The Best Heavy Duty & Escape Proof Dog Crates



K9 of Mine Staff


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best escape proof dog crates

Coming home to find that your four-footer has escaped his crate — and probably destroyed it and your home in the process — is a frustrating problem for many dog owners.

But fortunately, there are a number of Alcatraz-like crates on the market, specifically designed to keep these escape-prone pups contained.

Quick Picks: Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates

9 of Our Favorite Heavy Duty Dog Crates: Escape Proof & Indestructible!

pug metal cage

While no crate or kennel can ever be expected to be completely escape-proof, the following options are among the best available.

1. Impact High Anxiety Dog Crate

About: The Impact High Anxiety Dog Crate is specifically engineered to contain even the roughest, toughest canines. Featuring four additional butterfly latches and a welded aluminum structure, it’s a premium pup-proof design. It even has extra small, rounded ventilation holes that are too tiny for a dog’s nails or teeth to get into, protecting your pooch from getting hurt when in a panic.


Sizing Details:

  • 30″ Model (30.5″ L x 20.5″ W x 26″ H)
  • 34″ Model (34.5″ L x 23″ W x 29″ H)
  • 40″ Model (40.5″ L x 23″ W x 29″ H)
  • 40″+ Model (40.5″ L x 27.5″ W x 34″ H)
  • 48″ Model (48.5″ L x 32.5″ W x 36″ H)


  • Specifically designed for dogs suffering from separation anxiety
  • Aluminum-sheet construction more escape-resistant than wire-style crates
  • Well-ventilated yet provides a comforting den-like interior
  • Comes with a 10-year dog damage protection warranty


  • Very expensive
  • No designated tie-down points (the manufacturer states the handles can be used, but actual tie-downs would be better)
We tested the Impact High Anxiety Crate for two years!

Impact High Anxiety Crate Review Feature Image

K9 of Mine managing editor Ben Team tried the Impact High Anxiety Dog Crate with his pooches over the course of two years.

See what he and his doggos thought of it (spoiler alert: They loved it).

2. SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate

About: SMONTER’s Heavy Duty Dog Crate is an American-made strong dog kennel that comes with wheels that you can connect, allowing you to move the crate to different parts of your home depending on your needs. There’s a plastic tray underneath the pen as well, allowing for quick and easy cleaning in the event of accidents or simply refreshing your pup’s space. SMONTER also prides themselves on how easy it is to put together this crate – just a few screws, and you’re good to go.


  • Steel frame is tough enough to keep your canine in check with galvanized square tubing and thick wall pipping with 2-inch spacing between bars
  • Metal frame is also treated with rust and corrosion-resistant materials, ensuring that this kennel is built to last
  • Doors include double locks, making it tougher for lock-picking pooches to escape
  • Available in Brown and Dark Silver

Sizing Details:

  • 38″ Model (37.5″ L x 25.5″ W x 31.5″ H)
  • 42″ Model (42″ L x 31″ W x 37″ H)
  • 46″ Model (46″ L x 32″ W x 39″ H)


  • Wheeled base makes for easy movement and locks in place when not needed
  • Strong frame can withstand escape attempts, even by strong, heavy doggos
  • Easy to assemble


  • Latch-licking pups can sometimes unlatch the door, though carabiners could help
  • More cons

3. LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate

About: The LuckUp Heavy Duty Dog Crate is an indestructible dog crate designed to prevent your pup from escaping, yet still features a split-door design in larger designs for letting small woofers out and about as needed without opening the entire door. The door also doubles as an access point for feeding your floof in a flash. Cleaning is simple, too, courtesy of the slide-out plastic tray beneath the slotted floor and locking caster wheels.


  • Made of rust and corrosion-resistant steel treated with a non-toxic finish
  • Duo or trio of locks (size dependent) helps keep your canine escape artist contained
  • Available in Dark Silver, Silver, and Grey finishes
  • Simple assembly, as the crate comes pre-assembled — just screw in the wheels

Sizing Info:

  • 38″ Model (37.5″ L x 25.5″ W x 32″ H)
  • 42″ Model (41.5″ L x 30.5″ W x 37″ H)
  • 46″ Model (46″ L x 32″ W x 39″ H)


  • Split-style door, pull-out cleaning tray, and wheels make this one all-around convenient kennel
  • Most pawrents are pleased with the durability of this pen and ease of assembly
  • Pricing isn’t too steep, considering the quality


  • Some pet parents complained the door latches weren’t the sturdiest, with the screws loosening with repeated use
  • Smaller size doesn’t have a split door style

4. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

About: The ProSelect Empire Dog Cage is one of the toughest escape-proof kennels around and perfectly sized for medium to large-sized canines. Featuring a thick steel tube construction, heavy-duty welds, and paired door latches, the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage is made to take whatever abuse your dog can dish out. The ProSelect also has a grated floor and a tray to catch any unmentionables that fall through. The tray can simply be removed for easy cleaning.


