Everybody needs their own personal space, even our pets. As descendants of wolves, dogs like to have a place to rest. Crates are created to mimic that den-like environment where they can give into their natural instincts and yet stay in the safe environment within our homes.
There are different types of crates on the market to suit your dog’s needs. They range from small lightweight crates for your poodle to or a heavy duty dog crate for large breed dogs.
Many owners prefer heavy duty dog kennels (or crates) because not only are they long-lasting, but they are suitable for owners with “escape-artist” dogs.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Is Crating a Dog a Good Practice?
- Good Crate Practice
- Crate Training Your Dog
- How To Choose The Right Dog Crate?
- How To Measure Your Dog for the Crate?
- Dog Crate Sizes Chart for All Popular Breeds
- Why Do You Need Heavy Duty Dog Crate?
- Features of Heavy Duty Escape-Proof Dog Crates
- List of Our Recommended Heavy Duty Dog Crates
- Heavy Duty Dog Cages for Some Popular Dog Breeds
Is Crating a Dog a Good Practice?
People have conflicting opinions when it comes to crate or kennel training their dogs. Some think that locking up pets is cruel and even borders on animal abuse; however, in reality, kennel training a dog can be a lifesaver for owners.
Crates solve a lot of important issues like preparing your dog for travel, restraining your dog from their usual mischief in the house when you’re not around (e.g chewing up shoes and scratching the walls).
Actually, in many cases, a crate or kennel can help a dog who is suffering from separation anxiety from their owners.
Creating a personal space that a dog can call their own will give them a sense of security. This requires proper training through positive reinforcement and care.
The crate acts as a safe haven for your dog; it will encourage them not to misbehave up and house train your dog.
Good Crate Practice
Like every training out there, crate or kennel training can be abused. Do not keep your dog in the crate indefinitely with the hope they will simply learn to adapt. This will create a traumatic experience for your dog and they may act out aggressively. With care, you have to ease your pet into the process—including making sure that the crate is warm, comfortable and has a few toys.
Crate Training Your Dog
It’s good practice to start training your dog from an early stage. Feed him close to the crate and help them feel comfortable and relaxed around it.
Then, gradually leave their food in the crate so that they have to go inside to eat. Keep track of their behavior; if they don’t want to go in, gently encourage him inside, keeping the door open.
It is essential that you reassure your puppy if they get agitated once inside the crate. Call them out to join you and praise them when they respond does.
Make your puppy feel like that he’s free to go in and out from the crate.
Now here comes the hard part—locking the crate with your puppy inside.
Start in small time increments, keeping them inside for only a minute or so, and don’t leave his sight. Let them roam around freely after that and praise them with generous pats.
Do this a few times a day—only if your puppy feels comfortable around the crate. Increase the time by a few minutes every few days.
Now when it comes to adult dogs, it requires a little more effort. Do you know the phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, it’s hard to break old habits and ways of doing things and introduce new habits. That’s why adult dogs require a different approach to crate training.
Your dog’s age, breed, temperament, and past experiences will all factor into the training; some dogs take longer than others to learn, but all you need to really do is be patient and positive. Your dog will learn with your help.
Try to tire your dog out prior to training, and by this I mean to go on a long walk, do some exercise or play catch with them.
Basically, make your dog tired so that they will crave comfort—comfort is the key to any animal’s heart. So, make the crate as cozy and inviting as possible for your dog.
Next, it’s basically the same way you would crate train your puppy.
First, make your dog comfortable around it—leave their food nearby or even inside the crate.
Then close the door and make your dog stay inside the crate for a few minutes, only if they are comfortable.
Finally, after a few days, you can increase the time.
The main reason for crate training is so that your dog/puppy can stay tucked away for a period of time when needed—usually overnight or traveling when you can’t supervise them.
So, be patient and consistent with them and in time they will learn that it’s a temporary home, not a prison.
Under no circumstance, a dog or a puppy should not be left alone in a crate for extended periods of time. They must be given time to play and walk around!
How To Choose The Right Dog Crate?
Choosing the proper dog crate is an essential part of a dog’s crate training system. There are various factors you need to keep in mind before making your purchase. Here is a checklist for you:
- Your dog’s size (small, medium or large)
- Dog’s age (puppy or adult)
- Your dog’s resting place (den-like or open visibility)
- Temperament on your dog (destructive or escape artist)
- Climate (ventilated or insulated)
- Style of your home (depending on your décor)
- Travel friendliness (if you frequently take your dogs on travel)
Getting the right size crate is important for your dog: the crate shouldn’t be too cramped for your dog to move, but you don’t want one with too much space either.
A properly measured crate will allow your dog to turn around and sit up easily without hitting their head on the top.
The crate should be spacious enough so that they can stretch while lying on their side.
How To Measure Your Dog for the Crate?
Before getting a crate, it’s a good idea to measure your dog properly. Get some measuring tape and chalk and measure your dog’s length and height. The width will be proportional, so no need to measure that.
First, have your dog stand against a wall with his bottom against the wall and measure the length from nose to the base of his tail. No need to measure the tail unless your dog has a very hard, thick tail.
