We’ve researched some of the best heavy duty dog crates on the market for you and found out which ones hold up, and which ones best suit your dog’s needs.
We all know the feeling, when we have to leave our dogs at home alone. Our minds start to wonder what they are up to (or into) while we’re unable to attend to them.
If you have a big strong dog that’s very clever, you’ll want to match them with a pretty indestructible dog crate with a good lock to make sure your lovable little monster won’t tear up the house.
Let’s face it, for some dogs a regular crate just won’t do the trick. Some people’s pups have been known to “Houdini” or force their way out of regular wire frame cages and push down gates. Sometimes it leaves us wondering how the heck they even did it. Not only did they chew through the wire frame; but they made it look easy… Right?
After spending 15 plus hours researching some of the best (and worst) heavy duty crates for your dog, these were the “top-dog” picks we arrived at, to secure your pooch with peace of mind, so you don’t have to worry while you are away.
- Top 6 Picks for Heavy Duty Dog Crates
- 1. Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel (best for outdoors)
- 2. Luckup Heavy Duty Dog Crate (best value for the price)
- 3. Smonter “Y-Shape” Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate (best for style)
- 4. Gelinzon Roof-Top Heavy Duty Dog Cage (best for space)
- 5. Guardian Gear Pro Select Crate – Is it Really Indestructable?
- 6. Parpet Empire Crate – A Comparable Solution
- Recap – Making the Right Choice for You and Your Dog
Top 6 Picks for Heavy Duty Dog Crates
1. Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel (best for outdoors)
People that buy these sturdy outdoor dog crates love it for how convenient and spacious it is. Dimensions are 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide, and can be built out to 8 feet long. They also feel confident, knowing that they will not chew or break through the cage.
It’s thick welded steel frame makes it more sturdy than your common chain-link fence style dog kennel and provides a nice safe place for your dog to enjoy the outdoors with no jagged edges on the frame. The sturdiness and spacing of the wire makes it difficult to impossible for most dogs to get their mouth around and chew through.
The Lucky Dog Uptown kennel was built to uphold in the elements as well. The panels are finished with a weather-resistant coating to prevent rust and deterioration. It also includes a waterproof canopy cover to help keep the ground dry, so your dog doesn’t have to get their feet wet. The cover will do a good amount of protecting your dog from overexposure to the Sun as well.
- Easy to clean: This kennel has a raised open bottom frame to make it easy to sweep out debris or run a hose under it; so your dog has a clean healthy place to play.
- Quick and simple setup: The kennel comes in pre-assembled panels with locking brackets, which makes setup fast and easy enough for one person to do. There is no need for tools to set this up.
- Dog-safe design: The panel framing is smoothly welded together, which eliminates sharp edges. So you don’t have to worry about your dog cutting themselves.
- Warranty: This cage comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
- Lock not included: while the latch design is cleverly placed higher up on the door, your dog may figure out how to open it if they are a good enough escape artist. However, getting a padlock ensures they will not escape. It’s an easy fix, but still would have been better if they were to include the padlock.
The Bottom Line:
If you have a bigger dog that is a bit of the outdoorsy type, and requires a lot of space, then the Lucky Dog Uptown kennel is a solid pick.
If you’re looking for a nice easy set up or breakdown of the kennel, the Lucky Dog Uptown was designed with that in mind. It scores points for durability, design, practicality, and easy cleanup compared to traditional chain link outdoor kennels.
2. Luckup Heavy Duty Dog Crate (best value for the price)
It seems they put extra thought and planning into designing this crate for ease-of-use. It mixes both dependability and convenience at about the same price range as some of the more basic heavy duty metal dog crates out there.
It’s a strong dog crate that has more than just the basic features. One of its best features is its food hatch. It allows you to change the food and water, and keeps you from having to chase your dog back in the cage when you go to change their bowl.
One woman’s 90 pound German Shepard managed to break through 7 basic-level wire frame and plastic dog crates. He liked finding weak points in his kennels, so he could chew and push his way out (dogs are good problem solvers).
