- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Plastic vs Wire crate??

July 20th, 2010, 02:19 AM
I've posted before re my 10 month old rottweiler mix and his separation issues...since my last post, he has figured out how to bend his wire crate, escape, and essentially tear apart the bedroom...
I spoke to a trainer who is a family friend, who said in order to calm him down while crating him, I should do the following:

1 - buy a bark collar because apparently his barking only stresses him out more, so correcting the barking will keep his emotions in check

2 - switch to an extra large plastic crate, as that will keep him from escaping

3 - provide a cow leg or something equally tasty to keep him busy

4 - make sure he has at least an hour and a half of straight running everyday before crating him (i.e. ride a bike with him or jog with him etc)

It seems to make sense but, before I run out and spend $200 on a plastic crate and $100 on a bark collar, I had a quick question -

If my dog can bend the wire crate and is determined enough to get out, would he not be able to chew through the plastic one?? Or are they built against that kind of thing??

Any opinions on what the trainer said would be great, I just don't want to waste the money on the crate if he's just gonna chew through it anyways..

Thank you everyone, in advance!!

Gail P
July 20th, 2010, 07:13 AM
I have known of dogs breaking out of both kinds of crates, depends partly on how bad the dog wants to get out and the quality of the crate. Both plastic and wire crates are available in economy (, flimsy) models and higher end sturdier models. I have no personal experience with plastic other than a cat carrier, but to me it seems that a good solid wire one would be stronger :shrug:

Anything you could do to tire him out before crating and distract him while crated (the bone idea, or stuffed kong) would surely help unless he's just so overwrought in the crate that he ignores the treats.

July 20th, 2010, 05:56 PM
1. You run the chance of making his association with the crate even worse if you decide to use a bark collar at the same time.

2. If determined, dogs can break out of those as well and risk injuring themselves in the process (with either crates).

3. Good can also feed him his meals in his crate by stuffing Kongs with his food and some peanut butter or canned food (freezing makes them last longer).

4. Off-leash play, walks, games, and training for a total of 1 1/2 hours is fine....1 1/2 hours of running on leash or alongside a bike is way too hard on his growing bones and joints.

I strongly recommend you read the book, I'll Be Home Soon by Patricia McConnell (make sure to lend it to your trainer when your done) and Crate Games by Susan Garrett .

I think your main focus at this point is to accustom your pup to the crate. The only way to be successful at it is by having him associate it with both fun and relaxation.

I've recently read that melatonin may help with separation anxiety issues (while working on de-sensitization at the same time) ought to speak to your vet about it. Good luck :fingerscr.

July 20th, 2010, 06:14 PM
You can get metal clips at your local hardware store (they look similar to this -

If you place at least one in every corner, a couple along the longer sides and a couple on the door - you should be able to keep your pup in the crate.

A bark collar is just going to acerbate your problem.

And no - good exercise is ok (and don't forget mental stimulation) but running for that long is definitely not good for the developing joints, bones and muscles of a young dog.

July 20th, 2010, 07:50 PM
LP and LR make really good points I agree the collar will only make the situation worse. I have never used a crate so I can't offer anything there. But the exercise thing I can with giant breed and heavy boned dogs you really need to be careful when they are young with diet and exercise. You do not want them to tear an acl or wear the bone at the joints they develop slowly and you want to keep them healthy as possible. Running for that time frame would be too stressful on joints and muscles. Check out some sites and I am sure LR could suggest some specifically for rotties you will be amazed at how dog owners will offer suggestions as to great exercise routines for there pups

July 20th, 2010, 08:19 PM
There is a very informative rottweiler forum out there but posting it is against the rules. :D It isn't always the friendliest bunch but with close to 40,000 members - you can bet that the stickies in the different sections contain a HUGE amount of information.

July 21st, 2010, 07:33 AM
I was in the market for a travel crate recently and received strong advice to continue with my wire one. Reason being, in the heat more air flows through. This would be the case in comparison to a plastic crate as well. Something to think about?

A whole cow leg? While you are not there? I wouldn't, not even a hard bone. It's when you aren't there that something might tragically go wrong.

July 21st, 2010, 12:20 PM
Wow! Thank you guys so much for all the informative answers!

It really never occurred to me that because he's so young, so much intense exercise would be bad...his size makes it easy to forget his age (he's 80 lbs) lol but I haven't done the hour and a half thing yet, so we're safe. I'll stick to the dog park I've been taking him to :)

It looks like I'm going to start back at square one with the crate training, scratch the idea of the bark collar/plastic crate and maybe invest in some of those metal clips.

I'm also definitely gonna read the books that luckypenny suggested..

His most recent escapade, while I was at work, consisted of him getting into the washroom, turning on the water somehow, and flooding my entire apartment - and 9 floors below. Everyone in my life is telling me I should give him away, that the flood should be the final straw (he has eaten blackberries, ruined laptops, ripped my bedsheets lol).

I adopted him though, from TAS, and I am determined to stick with him until I can make it I really appreciate everyone's input and patience with me :)

July 21st, 2010, 12:54 PM
Trust me the end it will be worth it. I had a Neapolitan Mastiff rescue who had many issues but the worst was separation anxiety I guess I was the first stable one in his life. I came home one day to a loft full of feathers he ripped up 4 feather pillows a queen size duvet and mattress along with the sheets. I was at my wits end but kept at it and eventually he adjusted quite well and yes people told me to find him another home. I asked if they would rehome there kid because he is a real brat he is actually really obnoxious.