5 Step Ultimate Guide on How to Successfully Stop Your Dog Escaping His Crate

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A crate is a safe haven for your dog. It's the one place your dog can call his/her own, providing him/her with utmost privacy and security.

If and when your pup feels overwhelmed by everything going on around him/her, he/she will retreat to this safe space until he feels ready to come out. If you have not provided your furry pal with that safe place, he/she will find one. It could be under a table or next to a certain piece of furniture where they safest.

How to Stop Your Dog Escaping His Crate

Here is a step-by-step guide to keep your dog from escaping his crate:

1. Riddle Out the Reason Your dog is Escaping

To find an effective solution to your dog’s latest escapades, it’s key first to have the correct diagnosis. Many reasons cause dogs to want to break free of their crate. Which specific one applies to your dog?

Since dogs will try to escape when no one is watching, recording your crated dog can help narrow down why he/she wants to break free. 

Here are four possible reasons for crate rejection:

We all feel stressed at some point in life. Your pup goes through the same emotions too.

The difference is, while you can speak out your feelings, your dog won’t. 

If something in the dog’s environment is causing him to feel distressed, being in the crate at such a moment will only make him feel worse.

Solution: 

  • If you notice that your dog is stressed, find out the cause and remove him/her from that stressful environment.
  • Instead of confining him/her in a crate, use a room and a gate to restrict his/her movement.
  • Your Dog May Be Suffering from Separation Anxiety

Your pup is naturally social and constantly seeking human attention. 

If not well trained, or for other reason, he/she may act all clingy and not want you to leave his/her sight.

How will you know it’s separation anxiety?

  • Your pup seems agitating when he/she sees you preparing to leave
  • He/she looks sad and depressed just before you leave
  • He/she tries to stop you from leaving
  • He/she displays upset behaviors such as excessive barking shortly after you have left

Solution:

  • Take your dog out to exercise more.
  • Seek counterconditioning treatment if the case is mild.
  • Keep your dog busy either with his favorite toys. You could also make reaching his treats more challenging so that his mealtime takes longer than it would, otherwise.
  • Train your dog to be ok being alone.
  • Seek veterinary opinion on medication.
  • Your Dog could be Sexually Frustrated

You probably didn’t notice it, but your little pup is all grown now. 

At this age, your dog’s hormones are all over, causing him/her to feel agitated. They may not appreciate being confined. 

If your pup is a male dog, he will now be able to pick up on the scent from female dogs on heat nearby. If he finds an escape route out of the crate, they will gladly take it.

Solution:

  • Have your dog either neutered or spayed
  • Keep your furry friend busy in the crate
  • Ensure your dog gets regular exercise
  • Your Dog is Bored

You wouldn’t want to stay in the same spot for hours on end, neither would your dog.

If you want your pup to stay in the crate for some time, you have to make it worthwhile for him. 

  • Make it comfortable
  • Keep him/her engaged with fun activities

2. Secure Your Dog’s Crate

After finding out what’s triggering your dog’s escape, your next step is to ensure the crate is well secured

Your pup will find an exit either by undoing the latch or destroying the crate itself. These are the two things you should keep in mind when confirming the security of your crate.

Here is a list of what you can do to cater to both possibilities:

  • Find a stronger crate than the one already destroyed, or get a regular one and reinforce it. 
  • Secure the crate lock using a carabiner clip which will limit latch movement, or you could opt for a latch that requires you to use both hands to open.

Securing your crate, however, does not address the problem. So move on to step 3.

3. Make the Crate More Appealing to Your Dog

Your dog’s crate has to feel both comfortable and safe for your fur friend. Get rid of anything that compromises his safety and go the extra mile to make him feel more comfortable.

There are several things you can do here:

  • Make the crate feel more private for your dog using a crate cover.
  • Ensure the bedding material is nice and comfortable. You could throw in something with your scent to make him/her feel more secure.
  • Safe toys will help keep your pup busy.
  • Try relocating the crate to a quieter place in your house, or a more open one, depending on your dog’s preference. Whatever you do, however, always keep the crate away from vents and radiators.

4. Get Rid of Any Negative Habits Using the Crate

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If your god associates the crate with anything negative, you will only be giving him/her a reason to hate it and subsequently trigger his escape.

Here are positive things you should do to make your dog feel happy in his/her crate:

  • Feed them inside the crate, leaving the door open. Treats should make him/her love being there
  • Don’t use the crate as a form of punishment
  • Don’t leave your pup in his crate too long
  • A dog’s crate time is his “me time,” so avoid disturbing him/her when in there

5. Reach Out to a Professional to Address Anxiety

A nice, warm and comfortable crate will not do much for your furry friend unless you address the underlying cause. He/she may not be able to escape a secure crate, but he/she will surely hate it and probably only end up getting distressed.

With all the above four steps executed, it’s time to call for help.

A professional dog trainer will be able to help through positive reinforcement.

Final Thoughts

Are you wondering how to stop your four-legged friend from breaking out of his/her crate? The thought of investing in a stronger one has probably crossed your mind. 

You are not wrong.

But that solution is temporary, and you and your pup are about to have the worst relationship ever.

But dog parenting does not need to be a nightmare if you know the tips and tricks of getting your furry friend to fall in love with their crate. 

This article is a step-by-step guide on your journey to getting it right when it comes to crate training and permanently ending the crate breaks.

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