Where to buy a heavy-duty dog crate in the SF Bay Area?
June 1, 2010 11:49 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy a heavy-duty steel dog crate in or near the San Francisco Bay Area?

We have a Bull Terrier mix with separation anxiety -- she will happily stay in her crate for hours as long as someone is in the house, but when left alone she becomes an escape artist. She has broken out of two "air-travel approved" plastic crates, and the wire cages sold at pet-supply chain stores clearly wouldn't last long, so we need something stronger (along the lines of this cage) to leave her alone for short periods.

We'd like to buy locally in order to avoid waiting another week+ for a crate to be shipped. After googling and calling a few places, we've found nothing. Is there a store that sells this type of crate within ~100 miles of the South Bay area?

NB: We're working on the anxiety issues, and we know to "den" the crate by covering it and encouraging her to use it as a safe space. Based on her previous behavior, we're confident that she will not injure herself trying to escape an indestructible crate.
posted by [user was fined for this post] to Pets & Animals (2 answers total)
We had a 100-pound husky with separation anxiety. He was cured overnight when we got a dog door so he and our other dog could go in and out as they pleased. Not sure if this is an option for you, but it worked wonders for our dog. Seems counter-intuitive because we assume they are secure in their crate, but they know there's more to look out for and they can't do it because they're stuck in a crate. So giving them the ability to use their instincts to protect their their area makes them feel less anxious. Have you tried letting her roam free (in your abode) or is she too destructive and must be crated?

I believe our husky just needed to be more in control of his entire area (house and yard) in order to feel secure when we weren't home. And I think he liked that he could go out and chase butterflies and do his business whenever he wanted, not just when we let him. Imagine how much that's gotta suck.

A couple thing you've likely considered, if your dog chews on the crate she can really mess up her teeth in one of those wire crates and if she claws she can mess up her paws. Maybe she needs less den and better overall placement so she can better survey her area. Can you set up a video camera to see exactly what she does. Maybe all her destructive behavior happens in the first 5 minutes after you leave.

I'll add she might also like a nice walk to do her business before you leave. Simple etiquette could make the most difference. Just because she's a dog and can't ask doesn't mean you can deny her the opportunity to relieve herself before you leave. The dogs do not understand time. You leave thinking oh I'll just be gone a few minutes, but to them it's like holy crap I'm stuck in a cage and I don't know when the lady who lets me out to pee is coming back or when I'll get another meal. HELP! OK I'm projecting, but this is what I really believe was happening to our dogs before we gave them the ability to let themselves in and out.

It's stressful for some animals to be locked up. So maybe your dog would do better with a crate as an option (open door) rather than locked in. It just seems once she figures out she can get out of a crate that she will always try to get out so you might need to abandon the crate idea.

My long-winded point is I understand your pain. I could tell you a million stories of all the favorite things our husky buddy destroyed before we figured out what he needed and were able to provide it for him. I really miss that dog. Good luck with the bull terrier. I love their faces.
posted by wherever, whatever at 12:05 PM on June 2, 2010

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Unfortunately, she has been destructive towards furniture in the past when left alone in the house, so we hesitate to give her that freedom again. I suspect that by very, very gradually increasing our times away we could get her adjusted to the idea that we will always come back, but that's a difficult undertaking since both of us work. (We do scrupulously walk her before leaving.)

Letting her outside on her own is also tricky, because we live in a townhouse complex and we fear complaints of barking. She's not a constant barker, but some people just give her a bad vibe for whatever reason, and since our (enclosed) patio adjoins the complex parking area there are people walking around back there a lot.

The video camera is an excellent idea -- I suspect we could learn a lot by observing her behavior while we're outside the house. I hadn't thought of it, so thanks for the suggestion!
posted by [user was fined for this post] at 8:04 PM on June 3, 2010

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