long next to the vents isn’t ideal.
So, it might be best to pick a comfortable and quiet spot away from any windows for the crate. Such a location is calming and ensures your dog doesn’t see other dogs on the street or people walking by. They can lay there playing with their toys and having a jolly time.
But, ensure it’s not a dark and isolating corner where they can feel afraid to be alone. Picking the right location is important, especially as you start crate training your dog.
Why Does My Dog Keep Escaping the Crate?
Dogs need a crate to help keep them in a specific area. Crates come in handy when you want to leave the house or not have your dog on the couch. Many dogs can stay in a crate without issues, even if you leave the door open. But, some choose to escape.
Below are some of the different reasons your dog is escaping the crate. Knowing the cause of the issue is one step toward fixing it.
It’s not uncommon to come across a dog with separation anxiety. Some dog breeds don’t mind spending time alone. They’ll gladly stay in a crate for as long as necessary without causing any fuss about this situation.
However, your dog could be escaping the crate because of separation anxiety. This means your dog doesn’t like being alone at all. If you put them in a crate, they whine, bark, and find ways to escape. Separation anxiety is an issue you must tackle if you want your dog to live their best life.
Often, it’s better to start training them to be comfortable alone the minute you notice this issue. Training can involve easy separation and crate training to make them comfortable staying in a crate.
Since your dog is a social creature, it’s easy to understand why they’d rather not be alone. So, perhaps you can start training to help them cope with the separation anxiety.
Fear of Confinement
Just like some people don’t like being in small spaces, your dog can have a fear of confinement. They prefer being free to move around in a bigger space. You want them to spend time in a smaller crate, making them anxious.
Getting them inside is not easy if your dog doesn’t like being in a crate. They can push past you to close the crate door or become aggressive. Be careful not to force your dog into a crate if they show signs of aggression.
Fear makes every creature, including people and dogs, do irrational things. This is why each time you put your dog in a crate, they cause a raucous and find ways to escape.
Dogs with high energy, especially puppies, see everything as a game. Since they want your attention, they tend to do some naughty things so that you come after them. For instance, your puppy or adult dog can turn to escape from the crate into a game.
If they escape, you come after them, play a little, and return to the crate. Since they want to spend time playing, your dog keeps doing this repeatedly. Playfulness requires scheduling, and when this happens away from the schedule, you need some positive guidance to curb the behavior.
Visiting the Potty
Do you leave your dog in the crate for many hours without any bathroom breaks? From the time they’re pups, you have to potty train your dog. This ensures they don’t turn different house locations into places they go for bathroom breaks.
However, if your dog always goes to a specific spot to relieve themselves, they can’t go in the crate. Find out if the constant escaping is because they have to visit the potty area. It’s better to have a schedule set where you let your dog out of the crate for potty breaks.
Perhaps it’s not fear causing your dog to escape the crate, but rather boredom. If all they do is spend the entire day in the crate, you have a bored dog. This is a recipe for disaster for bored dogs who always find ways to entertain themselves.
No matter the breed, a bored dog will make his or her own fun. So, the first thing to do is escape from the crate. After that, they start to chew on things, knock over plants, or mess with the toilet paper.
How Does a Dog Escape a Crate?
Escaping dogs can be very caning, and they always find ways to get free from their confinement. Usually, your dog is determined to escape from the crate so few things can stop them. If you want to prevent this from happening, first find out how your dog escapes their crate.
Weak Dog Crates
If you want a good dog crate, spend a bit more cash. Otherwise, a cheap crate makes it quite easy for your dog to escape. It’s better to focus on quality when buying a crate if you want to stop your dog from escaping.
Opening the Latch
Yes, you read that correctly! Some dogs are so smart that they master opening the crate latch. If you only close the latch and don’t add something like a padlock, this won’t keep them inside the crate.
The minute you turn your back, the little escape artist uses his or her paw or mouth to work the latch. Usually, your dog will wait until you’re out of sight or have left the house to escape from the crate.
Do you have a large dog breed with lots of power in their body? Well, they can use brute force to escape from the crate. Such dogs can burst right out of a crate, especially if there are no reinforcement measures.
Certain spots on the crate can have weaknesses that your dog can exploit. For instance, if there are spots with weak joints on the cage, it’s easy for your dog to chew their way out. Also, they can push these weak spots and escape from the crate.
The best way to learn how your dog escapes from their crate is to watch them. Try and hide, then observe how they do it. This is valuable information that you can use to curb such behavior. Some folks even place cameras around the crate to observe how the great escape happens!