Then, add 2 inches (5 cm) for smaller dogs and 4 inches (10 cm) for larger dogs to allow ample moving room.
You now have the minimum length required for your dog’s crate. (See, it’s easy!)
When measuring height, tell your dog to sit. Then measure his upright position from floor to the highest point of his head. If your dog has upright ears, make sure to measure up to the tip of his ears.
Again, add 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) for moving room. Now you have a minimum height for your dog crate.
Note that these measurements are for the minimum dog crate size appropriate to your breed. Getting a crate which is a few inches bigger wouldn’t be a problem at all; however, since crates are used as a training tool, getting a crate that’s too large would be counterproductive.
There is always an option to buy crates for your puppy as he grows, if budget is not an issue, using the same method above, but we don’t really recommend that.
Try spending the minimum amount on any kind of crate until your puppy becomes an adult, at which point you can move on to stylish and expensive crates.
Here’s a good money saving tip:
Buy a resizable crate—they will be well within your budget and this way, you can slowly adjust the crate as your dog grows from puppy to adulthood.
Besides saving a lot of money, it will also save you a good deal of hassle.
Dog Crate Sizes Chart for All Popular Breeds
Check out the size chart for popular and common dog breeds. This will help you in getting the right sized crate for your pet.
Keep in mind that puppies may require different crate sizes. Please note that only general measurements are given here.
#1 Dog Crate Sizes for Extra Small Dog Breeds
Extra small dog breeds or toy breeds are dogs weighing between 1-10 lbs and has a height ranging from 6″-12″ inches. Check out the crate sizes best for these breeds:
#2 Dog Crate Sizes for Small Dog Breeds
For dogs weighing between 11-25 lbs and with height ranging from 13″-17″ inches, these sizes of crates would be appropriate:
#3 Dog Crate Sizes for Medium Dog Breeds
Medium size dog breeds have a weight range of 26-40 lbs. They generally have a height measuring 18″-19″ inches. See the chart size below for medium-sized dog breeds:
#4 Dog Crate Sizes for Intermediate Dog Breeds
Intermediate dog breeds are larger than medium-sized dog breeds but smaller than large-sized. They generally weigh around 41-70 lbs with a height ranging from 20″-22″ inches. Check out their crate sizes:
#5 Dog Crate Sizes for Large Dog Breeds
Heavy duty crates are essential for large dog breeds. They weigh between 71-90 lbs and have a height ranging from 23″-26″ inches. Here are the crate sizes appropriate for them:
#6 Dog Crate Sizes for Extra Large Dog Breeds
Common Xl dog breeds include Giant Schnauzers, Greyhounds, and Rottweilers. They weigh from 91-110 lbs and have a height of 26″-28″ inches. The chart below will give you an idea of what crate size to buy for your dog.
#7 Dog Crate Sizes for XXL Giant Dog Breeds
These dog breeds are the largest and require very large crates to house them. Wire and plastic crates are useless as their sheer size and muscle power will break them apart. They generally weight over 110 lbs and can get as big as 40″ inches in height. Check out the crate sizes appropriate for XXL dog breeds:
Why Do You Need Heavy Duty Dog Crate?
Some dogs are really clever and love to cause mischief around the house. Even though we love them to bits, it’s frustrating to come home to find scratched-up walls, broken vases, and destroyed upholstery.
What’s most surprising is if this happens after they’ve been properly crate trained. The thing is, sometimes dogs escape their space, and maybe even destroy the crate in the process, to cause mayhem around the house.
Heavy duty crates are specially designed to keep these “escape-artist” dogs confined.
Here are a few common methods dogs use to break open the standard crates.
- Chewing on weak spots and connectors—metal connectors are used to join the sides of the crate together to form a box. Dogs can easily chew through these flimsy joints and spring open the crate.
- Operating the latch—standard crates come with very simple locking mechanisms. They are so simple that dogs, after some trial and error, learn to open them with ease.
- Using force—not just large breed dogs, but even smaller breeds will sometimes use force to break free from their crates. They use their muscle and mass to simply bend apart or break apart the crate.
You have to remember that while we are busy with our lives, dogs have nothing but time to figure out ways to escape their confinement.
Features of Heavy Duty Escape-Proof Dog Crates
If you are blessed with a Houdini-like dog, you know that you need a heavy duty crate.
Keep in mind that not all the crates being sold on the market are “escape-proof”; However, heavy duty crates have certain advantages that normal crates do not, so it’s worth the distinction and any price difference.
One of the most important selling points of heavy duty crates is their durability. Even if you have a bad-tempered dog, a heavy duty crate is sufficient enough to keep them in one place for a defined time. Let’s just say, it’s safe to say that it will keep those escape artist dogs in.
Besides being heavy duty, these crates are also an investment. With various models to choose from, you can get away with using one heavy duty crate which will last a lifetime.
Most crate brands advertise a lot of things, but these are the important things you should look out for before buying a heavy crate.
They should be built from metal
A thin sheet of plastic may keep a cat confined, but not a dog. They will figure out a way to tear through any plastic or wire crate, especially if given enough time.
