Big dog napping in dog crate

The Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

Heavy duty dog crates protect, hold, and house breeds large and small at home or while traveling. These crates are made of materials that can take the heavy wear and tear of a serious chewer or a strong, 125-pound dog. Think thick, high-grade steel, wheels for easier movement, and multiple locks to keep the dog secure when you’re not nearby.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Addie Reinhard, DVM, selected the crates on our list. The Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate rose to the top of the competition with its high-quality, thick steel, and tamper-resistant dual locks. It’s the kind of crate you can leave your dog in while you’re at work without worrying about the condition the crate, your dog, or your house will be in when you get home. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate

Half-inch, 22-gauge steel with welded stress points keeps dogs safe and secure.

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Dogs don’t naturally know how to use a crate, so don’t be surprised if he needs some training before he’s comfortable.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Heavy Duty Dog Crates

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Vet’s Picks Brand Rating Collapsible Wheels Dual Locks
Best Overall Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate 4.7
Best Budget Frisco Fold & Carry Single Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate 4.8
Best Escape Proof Impact High Anxiety Dog Crate 4.9
Best Extra Large MidWest Solutions Series XX-Large Heavy Duty Dog Crate 4.3
Best Metal ProSelect Empire Single Door Steel Dog Crate
4.7

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Heavy Duty Dog Crate

  • Owners of strong dog breeds – Some breeds like Pitbulls are known for the strength, and they can quickly tear apart a flimsy crate.
  • Pet parents with a large dog  – Heavy duty dog crates are helpful for trips to the vet, when company arrives, or when the dog needs a break.
  • Pet parents of anxious dogs – Anxious dogs of any size can get destructive, and a crate keeps them safe and out of trouble while you’re away.1

Who Should Not Buy a Heavy Duty Dog Crate

  • Small dog owners – While too large is better than too small, small breeds don’t need the same security or durability features as large dogs. However, if you’ve got a heavy chewer, some heavy duty dog crates come in sizes that fit smaller dogs.
  • Owners of calm dogs – If you’ve got a calm dog that’s more reminiscent of a sloth than a cyclone, you probably don’t need a heavy duty crate.

Research Tips (from a Veterinarian)

During veterinary visits, I often get asked by pet parents how to choose the best heavy duty dog crate. These tips and tricks will help you select the best model for your circumstances and dog. A dog crate can be expensive, so it is vital to do ample research when planning your purchase.

Don’t forget to ask your dog trainer or veterinarian for their product recommendations. They’re better acquainted with your dog and can often be a great resource when shopping for a dog crate.

  1. Steel construction – Steel-constructed frames are the sturdiest on the market. Avoid dog crates made of plastic or wood as they’re easily destroyed, especially if you have an anxious or mischievous pup. While some crates are partially made of steel, the more steel (as in all-steel), the more durable the crate.
  2. Steel thickness – Thick, half-inch steel can withstand heavy biting and tugging. The thinner the steel, the more likely your dog will be to escape. Thin steel may also bend when chewed.
  3. Sturdy hinges and latches – Often, a dog crate’s weakest points are the hinges and latches. Closely inspect the hinges and latches, looking for sturdy construction and quality materials that won’t buckle or bend when the dog puts pressure on them.
  4. Size – Be sure to choose a crate size that’s appropriate for your dog. Your dog should be able to stand, turn around, and stretch easily in the crate.2 A 24 to 30-inch crate is a good size for a small breed. For large dogs, veterinarians usually recommend at least a 42-inch crate. When in doubt, a larger crate is better.
  5. Collapsible – Collapsible crates can travel with you while you’re on vacation and store easily when not in use.
  6. Adequate ventilation – If your dog will spend a lot of time in the crate, the crate needs excellent ventilation. Without proper ventilation, the dog crate can become hot, moist, and uncomfortable.3
  7. Dual locks – Look for a crate with at least two locks, known as a dual lock system. A dual locking dog crate system offers better security for canine escape artists. The second lock can give you peace of mind that your dog will stay safe and sound in his crate until you return.
  8. Wheels/casters – Heavy duty crates can be heavy, especially if they’re made entirely of steel. Models with wheels or casters let you more easily move the crate through your home.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $100 and $600

