If you own a dog who is a bit of a houdini escape artist when it comes to getting out of their dog crate, we feel your frustration.
For most dogs, the metal and plastic cheaper dog crates will be OK, but for an escape artist, they break out of those crates quite easily.
Safe to say it can be very frustrating, time consuming and costly to deal with this type of behavior and having to replace broken crates or crates that just don’t keep your dog secure.
On a more positive note, it’s possible to learn how to keep a dog from escaping his/her crate.
We take a look at 4 different solutions that could could provide the answer to your troubles.
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
How To Keep A Dog From Escaping His/Her Crate – 4 Solutions
- Speak to a vet, and a professional dog trainer for advice on the type of escape behavior and health of your dog
- Reinforce the walls and floor that your dog might try to pull up or break apart with zip/cable ties like the TR Industrial Cable Ties (on Amazon)
- Reinforce the gate/door that your dog might try to break through with hardened metal padlocks like the Masterlock 1 Inch Padlock (on Amazon), and the Masterlock 2 1/4 Inch Padlock (on Amazon).
- Buy a new heavy duty, inescapable dog crate like the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage (on Amazon), or Zinger Winger DX5000 Deluxe 5000 Aluminum Dog Crate (on Amazon)
1) See A Vet And/Or Professional Dog Trainer To Assess Any Mental Or Behavioural Issues
Absolutely the first and most important step – see a vet to see whether your dog wanting to escape from the crate is a result of a physical or mental condition.
Separation anxiety, claustrophobia, or even extended general stress and anxiety from a lack of quality crate training might all be causing your dog’s destructive and escape type behaviour. It could even be something else health related!
There’s no point reinforcing the current crate or getting a new escape proof crate if your dog is going to continue to want to get out, and in the process harm themselves physically and mentally.
Your dog’s health is the number one priority.
So, see a vet, explain to them what is happening, and ask for their advice.
If they don’t think the behavior requires medical attention or intervention, they may refer you to a professional dog trainer who can do one or a few sessions with you to help you train your dog to gradually increase their comfort level and familiarity with the dog crate to the point they aren’t trying to destroy it or escape from it.
The behavior may even be caused by something simple as a lack of interaction or exercise which are easily fixed by regular time daily spent with your dog, and also walking them.
2) Reinforce The Floor & Walls Of The Crate
Once you’ve got the OK from the vet, you might like to look at reinforcing the floor and walls of the crate.
One of the two major ways a dog escapes from or break a crate is by using their mouth, paws or pure body force to weaken and break down the joints and fixings between the bottom of the cage and the floor tray, and also between the walls.
They will then either force their way under the crate by bending the metal, slide the tray out and flip or turn the crate, or force through the walls with their heads and bodies.
What you can do is buy some plastic zip/cable ties (on Amazon) for very cheap, such as the TR Industrial Cable Ties (on Amazon), drill small holes in the lip of the plastic floor tray (not in the bottom, otherwise liquid can get through), and fasten as many zip ties as you like from the tray to the bottom of the cage.
You can put zip ties on the joints of the walls too.
Make sure you cut off the zip ties to a short enough length so your dog can’t chew on them and break them.
If you do choose this option though, be aware of voiding any warranties.
3) How To Secure A Dog Crate Door?….Reinforce It With Additional Locks
The second major way dogs tend to escape from metal and plastic crates is by sliding out, or simply popping out (with some crates, if dogs apply enough weight/force, the bolt or latch pops out) the latch/bolt on the gate/crate door.
What you can do to reinforce the crate door, is simply buy one or two hardened metal padlocks and lock over the door, so that even if the standard locks/latches pop out or slide out, the padlock keeps the door shut/closed.
You can get a short padlock or a long padlock depending on how much space you want on the inside diameter and length of the pad lock.
4) Get An Escape Proof/Inescapable Heavy Duty Crate
The simple and easy option – buy a new heavy duty crate which is essentially escape proof.
These crates are made of all metal or all high grade strong aluminium, and are welded or riveted together so it’s basically impossible for your dog to break out of them.
They also feature very strong locking systems, or key locked systems.
Two examples of the best inescapable dog crates on the market that fit this criteria are the:
- ProSelect Empire Dog Cage (on Amazon)
- Zinger Winger DX5000 Deluxe 5000 Aluminum Dog Crate (on Amazon)
As of 2017, the Zinger Winger featured a 60 day escape warranty/guarantee. But, make sure you confirm that when you buy.
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