The woman did some problem-solving of her own, and “leveled up” with the Luckup crate, the dog has now been successfully and safely contained without any breakouts.
- Roomy and spacious: This heavy duty crate is best for medium and large dogs. Most any dog that is good with cages will not feel crammed in here. It comes in 3 sizes: 38, 42, or 48 inch.
- 3 Year warranty: The Luckup crate comes with a 3 year warranty, which gives plenty of time to make sure it holds up to the test.
- Easy cleanup: There are 2 sliding plastic trays on the bottom that make this cage easier to manage and keep clean. Because sometimes only 1 side needs cleaning.
- 3 Door access: The crate has a top-load door, and a front door with a third inner door for food and water. Making it so you don’t have to open the whole cage to change their bowl.
- Built to last: The entire steel frame is covered with a rust and corrosion-resistant coating which is non-toxic. Keeping it looking nice through the weather, and the wear and tear.
- Great value buy: For all you get with it, this cage is priced fairly well. This chew proof dog crate was designed for both durability and ease of use.
- Easy assembly: Comes with all the hardware you need to assemble the frame and locking wheels in minutes.
- Triple lock system: the door has a sturdy triple-lock latching system; which make it extremely difficult for a dog to “Houdini” or force their way out.
- Food hatch: It has a door within a door, with its own separate latch. So you can change their food and water without having to open the main entry.
- Floor bar spacing: The only thing that stands out on the downside is that the spacing on the floor bars could be a bit more comfortable for the dog. This can be remedied with a cage floor pad or another flat smooth surfaced panel to make your pup more comfortable. We know you want your dog to be comfortable while they’re in their cage, so the extra cushion on the floor is well worth it.
*NOTE: This crate was NOT built for small dogs; as it can be dangerous. If their paws are too small for the crate, they can injure their legs in it. For this reason, this crate is not recommended for small dogs.
The Bottom Line:
If you want the convenience of having the extra doors and plenty of space, then this is good quality buy at a reasonable price. This is the cage to go with if you are buying a crate for its space, since it offers the 48 inch option.
It’s ideal for medium-sized and larger-sized dogs; preferably already potty-trained. That way you can make it more comfortable with a floor pad or panel, without really needing the sliding trays to clean up the doggie mess.
If you are going to be using the trays, We would recommend the Homey 49 inch XL crate as good alternate option. The Homey 49 allows for the same kind of space the Luckup 48 has; but the Homey floor panels have more segments to them, and are more comfortable for your dog to lay down on.
3. Smonter “Y-Shape” Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate (best for style)
We picked the Smonter Y-shaped dog crate for its elegant looking design and lighter weight. This kennel features many of the same features as the previously mentioned Luckup crate such as the top door, the rust-resistant coating on the frame, and 360 degree locking caster wheels; although it does not have a food door. The Smonter model comes in 38 and 42 inch crates.
While it is still considered a heavy-duty steel dog crate, the bars are not solid, like some of the super heavy-duty models out there. It is still a good pen and you get some of the same of features at about the same price. So you are trading a little bit of strength for beauty and portability.
In order to compare with the more rock solid cages, Smonter designed a new model with a stronger frame. This model is built more for use than for looks; as it has a more basic-looking frame. This thicker frame reboot is also a little heavier in price as well, for the added security and extra strength.
- Decorative design: The Y-shape cross bars give the cage a classy elegant look. Comes in 3 color options: silver, brown, and dark brown to give you a little variety.
- Light weight: Made with a hollow steel frame, this makes it easier to lift and transport.
- Rust-resistant: The crate is coated with a rust-resistant anti-corrosive coating to help prevent weathering and wear.
- 3 Year warranty: Comes with a 3 year warranty that promises your dog will not be able to chew through it.
- Competetively priced: This model compares to a number of other heavy-duty dog crates in price, while it stands out with its own unique decorative look.
- Easy to clean: Has a slide out plastic tray that makes it easy to clean.
