Dog crates are one of the most effective tools for training. As puppies, the dog crate acts as a place of containment to prevent accidents and messes. Eventually, that crate turns into a safe haven that your pup will go to anytime they're starting to feel a bit stressed out.
While it's easy to find crates for small docile pups, what if you have a stronger breed? Pitbulls, Mastiffs, Greyhounds, and a bevy of other breeds are strong enough to get through those flimsy plastic crates!
Even larger gentle giants can get through standard crates without much force at all.
Crates come in a range of designs. The ones that we're used to seeing are collapsible and readily available at most pet stores. With a powerful canine, those average crates just won't cut it.
Luckily, there are some tougher alternatives out there. The best heavy-duty dog crate can hold up against the power of stronger breeds. They offer all the same benefits while also providing you with the security you're after.
Top 7 Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates for Strong Breeds
1. Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Steel Metal Single Door Dog Crate
This robust crate from Frisco is perfect for escape artists. Made out of 22-gauge steel and half-inch steel tubing, it's one of the strongest options out there. The steel is powder-coated for protection and features strong welds to reinforce any weak points.
The crate is available in two different sizes. While it's not exactly portable, the crate does have caster wheels. The wheels have locks to keep the crate in place during use. There's also a slide-out metal tray for easy cleaning and two strong lock points.
2. Frisco XX-Large Heavy Duty Double Door Wire Dog Crate, 54-in
Also from Frisco is this 54-inch metal wire crate. This is specifically made for dogs that weigh 90 pounds or more. It's quite large. However, the crate does collapse and can be reassembled without any additional tools.
The strong metal wire used to create the crate is coated in a protective finish. The electro-coat finish protects against corrosion while giving the metal a nice smooth texture. There are two entrances on this crate. Both have three drop pin hinges for ultimate security.
3. ProSelect Empire Single Door Steel Dog Crate
Next up, we have this crate from ProSelect. This is an ultra-secure kennel that's made of 20-gauge steel. The steel tubing measures about half an inch thick. It's welded at numerous points and finished off with a nice powder coat for protection.
One thing that we like about this kennel is the locks. There are two slide latches made entirely out of metal. The latches are designed so that they're out of reach from your dog. Rounding off the features of this kennel are durable caster wheels, a sizable slide-out waste tray, and a grated floor.
4. MidWest Solutions Series XX-Large Heavy Duty Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate, 54-in
If you have a gentle giant, this kennel may be for you. It measures 54 inches long, 37 inches wide, and 45 inches high. The kennel is suitable for large pups. Alternatively, you can use it to house two smaller dogs.
This is a metal wire crate. However, it has a unique feature that prevents many of the pitfalls that come with wire designs. There's a patent-pending "L" bar that runs along the length of the top panel. This prevents the sides from bowing in.
5. LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate Strong Metal Kennel and Crate for Large Dogs
Check out this crate from LOCKUP. It's a tough enclosure that's made out of thick steel tubing. The tubing is welded throughout and features a corrosion-resistant finish.
On the bottom of the crate, you'll find swivel caster. They turn 360 degrees for easy maneuverability. The design of the crate is relatively simple. But there are some cool hidden features. The first is a grated bottom and pullout tray. They make cleanups a breeze. If you need even more access to the inside of the crate, the top flips up for easy cleaning, too.
6. SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate Strong Metal Pet Kennel Playpen with Escape Lock
Create that safe space for your dog without hampering on style. The SMONTER crate features a rugged design. It's built out of thick steel tubing. However, the steel is covered in a non-toxic brown finish that complements furniture quite well.
For your dog's protection, there are two flip latches. You can easily close the lid by flipping the latch down. For even more security, a sliding mechanism prevents the latch from moving out of place. The crate features a flip-up lid, a removable waste tray, and a grated bottom.
7. Go Pet Club Heavy Duty Single Door Wire Dog Crate
Here's a unique crate option. The primary frame of the crate is built out of heavy-duty steel tube. But, the primary slats are made out of thinner wire. This creates a lighter crate that doesn't sacrifice durability.
There's a single reinforced door. It utilizes the same metal frame as the rest of the crate for added strength. Two traditional sliding pin locks are used. Locking wheels and a slide-out plastic tray are included for easy cleaning. You'll be happy to know that the bottom of the crate is grated with wire to prevent it from catching your dog's toes.
Is a Heavy-Duty Crate Even Necessary?
You may be wondering if you even need a crate in the first place. While crate training is an established method of housebreaking a pup, it's not the only way to get the job done.
That said, there are more reasons to invest in a crate than many owners realize. As we mentioned earlier, dogs grow to love their crate. They might hate it when you close the door and confine them to a single place, but the crate is a safe haven for them!
It's going to be their own personal space in places they are unfamiliar with. Say, for example, that you visit a hotel or go see your family one weekend. If you bring your dog along for the adventure, they're going to be exposed to a lot of new sights and sounds they aren't familiar with.
Despite their strength, powerful dogs get overwhelmed, too! Their crate is going to be that familiar space they'll go to when feeling overwhelmed. It's a necessity that all dogs need.
Not only that, but crates can also be a line of defense. Even if your dog is not aggressive, the crate is going to act as a tool for safe separation.
Maybe one day you have to have a service technician come in to look at your air conditioning unit. Instead of stressing your dog out by locking them behind some closed door, you can let them chill out in the comfort of their crate.
It's far less stressful and will decrease the chances of any unwanted aggression.
