Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates Review 2017: Strong Escape Proof Cages

So you know that your dog makes light work figuring out how to destroy or escape from a standard crate. And it's now time for an escape proof, indestructible, gorilla tough, dog crate to secure your strong or smart Houdini right? Then you're in the right place. We've reviewed a selection of the toughest heavy duty dog crates and kennels that best match your needs and budget.

As you've probably learned, if not experienced – perhaps more than once, regular crates are no good for a large or powerful dog that will happily destroy, chew, or break out from a regular kennel. Neither are they suitable for smart Houdini dogs that quick learn where crate weaknesses are and then exploit them as soon as you're out of sight.

To crate train a powerful or escape artist dog that keeps getting out of their cage, you'll need a secure, strong, tough and strong crate, designed to be virtually indestructible and inescapable. So let's take a look at these so-called Alcatraz dog crates, what they have to offer, and how good the various models are at solving your escape artist problem in our heavy duty dog crate reviews 2017.

Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Here are the top kennels for your pet,

Grain Valley Collapsible Dog Crate

Full Review
Max$$$Lightweight and CollapsibleIATA air travel compliant design. (NOT IATA CR 82)
ProSelect Empire Dog Crate

Full Review
High$$Crate on wheels (lockable)No
SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Metal Cage

Full Review
Good$Crate on wheels (lockable)No

Regular Wire Crates vs Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Regular wire dog cages are built primarily to secure puppies as they grow into adult dogs and are actively being crate trained. Or for dogs that may bark and whimper but don't try to escape or break free of their crate.

But for escape artist or powerful dogs, wire dog cages are unlikely to be strong, robust or durable enough. These dogs will either prove to be a Houdini and learn how to exploit the cage weaknesses, or they will overwhelm or destroy it with brute force. Wire crates tend to be far too weak for securely containing dogs that are large, strong or non-crate trained and determined to break out out.

Some standard crates simply have poor security, and your escape artist pet quickly learns how to exploit the weakness and let himself out of the cage. Hence the need for a stronger inescapable dog crate that is strong and secure enough to prevent them from escaping.

Warning: Heavy Duty Crates Are Not All Built Equally!

It is worth bearing in mind that while a heavy duty crate is intended to prevent a dog from escaping, it does not necessarily mean that it will be robust enough to 100% prevent any dog from breaking out. These kennels are not all built equal. So even the best ones are to be regarded as virtually indestructible or escape free.

The quality and build of these kennels are major factors to consider. There are three classes of sturdy tough heavy duty dog crates that we have identified.

Cheap Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Cheap cages may scrimp on the quality of materials or construction. As such, they may prove not to be very strong, sturdy or effective at preventing some dogs from escaping.

Some are okay and do reasonably meet the aim of providing a budget friendly solution. This may especially be the case with dogs that are at the lower end of the escape artist or power scale.

Some cheap “heavy duty” cages may even be unsafe. So you may want to beware of any brands that are unheard of if they have very few reviews to back them up and inform you of what to expect.

Fair Market Value Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Good heavy duty metal dog crates are designed and constructed to be far more robust, reliable and effective at ensuring there is no escape for would-be Houdini escape artist dogs.

They generally get the job done.

They can generally be relied on to secure low to moderate escape artist and powerful dogs.

High-end / Extra Tough and Secure Heavy Duty Dog Crates

High-end solidly built heavy duty dog crates are robustly built quality cages that are designed to be virtually indestructible and inescapable for the strongest and wiliest of dogs.Escape Proof Dog Crate

These heavy duty dog crates will be the most successful at securing and preventing escape or break out of the most powerful and determined dogs. There may still be the odd exception – hence virtually. But for most canines, they'll be staying exactly where you want them. No more getting up to mischief, then wagging their tail as they greet you at the door.

High-end crates offer the best peace of mind. The trade off for that benefit of course is reflected in the price.

Crate Training Has a Significant Role To Play

Of course the use of any crate should be backed up with regular and consistent crate training so that your pet learns to become accustomed to occupying his crate as his home.

A lack of crate training and a poor crate experience is what leads to your pet feeling abandoned, imprisoned, and upset in his cage. Therefore he quickly becomes anxious, desperate and determined to escape, as he knows you are about to leave him there.

Let's look at some quality crates in this class to suit all budget types, starting with the most sturdy solution.

Are Heavy Duty Dog Crates Expensive?

This is an interesting question. When it comes to the saying you get what you pay for, it certainly rings true when it comes to getting a secure and robust gorilla tough dog crate. Do expect to pay around $300-500 to get a fair market valued crate.

You may be able to get a good crate for less, but you risk buying a cheap build that your dog could overcome. You see, with some cheap cages, you are mainly relying on your pet believing that the crate is too tough for them to escape from. In other words, some cheap crates are easily exploitable by your pet, so long as they believe the illusion and put in a poor escape effort, if they even attempt escape at all.

