We love a good classic kennel dog crate, as these are easy to clean and take apart for storage if need be. However, if you have an escape artist dog, this one may not be right for you. Dogs are able to bend the door post outwards, pop the soldered joints on the wire panel and if they are able to stand up inside it and push upwards, can easily bust the screws that hold the top and the bottom portion of the kennel apart and at that point the door will fall open, and freedom! The plastic can eventually be chewed if your dog is a power chewer. We do like that the ventilation ports on the sides of the upper half of the kennel allow lots of fresh air but those too can be ground down by chewers. It’s a great product, just not for dogs that are strong enough to bust out of it.
Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates & Indestructible Kennels for 2020
A good crate should keep the escape artist dog in your life both safe and comfortable. Enclosures that can be pushed open, warped or bent can prove extremely dangerous to a dog while he is escaping in the event he becomes trapped while trying to escape. After 30 hours spent researching and testing popular heavy-duty dog crates on the market and for 2020, we recommend the Dakota 283 Trikos Kennel due to its one-piece construction, high quality hardware and outstanding features.
Heavy Duty Dog Crates & Indestructible Kennels:
- Dakota 283 Trikos Kennel: Best Overall
- SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate Strong: Best Metal Bar Style
- Gunner Kennels G1 Small Dog Crate : Best Plastic Crate Style
- Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel: Best Budget
- Dakota283 Medium Kennel: Runner Up
- Owens 55065 Dog Box: Runner Up
Read on for the full line-up and reviews.
Click here to scroll down to see what things we look for
when choosing the best heavy duty dog crate
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel
small (28" x 20.5" x 21.5")
medium (32" x 22.5" x 24")
large (36" x 25" x 27")
x-large (40" x 27" x 30")
xx-large (48" x 32" x 35")
Gunner Kennels G1 Small Dog Crate
Dakota283 Medium Kennel
BestPet 36" Dog Cage with Two-Door Indoor Outdoor 4 Casters
Gelinzon Roof Dog Crate Heavy Duty Large Homestead Series Dogs Cage Kennel
Impact Collapsible, Durable Aluminum Dog Crate
large (35 x 25 x 29) x-large (41 x 25 x 29)
Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier
small (23 x 15.2 x 11.8)
medium (24.1 x 16.7 x 14.5)
large (26.2 x 18.6 x 16.5)
x-large (28 x 21 x 22)
xx-large (32 x 23 x 24)
Sliverylake Dog Cage Crate Kennel - Heavy Duty
medium (41.7 x 29.1 x 33.5)
large (48.8 x 33 x 37)
Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Cage Strong Metal Kennel and Crate for Medium and Large Dogs
medium (39 x 46 x 32)
SmithBuilt Heavy-Duty Dog Crate Cage - Two-Door Indoor Outdoor Pet & Animal Kennel with Tray
medium (42 x 30 x 34)
large (48 x 33 x 37)
Frisco XX-Large Heavy Duty Double Door Dog Crate, 54-in
Zinger Winger Heavy Duty 5000 Front Entry
Owens 55065 Dog Box
SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate Strong
Dakota 283 Trikos Kennel
How to Choose a Heavy Duty Dog Crate
As much as we all dream of the placid dog waiting patiently on the unblemished sofa patiently waiting for our return, the reality is that dogs are like people and many of them have anxiety, behavioral issues or destructive tendencies when left to their own devices. Sometimes it’s necessary to contain them for their own safety during our absence or during travel.
You should choose a crate that’s comfortable and functional if your dog will be spending any amount of time in it. Consider the size of your dog, how long he will need to be in the crate and if it is for travel or home use. There are multiple categories of heavy duty dog crate on the market and we’ve narrowed it down to three for the purpose of our review.
Some heavy duty dog crates are more specialized such as vehicle-mounted or built-in laboratory/veterinarian office style. Most users will not require that level of containment so we’ve chosen crates the average consumer might purchase.
When assessing a dog crate, pay attention to weak points and potential escape routes. Dogs learn quickly how to operate door latches, push through doors, or even separate components of a crate that are held together with insubstantial joints or wire connectors. They will chew on anything they can get their jaws around. With the force of his body, even a medium-sized dog can force his way out of a standard wire dog crate or a wooden dog crate with a wire door. Some dogs even blow out of sturdy plastic crates with metal doors by bending the door until the posts come out of their holes and voila- freedom!
While you want to ensure your dog is unable to escape his crate you should also pay close attention to how it is built – if he manages to push through a wall or joint are there components that might puncture or pinch his skin, catch a leg or trap him by the neck? Some dogs tend to chew on wire grates and we’ve seen permanent and serious damage to their teeth and jaws when they do this all day long, day in and day out. If you choose to reinforce your crate with additional hardware or connectors such as carabiners try to position them so the dog cannot get them into his mouth and grind on them.
We recommend heavy-duty crates that are constructed from metal with removable pans vs. a bottom panel that could provide a weak seam to break through. The locking mechanism or latch should be outside the door and your dog should not be able to manipulate, chew, or otherwise tamper with it from the inside. The crate should be well ventilated but beware that crates that use flimsy wire grates or easily bent aluminum tubes can be busted through easily. You should be certain though that the dog has adequate ventilation and nothing is blocking the ventilation openings in the crate.
Crate anxiety can be a real issue, so be sure to determine where he will be most comfortable while in his crate. Some dogs prefer quiet while in their crates such as a basement or back bedroom, and other dogs become nervous and manic when they cannot hear what is happening around them.
And most importantly of all – ensure your dog has had adequate exercise and play before putting him in his crate so he will be more likely to take a nice long nap and spend less time and energy trying to escape.
Categories of Crates
Wire Cage Style: Typically made of panels made of rigid heavy metal wire held together with tabs or connectors and a bottom tray
- Can easily be forced open
- Carabiners may not hold them closed tightly enough for them to be safe
- May not be accepted by airlines or shipping companies for transporting your dog
Plastic Crate Style: Typically 2 pieces (top/bottom) with an inset steel door and/or window panels or cut out ventilation panels
- Most commonly used for travel
- Easy to collapse for storage
- Can be chewed
- Easier to clean and won’t rust as easily
Metal Bar Style: Sturdier than a wire crate, will typically consist of powder-coated steel bar panels bolted together
- Once assembled can be bulky
- May not be as easy to use for travel or transport
- Excellent ventilation