What Is the Best Heavy-Duty Dog Crate for My Escape Artist Pup?

No matter what you do, some dogs are simply great escape artists. They know how to break free from the confines you impose, often destroying your home in the process. 

If this sounds like your pet, then chances are you’ll be looking to invest in a heavy-duty dog crate. But picking the right one can be challenging. We’re here to make that decision a little bit easier:

A Siberian Husky lying inside a heavy-duty metal dog crate
A Siberian Husky lying prettily inside a heavy duty dog crate – Image source

Top 5 Picks for Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate in 2021

  Heavy Duty Dog Crates Our Rating
Best Overall Heavy Duty Dog Crate (Medium and Large Dogs)

ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

  • One of the strongest escape-proof kennels on the market
  • The crate sits on removable 4-inch wheels
  • Features a grated floor with removable tray for easy cleaning
4.5
Best Budget Heavy Duty Dog Crate

Smonter Heavy Duty Dog Crate

  • Features a thick heavy-duty steel frame 
  • Features top and front openings with double locks 
  • It comes with detachable wheels and a removable plastic tray
4
Most Durable Heavy Duty Dog Crate (Premium Choice)

Impact Collapsible Dog Crate

  • A collapsible aluminum crate with solid sides dotted with ventilation holes
  • Has marine-grade slam latches
  • The crate is airline-approved, and IATA complaint
4
Best Heavy Duty Crate for Extra Large Dogs

Homey XL Metal Crate

  • Designed to hold large dogs weighing up to 150 pounds 
  • Includes a perforated plastic grid on the base that is easy to clean
  • A lower front door allows for easy feeding
4.5

The 12 Best Heavy Duty & Escape Proof Dog Crates

There are several super-strong crates on the market designed to keep your pet contained. From steel, wired cages to big plastic kennels, here are a few of our favorites:

Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate for Medium and Large Dogs 

A Pitbull lying inside a metal heavy-duty dog crate
A Pitbull in the comforts of its heavy-duty dog crate – Image source

Choosing the right crate for your dog requires plenty of research, particularly if your dog is prone to escaping. Here are our top picks of dog crates for medium to large dogs.

1. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

A brown dog lying inside a ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Steel
Size: 37 x 25.3 x 33.75 inches
Weight: 75.2 pounds

This is one of the strongest escape-proof kennels on the market. This crate features thick 20-gauge steel tube construction with heavy-duty joins and paired door latches.

It is designed with a long-lasting, high-grade hammerstone finish, specifically for powerful dogs. 

Pros:

  • The crate sits on removable 4-inch wheels for easy maneuverability
  • Features a grated floor with removable bottom tray for easy cleaning

Cons:

  • Owners have reported defective wheels after weeks of use
  • Expensive 

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Frisco Ultimate Heavy-Duty Steel Metal Dog Crate

A Golden Retriever lying inside a Frisco Heavy-Duty Dog Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated Metal
Size: 42.13 x 30.71 x 40.94 inches
Weight: 102.63 pounds

Made from thick steel tubing and indestructible dual door bolts, this heavy-duty crate is made for escape artist pets. This crate features a slide-out metal tray for easy cleaning, while wheels with foot brakes make for easier maneuverability.

Built to last, the high-grade, powder-coated steel resists rusting, scratches and dents with additional strength welding at stress points.

Pros:

  • Features a grated floor, so any spills and messes fall through onto the cleaning tray
  • The hammer-tone finish looks great in the home

Cons:

  • As the door is located on the side and not at the end, some pet owners found this crate challenging to place in their homes
  • Due to this crate weighing over 100 pounds, it takes two people to carry and assemble

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. LuckUp Heavy Duty Crate

LuckUp Heavy Duty Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Steel
Size: 42 x 31 x 8 inches
Weight: 79 pounds

LuckUp is a steel dog crate with a non-toxic, rust-resistant finish. The crate features a classic bar design, but buyers can select a grid variation for dogs that like to chew their cage.

The crate also features double doors for multiple entry options, 360-degree rotating locking wheels for moving the container quickly, and an optional roof to keep your pet protected. 

Pros:

  • A removable slide-out tray makes this crate easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble with just eight bolts

Cons:

  • This crate doesn’t feature the double locks of some other options, and as a result, some dogs were able to break out

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Smonter Strong Metal Dog Crate

A white dog sitting inside a Smonter Strong Metal Dog Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Steel
Size: 42 x 31 x 37 inches
Weight: 73 pounds

An indestructible dog kennel featuring a thick heavy-duty steel frame made from galvanized square tubing with two-inch spacing.

Built to last, this crate has been treated with a multi-layer hammer-tone coating to ensure that it remains rust and corrosion-free.

This crate features top and front openings with double locks for ease of access and secures your pup.