However, cheap crates can also pose a serious problem beyond mere escape. Most have little to no testing or customer feedback to back it up. And in some cases the weak build quality can be quite dangerous for your pet.

If you opt to purchase a cheap crate, then do not be surprised if you are soon looking to buy another. If you are lucky, a cheap crate may last a few months. But for many regretful purchasers, their pet will have exploited, damaged or destroyed their crate within days of being “secured” in one.

And that's not all, danger was mentioned. In the act of your dog destroying the crate, the broken and ripped material can expose sharp edges that may harm your pet. And of course a destroyed crate doesn't just mean you'll have to pay to pay to replace the crate. You'll also have to pay to repair or replace anything damaged while Rover roamed your house and got up to mischief.

Or maybe your pet injured himself while tearing the crate apart or ingesting something that he shouldn't have and now there are veterinary bills to pay. We know some people still want to be fully aware of the options and will take their chances.

On the plus side, it does seem that some dogs that would be powerful enough to escape the cage are intimidated by the construction, and so they don't try very hard to escape.

We will cover the better range of cheap crate options available, but if your budget can stretch, we recommend you go for the fair market price for a decent crate and better peace of mind.

Best Heavy Duty Escape Proof Dog Crate

Chew Proof Aluminum Impact Case Collapsible Heavy Duty Indestructible Dog Crate

Heavy Duty Dog CratesAt the higher end of the budget are gorilla tough dog crates called the Impact Case Stationary Dog Crate & Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate. It comes with a few bonus features for cage mobility and pet travel.

This industrial strength crate is designed to safely and securely contain your dog with its robust build. This strong, sturdy, tough chew proof cage is and virtually inescapable and unbreakable.

Yet at the same time, the Impact Case Collapsible Aluminum Escape Proof Dog Kennel aims to make your pet feel at home through its more den / kennel like appearance. Design is important as it can help reduce your dog's level of separation anxiety and help him feel more like he is in a safe and private space. That's because dogs are naturally den animals.

Impact Crate Build & Quality

The Impact L and XL heavy duty dog kennel is made from strong, strength reinforcing aluminum. This escape proof heavy duty large dog crate. is very strong. It's a secure crate with robust industrial strength, and of high enough quality and reliability for even the police and military to use.

It has a virtually indestructible chew resistant design that prevents an aggressive, strong or powerful dog from setting her jaws or paws to work in an attempt to destroy the cage and escape. There's little chance of your escape artist dog escaping from Alcatraz in this gorilla tough dog crate.

This heavy duty escape proof dog kennel is also great for the home space conscious, or those that would like to travel with their dog. This is because the crate has a portable design. When not in use, it can be quickly and easily collapsed into a suitcase or briefcase style shape 8 inches high.

Not only that, it's not a heavy crate. It is lightweight and portable. So as well as indoor use, because it can easily be used for travel too. In fact, it's of a design that also allows you to fly with your dog.

It is our pick of the best heavy duty kennel if you're looking for a virtually indestructible crate of a very high standard of quality.

It's An IATA Compliant Travel Crate!

The IATA is an international airline trade organization that sets international airline requirements for airline approved dog crates.

The Impact Case Collapsible Crate is IATA compliant so you can use it to travel by air with your pet subject to any other conditions imposed by the airline of choice. The Stationary version of the crate goes further, it is an IATA 82 dog crate. This means that that Stationary Impact Dog Crate's robust and virtually indestructible design meets the special enhanced IATA CR 82 requirements for dog cages for pitbulls and other breeds that are claimed to be powerful, aggressive, or dangerous. Only the toughest dog cages are acceptable.

However, do note that you still need to check the requirements of the airline that you are considering traveling with. This is because they are free and able to set their own stricter criteria. Also while the cage is compliant, a few other things are required to make the crate air travel ready.

The military grade Impact dog cage is great for travel, whether you simply want to transport your pet on the road with you, or go for a flight with your pet. It truly is an all in one best of the best pitbull dog crates, or whatever other large or powerful breed you have.

The robust and chew proof design and all the built in features mentioned make this our choice of the best escape proof kennel.

We especially recommend this high end dog crate if you have a Pitbull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier / Amstaff, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino /Argentine Mastiff, Caucasian Shepherd, German Shepherd, Doberman, Malinois, or Anatolian Shepherd / Karabash breed of dog.

There are several sizes of the Impact Case heavy duty dog kennel. It is available in sizes: Medium 31″L x 22″W x 23″H, Large 35″L x 25″W x 29″H, and Extra-Large 41″L x 25″W x 29″H.

The Impact Case Stationary Dog Crate is similar to the collapsible model, except that it is solid aluminum on all sides, rather than having collapsible reinforced sections in the center of the crate. It also only has holes in the top section of the sides of the crate.

You still get the metal bar airline rails with the stationary Impact kennel, so you are good if you are at least considering the possibility of flying with your pet.

Where To Buy The Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate

How To Setup Your Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate

This video shows you how quick and easy it is to setup (or take down) your Impact Case kennel. It's not just designed to be a robust and inescapable dog crate, it's also designed to be highly portable and convenient to use.

Read our complete Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate Review

Best Mid-Range Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate With Wheels

ProSelect Empire Indestructible Dog Crate Kennel Cage

Heavy Duty Dog KennelFor most owners of Alcatraz escaping Houdinis or cage destroyers,  the highly rated ProSelect Empire Dog Crate is the best when it comes to balancing budget with high security and reliability.

It is a very robust, durable and sturdy dog cage that has satisfied many customers. That's thanks to its 20-gauge solid steel frame.

The solid steel frame of this heavy duty Level 3 dog crate is reinforced and strengthened with half-inch diameter steel tubes design with welding at the stress points. This cage is also reinforced by its pair of stout door latches. For most dogs, it's a breakout proof dog kennel that has been well proven by a large majority of highly satisfied buyers to be virtually indestructible and inescapable.

Best Value For Money, High Security Escape Proof Dog Crate

This escape proof dog kennel has been tried and tested by many buyers too. The vast majority have found it gets the job done. They agree it is tough, sturdy and robust enough to keep their Houdini secured.

The great news is this tough dog crate is not too expensive, even though of course you're paying more for the build quality, design and material in comparison to a regular wire dog cage. Being that it's also a dog cage on wheels, you can easily move it across the floor if necessary. The wheels of course can also be locked in place to keep this durable crate sturdy and secure in place.

Shop for this no escape heavy duty metal crate on Amazon. It's available in Medium 37″L x 25″W x 33 3/4″H and Large 42 1/4″L x 30 3/4″W x 41 1/4″H:

Read our complete Proselect Empire dog crate review.

Best Cheap Heavy Duty Dog Cage

SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog CrateLast of all we have the SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Crate. This cage is a lot cheaper than the ProSelect cage. That's because it is specifically aimed at the budget or price-conscious market, that are looking for a cheap cage.

The low price of this dog crate with wheels has indeed made it a popular choice.

Despite being low cost, a clear majority of buyers have found that the cage successfully met their expectations of being an indestructible and cheap escape proof crate that kept their pet securely contained.

Some owners did have an issue with the design of the door latches however. They found that their smart and observant Houdini pet soon learned how the latch worked and let themselves out.  To solve this problem, luggage locks were used to secure the door.

For some buyers however, this crate did not prove indestructible or escape proof for their pet. They found their pet was able to overpower the crate, bending or ripping away the bars. But considering the price, this should not come as much of a surprise.

While the majority of buyers of this crate had a positive experience, we felt there were a significant enough number that were not satisfied to be worth bringing to your attention so you can make an informed choice.

Click Here To Shop for Smithbuilt crate on Amazon

Your Dog's Strength & Temperament Vs Cheap Crate

Bottom line, if you're going to go for the cheapest solution, then you may also end up being one of the unlucky regretful with a crate that is too weak in build, strength and security to contain your pet, compared to the fair market value and higher priced crates. How can you tell?

If you feel that your dog is of a temperament that makes him or her one of those likely to find a way to escape or damage the SmithBuilt crate, then we suggest you trust your instinct and consider purchasing the stronger and more robustly built fair market value ProSelect dog crate.

If you feel your dog is reasonably crate trained and would behave in a cage that looks and is stronger, and more sturdily built than a wire crate, then the SmithBuilt dog crate should get the job done, as it has for many buyers.

Out of all the cheap heavy duty dog crates we've currently observed that are designed to keep dogs secure, this one is the best, the most reliable and the safest. And unlike many other cheap so-called heavy duty cages, it has many reviews of buyer experiences that show that the majority had a positive experience.

The Problem With Cheap Heavy Duty Dog Cages

Many cheap so called indestructible crates have a level of quality that may not be fit or even safe for dogs. Do not be fooled by appearance. If the crate is not well established, it may be best to give it a miss.

We recommend the best balance of security against cost is provided by the ProSelect Empire Dog Crate. And that's due to its quality build, strength, and reliability. And this is backed up with a significant volume of customer reviews. However if you feel the Proselect heavy duty metal dog crate is too expensive and will be going low cost, then we suggest you go with the SmithBuilt crate.

The Smithbuilt cage is well established. It has a tried and tested track record of many customer reviews. So you can feel comfortable with what to expect. Many other cheap crates can not boast this and therefore you have no idea whether it'll simply be a complete waste of money or even dangerous for your pet.

Smithbuilt is available in these sizes:

  • Medium – 36″ L x 24″ D x 29″ H
  • Large – 42″ L x 30″ D x 34″ H
  • Extra Large – 48″ L x 33 ” D x 37″ H

Click Here To Shop for Smithbuilt crate on Amazon

For Dog Separation Anxiety You May Also Like:

Heavy Duty Kong Dog Toy

KONG Extreme Dog ToyWhile heavy duty dog crates are great for keeping your pet contained, the issue of relieving your companion's desire to get out still needs to be addressed.

It is known that that your pet is most intensely anxious in the immediate minutes that you leave.

Help keep your dog busy and distracted in those crucial first 20 minutes of separation. Give him a Kong dog toy that you can fill with food and treats.

It will give your pet a challenge and something to occupy himself with while you are away.

It's not just a fun toy that provides a useful chewing distraction for them. It is also a treat dispenser. Stuff it with treats to keep him busy. These can either be the official treats that Kong produce.

Or if you're more adventurous or like to control what your dog eats, here are some homemade dog treat ideas.

He'll have fun working hard to get at those treats. Toys like these will help him associate crate time as being a good thing.

The Kong comes in 4 versions. For dogs needing a gorilla tough crate, you'll probably want a heavy duty Kong Toy.

This black colored toy from Kong is officially called the Extreme Kong dog toy. It indicates that it has an extra strong level of toughness for extreme chewers. It should prove indestructible for most serious power chewers.

Learn more about the Kong dog toy or what Kong size to buy.

Should I Use A Dog Bed?

If your dog is potty trained and won't litter their crate with any provided food and water, then yes. A crate usually has a hard floor. Some of them have a grilled floor. This can become quite uncomfortable after a few hours. So a potty trained dog will certainly appreciate your efforts to make their crate feel like home.

However, you may have a problem if they love to chew and decide to make their bed the object of a chewing desire. Of course beds are designed to be comfortable, which means making them chew resistant is difficult.

However their are some beds made for light to moderate chewers. One such manufacturer of a bed designed to be chew resistant is K9 Ballistics.

K9 Ballistics self-describe their popular Original TUFF Dog Bed as having a 4/5 chew rating and you can check customer reviews of the K9 Ballistics bed on Amazon to judge for yourself. Again remember though and as they state, their beds are deigned to be a little tougher to withstand light to moderate chewers.

Another bed to check out is the Orthopedic 4″ Dog Crate Pad by Big Barker.

However, do bear in mind the thickness of a bed and how this may reduce the height of your pet's crate. Specifically your pet's ability to comfortably stand and turn around in it.

ThunderShirt Dog Shirt

Thundershirt For Dog AnxietyIf your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you may like to consider the Thundershirt. It is a highly rated product that many customers have felt very positive about. It may prove useful when crate training.

Click Here To Shop For The ThunderShirt on Amazon

From the manufacturer: “ThunderShirt is a terrific solution for fear of thunder, fireworks, separation anxiety, problem barking, travel and more!”

Many customers online agree, and have awarded it high ratings. They've also expressed delight and high satisfaction that the ThunderShirt has helped them by helping calm down their pet.

The ThunderShirt manufacturer's themselves claim 80% success rate. So while each dog is different, online reviews show that most dog owners have had success with using a ThunderShirt.

However, while it may help provide physical comfort to your pet, remember that it is your pet's physical needs that need addressing in particular. So the ThunderShirt can be used as an aid to helping deal with your dog's separation anxiety. It is not the solution. You'll still need to complete crate training with your pet to ultimately help them get over their anxiety.

For such a low investment cost, it's got to be worth a try for a calming effect if you are finding your pet is incredibly anxious. Especially if everything that you have tried so far to relax and calm your dog down hasn't worked. It may be a great investment to purchase with your escape proof cage.

You may also like to check out this video report from Fox News:

How Long To Leave Your Dog In A Crate?

Okay, so now that we can solve the question of heavy duty dog crates to keep them secure, we may have another question to consider.

One of the most important things to remember is that yes, a kennel is for training your pet. And it will keep your pet from chewing, ripping and getting up to other mischief in your home while you are away.

But secure containment should not equal neglect. Your pet has mental and physical needs too. She can last for up to 8 hours without needing to relieve herself. However, apart from the extreme exceptional circumstance, you should be giving your dog a break outside the crate at least once in 4 hours. You should also have allowed her to get some exercise before crating. She should also have access to water.

In the case of senior dogs, they should never be left for longer than the 4 hours they need to relieve themselves. You will need to be even more mindful of how long you leave them crated if they have developed conditions such as incontinence.

Remember the ideal idea ultimately is to be able to train your dog to behave so that they do need to be securely contained while you are away.

This video has some fantastic tips on behavioral dog training using a crate.


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