The crate size and material make the biggest difference in the price. Heavy duty, all-steel crates typically start around $150 and can cost as much as $500 or $600 for extra-large sizes. Thick, half-inch steel tubing is found at the top of this price range. Thinner steel and collapsible models can cost less than $100, but you’ll still probably pay over $100 for a collapsible crate for a large dog.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

As a veterinarian and large dog owner, I have ample experience with heavy duty dog crates, both at the veterinary hospital and at home. I selected these products based on my personal and professional experience.

My selection process involves careful consideration of key qualities and features, like sturdiness and material quality. I generated this list by selecting products from reputable brands and made sure they have a history of customer satisfaction. Finally, heavy duty dog crates need to last, so I chose crates that I believe could stand the test of time! – Dr. Addie Reinhard, DVM

The Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate

Half-inch, 22-gauge steel with welded stress points keeps dogs safe and secure.

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The Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate features sturdy half-inch tubing made of 22-gauge steel. It’s specifically designed for dogs who chew their way through plastic and burst through thinner steel without an afterthought. The coated steel’s hammer-tone finish resists the rust that forms when chewers sink in their teeth. Stress points at the corners and edges are reinforced with welded seams.

The heavy duty design extends to the dual lock system. Both locks are positioned so that dogs cannot manipulate them from inside the crate. If you’ve got an escape artist on your hands, chances are he will have met his match with these locks. In total, this heavy duty crate weighs 103 pounds. However, it’s still maneuverable thanks to four casters/wheels on the bottom.

Pros
  • Heavy, half-inch, 22-gauge steel
  • Tamper-resistant dual locks
  • Weld-reinforced stress points
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Not collapsible
Best Budget

An expandable design lets you adjust the crate to fit your dog as he grows.

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The Frisco Fold & Carry Single Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate offers security for rambunctious dogs without breaking the bank. It comes in seven sizes, so chewers and escape artists of all shapes will stay secure. The initial purchase includes a divider, so you can adapt the size as your dog grows. The largest five models also feature dual latches. A removable plastic pan offers easier cleaning, too.

This collapsible model offers security when you’re on the road. Weighing in at only 23 pounds, it’s portable and collapses for easy storage when not in use.

Pros
  • Dual latch system
  • Collapsible
  • Lightweight
  • Includes divider panel
Cons
  • Thinner steel
  • May not work for highly anxious dogs
Best Escape Proof

Impact High Anxiety Crate

This tough crate is designed for destructive dogs, including those with severe anxiety.

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The Impact High Anxiety Crate protects pups whose anxiety can lead them to destroy their crates and harm themselves in the process. This intense design is made of thick aluminum. Aluminum’s strength rivals steel but with much less weight. Consequently, this crate is a great option for frequent travelers. It even includes airline rails for easier airplane transport.

The Impact goes well beyond a dual lock system with four butterfly latches that are unreachable for the dog. All the seams are welded, creating a single piece of aluminum. Each corner is reinforced with stackable corners. With all that security, it still includes 360-degree ventilation. Finally, a paddle slam latch offers secure control over entry and exit.

Pros
  • Four butterfly latches
  • Thick but lightweight aluminum
  • Airline rails
  • Paddle slam latch
Cons
  • Cannot collapse
  • Less ventilation than other models
Best Extra Large

MidWest Solutions Series XX-Large Heavy Duty Dog Crate

This 54-inch dog crates fits some of the largest of the large breeds.

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The MidWest Solutions Series XX-Large Heavy-Duty Dog Crate comes in an impressive 54-inch size for large breeds like Great Danes and Wolfhounds. It features two doors, each with a triple lock system to help your dog enter or exit. Corner drop pins keep the crate secure after assembly.

Due to the size of the crate, it includes an L-bar safety feature that prevents the sides from bowing inward after assembly. That leaves the dog plenty of room to move around until you get home. Lastly, a moveable plastic tray provides access for easier cleaning.

