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Discussion Starter #1
New to the boards so not sure if this goes in 'Rescue' or 'Training' - but trying training first.

A month ago we rescued a sweet but very active smart pooch we named Rigel. His foster parents said he was crated with his foster siblings and didn't have issue, but we soon found out he definitely was not a fan of being crated. We kept him in the crate (wire frame) one night and he cried and cried (we read not to give in, so we laid there and listened), he eventually quieted and went to sleep.

Should be noted that we also have a 6yo Golden Retriever who's not crated, but has made her 'den' under our bed (both of our previous dogs started in crates, but were eventually let out to their own once they were trust worthy).

The next day we had to head to the store for an hour long trip so we put him into his crate, and when we returned home, we saw his cute mug looking out our front doors, apparently escaped from his crate. Upon looking at the crate, the door was still locked and he had some how wiggled out the small gap at the bottom (like a mouse, perhaps he collapses his bones. That night we caved and left the door open to his crate and he again slept through the night without issue, this time next to the bed but not in his crate. We tried again that week to crate him while we were at work, but continued to find him at the front door when we came home to give him potty breaks (between 3-4 hours). He wasn't doing too much damage (toilet paper rolls, trash cans tipped, magazines from counters eaten - we were lucky, but it did encourage us to clean up and push back the nick knacks on counters and tables).

Anyway - a few weeks later, we had someone stay at our house when we were away for a preplanned trip (they are our usual dog sitters, and are very well adept) but it was a mistake to not kennel or keep him crated. We'll just say he didn't adjust to the new folks keeping him locked in rooms (instead of crates) and he did some significant damage. Our fault. Poor guy (and poor dog sitters, they were mortified).

We reinstated crate training (though continued to let him sleep in the room out of the crate and he does great all night until our alarm goes off), but this time pulled down the 'travel' crate (plastic with a grated front), and again, had to really encourage him to go in (with treats) but he complained as soon as the door was shut. It's not been about 2 weeks with the new crate settings, and initially he complained but stayed in the crate. Though we noticed when we came home he was slick with spit (we assume, it didn't smell like urine) from his chin to his chest and front feet). This week I came home at lunch to break him and found him again sitting at the front door, he's apparently figured out how to open the push lock on the crate door. I tried cheap carabineers to reinforce, but he figured those out as well. He hasn't done any more damage, but I worry that it's just a matter of time.

I know he's a busy, smart boy so I take him running every morning, feed him by 'mushroom' so he has to 'work' for his food and do some training before leaving for work. We do more training and often take him for long walks in the evening as well. During lunch I throw balls and other toys in our fully fenced back yard and have them run around. I put rescue remedy in their water (recco'd by our trainer). I'm not sure what else to do to keep him in the crate. I've asked my hub to set up our camera system in the room to see what's happening, but I think he's just figured out how to unlock and squeeze himself out of the crate. He never seems any worse for wear when we get home and find him out.

Does any one have any suggestions? Is there a different crate system we should be looking into? A friend said that we might want to look into day care a couple of days a week - but he's pretty leash aggressive now (a topic for another thread) and I'm not sure how he'll do with strange dogs yet (though he seems to just want to play and play with our 6yo golden).
 

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I'm going to write a short story called "The Great Crate Escape" from the dog's POV. I think he sees all the different jerry-rigs I've been trying with zip ties as a puzzle to figure out. Again after zip-tying his exit strategy from yesterday - he was able to get out and was waiting for me by the door - very proud of himself (again no house damage, so I do think it takes him a while to work through the locks). Some how he was able to get the zip ties oof the crate locks without chewing them... tell me how THAT happens. I swear he's a shape shifter.
 

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What kind of crate are you using? As in, how does the door latch? What room was he secured in when he had sitters and what was the damage done?

I empathize, mine is a master crate escapee at this point as well and I've given up on trying to confine her in it while gone.
 

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Opie can escape from the crate so we have metal zip ties on it to hold it together and he cant. The door has a double latch. You can get the metal ties from Home Depot.
 

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What kind of crate are you using? As in, how does the door latch? What room was he secured in when he had sitters and what was the damage done?

I empathize, mine is a master crate escapee at this point as well and I've given up on trying to confine her in it while gone.
We have the plastic travel crate (two latches, more 'den' like) and the wire mesh crate (one door double sideways latches). We only used the metal version a couple of times, because he escaped pretty quickly from there by pushing the bottom panel out and sliding out under the door (I swear he collapses his bones). The plastic version kept him contained for about a week, but he's since figured out how to break through all barriers, including the zip ties and carabineers - to the point where he's making his mouth and nose bloody trying to get out. We had our dog trainer come by tonight and look at the damage he had done to the crate and she did some settle training with him in the crate and he went in fine, but she suggested we bring the other crate down and put it in another room, because the master bedroom (which is where the other crate is and where he was locked in when we were away) has bad mojo for him now and it will take a while for him to be comfortable in that crate scenario. Unfortunately, he can't be trusted to not counter surf (book shelf surf, night stand surf, bath tub surf) and pull stuff down to destroy, so leaving him out isn't really an option. I'm going to 'work from home tomorrow' and work on a new set up and hopefully work on happy crate training all weekend. Another option might be day care so will investigate that tomorrow. The damage was significant - he ripped holes in the back of the master door trying to claw his way out, and physically ripped up an eight by four section of our master bedroom carpet (!!). Again - not his fault or our house guests - but what a mess nonetheless. I have a feeling he just doesn't like being cooped up in any one place, but again - can't be trusted alone just yet. hopefully we'll make significant strides this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Opie can escape from the crate so we have metal zip ties on it to hold it together and he cant. The door has a double latch. You can get the metal ties from Home Depot.
Good idear - but I worry that since he's actually harming himself now trying to get through the plastic ties metal ones might do real damage. :(
 

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Came across these , they have bars and solid styles.

http://www.rhinodogkennels.com/Dog-Crate-European-Style-48-L-x-42-W-x-31-H-p/dog_crates_dces484231.htm

any type of self containment games will be helpful to work on. while your home doing the open door crate game... working towards a dog that will stay inside of an open crate until released, take their nap times in the crate during the day on your days off to work with them. also working on baby gate training on your days off while your home, then no barrier training... It is all about the dog doing it themselves...

My guys learns with a baby gate not attached, just leaned up against a door way (easy to knock over and get out no effort at all) for me it's not learning that they can get out (that I already know lol... I focus more on them knowing they can get out, but happy to wait. honestly isn't like a (stay) wait until released.. type of skill
 
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