Pros:

  • It comes with detachable wheels that make moving the crate easily
  • A removable plastic tray under the crate makes cleaning up spills and accidents a breeze
  • The crate is also designed to be easy to assemble with just a few screws

Cons:

  • Some sneaky dogs did manage to open the locks on this crate

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. Impact Collapsible Dog Crate

Impact Collapsible Dog Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Aluminum
Size: 33.75 x 30.75 x 11.5 inches
Weight: 33.1 pounds

Designed to not only keep your pup contained but also provide him with a safe space where he can relax, this collapsible aluminum crate features solid sides dotted with ventilation holes.

The crate features recessed carrying handles, corner support and rounded door bars for increased durability, and marine-grade slam latches.

Pros:

  • The aluminum construction and collapsible design makes this crate light and easy to transport
  • The crate is airline-approved and IATA complaint, while airline rails are available for this crate

Cons:

  • This crate is very expensive compared to other heavy-duty dog crates on the market

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. GoPlus Metal Wire Crate

GoPlus Metal Wire Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Steel
Size: 42 x 31 x 8 inches
Weight: 79 pounds

High-quality, heavy-duty, and non-toxic steel wire dog crate that provides plenty of room for big dogs while providing a great combination of strength and ventilation.

This raised crate is mounted on four wheels, two of which are lockable for easy portability. A dual-door design keeps your pet secure. 

Pros:

  • A removable plastic tray allows for easy cleanup
  • Offers high quality at a competitive price 

Cons:

  • Some pet owners found the wire too flimsy for very rough dogs

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. Itori Heavy-Duty Crate

A Siberian Husky sitting inside an Itori Heavy-Duty Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Steel
Size: 42.52 x 29.92 x 34.64 inches
Weight: 83 pounds

Available in two sizes, this premium quality crate features two doors for easy access, one on the side and one on top, both with dual locks.

It is made from welded, reinforced, coated steel to prevent your dog from escaping, while the barred metal frame allows maximum ventilation and visibility. 

Pros:

  • Features a removable tray for easy cleaning and removable casters to move it around
  • It is shipped partially set up and requires minimal assembly with just a few screws

Cons:

  • One particularly anxious dog managed to bend the bars of this crate

CHECK PRICE HERE

8. PUPZO Dog Cage Crate Kennel Heavy Duty for Large Dogs

PUPZO Dog Cage Crate Kennel Heavy Duty for Large Dogs

Our rating: 4
Material: Steel
Size: 39 x 26.5 x 8.6 inches
Weight: 76.8 pounds

Featuring rust and corrosion-resistant steel construction, this heavy-duty dog crate can house dogs up to 110 pounds (50 kg).

Four wheels, two of which are lockable, making it easy to move around, while a floor grate with a strong pull-out metal tray makes cleaning simple.

Pros:

  • All the pieces, aside from the tray, are welded or bolted together to provide maximum security and durability
  • Comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • As this crate is not collapsible and is quite heavy to move

CHECK PRICE HERE

9. Lemberi Heavy Duty Dog Cage Crate for Large Dog

A GSD inside a Lemberi Heavy Duty Crate for Large Dog

Our rating: 4
Material: Steel
Size: 44.49 x 32.69 x 8.66 inches
Weight: 83 pounds

A sturdy and durable crate made from 20 gauge steel and reinforced tubes.

The double access doors feature anti-escape, dual locks, while a removable metal tray is included for cleaning messes and four casters make moving the crate around relatively easy.

Pros:

  • Comes pre-assembled; you just need to fit the wheels and ten screw bolts
  • The crate is treated to prevent rust and corrosion

Cons:

  • This crate is not collapsible and is quite heavy to move

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate for Extra Large Dogs

Two Huskies and a GSD each sitting on a metal heavy-duty dog crate
Two Huskies and a GSD found their own heavy-duty dog crate – Image source

Do you have a larger-than-life, oversized, super-sized canine? Then you’ll need a strong crate that can keep all that muscle contained! Here are some heavy-duty options that can cater to your larger dog:

10. Homey XL Metal Crate

Homey XL Metal Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Steel
Size: 42 x 31 x 8 inches
Weight: 79 pounds

Designed to hold large dogs weighing up to 150 pounds (68 kg), this ultra-durable crate has a range of nifty features.

These include a perforated plastic grid on the base that is easy to clean and provides protection for your pet’s feet, a lower front door for easy feeding, a double chain lock for security, and lockable heavy-duty casters for easy maneuverability.