- Fast assembly: Comes with all the hardware you need to assemble the frame and wheels in minutes.
- Secure locking: There are strong locking latches on the top and front doors of this cage that are designed for peace of mind if your dog is a bit of a “Houdini” type.
- Hollow frame: The cage meets good standards in quality, style, convenience, and price. The only minor drawback to it, is its hollow frame which makes it less durable than other extra heavy-duty cages on the market. Regardless, it is still considered pretty reliable, being that it is made of steel and the bars are strategically spaced to make it difficult for dogs to get their mouths around it.
The Bottom Line:
The unique difference with Smonter is the Y-patterned cross-bars at the top that give your dog cage a classier look. So if style is what you are after, and your dog does not have “Goliath” like strength, then the Smonter is your way to go.
This model is pretty trustworthy, but If your dog is an avid escape artist, and something stronger is what you value, you’ll want to look into their redesigned model, or another brand with 20 gauge steel bars If you really want that extra piece of mind.
4. Gelinzon Roof-Top Heavy Duty Dog Cage (best for space)
Like the Smonter, this model is unique and stylish in its own way. The frame has a locking rooftop shape for added head space for your furry loved one.
Some dogs like to spend some cage time standing up and looking around, this crate is ideal for that. The opening roof is also a good way to give them food and water, or their favorite toys without having to open the main front door.
- 5 Year warranty: 5 years is a good long amount of time for peace of mind. It shows alot of confidence in the product they built.
- Rooftop door: The rooftop opens and latches shut as a second top load door.
- Extra headroom: The combined height of the cage with the rooftop measures over 50 inches. This is the ideal cage for tall dogs.
- Rust-resistant: Coated with a non-toxic finish to help prevent rust and corrosion.
- Easy assembly: Crate comes partially assembled with all the hardware needed for quick setup.
- Patented 3 step unlocking: The lock has a swinging lever and requires 3 steps to open the cage. It also has a hole if you want to put a padlock for extra security.
- Dual trays: The bottom tray is split into 2 segments for prospectively less cleanup.
- Minor packaging issues: A few people have claimed they did not receive the proper hardware when they got their dog cage. The manufacturer has done a great job of providing them the missing parts after they were contacted. It’s always a pain when this happens, but at least the manufacturer stays on top of it.
The Bottom Line:
This cage is roomy and spacious. It is ideal for medium to large size dogs. It would be a good fit for a greyhound or another dog that requires “higher clearance” for their head.
5. Guardian Gear Pro Select Crate – Is it Really Indestructable?
The Guardian Pro Select is known as the “Alcatraz” of dog crates. The frame is super heavy duty, with really thick 20 gauge stainless steel bars.
Most people seem to be very pleased with this product. The bars themselves are very tough. It was designed for the strongest of dogs to be unable to chew through it. Before buying, there are however a few flaws you should know about. Let’s give this crate a quick rundown.
- Heavy duty wheels: they are sturdy to make the thick frame’s extra weight easy to move around.
- Chew proof: If a dog has separation anxiety and has been known to chew through other steel crates, they are highly unlikely to get through this one.
- Extra thick: The thick 20 gauge steel bars are the epitome of heavy-duty. This is the big selling point on this model.
- Big slide out tray: It has a large drawer-like slide out tray that is heavy-duty, like the rest of the cage.
- Locks are sliding rod style: They are very sturdy for “Hercules” dogs that like to push the doors open. They are not ideal if your dog is a bit of a “Houdini” though; as they may be able to slip the rod out of the door latch.
- Welding defect: Although most of these crates are pretty rock solid, there have been some complaints about welds being weak and breaking in a few cases.
The Bottom Line:
This cage has a very strong frame with its thick 20 gauge steel bars, but it is not completely sound due to the door latches not being lockable. Most people are happy with the cage and swear by it. However, a few people have had some problems with the frame welds breaking loose.
If you really want the super heavy duty bars, this one definitely fits the bill. As long as you are aware of the possibility of getting one with some defective welds.
