Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates: Escape Proof Kennel Reviews
Picture this, you get home after a long day at work and have your dog Fido greet you at the door. Ughhh, he must have escaped from his crate again. You fear for the worst as you go inside to survey the damage. Sure enough, he has chewed up a bunch of stuff including your expensive leather couch! His wire crate that was advertised as “escape-proof” has also been completely destroyed.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If so you’re not alone. There are some dog breeds so destructive that they can destroy 95% of standard pet store cages. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem.
Introducing the heavy duty dog crate. These products are an absolute must if you have this problem, not just for preventing massive damage while you’re out, but also for your pet’s safety! Having them escape and run around unattended can be dangerous.
Trying to select the right cage can be a huge headache. They all advertise as being inescapable but how can you know if they are actually worth the investment?
Luckily we’re here to help you with our buying guide and reviews. Being dog owners ourselves, we have tried out a few of these indestructible dog crates. Some work as advertised and some don’t…
Read on to find out what products will stand the test of time, and which ones Fido will tear apart before you even leave the driveway…
- 1 Quick Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate Comparison
- 2 Why Invest in a Heavy Duty Dog Cage?
- 3 Best Industrial Strength, Large Metal Pitbull Crates
- 4 1. Pro Select Empire Steel Dog Crate
- 5 2. Impact Case Indestructible Dog Crate
- 6 3. Smith Built Dog Crate
- 7 4. Diamond Deluxe Aluminum Box
- 8 5. Variocage Crash Tested Industrial Steel
- 9 6. Zinger Winger DX5000 Deluxe Aluminum Dog Crate
- 10 What To Consider When Buying a Gorilla Tough Dog Crate
- 11 Preventing Damage to the Dog Crate
- 12 More Top Rated Crates
Quick Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate Comparison
Here is a quick comparison of my overall top picks. I give my own personal score which takes into account the quality, as well as the price of the product.
|Pro Select Empire||9.5/10||98||$$|
|Impact Case Collapsible||10/10||87||$$$$|
|Smithbuilt Budget Crate||7/10||75||$|
|Diamond Deluxe Dog Box||9/10||90||$$|
Why Invest in a Heavy Duty Dog Cage?
You may wonder why you should spend the extra money on an indestructible dog crate? We really can’t stress how important it is to get a kennel that they can’t get out of. We will go over every reason why these type of escape-proof crates are superior to other types and why you must get one for your pet’s safety.
Extra Strong Dog Crates Last Longer
The construction of these is much stronger than wire or plastic type crates. That’s why they are really only suitable for small, mellow pups. Your Houdini hound, on the other hand, needs something much tougher!
It’s true that these types of crates can get a bit expensive, but we like to look at it as a long-term investment. When you factor in all the things that can go wrong with traditional crates, it’s actually cheaper in the long term to get an escape proof dog kennel.
The reason for this is that some canines will destroy your belongings when you’re out. This can end up costing a fortune in damages, especially if they chew up your furniture or shoes!
We once had our Labrador rip up a leather sofa while we were out, which ironically cost more to repair than most of the crates we recommend in this article.
Escape Proof Dog Crates are Safer
You also don’t want to deal with the stress of coming home one day and finding out your best friend has escaped and is running around outdoors near the roads. It’s a really terrible situation, not knowing if your beloved pet is okay or where they are. That’s why we feel it’s worth it to invest in an escape proof dog crate so you can have peace of mind knowing your best friend is safe at home.
Indestructible Dog Cages are Bigger
Another bonus of this type of kennel is that they are made in bigger sizes. Soft-sided or wire crates simply can’t fit some big breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs. These industrial ones, on the other hand, are built with big pets in mind so there is more choice for large canines.
Best Industrial Strength, Large Metal Pitbull Crates
If you’ve had problems with traditional wire crates then you’ll want to keep reading. The issue with regular crates is that they are mainly built for mellow breeds and puppies that will stay put and not try and escape. Other escape artist breeds on the other hand like Pitbulls, have the potential to completely destroy one of these kennels! This is why you need something tougher and more sturdy to stop your dog from escaping in the first place!
We have reviewed what we feel are the top super strong metal crates on the market when it comes to quality and price, so you can make an informed decision and buy a quality product that can go both indoors and outdoors.
1. Pro Select Empire Steel Dog Crate
The Pro Select Empire Dog Crate is a great choice if you have a big, destructive dog and you just need a crate that will stay at home most of the time. It is extremely highly rated and another inescapable dog crate.
It’s a very popular crate for Pit bulls and other powerful breeds because the solid steel bars are made of 20 gauge steel and have .5 inch reinforcements in the inserts.
