Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Crating a Dog that Dislikes Crates


Sometimes there just isn’t any other option- a dog needs to be contained and there is no time to completely rebuild his relationship with the crate. What then?

These notes are for resistant dogs, not aggressive, dogs.

Use a Furrari or a Vari-Kennel (or any plastic crate with a solid bottom half)

Dogs have preferences for crates. In general, I find that it is harder for most dogs to escape this sort of crate than out of most wire ones. It’s also much easier to clean should anything go wrong.

Avoid the plastic crates with cut outs in the bottom half – dogs can and have chewed their way out of those.

Turn Toward Wall

This is another advantage of the plastic crates. If you turn the gate toward the wall once the dog is inside, most dogs will dig at the back of the crate toward freedom.

Hint: Try to find a wall without molding so the crate can be pressed directly against the wall with no gaps. If you can’t, press it as close as you can and drape a blanket over the crate so the dog can’t see the gaps.

No or Minimal Bedding

Whatever you put in the crate is likely to be ripped up – so no bedding please. If the dog requires it (as some bony dogs do), then use something like artificial sheepskin/fleece – remnants of which can be purchased inexpensively at a local fabric shop. Avoid rugs or toweling that come apart in long threads which can cause problems inside your dog if swallowed.

Well Secured

I use heavy duty plastic zip ties to put plastic crates together. When dogs fight the crate, the screws that come with many such crates can be loosened then fall out, while zip ties stay secure. Now, close every single hole all the way around, Don’t skip any.

If you do use the screws that come with the crate (and those generally work fine, just check them often) put them in upside down. I mean the head of the screw faces the floor and the little plastic nut is on the top. This way, should a screw loosen, the entire thing will fall off making it obvious there is a problem.

In an ideal world, dogs who hate the crate would not be crated but that world doesn’t exist for most of us. Using the above can help you have a new dog safely and sanely while you are working to retrain him.

Good luck and stop by our community for support and customized suggestions.

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