Does Your Dog Hate Their Crate? 3 Alternatives

fearful dogs Apr 03, 2023

There are many reasons you might need to confine your fearful dog. Maybe they venture out of their safe space and get spooked, and you'd like to avoid that. Or maybe you want to have a little control over where they eliminate. Or maybe you have a mischievous cat who you need to keep away from your fearful pup.

No matter the reason, there are lots of options when it comes to creating a safe space for your dog that is also a confinement area.  While crates can be a great confinement option, many dogs dislike them, and they aren't big enough to provide everything your dog needs if you're also setting up their main living space. (If you are working to get your dog more comfortable in a crate, check out this blog.) 

Here are 3 alternatives to dog crates that can serve as comfortable confinement spaces.


Crate Alternative #1: Fence off a portion of a room

Using portable fencing to create a pen can be a great option for creating a confinement space in a larger open space. Ex-pens are light-weight metal fencing systems that can be used to create pens, but I've also seen nice pens created from plastic fencing or much heavier metal fencing, which gives extra stability. If you're looking for something more aesthetically pleasing, you can search for "playpen fencing" on Amazon or similar sites and find some wooden and metal systems that look much nicer than ex-pens. You'll see several photo examples of pens in the video below.  


Crate Alternative #2: Gate Off A Room

If you'd like to your dog to have a larger safe space, you could use a baby gate to close off an entire room for them. Even if the room that would work best has a very wide entryway, there are almost always ways to fence it off, using ex-pens or other fencing systems.  If you're concerned about your dog jumping a gate, go for an extra-tall baby gate, or you can double up baby gates one on top of the other (there's a photo example of this in the video below.)


Crate Alternative #3: Fabric Playpen

This option is probably best for small dogs, and doesn't provide nearly as much space as the other two options. But, I have had some clients whose dogs really liked these fabric playpens, even thought they didn't like crates.  There aren't big enough to serve as a living space for your fearful pup, but can make a good hiding spot for them, and a short-term confinement space. See photos examples in the video below.


If you found these suggestions helpful, or if you have a different confinement option that your dog loves, we want to hear from you! You can comment below this blog, shoot us an email ([email protected]), or message us on Facebook or Instagram.