Cleaning is made easy with a removable tray in the bottom, and to top it off there are wheels on the bottom to transport it easily. Fido won’t be able to dig his way out of this gorilla tough crate anytime soon! Read more here.
2. Impact Case Indestructible Dog Crate
The Impact Case Dog Crate is a high-end industrial strength crate that is virtually indestructible, period. The design confirms this as it doesn’t allow them to chew or bend the bars as they are very close together. The locking door is also impossible for an escape artist dog to reach, let alone attempt to open.
To top it off this crate is highly portable and airline approved. Just like the name says it also collapses down to a suitcase-style shape that is only 8 inches in height. How many different crates do you know that can be carried around like a briefcase? Check out the Impact Case Dog Crate Review.
3. Smith Built Dog Crate
When it comes to budget models this crate is at the top of its class and the only budget model that we would recommend. Just because the price is lower doesn’t mean it’s weak. There are two slide bolt latches that hold the front door closed and one latch that makes the top secure.
We would recommend buying a durable padlock to go with the latches for extra security though, as some people say they can be broken by very aggressive dogs.
Cleaning is not a problem with this model as there is a good steel floor tray that won’t hold odor or rust. It’s not made for traveling but is still somewhat portable with the four wheels. Two of them can lock so that it stays put when needed too.
4. Diamond Deluxe Aluminum Box
The Diamond Deluxe Aluminum Dog Box is a great option if you’re looking for a box that can easily go in the back of your pickup truck. It gets its name because it is made of-of diamond tread aluminum which not only looks good but is extremely tough and durable.
There is a locking T-handle to make it completely escape proof for every hound. At first glance, this box might look pretty heavy but it weighs in at only 25 pounds, making it easy to get in and out of the truck or ATV. Overall it’s a great aluminum box for taking your dog out for a hunting trip or just around town. Click here to read the full review.
5. Variocage Crash Tested Industrial Steel
For those that travel in the car and love to have complete peace of mind when it comes to the possibility of an accident, there is no better product than the Variocage. It may look quite complex but the installation is easy and it can sit very securely in the back of an SUV or truck no problem.
There are a huge variety of sizes, so there will be a size for every vehicle. It’s the only escape proof crate of it’s kind that has passed all government crash tests and has a built-in crumple region to absorb the impact of even severe accidents. Hands down it is the safest heavy duty dog cage for traveling! Read the review of this unbreakable canine enclosure.
6. Zinger Winger DX5000 Deluxe Aluminum Dog Crate
The Zinger Winger line is quite impressive for a few reasons. First of all, they are made of aircraft grade aluminum and extremely strong. They are able to have this strength at only one-third of the weight that similar steel options have. This makes them easier to transport around and take your pooch on vacation with you if desired.
Lightweight and a super strong build isn’t the only thing this line has. They also have great ventilation. If you need an industrial crate that’s good for the summer, this would be one a good option. There are quite a few vent holes and the door has lots of room for air as well so your canine can stay cooler on those hot days.
The door is made of strong steel bars that are sure to keep every escape artist hound secure. There is also a flush mounted slam latch on the door that further adds to the security and durability. For air travel, you can purchase and install the optional rails to make it airline approved. This model can be stacked with other crates as well if needed.
This line comes in 4 main sizes which are: DX3000 measuring 21 x 24 x 30, DX4000 measuring 24 x 28 x 36, DX 4500 measuring 24 x 30 x 38 and the DX5000 measuring 28 x 32 x 40. These sizes should be enough to please most pet owners!
What To Consider When Buying a Gorilla Tough Dog Crate
When you’re in need of a sturdy and durable dog crate that will last a long time, it’s important to consider a few things that we will go over below.
Portability and Secure Travel for the Strongest Dogs
One thing that you need to ask yourself when looking at these types of crates is if it’s portable? If you plan on doing any kind of traveling with your hound then you must make sure that it can be transported easily but also durable. Airlines have strict regulations and might not allow a low-quality crate, as it would be potentially dangerous for your pet.
For vehicle travel, some products are better than others. For cars, the Variocage is a great option if you can afford it, and for trucks, the Diamond Deluxe is the top pick for taking your hound out on a trip in the back of the truck.
Indestructible Chew Proof Material and Construction
The material is another aspect that you will want to check when you buy any kind of dog-related product. If you wanted a chew proof harness then you would want to get one made of tough nylon that is built to last.
Obviously, when it comes to material, stuff like wood and plastic are just too weak for the strongest breeds. Metal, or gorilla tough steel to be more specific, is what you want to use here. The steel should be a good thickness and gauge, preferably around 20 gauge. The Pro select empire fits this description very well. As for wire, it really depends on the size and strength of the canine. For some, it may not be durable enough.
