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He Keeps Escaping His Crate!

August 14th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Hi All,

My boyfriend and I are new to this site (as members). We check these forums almost daily, but have decided to join and see if we can get some advice on our dog!

We adopted our dog from the Toronto Humane Society about 4 months ago, when Bruzer was a year old. We immediately knew we were going to have to crate train him because he had some pretty severe separation anxiety. Until 2 nights ago he was doing fantastic in his crate! Now he has managed to brake the plastic plate under the metal bars at the bottom of his crate and escape. Today my boyfriend put some wood down, but Bruzer still managed to tear it up and get out. Bruzer's got some pretty nice "scratches" on his face as a result of this now, and I'm worried it will only get worse. There hasn't been any change to the environment, or his activity level etc. This change was very sudden and unexpected. He has had no interest in his toys while in the crate either. We're just not sure what else we can do. If we leave him alone in the house or a confined area he will pee and poo everywhere - oh and chew anything!!

Any words of wisdom?:shrug:

August 14th, 2008, 09:02 PM
How long is he in his crate for... If it's only for a few hours at a time you could try rescue remedy(get it at most healthfood stores. ummm are you talking the all wire crates. any i've used even the bottom of the cage is wire with a plastic liner that goes in the crate. have you been having thunderstorms lately, construction in the neighbourhood.

August 14th, 2008, 09:05 PM
You need to secure it better..try using those ties that you buy that you pull through a clip and they have to be cut off! I would give him somethings that are fun with the crate...Kongs filled with some bisquits and peanut butter..something to stimulate the mind.

Once you open the door to the crate to remove him you must go immediately outside and let him go..if he does his things you need to praise him like there is no tomorrow! repeat repeat repeat!!

Also where is the crate located? it cant be multiple floor levels away...

How long is he in the crate? I used to cover mine with a big comforter and Winston loved it! gave him that cave type feeling I guess!

sorry for 20 questions:thumbs up

August 14th, 2008, 09:07 PM
Yes the crate is all wire and used to have a plastic plate under..Now my boyfriend has build wood onto the bottom. There was a storm last week, he seemed ok with it! No construction in the neighbourhood at all...He's in the crate anywhere from 1-6 hours per week day, if I'm working. Because I work shift-work, if I'm off for the day he usually stays out of the kennel with me all day.

August 14th, 2008, 09:12 PM
We always leave a toy or two with him, like a kong or a big bone, while he's in his crate...We definitely take him outside immediately after letting him out of his cage..His crate is in our spare bedroom on the second floor (there are only 2 floors)..This is because there is literally nowhere to put it on the main floor. When we were first crate training him we tried covering his crate with a blanket, and he chewed it. He might be different with that now though, who knows!! Thanks for all of your thoughts and imputs!

August 14th, 2008, 09:15 PM
i'm wondering if you put something of yours that smells like you into the crate if that would help, could be seperation anxiety. You could try leaving a radio on for him...

August 14th, 2008, 09:17 PM
I think I might try that idea tomorrow morning..Hopefully something works out! I feel awful, and can't really blame him..Just can't bare to see him hurting himself like this!

August 18th, 2008, 05:27 PM
Do you take the dog for a decent walk before you confine it? Tiring him out might help him. How big is the crate? If it's too big, the dog might get anxious and unsettled, then try to get out.

Separation anxiety can also be from your behaviour. For example, if you get all lovey-dovey with it before you leave, then toss it in a cage, it may view this differently than you think you're projecting. A pack leader doesn't say good-bye to the pack, it just leaves. Dogs don't see emotions as humans do, they see it was weakness.

The dog should also view the cage as its den. This means it should be trained to go inside when you issue a command like "go on" or "get". The door should never be closed to trap it, but be closed for gradually longer periods of time when it is calm inside the cage. If you're tossing a treat inside to lure it, then slamming the door shut, it may get a feeling of being trapped and of course attempt to escape. You dog should be shown that the cage is its private refuge and not a prison.

August 18th, 2008, 05:56 PM
Here's a good article on how one family managed their dog's separation anxiety:

Also this one, although it pertains more to puppies, has some info:

August 19th, 2008, 10:47 AM
what type of dog is Bruzer? (just curious)

August 19th, 2008, 11:18 AM
I am just curious about one thing. You said in your original post that he broke the plastic tray UNDER the bars on the bottom. Is the tray really under the wires? I have never seen a crate with a tray underneath. It is meant to fit in the bottom of the crate to give them something besides the bars to lie on. :shrug: If the dog has to spend a long time in the crate with bars digging into him I don't imagine that would be too comfortable. Just my :2cents:
Possibly it would help us understand what he is doing if you could take a picture of the crate and post it?