HELP!!!! My dog breaks out of his crate and destroys my house when we are away!!!

Ziggy (or should I say Houdini) is part Boxer and part Lab. He is almost a year old and apparently has seperation anxiety. We can not keep him contained in a crate! He broke through the front door of the big plastic crates in less than 30 minutes. We have a wire drop pin crate that we have had to zip tie together and put the claw clips on and he has bent and broke through that too. He is 62 ponds of solid muscle and hates being confined. If he is not he will tear up everything. He has already caused about $400.00 worth of damage. He is fine when we are home. Any suggestions???

Asked by Member 607050 on Mar 13th 2008 Tagged crates in Behavior & Training
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Houdini is right! LOL.

I don't think a crate is right for this dog. Even if you had a steel crate, he'd manage to get out because he is that anxious.

Try using extra tall, sturdy baby gates and blocking off the kitchen or dining room and leaving him in there.

Some dogs just don't like being in a confined, enclosed space and are much calmer when they're in a larger space. He might not even try and escape if he feels less anxious about where he is.

Also, make sure you exercise him to exhaustion before you leave him alone and leave him with a Kong stuffed with treats. And, try a key phrase, like "Be Right Back" and leave him for short periods, like 5, 10 minutes while using this phrase. Then, when you leave for work, use that same phrase. Eventually, he'll get the idea that you really are coming back.

And, there's always doggie daycare. If it is in your budget, even two or three days a week can help exhuast him so he is less likely to bounce off the walls when home alone.

Jack answered on 3/13/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


I had the same situation with my late dog Romeo. He destroyed the crate, chewed my kitchen chairs, scratched the heck out of the door, crunched the metal doorknob so that it is flat instead of round, etc. I tried tying him up outside (worried that he would get tangled and be stuck that way all day, but didn't have alot of options and was out of ideas). Crazy guy tried to break into the house and tore the aluminum siding off the house next to the door. I also tried a muzzle hoping the chewing would stop, but he would have it off in minutes. I haven't tried Dog Appeasing Pheremones, which are said to help this type of behavior, but would have had I known about them at the time. I'm skeptical that it would cure the situation entirely, but could help. It's worth a try and is an inexpensive alternative to a destroyed house.
This link has some info about DAP, or do a web search on the subject before deciding. Good luck!

Member 550565 answered on 3/13/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

Sounds like he needs more exercise to me. Also, as Jack said, no more crates. Make you that you give him a good 30-45 minute play-time before you leave him home.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 3/13/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Miss Buddie

Miss Buddie is a high energy dog who hates a crate too. We gate her into the kitchen during the day while we're at work and it works much better for us.

Definitely, definitely, definitely exercise before you leave him for the day and make sure he has all his favorite toys, blanket, whatever.

We do a regular "bye bye" routine before I leave in the morning. Buddie comes in from outside, we put down food and fresh water with ice (yep she's rotten BOL) and Mommy gives her a cookie and then I close the gate. (I have a 41" gate with a door since I also have a Houdini. :D)

Dogs are HUGE on routine. If you do the same things, at the same time, in the same way every day, they are much more secure.

Good luck.

Miss Buddie answered on 3/13/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I would consult with a behaviorist and revisit the idea of crate training from the ground up.

If your dog freaks out when he's crated, then the crate is causing him more stress than it does good. A crate should always be a place where a dog goes to lay down and relax, not a place that stresses him out so much he will tear the crate apart and possibly injure himself in the process.

In a lot of cases, that is due to a dog not having been crate trained properly, which is why I'm suggesting to revisit crate training from the ground up. If you go that route and you can get him used to a crate, you may consider a heavy duty aluminum crate. It's going to cost you about $400 for such a crate, but better that than another $400 for damages, right?

If the dog absolutely does not take to crate training, I would explore other options, such as making a "dog room" where he can be safely without being crated.

Also, consult with your vet. There are medications for severe separation anxiety.

Abby answered on 3/13/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


1) Excersise him ALOT! remember a tired dog is a good dog!
2) I had the same problem with Milo once we took hom hunting he was a really GOOD dog!
3) he could have speration anxtity (see a vet)
hope someone else makes a better answer than I do! :)

Member 494169 answered on 3/13/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer