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

Escape Proof Dog Crate

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 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 strong, tough and secure heavy duty pet crate. One that is designed and built to be virtually indestructible and inescapable; hink an Alcatraz dog crate.

Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Here are the top kennels for your pet,

Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate Large

Click here for X-large
Max$$$Lightweight and CollapsibleYes. IATA 82 air travel compliant design.
ProSelect Empire Dog CrateHigh$$Crate on wheels (lockable)No
SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Metal CageGood$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 crates that we have identified.

Cheap Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Cheap ones 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 cheap “heavy duty” cages may even be unsafe. So you may want to beware of any brands that are unheard of with no or very few reviews to back them up.

Fair Market Value 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.

High-end / Extra Tough and Secure Crates

High-end solidly built cages are robustly built quality cages that are designed to be virtually indestructible and inescapable for the strongest and wiliest of dogs.

These 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.

Hi-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 Cages 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 is this gorilla tough dog crate called the 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, which may also help reduce your dog's level of anxiety and help him feel more like he is in a safe and private space.

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.

And as well as indoor use, because it is lightweight and portable, it allows 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 82 Compliant Travel Crate!

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

The Impact Case Crate is an IATA 82 dog crate. This means that that Impact Case's indestructible design meets the special enhanced IATA CR 82 requirements for dog cages for pitbulls and other breeds that are claimed to be powerful or aggressive. 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 sizes of the Impact Case heavy duty dog kennel for medium size dogs, large size dogs and extra large size dogs.

Where To Buy The Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate

This escape proof crate 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.

It 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.

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

Note: There is also a cheaper non-collapsible version of this virtually indestructible dog crate. It's called the Impact Case Stationary 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 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 Dog 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.

Whole the majority of buyers of this crate had a positive experience, we felt there were a significant enough number that had a poor experience to be worth bringing to your attention so you can make an informed choice.

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 pet 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 cages 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 chew toy. It is also a treat dispenser. Stuff it with treats to keep him busy. 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.

ThunderShirt Dog Shirt

Thundershirt For Dog AnxietyIf your dog suffers from 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 To Train Your Dog To Get Used To His  Crate

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

Videos Of Genius Dogs Escaping From Their Crates

Still need proof of why regular crates are a toy to destroy or a fun puzzle to solve for some dogs? Let's look at a few videos to show you just how smart dogs can be at finding out how they can find a crate's vulnerabilities and escape from their crate.

Video 1 – Upper Latch Exploitation

In this video we see just how smart an escape artist dog can be. This one has learned that their is locked via a latch at the top of the crate, and she's determined to move it.

As we can see, this Houdini is relentless in trying to bite and paw away at the upper latch. She's relentless and determined, and she eventually exploits this cage's weakness and escapes.

Video 2 – Lower Latch Exploitation

And here's another using the same tactic, except going for the bottom latch of the kennel.

Video 3 – “Hook Over” Door Exploitation

This crate is ridiculous easy to escape from and this dog knows it. She has learned that escaping from this faux Alcatraz simply requires opening the door through a short sharp nudge upwards on the latch and “HEY, PRESTO!” She's out quicker than a Brexit!

She has observed that the crate “door” is closed simply by hooking it over the wire on the cage. And she has seen that lifting the door up over the wire releases it. It's not clear whether the latch was properly set, but as the rest of these videos show, these style of latches tend to be pretty much a moot point to a clever Houdini escape artist dog.

Video 4 – Overpowering Crate

And here's an example of a dog simply overpowering their crate with brute force. It appears that they are aware of and are trying initially to exploit the latch, but quickly discover once they have a grip with their jaws that the door is weak. Another tug and open sesame, no more locked crate.

Video 5 – Finding & Exploiting Vulnerability

Here's another gorilla escaping from her not so tough crate. Watch how she simply grips the bottom, instantly pulls at it and bends it out of shape, creating a gap from the crate floor. She then decides it'll be no problem to barge her way through this gap. And she is correct. Another escaped dog.

Video 6 – Small Dog Unlocks Latch & Escapes

A dog does need to be big to escape, they just need to learn how to exploit the cage's weakness. This one shows another escape artist that has worked out that the latch is literally the key to escaping from the crate. After persistent attempts, the latch is exploited and the door is released.

Video 7 – Exploiting Roof Door Vulnerability In Crate

Some crates are exploited through an upper opening door. Such doors can be great for accessing the crate from above, but they are also a great means of escape for some Houdinis too.

Video 8 – Compilation Of Houdinis Escaping

And to round off here's a funny video of dogs escaping from crates, fences and outdoor kennels. Watch the one at 1:40 where the dog escapes then helps the others escape their crates.

Genius Dogs Will Escape From Their Crate – Unless It's Built To Be Heavy Duty & Escape Proof

So as you can see, standard crates are easily exploited by determined dogs. Latch lock crates in particular are easily exploited. Dogs learn how the latch works. Then they get to work to unlatch the door.

Powerful dogs can simply overpower the crate, either bending or destroying the cage to get out.

Unless you are getting a very young pup or a crate trained dog, or if you are looking to replace a crate that your dog escaped from, then you may wish to go for an heavy duty dog crate.

These are made from thicker bars or sheets of metal rather than wire, to make it much harder for the dog to have a chance of escape through damage. Many have escape proof designs too where the latch is not so accessible to a Houdini.

The best ones are virtually inescapable and indestructible so there'll be little chance of dog escapes crate opportunities with those. Two great crates are the Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate and the ProSelect Empire Dog Crate.

Click the following link to shop and learn more about how to choose an escape proof dog crate and make dog escapes crate a thing of the past.

We hope this article has been helpful to you. You have learned about the importance of a robust crate for securing escape artist and gorilla dogs and how to choose one.

Leave the headline “Genius dog escapes crate” to others that choose to keep buying regular crates. Get yourself a heavy duty one to show your pet whose boss and complete your training.

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