My daughter has a non-profit pitbull rescue. She has a real challenge now with a 4 year old pit who was in a shelter for 6 months. She took him the day he was to be put to sleep. The dog is wonderful! Loves people, other dogs etc but hates being crated when it's necessary. He will crash thru the crate doors and chewed thru a wooden door tonight. He gets lots of exercise and play time. Any suggestions? Also, what type of crate would be the best for him?
exercise, sturdy crates, bones to keep him occupied
Hi JaCustomer,Can you tell me what type of crate did he get through?Do you know how he broke through the crate door?Do you know anything about his history with being crated at all?
He got thru a standard metal crate by banging against it til it broke. It was a big crate but not a steel crate. The door he basically shredded. I understood he didn't do that at the shelter but it was probably because their were people around all the time and even during the night. Maybe try putting one of the dogs he gets along with in a crate next to him?
Tina,Thank you for the additional information. There are several things you can do to help keep strong dogs contained in their crates. You can provide him with small stimulating toys or toys that you can fill with treats. They make a kong that has a compartment that can be filled peanut butter and frozen. It usually takes a dog hours to get all the peanut butter out and thus keeps them occupied in the crate. Now I know that all of this is not very helpful if you are unable to contain him, so lets address that. I had a male rottie that managed to break out of his wire crate consistently for a week. In order to contain him, we were forced to reinforce all the corner connections and around the door. We found that Pieces of wire coat hangers worked well to keep the panels from being able to collapse. The dog would bang and push up with his body until he managed to get the hooks that secure the panels off. You just wrap a piece everywhere the crate has the hook and the dog will not be able to knock, pull or push the panel out of place in order to escape. A few extra ones won't hurt either. We used 6 for the two sides and top that attach to the back panel. We did the same on the front. Now you can't reinforce the actual door, so we used heavy duty C-clamps on the door at both the top and bottom. If you do this, I don't think he will be able to escape. Now I know some experts might suggest you try an airline crate since it is a more solid construction type, but I've seen destructive dogs eat their way through these crates. I've also seen them push hard enough to bend the single metal post that keeps the door secure which would also allow him to escape. I would opt for the heavy steel crate, but as long as he didn't actually break the wire on his present crate, that one might just need reinforcing.For an ongoing solution to the problem, she should start putting his food into his crate and if giving special treats or bones, they should also be put into the crate. Don't shut the door, just put them in their so the dog sees the crate as a place where he gets good things and not just a place where he is confined. You can put a bed in there so he can be comfortable. Leave the door open when he is allowed out of the crate so he can go in if he wants. She can put his water in their as well. Once he is used to going in to eat and does so voluntarily, she can start shutting the door when he eats and then opening it as soon as he is done eating. This helps teach him that he won't be contained all the time for long periods of time and he will be less likely to fight to be let out. Once he is calmer about being in the crate, she can start working on training him to the crate. She would crate him and if he is calm and quiet, she rewards him with tasty little hot dog slices. If he carries on or bangs the crate, she ignores him until he calms down. When he calms down, she rewards him again and lets him out. This teaches him that he gets out when calm. Gradually she will require he be calm and quiet for longer periods of time to be released. Of course, it is hard on a dog that is being crated if he can see other dogs running around so if he does need to be crated, crating the other dogs or crating him in a separate room would be better.
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Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years