Benefits of a Heavy-Duty Dog Crate
Truth is, every dog can benefit from a heavy-duty crate. While they're typically catered towards more rambunctious breeds, even small pups can take advantage of what a durable crate has to offer.
Bend and Chew-Proof Construction
The biggest benefit of a heavy-duty crate is its build quality. With standard crates, you're usually dealing with thin metal wire. That might seem like enough to keep your pup contained. But in reality, it's nothing more than a minor deterrent for most dogs.
Determined dogs can easily get out of a traditional crate if they truly wanted to. Those metal wires bend easily. If you have a wooden crate, dogs can always chew through the wood to get out.
Most owners pay no mind to the construction quality of their crate until it's damaged beyond repair and the dog is running loose throughout the house!
With a heavy-duty crate, you don't have to worry about any of that. They're specifically built to withstand the rigors of a rowdy dog. These crates typically utilize tough materials, robust hardware, and unique construction methods to hold up for years.
Better Overall Durability
Speaking of holding up for years, have you ever considered how long a standard crate lasts. Spoiler alert: not very long. Even metal wire crates are prone to damage over time. Constant exposure to slobber and messes can lead to oxidation in only a few years.
Paint can start chipping, locks can start sticking, and the overall structure of the crate can start to fall apart!
This is especially true with crates that you travel with frequently. While a collapsible design is great for convenience, it also comes with the sacrifice of durability.
With a heavy-duty dog crate, you can reasonably expect it to hold up throughout your dog's life. As long as you maintain the crate and treat it with care, the superior build quality will make it a staple in your home for years to come.
Finally, heavy-duty dog crates provide far more protection than standard ones. This benefit is geared more towards dogs that exhibit a bit of anxiety towards strangers.
Many dog breeds are naturally untrusting of new faces. Thus, they can get anxious and start acting aggressively towards people that visit your home.
It's not uncommon for owners of these dogs to avoid having people over because of the risk of attack. It's a perfectly reasonable response, but not one that's particularly conducive to everyday life. You shouldn't have to avoid having people over just because your dog isn't a fan of strangers!
A heavy-duty crate provides that peace of mind you need. You can simply let your pup relax in the crate while your guests are over. Even if your dog can hear them in the other room, they won't be able to escape.
You don't have to worry about your dog chewing through the crate slats and making a B-line for your guests. You can rest easy knowing that both your dog and your guests are safe.
How to Choose a Heavy-Duty Dog Crate
With so many dog crates on the market these days, it's easy to get lost in the fray! The goal of a heavy-duty dog crate is to withstand whatever your dog throws at it. To ensure that you're choosing a crate that can hold up to your dog's chewing and thrashing, keep the following factors in mind.
The most important thing you need to check out is the size of the crate. Remember, this is a safe and comfortable space for your pup. The last thing you want is your dog feeling cramped and confined.
While the crate is small compared to your home at large, it should feel cozy instead of cramped.
As a good rule of thumb, crates should be large enough for your dog to lie down. Your pup should have the ability to lay on their side and spread out fully.
When your pooch is lounging around the home, whip out a tape measure! Record their length and width of this splayed-out position and use those figures as a baseline when you're shopping for crates.
Another thing to pay attention to is height. Ideally, the crate should be tall enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. With your dog standing up, measure their height from head to the floor.
Add about 25 percent of this figure to your final total for good measure. For example, if your dog is about 12 inches tall at the head, go with a crate that's about 15 inches high.
The materials used on the dog crate are going to play a big part in durability. You have a lot of options here. The most obvious choice would be metal.
Metal is, by far, the most durable. However, you can't get thin metal wire. Remember, those flimsy metal crates can be bent pretty easily by a strong dog. Instead, go for crates that use thick metal bars that you can't easily move.
Alternatively, you can go with a wooden crate. Again, it's all about the quality of the wood. There are cheaper wooden crates out there that fall apart with the slightest chew. Go for solid wood crates that utilize chunky bars and panels.
Plastic crates are good, too. Just make sure that no pieces are jutting out. If your dog can grab any piece of the plastic while they're inside the crate, it's not going to be durable enough to withstand much.
A good way to gauge the quality of the materials is by examining the weight. Typically, the more the crate measures the more durable it will be.
Now, if you travel a lot with your pup, portability will be a big factor to consider. Collapsible crates can easily break down in a few steps so that you can pop the crate in the trunk of a car.
What matters most when it comes to portability is how the crate comes together. Does it have flimsy hinged or durable metal fasteners that lock into place?
Ideally, the crate should be solid enough to not budge when fully assembled.
You can get models that don't collapse at all. While not great for long-distance travel, many incorporate wheels for easy movement. These are great if you just want a crate that you can move from room to room.
At some point, you'll need to clean the crate. This will happen more often with crates used by puppies. Look for easy-clean designs to make your life easier.
Many crates come with removable trays that you can slide out. Instead of having to on all fours to pick up messes, you can just slide the tray out and rinse it off with the garden hose.
The same can be said for crates with a bottom grate. Just place a tray or piddle pad underneath the crate to catch the mess.
Many crates you'll see on the market only have a single lock point. Those are the worst for strong dogs! They could easily bend the door and pop those locks open with a bit of force.
If you have a strong dog, you'll need a strong safety lock. Look out for crates that have multi-point systems. This could be individual latch points on the top, bottom, and middle.
Alternatively, you can get a single turning latch that controls locking bars at multiple points.
Having a heavy-duty dog crate in your home can be a big lifesaver. It'll be a place that your dog can go to whenever they need some alone time.
Thanks to the rugged construction of these crates, you can also use it to confine your dog and keep them safe.