  • Designed specifically for powerful dogs with dual latches and a welded frame
  • Long-lasting, high-grade hammerstone finish
  • Includes four removeable 4-inch-tall wheels (two of which are locking wheels)
  • Made in Taiwan

Sizing Info: 

  • Medium (37″ L x 25.3″ W x 33.8″ H)
  • Large (42.3″ L x 30.8″ W x 41.3″ H)


  • Sizes work great for most medium and large breeds
  • Most parents are pleased with the performance and strength of this heavy-duty dog kennel
  • Easy-to-remove tray makes cleaning more convenient


  • This is one big, bulky, heavy kennel
  • Some owners complained the bars peel when chewed

5. KELIXU Heavy Duty Dog Crate

About: Give your gentle giant plenty of headroom with KELIXU’s Heavy Duty Dog Crate, an innovative heavy-duty canine kennel gifting your barkin’ bestie space with a pitched ceiling. The steel frame is tough enough to keep even the most determined escape artists inside, while the kennel itself remains easy to assemble, only requiring you to screw in the wheels upon delivery.


  • Wheeled base makes moving the sizeable crate easier
  • Removable tray and lifting roof panel allow for easier cleaning
  • Triple door locks and double roof latches keep your pupper in place
  • Made in China

Sizing Info:

  • Single Size (48″ L x 29″ W x 51″ H)


  • Ample space for jumbo doggos, including Great Danes
  • Ease of assembly a win with most pet parents
  • House-like pitched roof is unique and doggone cute


  • Some owners had issues with crates arriving dented, though this could very well be a shipping issue rather than manufacturing
  • Made in China

6. SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Crate

About: The SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Crate is a heavy-duty, expertly crafted crate designed to be durable and last for years but it won’t sink your budget as much as most heavy-duty kennels. It is not only made from thick, tubular steel, it is coated in a multi-layer protective coating that will not stain, rust or retain odors.


  • Includes removable steel tray and four casters (two are of the locking variety)
  • Features both side and top door for improved access
  • Side door features two slide-bolt locks, the top door features one slide-bolt lock
  • Made in China

Sizing Info:

  • Small (36″ L x 24″ W x 29″ H )
  • Medium (42″ L x 30″ W x 34″ H )
  • Large (48″ L x 33″ W x 37″ H)


  • Affordable price point when compared to other heavy-duty kennels
  • Most owners praise the construction of this tough dog kennel
  • Removable tray and wheels make cleaning an easier task


  • Made in China
  • A few owners ran into manufacturing defects (though this can happen with any product)

7. Lucky Kennel

About: The Lucky Kennel takes safety and security seriously, with this one-piece rotomolded kennel engineered to withstand the rigors of travel — including crashes. In fact, this heavy-duty crate received a 5-star crash test rating from the Center for Pet Safety. It comes with integrated powder-coated tie-downs, non-slip rubber feet, and handles for lifting. The door features a locking paddle latch, plus corner locking pins for additional support.


  • Hardy yet lightweight design, with this kennel weighing 38 or 45 pounds, depending on size
  • Can purchase a customizable nameplate for a personalized touch
  • Well-ventilated with a pitched floor and drainage holes for keeping messes away from your pup
  • Made in the United States

Sizing Info:

  • Intermediate (33″ L x 23″ W x 25″ H)
  • Large (38″ L x 24″ W x 29″ H)


  • 5-star crash rating makes it a top-notch choice for travel
  • Locking paddle latch harder for canines to figure out
  • Non-slip rubber feet and tie-downs keep the kennel from slipping around during outings


  • This kennel is pricey
  • Not as much visibility for canines as some other kennels (though this suits many anxious canine travelers)

Containing your canine on the go is just as important as keeping him safe at home. Check out our overview of the best dog crates and carriers for car travel and find the right match for your mutt.

8. Confote Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Dog Crate

About: Confote Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Dog Crate has all the shine you could want plus a powerful construction that’ll keep escape artists inside. The dual door locks aren’t easy for puppers to “pick,” including those canines known for licking their way to freedom. The crate’s bars offer plenty of visibility and ventilation, too, all while withstanding your floof’s chewing and nudges.