Pros:

  • The extra-large size allows big dogs plenty of space to feel comfortable
  • The design has a convenient stackable feature for easy storage

Cons:

  • Some owners found this crate challenging to assemble

CHECK PRICE HERE

11. Frisco Heavy-Duty Single Door Dog Crate

A white dog lying inside a Frisco Heavy-Duty Single Door Dog Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated steel
Size: 48 x 30 x 32.5 inches
Weight: 54 pounds

A more robust version of your standard wire crate, this steel crate comes in six different sizes, catering to all breeds of dogs.

A single door entry means few options for your pet to try and escape with two latches to keep your pet dog contained. An included divider panel allows you to make the crate smaller while your puppy is still growing.

Pros:

  • This crate can be unfolded for easy storage
  • The bottom of this crate is a removable plastic pan for easy cleaning

Cons:

  • Some plastic chewing pooches managed to destroy the bottom of this crate

CHECK PRICE HERE

12. SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Crate

SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Steel
Size: 51 x 36 x 9 inches
Weight: 106 pounds

An expertly crafted crate, this cage is made from thick, commercial-quality tubular steel with a multi-layer protective coating to protect against rust and stains.

A side and top door allow easy access, with the side door featuring two slide-bolt latches and the top featuring one.

Pros:

  • Comes with a removable steel tray and four casters, two of which lock 
  • A grated design on the base allows for any messes to easily fall through the removable pan

Cons:

  • A few pet owners complained that this manufacturer did not offer good after-sales service

CHECK PRICE HERE

Should You Crate Train Your Dog? 

A Labrador Retriever puppy inside a metal heavy-duty dog crate
Hank, a yellow Lab pup, fits in his heavy-duty crate – Image source

Most professional dog trainers recommend crate training as a way to housebreak your dog but also to make your dog feel at home.

Dog crates are helpful for transporting your pet to the vet or when you are going away for the weekend, but some dogs also like to spend time in their crate, as it provides a safe, relaxing environment. 

Dogs need a safe, relaxing space where they can get some peace and remove themselves from stressful situations, particularly in busy households with children and other animals.

Crate training also allows you to create a spot where you can confine your dog without stressing him out, which is useful when you have visitors or contractors at your residence.

Some hotels and guesthouses also only allow dogs that have been crate trained. 

Be sure never to use your crate as a form of punishment but rather use it as a positive behavioral-enforcement tool. Introduce your dog to his crate in a peaceful, loving way so that he accepts it as a positive environment. 

How Dogs Typically Escape Standard Crates

To look for a strong pet crate, you first need to determine how your pet is escaping from your current crate.

Here are some common ways dogs escape from their crates: 

  1. Chewing on weak spots – Most wire crates have flimsy connectors which join the sides. An intelligent dog will use his mouth to mangle these, breaking his way out to freedom. 
  2. Manipulating the latch – It might be likely that your dog knows how to open doors. After a few tries mouthing the latch, many dogs can figure out how to get it to pop open.
  3. Brute force – While some dogs rely on their smarts, others just put their muscles to work. Dogs can use their strength to bend the bars of wire cages or bash open a plastic door if they are determined enough to do so.

Check out this video of one ingenious dog who knows how to escape from a wire cage: 

Why You Should Use Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Heavy-duty crates are not only suitable for large, heavy animals but also smaller pets that have a tendency to escape by chewing through wires and plastic.

They are also a good choice for dogs that tend to flee or get aggressive when they encounter strangers or new situations. 

Finally, if you travel with your dog a lot, you may want to invest in a heavy-duty crate that won’t get scuffed or bend easily on your numerous adventures. 

The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Choosing Heavy Dog Crates

A Belgian Malinois dog standing next to a metal heavy-duty dog crate
A Belgian Malinois excitedly poses next to its heavy-duty crate – Image source

When buying a heavy-duty dog crate, there are a few features you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Always bear in mind that no crate is 100% effective on 100% of dogs, even those marked as escape-proof.

It may take a while to find the right product for you and your pet. 

Essential Features to Consider When Buying an Indestructible Dog Crate

Dog Crate Size

Your crate needs to be the appropriate size and height for your dog. The right cage should provide enough room for your dog to stand up, stretch out and turn around easily without bashing into the sides or top of the crate.

Quality

Sturdiness and durability are, of course, one of the main factors you want to consider when choosing a solid dog crate.

Look for high-quality materials that will provide a secure space for even the most muscular dogs and avoid destructible chewing materials.

Categories of Crates 

  • Wire Cage Style – one of the most common types of dog crates. This is a heavier version of the standard wire or stainless steel cage crates. Good for pets who live in warmer climates as it provides good airflow. 
  • Plastic Crate Style – is made of durable material and easy to clean. Perfect for pups who need to travel as most meet airline requirements. However, dogs with severe separation anxiety do tend to destroy plastic crates. 
  • Metal Bar Style – If the wire cage doesn’t cut it for your pet, you can go for one that features bigger steel bars or even solid metal sides. These types of crates also commonly have more robust latches that are harder for pups to open. 
  • Soft-Sided/Tent Crates – are not the best option if you are after durability. These are lightweight, easy to store, and comfortable for your pup.
  • Decorative and Wooden Dog Crates – looks great and often used as “stationary” cages at home. 

