How To Stop A Dog From Escaping Their Crate – 4 Potential Solutions


It can be frustrating if your dog is a houdini escape artist when it comes to getting out of their dog crate.

To safely contain most dogs, the metal and plastic cheaper dog crates will be OK.

But, for an escape artist, they might be able to break out of those crates quite easily.

It can be not only frustrating, but 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 potential 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)

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How To Stop A Dog From Escaping Their Crate – 4 Potential Solutions



A list of options might be …

1. Speak to a vet a professional dog trainer for advice on the type of escape behavior and health of your dog.

If you believe the behavior is health related (mental or physical), speak to an animal expert like a vet for a referral

2. 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)

3. 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).

4. Buy a new heavy duty, inescapable dog crate like the:


1) Speak To An Animal Behavior Expert, Professional Dog Trainer, Or Vet (To Assess Any Physical, Mental Or Behavioural Issues)

Your dog could be trying to escape their crate because they:

– Are scared, uncomfortable or feeling very anxious (by the crate, or something in the environment where the crate is located)

– Lack basic obedience (this guide contains some tips on crate training a dog)

– Have some type of mental issue that is triggered or made worse by being in a crate

– Have some type of physical issue that is triggered or made worse by being in a crate


Unless you have an easy fix to help your dog feel more comfortable and at ease in their crate – like leaving the crate door open and having the crate in a comfortable spot – it might be time to speak to a professional.

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.

An animal behavior expert could also be consulted.

But, speak to a professional for help on the issue.


2) Reinforce The Floor & Walls Of The Crate

If the issue is not health related, 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).

You can then 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, break them, and also so the ties don’t poke your dog.

If you do choose this option though, be aware of voiding any warranties that the crate comes with.


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 the latch/bolt on the gate/crate door (with some crates, if dogs apply enough weight/force, the bolt or latch pops out).

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.

Examples of popular strong hardened combination padlocks are the Masterlock 1 Inch Padlock (on Amazon), and the Masterlock 2 1/4 Inch Padlock (on Amazon).


4) Get A Stronger and More Heavy Duty Dog Crate That Is Harder To Escape

The simple and easy option – buy a new heavy duty crate which is more escape resistant.

These crates might:

– Be made of a strong or high grade metal all over the crate

Have a strong construction with welds or rivets instead of tiny screws or slot fixings, so it’s harder for your dog to break out of them

– Have a strong and secure locking and latch system (that may include keys)

– Have an escape proof guarantee


An example of the best inescapable dog crate on the market that fit this criteria is the:

You can check out other ‘best’ dog crate options in this guide, and this guide goes into further depth with dog crates for escape artists.


Escape resistant crates are not the thin metal wire and plastic cheap crates that most people buy.


Reasons Why Dogs Might Try To Escape Their Crate

It could be any number of reasons including but not limited to:

– A lack of exercise

– A lack of interaction or mental stimulation

– Not being comfortable inside the crate

– Not feeling safe inside the crate

– Separation Anxiety

– Claustrophobia

– General stress and anxiety about being in a crate

– Lack of crate training, or lack of quality crate training to get your dog used to, familiar with and comfortable with the dog crate. You can read more in this guide about dog crate training, and this guide also has some crate training tips


If you notice your dog looks stressed, anxious or manic inside the crate trying to urgently get out, it’s without a doubt the best option to take them out and see a vet to see what the cause of the behavior could be.

Your vet will help you with a health management plan, or if they don’t believe the issue requires medical attention, they may refer you to a behavioral expert or a professional dog trainer.

A professional dog trainer can help you put together a simple crate training program to get your dog more comfortable with the dog crate.


How Do Dogs Escape From Their Crate?

Some of the ways they may try to escape from dog crates might be:

1. Use their mouth, paws or body weight to undo fixings between the floor and walls of the crate, slide the plastic floor tray out, and get out under the crate

2. Use their mouth, paws or body weight to undo fixings on the walls of the crate, and use their head and body to force their way out the corners of the crate walls

3. Use their body weight to pop the locks on the door, or use their mouth to slide out the bolt on the door, and exit through the door




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