Go for solid walls with ventilation
Although there are many metal crates available, solid wall options are the best. Even the most gifted escape artists will fail to burrow through the solid steel walls.
The door is an important factor. Simple larches are often outsmarted by dogs. Select something with a latch that’s a little more complex and almost impossible for your dog to access or open.
As heavy duty dog crates are weighty, features like wheels and removable pans to clean up spills are a welcome addition.
Select something that gives you the maximum advantage without compromising security.
Checking these four options while buying any dog crate will definitely ensure you get the best heavy duty dog crate on the market.
List of Our Recommended Heavy Duty Dog Crates
We here at FeedFond have done all the research for you and found the best heavy duty dog kennels on the market.
Hopefully, one of these will meet your requirements and help you get that peace of mind, knowing your new sofa is intact and your dog is content.
#1 Zinger Winger DX5000 – Heavy Duty Dog Crate
The slam latch locks itself automatically and keeps your dog secure. The locks are high-quality and resistant to corrosion.
Zinger provides excellent ventilation and is designed so that your dog won’t feel any kind of discomfort when inside. Not only that, the aluminum makes it so that the crate dissipates heat quicker than steel so your pet inside will stay cool.
#2 Impact 400 – Heavy Duty Dog Kennels
Impact crates are known for their durability; it’s sure to become your new transport and storage option for your furry friend. Made from high-quality 0.063 aluminum, this crate is 20% lighter than any heavy duty dog kennels in the market.
Durability aside, it’s also very secure as it comes with a marine-grade slam latch.
The vents are designed to provide maximum airflow for pet comfort and side handles make it easy to carry.
#3 ProSelect Empire Dog Crate – A Heavy Duty Dog Cage
Proselect empire dog crate itself on making the strongest escape-proof kennels in the world. They use thick steel tube construction with heavy welding on joints.
They use paired door latches and can endure the toughest abuse from your dog.
Additional features of ProSelect include a floor grate with a tray for easy cleaning and removable caster for easy transport.
Heavy Duty Dog Cages for Some Popular Dog Breeds
The following crates are quite popular when it comes to heavy duty dog crates. They are well-made to hold just about any dog.
However, we have specially categorized the following crates based on breeds for making it easier to choose the right crate for their dog breeds.
Be sure to refer to the crate size guide before making a purchase.
#4 SmithBuilt – Heavy Duty Dog Crate for German Shepherds
German Shepherds are intelligent dogs. They are of the large breed so using plastic or wire-frame crates will only end up with them breaking out as a simple result of their muscle power. German Shepherds can sometimes be aggressive, which is why SmithBuilt heavy duty dog crate is a perfect choice when it comes to a dog crate.
Manufactured using sturdy steel, SmithBuilt is a brand trusted by professional breeders and handlers. Its open build helps the dog keep track of their surroundings and presence, minimizes anxiety and is the best fit for training purposes.
The steel has an ultra-durable finish which will last years. The floor is grated and has a pan that is easily removable. For improved portability, it also features caster wheels.
#5 SMONTER – Heavy Duty Dog Crate for Great Dane
Great Danes are generally gentle dogs, but conventional dog crates are unsuited for this giant breed. Due to the dog’s enormous size, normal crates buckle and are easily damaged. A heavy duty dog crate is recommended as they last long with this breed.
SMONTER heavy duty dog crates come with steel frames which are strong and durable—suited for large and giant breed dogs.
It has three doors which can be opened from the top: one big side door for access and another small door for feeding. It’s very easy to assemble and it’s both rust and corrosion-resistant.
#6 Pawhut – Heavy Duty Dog Crate For Pitbull
Pitbulls have incredible jaw strength and are intelligent enough to escape traditional dog cages. Buying a weak crate is a bad investment for any Pitbull owner as they will tear through them like cardboard in no time.
Pawhut constructed their heavy duty dog cages with gauge tubes made from high-quality steel—each bar is securely welded.
The dual side and top cage doors feature secure locks; in fact, they’re secure enough to discourage even the most persistent of dogs.
Pawhut crates come with a removable plastic pan and wheels for easy portability.
#7 Sliverylake – Heavy Duty Dog Crate For Lab
Labradors are cute and adorable, but when they are put into crates, they become Houdini-like escape artists. They will maneuver out of most crates in the market and require a heavy duty dog crate to keep them confined (for their own good, of course!)
Silverylake uses heavy-duty steel frames in the production of all of their crates. They pay special attention to each welding, making sure they won’t come apart with use.
It’s a sturdy construction with access from the top and both sides. The grated floor and steel tray ensures easy cleanup, when necessary.
At the end of the day, you are the best judge on deciding why your dog needs a crate and which crate you will buy for. We hope this guide is useful to you while you make the decision.
Heavy duty crates are most likely to be well accepted by you, as you know that your dog is in his safe place at the same time securing your fragile belongings, furniture, and walls. Your dog will also grow to love it as it will give them a private floor to stretch on after a particularly eventful day.
- Read More articles on dogs Here.