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Why Does My Dog Escape From His Crate?

There is nothing more concerning, or alarming, than returning to the crate, only to see your dog is missing.

They’ve escaped again!

Not good. Not good at all.

You’ll likely want to know how to get your dog to stop doing this.

But that comes later.

First, why would you dog even want to escape in the first place?

Let’s delve into it!

Why Does My Dog Escape From His Crate?

Dogs may escape from crates due to separation anxiety, inadequate crate training, seeking food, frustration, the need for a bathroom break, or simply because it’s easy to escape.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are naturally social animals that rely heavily on their human or animal companions.

If they feel isolated or alone, they might become anxious and try to escape their crate to seek company.

Identifying Separation Anxiety

Typical signs include persistent barking or howling, destructive behavior, and, of course, escape attempts.

If these behaviors occur primarily when you’re not at home or away from your dog, it’s a strong indicator of separation anxiety.

Inadequate Crate Training/Exposure

Crate training requires patience and consistency, and if done incorrectly, your dog may view their crate as a form of punishment rather than a safe and comfortable space.

Inadequate Crate Training Signs

If your dog whines, barks, or shows signs of distress when placed in the crate, or if they resist entering the crate, these could be signs of inadequate crate training or negative associations with the crate.

On The Hunt For Food

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and if there’s food within their sniffing range, they might attempt to escape the crate to pursue it.

Food-Related Escapes

If your dog’s escapes often lead them straight to the kitchen or pantry, or if escape attempts increase around mealtimes, it’s likely that hunger or the lure of food is the driving force.


Like humans, dogs need mental and physical stimulation.

A lack of either can lead to frustration and boredom, which can drive your dog to escape from their crate as a way to find entertainment or burn off energy.

Boredom Indicators

If your dog is regularly left in their crate for long periods without activity or interaction, or if they immediately engage in play or exploration upon escaping, they could be escaping due to boredom or frustration.

It’s Easy To Escape

Finally, your dog may simply be escaping from their crate because they can.

If the crate is not secure, or your dog is particularly clever or determined, they may see the crate more as a puzzle to be solved than a boundary to be respected.

Learn more: Best Dog Crate For Dogs That Escape [This Is The Solution]

They Need The Bathroom

Yes, it can be as simple as nature calling.

Dogs are generally clean animals and they don’t like to soil their sleeping or living areas.

If they need to relieve themselves, they’ll do their best to avoid doing so in their crate.

This might mean attempting an escape.

Bathroom-Related Escapes

If your dog often eliminates immediately upon escaping, or if escape attempts occur shortly after meals or drinking, it’s likely that the need to go to the bathroom is the primary motivator.

If you notice these signs, consider adjusting your dog’s bathroom schedule or the duration they spend in the crate.

How To Stop Your Dog Escaping Their Crate

Now that we understand the reasons behind the escape attempts, let’s discuss some effective solutions.

Identify/Resolve The Underlying Cause

The first step is to identify and address the underlying cause.

This might involve spending more time with your dog, changing feeding times, or providing more stimulation.

Consulting a professional such as a veterinarian or a certified dog behaviorist can be extremely helpful.

Escape Proof Your Existing Crate

Sometimes, reinforcing your existing crate is all it takes to prevent escapes.

This process involves taking steps to increase the security of the crate without sacrificing the comfort and safety of your pet.

Strengthen the Locks

Often, a dog will escape by exploiting weak or ineffective locks. Consider adding additional or more robust locks that can withstand your dog’s attempts to manipulate them.

Secure the Corners

Corners and seams are common weak points that clever dogs might target. Reinforcing these areas with zip ties or clips can enhance the crate’s overall integrity.

Cover Any Gaps

Ensure there are no gaps or spaces that a determined dog could squeeze through. You can cover these gaps with durable materials such as metal plates or heavy-duty fabric.

Check for Weak Points

Regularly inspect the crate for any weak points or potential escape routes. This includes loose bars, damaged areas, or spots that your dog seems particularly interested in.

Upgrade to an Escape-Proof Crate

If your dog continues to escape despite your best efforts, it might be time to invest in an escape-proof crate.

These crates are typically more robust, with secure locks and fewer potential weak points.

While more expensive, an escape-proof crate could provide peace of mind and prevent potential accidents or damage caused by escapes.

Here is the escape proof crate I recommend.


The reasons why a dog repeatedly escapes their crate can vary.

Though, the solution is simple.

Identify the underlying cause, and then either make some lifestyle changes (you might need to adjust routines, increase mental and physical stimulation, modify feeding times, or consult with a professional), or changes to the crate setup (whether that is making your existing one more escape proof or upgrading altogether).

Remember, every dog is unique.

What works for one may not work for another.

Understanding your dog’s behavior and needs is the first step to ensuring they feel secure and content in their crate, eliminating the need for escape attempts.

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