  • Slide-out tray allows for easy cleanup
  • Locking wheels make moving this crate around much easier
  • Double door design gives you more access to your pooch
  • Frame is made of non-toxic, waterproof stainless steel that’s welded for maximum strength

Sizing Info:

  • Single Size (48″ L x 31″ W x 31″ H)


  • Stainless steel construction and shiny exterior offer an eye-catching look and strength
  • Pricing isn’t too outrageous, given the quality
  • Wheeled base makes moving the crate around less arduous


  • Shiny material may get hot in sunny parts of the house
  • Some pawrents find the finish too garish

9. SMONTER Heavy Duty Y-Shape Metal Dog Crate

About: Keep your canine safely in place without sacrificing your style with the SMONTER Heavy Duty Y-Shape Metal Dog Crate, a relatively more decor-friendly heavy-duty kennel with its Brown or Dark Silver finishes and Y-shaped metal panel tops. Best suited for medium or large breed doggos, this kennel has a pull-out tray for convenient cleaning, plus a slatted floor for keeping wet messes away from your pupper’s paws.


  • Doors have 3 stainless steel locks for added security
  • Split-style door makes slipping your sniffer food or toys more convenient
  • Wheels make moving this heavy kennel around easier and lock in place when not needed
  • Made of welded steel bar with non-toxic finishes to protect against rust and corrosion

Sizing Info:

  • 38″ Model (38″ L x 25.5″ W x 32″ H)
  • 42″ Model (41.5″ L x 30.5″ W x 37″ H)


  • Lattice-top look is more attractive than most heavy-duty kennels
  • Most pawrents are pleased with the performance of this canine kennel
  • Sizing ideal for medium to large breeds


  • Pretty heavy
  • Latches are weak, though carabiners help

How Dogs Typically Escape Standard Crates

To have a good chance at keeping your dog inside his crate, you’ll need to understand how most dogs get out of kennels in the first place.

While there are endless variations on these themes, most dogs use one of the following three methods for springing themselves loose.

1. Chewing on Connectors and other Weak Spots

Many standard wire dog crates use small metal connectors to keep the sides together and the door mounted properly.

Many dogs will simply mangle these relatively flimsy pieces with their mouth, pull them off, and burst through the resulting opening.

2. Manipulating the Latch

If your dog is more brain surgeon than trap-jaw, he may simply futz with the latch mechanism until he figures out how to open the door. Some determined doggos even manage to do so by licking the latch!

While the initial attempts to work a latch often look clumsy and random, dogs often learn how to work latches with remarkable speed after figuring it out and practicing a few times.

3. Brute Force

Many dogs, even relatively small ones, will simply use their muscles and mass to bend apart bars. They may incorporate a bit of mouth-work at times, but dogs will often just force their head between the metal bars (or any other perceived weakness) until they bend them enough to fit their body through.

Dogs may combine some of these techniques as necessary to achieve freedom, and some crates provide them with unique and specific opportunities to try. Don’t forget that your dog has nothing but time, energy and the drive to get out – don’t expect him to give up easily.

Features You Want in an Escape-Proof, Heavy Duty Dog Crate

Lab in metal dog cafe

If you’re faced with a dog that could break out of Fort Knox, you’ll eventually need to consider using a heavy-duty crate, designed specifically for these types of challenging pups.

However, not all crates marketed as “escape-proof” or “heavy-duty” live up to their name. And while no crate is 100% effective, 100% of the time, with 100% of dogs, there are a number of features and characteristics that are usually associated with the most resilient kennels. For example:

Heavy-duty crates should be built from metal. A flimsy sheet of plastic may discourage escape attempts by calm dogs, but those with severe separation anxiety will tear through plastic at mind-blowing speed. Not all metals are completely dog-proof, but most are substantially better options than other materials.

 Crates with solid (ventilated) walls are usually the most secure options. While there are a variety of durable crates made with tubular steel or metal wire walls, dogs occasionally manage to escape from these types of walls. By contrast, even the most gifted escape artists are unable to tunnel through solid walls.

 Crates that feature a removable pan and wheels provide additional convenience without compromising security. Removable pans make it easier to clean up spills or accidents, and wheels are often very handy, given the weight of most heavy-duty crates.

 Good crates never sacrifice ventilation for security. No matter how hard it is to keep your dog inside his crate, you cannot compromise his well-being and comfort. Poorly ventilated crates can become damp and stagnant very quickly, which can foster bacterial proliferation. They’re also plain uncomfortable for your pup and even dangerous, especially for brachycephalic dog breeds.