Personally, if you do not like to gamble, You probably should not risk it with the Guardian Pro Select, just in case. Especially for the higher priced investment of this kennel. Which brings me to a comparable alternative we’ve found.
6. Parpet Empire Crate – A Comparable Solution
The Parpet Empire heavy duty crate is comparable in size and has the same 20 gauge super thick bars as the Guardian Pro. It is also very strong and is in within the same price range.
This is what I would consider to be a very close solution to the Guardian. It is has yet to be named the “Alcatraz of dog crates” though. This one doesn’t have the reputation of faulty welds either.
I would recommend adding your own lock to it, due to the fact it has the same style slide-in rod to keep the door shut; much like the Guardian. Many dogs are clever enough to figure out how to slip the lock bolts out with their paws or their mouth. So it stands to reason, if you want a cage that is truly inescapable, you’ll want the lock to be “Houdini-proof” too.
- Same setup: The Parpet is almost exactly the same design as the Guardian. It is very much its “comparable twin”.
- Extra thick: The frame is made from extra thick 20 gauge stainless steel.
- Trustworthy: The Parpet in our opinion, is a less faulty, more reliable kennel
- Better than “Alcatraz”: Even though the previously mentioned Guardian has been called the “Alcatraz” for dog crates, it has been known to have some defects in the welds. The Parpet Empire seems to do better at putting out good kennels.
- Sliding-rod locks: This is the same rod-style door lock system as the Guardian. Which is fairly easy to slide open for “escape artists”. I would recommend getting a padlock for either cage.
- Smaller wheels: The wheels are slightly less heavy-duty than the Guardian. Although it does not hinder it’s maneuverability that much. The drawback is very minor.
The Bottom Line:
The Parpet Empire crate has almost the exact same setup as the Gaurdian Gear Pro Select. While the Parpet’s wheels are slightly smaller, it makes up in weld quality.
It’s twin, (The Guardian Pro Select) has already made a name for itself as the “Alcatraz” of crates; there have been a small percentage of cases where some of the welds were defective.These crates are both a higher price range than the previously mentioned crates, so maybe leaning towards the Parpet would be s safer buy for the investment.
If you are going for super tough and very indestructible, they are very sturdy crates. The Parpet is slightly less maneuverable, yet does not seem to have the few “duds in the bunch” that the Gaurdian seems to have.
They both have the same lock setup that is pretty easy to open for a “Houdini” dog; so with either one, buying a padlock is recommended. These crates are both a higher price range than the previously mentioned crates, so leaning towards the Parpet would probably be s safer buy for the investment.
Recap – Making the Right Choice for You and Your Dog
- Lucky Dog Uptown Wire Kennel – best for outdoors
- Luckup Heavy Duty Crate – best overall value
- Smonter “Y” Frame Dog Crate – best for style
- Genlinzon Rooftop Crate – best for space
- Guardian Gear Pro Select – tied most durable
- Parpet Empire Crate – tied for most durable
If you have a big dog that has chewed through crates in the past and damaged furniture, they may have separation anxiety and require a stronger cage than a basic wire crate to ensure they stay safe as well as your furniture.
Our pick for top-notch outdoor crate is the Lucky Dog Uptown. While we found that the Luckup has the best value for its functionality and useful features.
If the overall look of the crate is important to you, then the Smonter Y-Frame has a beautiful look. Also, we found the Gelinzon Rooftop to be a unique looking cage. It would be a good buy if you want to go for looks, and have a tall dog that needs some head room.
Finally, for the strongest dog crates, we picked the Guardian Gear Pro Select, as it claims to be the “Alcatraz” of dog cages. However, It has been known to have a few welding defects in some of them. There are other options such as the Parpet Empire crate, which are almost exactly alike; except less “buggy”.
Overall, you’ll want to make sure the crate you get not only does its job to safely contain, it should also suit you and your dog’s specific needs. It helps to have an idea of what features are most important to you before buying; so you can give your big pup exactly what they need from their crate. They are definateley worth it!