Crating Problem...need help/ideas - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Crating Problem...need help/ideas


Dover, my adopted German Shepherd, is an escape artist.

I guess he cased the place for a few weeks, and now he has it figured out! I've had him 2 1/2 weeks.

In his defense, he just wants out to find ME, I'm pretty sure, or my girls would work, too.

But there are times we MUST all be gone. This is not very often, which may be part of the problem, ie that he's used to being out in the house with us. He's only been crated about 6 times (never more than a couple of hours) in the 17 days I've had him.

He can open his crate (we are not sure HOW, but he gets the door torn apart and open somehow) AND he can open the door out of the room his crate is in and walk out into the house.

Yesterday, my daughter saw him attempting to open the door into the backyard.

The number one issue is the crate. I really need him to stay in there when I'm gone, both for his safety and the safety of my home! The doors are not a big deal as I can just change the type knobs on the doors that open to the outside.

<span style="color: #3366FF">Any ideas on how to keep him in his crate?</span>

We found this $380 idea. Hopefully we can figure out something else besides this, though!!!



Now that I'm home, Mr. Innocent Dover is in his normal position....sound asleep on his big pillow at my feet.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

This the crate he has:

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 07:49 PM
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

So what do you mean by "he gets the door all ripped apart?"

My first thought is a wire crate and the come up with some kind of cable tie get up that you can loop through the handle and then to the crate wires.

I can't tell for sure, but the handl eon the one you posted looks easy to open.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 07:52 PM
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

We also had an escape artist. We have a wire crate though. He wasn't actually opening the door (well kinda). He could unlatch the bottom latch and then squeeze his way out. Well we zip-tied everything for added security (all the edges got about 3-4) And the door was reinforced with small carabiners. On 2/3 of the way up and one 1/3 of the way up the door. He has this.
http://www.properpet.com/midwest-1348td.html?ref=base

Its cheaper than the rolling jail. At least they could have found a dog to look happy in it.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted By: GSDElsaSo what do you mean by "he gets the door all ripped apart?"

My first thought is a wire crate and the come up with some kind of cable tie get up that you can loop through the handle and then to the crate wires.

I can't tell for sure, but the handl eon the one you posted looks easy to open.
The door has two metal rods, each with springs which are hidden by the black piece. He pulled the black piece off when he got one of the rods out yesterday. Today, he got both those rods out and pulled the door back INTO the crate with him, so it's open to the inside. And then he could just walk out.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted By: GSDSunshineWe also had an escape artist. We have a wire crate though. He wasn't actually opening the door (well kinda). He could unlatch the bottom latch and then squeeze his way out. Well we zip-tied everything for added security (all the edges got about 3-4) And the door was reinforced with small carabiners. On 2/3 of the way up and one 1/3 of the way up the door. He has this.
http://www.properpet.com/midwest-1348td.html?ref=base

Its cheaper than the rolling jail. At least they could have found a dog to look happy in it.
Seriously, that ad didn't make me want it!

I've got to figure out some way for him not to be able to pull the rods out and the door in.

His foster mom wrote me back, and she didn't have an issue with him in the crate. He was in there every day when she was at work. She suggested I crate him MORE for awhile, with me at home. She thinks perhaps he's just having anxiety when I put him in there, because then I leave, so he doesn't want to be in there.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:24 PM
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

Not sure how helpful this advice is because my pup loves her crate so much we've been trying to ween her off it but she still insists on sleeping in it.

Maybe tire Dover out before you put him in the crate. Give him a big long walk and play with him for a few hours before putting him in there.

I had a dog...long time ago...that suffered from seperation anxiety. Hours before I knew I had to leave I would tire him out so by the time he got in his crate he was exhausted. Especially if your only gone for a short period of time. I read somewhere that dogs require 12 hours of sleep a day. Course this isn't my Maya but I guess dogs in general.

Also, maybe considering baby gating him into a kitchen or a room he can't do much damage. Leave him in there with his "big pillow". Good luck!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

I am walking him, speed walking for 30 minutes. I think your idea would be good, though. ie If we could take our walk before I'm going somewhere, if possible. I've been doing it in the evening, when I'm in for the day.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 10:13 AM
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

We had an escape artist and to me, it is imperative that you create an escape proof situation ASAP. Smart dogs learn quickly. If you only take small measures, and they learn how to go around those measures, then you have a dog that's evolving the escape plan as quickly as you're evolving the containment. I knew a dog that had such a complicated escape plan at training that it could have doubled as the Storyline for the Shawshank redemption. It wasn't SA but he wanted out and learned to do it. First he would bash his head into the crate door and pop it out. So he got pulled up to the tailgate of the truck so he couldn't pop the door. Then he learned to throw his body to the back of the truck to move the crate back so he could then pop the door with his head. Then bungee cords were added to provide another layer of security on the door. Well he learned to pop the bungee cords, throw his weight against the crate, adn then pop the door with his head. We pretty much just had to keep an eye on him.

You might also consider the size of the crate as a short term solution while you work on modifying his behavior. While not ideal long term a smaller crate won't give as much room to back up, and consequently he won't be able to put as much force into pulling on the door.

It is important at the same time to address the underlying anxiety. I agree with others and I know it's difficult with everyone so busy, but Dover needs to be tired out before he goes in his crate and he needs to get things to do in his crate that he only gets in his crate- Kongs, Bully Sticks, Nylabones, whatever. And I would also agree to crate when you are home as well, so that crate does not start to equal abandonment.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 05:24 PM
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Re: Crating Problem...need help/ideas

when we first got our girl, she didn't like the crate and didn't want to go in it at night. but we just put the crate in a family common room and left the door open. put her bed that was usually under a table in there and after a while she would just walk in on her own and lay down. she was used to sleeping on her bed and since we moved it, she just followed suit. now she goes in there all the time to sleep or hang out. we put her chew toys in there and give her a few rawhide chips to munch on when we leave. and now when she senses we are packing up to leave, she will go in there and sit on her own and wait for us to close her up.

but as the others have said, you gotta get a crate that he can't pop hinges off or anything. we got this one from walmart for like 75 bucks.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Midwest-Pe...-Dogs/12392413

all the hinges on it can't be taken off. and it folds up nicely to take with. the only thing are the latches. you might need to either bungy cord them for extra help or even just zip tie the thing closed. zip ties will keep anything or anyone in.

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