Pros
  • Large, 54-inch size
  • Double doors with three latches each
  • Removable plastic tray
Cons
  • Cannot collapse
  • No wheels or carrying handles
Best Metal

ProSelect Empire Single Door Steel Dog Crate

Half-inch tube made of 20-gauge steel keeps dogs in while you’re away.

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The ProSelect Empire Single Door Steel Dog Crate features half-inch thick, 20-gauge steel tubing with welds at the stress points. That kind of construction resists escape attempts and the anxiety of large, strong dogs. The dual lock system features latches that stay out of reach of your dog’s teeth or paws.

The hammer-tone coating and finish resist rust, corrosion, and bite marks. Cleaning is made easier with a removable steel pan. With all that steel weighing in at 75 pounds, you’ll need the four locking casters to move it around the house.

Pros
  • 1/2″ thick 20-gauge steel tubing
  • Tamper-resistant dual locks
  • Removable metal tray
  • Locking casters
Cons
  • Cannot collapse
  • Heavy

Frequently Asked Questions

Should dogs sleep in crates?

Dogs can sleep in crates at night if it helps everyone, including you, sleep better. However, it’s not absolutely necessary. Some dogs get into trouble by chewing through pillows and cushions if they’re left to their own devices during the night. In that case, a crate keeps him secure and protects your house.

Puppies usually sleep better in a crate because they learn to sleep through the night. It also keeps them out of trouble and from waking you up all night long. Once they’ve been trained to sleep through the night, they may not need a crate to stay in their bed. It depends on the dog.

How do I know what size dog crate to get?

Take a few measurements before buying a dog crate, including the dog’s height and length. Compare those measurements to the manufacturer’s size chart. The dog should have enough clearance to turn around, stand up, and stretch in the crate.4 That typically means at least two to four inches of clearance on all sides.

Should you crate a dog with separation anxiety?

Yes, a crate can actually be helpful for dogs with separation anxiety. While the dog is in training to deal with their anxiety, a crate acts as a safe, familiar place for them.5 Crates also give them a safe place when they’re going to do something stressful, like get shots at the vet’s office or stay at a kennel while you’re on vacation.

It will take time for the dog to feel comfortable in the crate, but with consistency, it can become your dog’s refuge when he’s feeling anxious. The crate will also keep him from destructive behaviors when you’re away.

Do dogs need to be crate trained?

Of course, you don’t have to crate train your dog if you don’t want to. However, it does hold distinct benefits for you and your dog.

Dogs dislike urinating where they sleep.6 Consequently, crate training acts as the first stage of house training a puppy. They learn to hold their bladder until they can relieve themselves outside of the crate. Crate-trained dogs are also easier to transport for travel or even simple trips to the vet. It can also prevent your dog from tearing your house apart when you’re away.

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Rooney NJ, Clark CCA, Casey RA. Minimizing fear and anxiety in working dogs: A review. Journal of Veterinary Behavior. 2016;16:53-64. doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2016.11.001
  2. Hurt M, Daigle C, Croney C. Promoting the Welfare of Kenneled Dogs: Space Allocations and Exercise. Purdue.edu. Published February 2015. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  3. Gunner. Why Are Dog Kennel Ventilation Systems Important? Gunner.com. Published March 30, 2016. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  4. Hurt M, Daigle C, Croney C. Promoting the Welfare of Kenneled Dogs: Space Allocations and Exercise. Purdue.edu. Published February 2015. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  5. Lloyd JKF. Minimising stress for patients in the veterinary hospital: Why it is important and what can be done about it. Veterinary Sciences. 2017; 4(2):22. DOI: 10.3390/vetsci4020022
  6. American Humane. Housetraining Puppies & Dogs. Americanhumane.org. Published August 25, 2016. Accessed March 18, 2021.
Dr. Addie Reinhard
Dr. Addie Reinhard is an experienced companion animal veterinarian. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and currently practices in the central Kentucky region. She has special interests in client communication, preventative care, dermatology, and creating helpful educational resources for pet parents. She lives in Lexington, KY with her husband, greyhound, and four cats.