What Dog Breed is it For?
Different breeds will require a different strength of crate. There are dog breeds that escape from their crate way more often than others. The first thing that you’ll want to take into account is how big and strong your dog is.
For a very strong breed like a pit bull, you’ll want to get a durable, gorilla tough crate such as the Impact Case or the ProSelect Empire, both of which are secure and nearly indestructable.
On the other hand, if your pooch is on the smaller side then maybe you can get away with not having 20 gauge steel construction. In this case, you can probably get the Smithbuilt model, but beware that there have been reports of stronger breeds like pitbulls destroying this crate!
Also, some breeds are timider than others. If your puppy gets scared easily, then getting a crate with a cover will help to reduce their anxiety.
Where Will the Dog Kennel Go?
What model you get will depend on if you need to use it indoors or outdoors. A good option for indoor use will likely be portable. An outdoor crate, on the other hand, will need to be somewhat weather resistant and able to provide adequate ventilation during the summer months.
Indestructible Dog Crate Size
This ties in with the breed of dog that will be using it. You see, dogs have a natural instinct to make a den. If the crate is too big they can’t do this and aren’t as comfortable as they could be.
They also don’t like to go to the bathroom in their home, so if the crate is too big it can mess up all the potty training that you’ve done because they will feel that they have enough space to do their business. However, if the crate is correctly sized, they won’t be as likely to soil their home.
Having said this, when deciding on a size you want them to at least have enough room to easily turn around, as well as get up and lie down. You can see our crate sizing guide for more details on how to pick a good size for your pooch.
If you can’t figure out why your dog escapes in the first place, then the reason might be that they are uncomfortable in their kennel.
Preventing Damage to the Dog Crate
Once you have looked through all the available options and gotten a good one, there are a few preventative measures that you can take to try and stop your canine from damaging it.
Limit their Time in the Industrial Crate
This goes without saying but you should try and limit the time that they are in their home. If they are locked in there too long, separation anxiety can start to kick in. Once this happens they will surely look for a way out.
So how do you decide how long your pooch can be caged for? Well, this depends on how old they are. A puppy that has never been crated before should not be locked inside for hours right away, as a heavy duty dog crate can be a little intimidating at first for a young puppy. One way to judge the amount of time is to look at their age. If they are 3 months old it shouldn’t be locked in for more than 3 hours.
For younger pups especially, you need to slowly work up the amount of time that they are locked inside. Start with 15 minutes for puppies under a month old, then increase that by 15 minutes at a time when they start to get more comfortable.
For adult dogs, you can start off a little longer, but we should note that it’s not recommended to crate your pet for more than 5 hours at a time. If they are having accidents in the crate consistently, then they’ve been in there too long. Elderly dogs, in particular, may have bladder issues that make them unable to stay inside for long periods of time.
Toys and Treats
Another great way to stop your pooch from attempting to damage their dog crate is to make the time inside more enjoyable.
It’s pretty obvious that all canines like toys to some degree. Providing them with a few good toys just might be enough to keep them occupied while you are out. Plus we all want them to have the most enjoyable time possible in their home.
Another cool little trick you can do to keep your dog distracted for a while is to fill a Kong toy with treats. This will reduce their anxiety and stop them from worrying because they will be way too busy trying to get the delicious treats inside. The perfect thing about the durable Kong toys is that they act as a time release, stopping the pup from eating all the food at once.
You can also use a generic bone or bully stick, although some dogs grow tired of these a bit faster once the smell wears off of them and the novelty is gone.
Another great way to make your pet feel more at home inside their kennel is to get them a bed. You may be thinking that it’s not necessary to get them a good bed, but we have to say that we’ve seen great results in obedience training from using a bed that’s made especially for them.
You will notice that they grow quite attached to it and sometimes even go and sleep on it by themselves. There are a few different types you can get for them.
Exercise Your Dog
Have you ever heard the term “dog tired”? Well, the saying didn’t come from anywhere. Taking your dog out for a run at the park is an excellent way to ensure that they get out all the extra energy that they have. Once they are indeed “dog tired”, they will be much more likely to just fall asleep in their crate.
The great thing is that once they fall asleep, you can be sure that the neighbors won’t be calling you up in the next few hours complaining about Fido tearing up their garden for the 3rd time.
Watch the video below to see what happens when a hyper pooch is locked in a wire crate!
More Top Rated Crates
If you aren’t looking for these types of crates, then make sure to check out more of the best dog crates on our homepage! There are a bunch of other varieties available if you don’t need something quite this gorilla tough and durable.