 The best crates rely on latches that are inaccessible to your dog. Many dogs learn to outsmart simple barrel locks, so you’ll want to select a crate that uses latches that are more difficult for your dog to manipulate. Slam latches, which engage automatically when the door is shut, are usually among the most effective in this regard.

Tips and Tricks to Thwart Houdini Dogs

best heavy duty dog crates

Even the best dog crates fail to keep some canines contained, and owners are often required to use a little ingenuity to make their crates truly escape-proof. Some of the best tips and tricks for fortifying your pup’s crate include:

 If possible, observe your dog’s escape attempts to see how he is getting out. You may need to hide in another room or use a webcam to do so, as most dogs will wait until their owner is out of sight before breaking free. Once you see how he is escaping, you can concentrate your efforts on reinforcing the weakness he is exploiting.

 If your dog is escaping by forcing apart the crate seams, consider using carabiners or some other type of metal hardware to reinforce these places. Never use things through which your dog can chew, such as zip ties, rope or duct tape. Not all metal carabiners and similar connectors are dog-proof, but high-quality products usually are relatively immune to your dog’s jaws.

 Providing your dog with a beloved toy can help give him something to do besides perfecting his escape routine. Just be sure that you select a toy that is safe to leave with your unattended pup.

 Tire out your pooch before putting him in the crate. Exercise is an important aspect of general dog care, but it can also help prevent escapes. Exercise can drain your dog of the energy necessary to bust out, and it will frequently just encourage him to go to sleep. Be sure to add a brain component, as the best canine enrichment activities put your mutt’s mind to work, too.

 Experiment with different crate placements. Sometimes, you can reduce your dog’s desire to escape from his kennel by placing it in a different location. You may find, for example, that by placing him within view of a window, he stops trying to escape as much. You may also find that the opposite – eliminating his view of squirrels and pedestrians – may calm him down more.

Got a rough & tough canine? Make sure to also check out our guides to indestructible dog toys and heavy duty dog leashes for hefty hounds!


Does your pooch find a way to bust out of every crate you’ve tried? Have you ever had a crate that worked exceptionally well? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!

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K9 of Mine Staff

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  1. Carrie Avatar

    I have a 4-year-old GSD that was a rescue with severe anxiety issues I went with the high anxiety crate from Impact crates yes they are expensive but if you consider how many crates you may buy before you realize that your dog can get through all of them plus the cost of vet bills fixing broken teeth

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Thanks for sharing, Carrie!

  2. Dyllan Barnes Avatar
    Dyllan Barnes

    Very good read! I am curious if you know about the High Anxiety dog crate from Impact Dog Crates? Comes with a 10-Year Dog Damage Warranty and there has not been a single escape from this crate. Not to mention it is specifically designed to prevent a dog from harming itself while trying to escape. Would love to get you some more information if you would like!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Dyllan.
      We are familiar with Impact Crates, and we’ve recommended them before in our heavy-duty crates article.
      We think they look pretty good, but they’re really expensive — prohibitively so for many owners.
      But thanks for sharing and checking out the site!

  3. James Chaburka Avatar
    James Chaburka

    Hi, I need a bigger cage like u make bigger cages?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hi, James. We don’t make products — we just review some of the leading ones on the market.
      I’m not familiar with any crates that are the size you describe. You may want to look at outdoor kennels. There are a few available that may be small enough for indoor use. Best of luck and thanks for reading!

  4. Kristy Skoog Avatar
    Kristy Skoog

    Hi. I am so confused with all the crate advice. I have a German shepherd with major separation anxiety. She was a rescue dog. Has lots of issues. The complete destruction of my house and going potty on the floor is what I can’t take any more. Shes 16 mos. old. Vet recommended Pro select. Its expensive for me. BUT I don’t want to buy anymore gates or crates!!! I don’t have any couches left. Shes eaten 3 doors, floor boards, etc… I don’t want to find her another home. I LOVE her , and who knows where she may end up when she destroys their things??! I need something that will last ! IF I have to put it on a credit card . so be it. Please let me know what you truly think the best bet would be to contain a crazy shepherd?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Kristy. ProSelect is definitely the most heavy duty of them all (but as you noted, VERY expensive). Have you tried this style of heavy duty crate before? If so, you might be able to get away trying a less expensive model like the SmithBuilt. Unfortunately, there are always some dogs who can break out, so really hard to say. Your best bet is the ProSelect, but I know I myself would probably try some of the other models first if I never tried any kind of heavy-duty style crate before.

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