Dogs destroy their crates due to a desire to get out, be with others or escape boredom. Here are several ways to help stop crate destruction.
- Enroll your pet in dog training that includes crate training.
- Reward the dog for entering the crate. Don't give the dog rewards the moment they exit the crate, or the dog will want to get out even more.
- Provide ample entertainment for the dog within the crate. Place toys, blankets and chew toys in the crate.
- Let the dog out early enough in the day to relieve itself so that it doesn't destroy the crate trying to avoid urinating or pooping inside the crate.
- Avoid using the crate as a punishment, since this gives the dog a negative impression of the crate.
- Ensure that your dog receives plenty of exercise. If the dog does not get out and about often enough, they will try to get their natural exercise level inside the crate.
- Place water and, if practical, food inside the crate. A hungry and thirsty animal will rightfully tear up its cage trying to meet its physical needs.
- If you have more than one dog, determine whether or not they can be crated together. If they can peacefully share the same space, consider letting them do so. Or place their crates where they can see each other. This will reduce their loneliness.
- Switch crates. Get a crate that is indestructible. For example, switch from a metal crate with a tray to a plastic one.
- Ensure that the crate gives your dog room to walk a little and turn around. If you got the crate when they were smaller and the dog has since grown, destroying the crate is a natural reaction for a cramped and crowded creature.
- If your dog has already had obedience training, go back for further crate training.
- Leave the door to the crate open throughout the evening and weekend. Let your dog use it as a den or retreat.
- Make the crate a storage location for dog toys and playthings. This makes the crate more inviting and less foreboding. Switch out toys and play things to keep the crate interesting.
- Train your dog to lie quietly at your feet when you are watching TV or on the computer. This allows the dog to spend time with you without interrupting you while reducing the need to crate the dog while you are home.
- Don't release the dog when it is destroying the crate. When you get home, wait until the dog is calm to release it from the crate. If the dog is let out when he starts destroying it, the dog will learn that destroying the crate is what gets them out. In effect, you would be incentivizing the behavior you want to stop.
- Ensure that your dog gets enough exercise when not in the crate. If possible, hire a dog walker to come by during the day. This will get your dog exercise and socialization in the middle of the day, reducing the risk that they will destroy the crate due to boredom or loneliness.
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