Windows and Ventilation 

You should never sacrifice ventilation for security when choosing a dog crate. While solid sides create an impenetrable barrier, your pup still needs to be able to breathe.

Poorly ventilated crates also allow for the build-up of bacteria, as they can become damp very quickly, which can cause your pet to get sick.

Ease of Assembly

Some dog crates come partially assembled, taking away the hassle of difficult assembly, while others need to be assembled from scratch.

Once completed, most crates stay that way unless you opt for a foldable one you can transport easily. As strong dog crates are quite heavy, many come with wheels that allow you to move them around more easily.

Ease of Access

The more doors your dog crate has, the easier it will be to get your pup in and out of the crate. However, more doors also mean more spots through which your pet can try and hatch his escape. 

Safety in Security 

Always look for a dog crate that has latches that are inaccessible to your pet. Latches that engage automatically when the door closes are some of the most effective, while two latches provide multiple levels of security.

Zips and rope openings are too easy for your dog to chew through. Some crates also feature rounded corners to keep your dog safe if he tends to smash against his crate.

Where Will the Dog Kennel Go?

You will need to determine where you plan to put your dog crate. The location will need to be peaceful for your dog and out of direct sunlight. The site of your crate will help determine the size and the number of doors.

You may also want a crate that can be portable, in which case you’ll want to look for one with caster wheels.

Travel Compliant 

Some dog crates are made IATA compliant, which means that they can be used on airplanes to transport your pet. If you plan to move around with your dog a lot, look for one that is made from lighter but durable materials. 

Is the Crate Easy to Clean? 

Dog crates that feature a removable pan allow you to easily clean up messes without compromising the security of the crate. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A black Cockapoo dog lying inside a metal heavy-duty dog crate
Colby, a Cockapoo, rests inside his heavy-duty crate – Image source

Where is the best place to put a heavy-duty dog crate? 

The best place to put your dog’s crate would be in a family room or the kitchen. Wherever you decide to put it, make sure the area is not too hot or too cold in a draft.

Also, be sure not to put the crate in direct sunlight or next to a heat source like a fireplace or heater. 

How can you get your dog to stop escaping the crate?

Even the best crates can fail to keep some dogs contained. If your pooch is a remarkably accomplished Houdini, you’ll want to take note of these additional tips and tricks for keeping him in his cage:

  • Observe how he is getting out – Use a webcam or hide in another room so that you can spy on your dog in the crate. Once you know precisely what your dog is doing to break free, you can work on fixing those weaknesses with your crate, providing you with peace of mind. 
  • Limit their time in the crate – A crate is not meant to contain your dog when you leave for work all day. It is recommended not to crate your dog for longer than four or five hours at a time.
  • Use toys and treats – Providing your dog with his favorite toy or treat while he is in his crate will give him something to keep him occupied, rather than just focussing his attention on escaping. He will also start to enjoy his time in the crate if he gets toys and treats. 
  • Exercise your dog – Try and tire your dog out before putting him in his crate. Your worn-out dog will be too tired to try and escape and will hopefully just rest and go to sleep. 
  • Comfortable place to rest – Make your dog’s crate a pleasant space for them when they need it. You can do this by placing a comfy dog bed or blanket in your dog’s crate.
  • Place your crate somewhere else – Try putting your dog’s kennel in a different spot. Perhaps your dog wants to look out the window or wants a different view.

If your dog is hell-bent on escaping its crate, you may also want to address the bigger issue at play, be that boredom or separation anxiety.

This won’t simply be solved by buying a bigger, sturdier crate; and instead, you will need to look at training your pet. 

Which Heavy Duty Crate is Best for Your Dog?

A German Shepherd dog lying on its stomach inside a living room
A GSD waits for his heavy-duty crate’s arrival – Image source

Overall, the best heavy-duty crate is ProSelect Empire Dog Cage. Its reinforced steel tubes and strong latches will prevent even the toughest dog from escaping.

If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and tends to destroy other wire crates, then this crate is perfect for you. Plus, it’s easy to clean, easy to move around, and suitable for medium to large-sized pups. 

Be wary of any crate that claims it is 100% escape-proof. Even the best crates are likely to have a review or two from a dog owner complaining that their determined dog managed to escape.

However, the above crates are the best of the best, and we hope they will work for your pet.

Do you have a heavy-duty crate that you love? Let us know in the comments below. 

Further Reading: The Best Dog Crates on the Market

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