On the budget end of the price range is the Smithbuilt self-proclaimed ‘Heavy Duty Dog Crate.’  This industrial looking dog crate is crafted using high-quality steel to make a strong, durable crate that will prove inescapable for a dog and will last for many years. The front door is locked with two slide bolt latches, and the top opening is secured with one. There have been reports that the locking mechanism is weak and can be hugely improved with a standard padlock bought separately. Smithbuilt has made this crate fade, rust, and corrosion resistant by covering it with a multi-layer finish that is better than the powder coat paints on other brands of a dog crate.

Just like with all other equipment, the market is oversaturated with various brands and models of so-called chew-proof and inescapable cages that can’t live up to the task. It can be really challenging to find one that will genuinely suit the needs of your dog, especially if you don’t know a lot about these items. Read our review guidlines for best heavy duty dog crates, and find everything that you need to know before purchasing one of them.
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Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “i owned a giant vari kennel for my yellow lab lance years ago and it was a must-have for our home with a high energy destructive puppy! as he became a senior, i got rid of it as it took up a lot of space. he was almost 16 years old when he passed this past march. we knew we would adopt another lab but were sure it would be awhile. less than a month later, we became foster failures when we adopted our year old black lab/great dane mix murphy. we will never…

For that matter, purchasing an indestructible crate for a dog is the owner’s best decision. It offers your pooch a safe place that they can use whenever they want. The dog won’t see the metal bars as something that keeps him imprisoned – he will, instead, see them as an integral part of his small cave that keeps him protected from the outside dangers. In other words, he won’t see his new crate as a negative space as long as you use it appropriately.
Crates that don’t close securely are pretty worthless, so you’ll want to make sure that any crate you select has high-quality latches. But beware of crates with exceptionally large latching mechanisms, as some dogs will learn how to open the door themselves.  If you have an especially escape-prone pooch, you’ll probably need a crate especially designed for Houdini dogs with double latches or more advanced locking mechanisms.
Some owners had a difficult time with the assembly instructions, claiming they needed to be clearer. This crate is also so big that the only way to really move it is to disassemble the entire unit, so not great for those who want a crate they can easily relocate. And as always, there were a few dogs who managed to make quick work of the crate, although this was relatively uncommon.
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Note that some authorities recommend adding 4 to 6 inches on top of your dog’s length when selecting the proper crate size, instead of the 2- to 4-inch guideline we prefer. This is fine if you’d prefer to scale up the crate a little bit, but understand that it is not a good idea to provide your dog with a crate that is too large. Doing so will eliminate some of the benefits crates provide (more on this later), so stay in the 2- to 6-inch range.


Making your dog crate comfortable and cozy for your dog will go a long way in making them unwilling to escape. Nobody wants to sit on a cold, and hard floor, and the same applies to our dogs! There is a broad variety of doggy beds available online from dog mats to luxury doggy beds. Be sure to check the floor dimensions of your dog crate to make sure that your new dog bed purchase will fit inside. Dog crate pads are dedicated aimed at dog crates, and many of them are chew proof and waterproof for obvious reasons.

Most models come with wheels – they are mandatory. Some models don’t, and we advise you to avoid them as moving them around is a real hassle, especially if you travel often. Crates with wheels will allow you to easily transport your pooch no matter the circumstances. For the less portable solution, you might as well go with an outdoor kennel or a good quality playpen.


The ventilation, on the other hand, is solved by the addition of a generous number of holes in each side of the crate. Their purpose is to promote extra air flow and allow the owner to use the cage on warm days. The heat can also cause evaporation of toxic materials, but that’s not something you need to worry about with this model – no harmful chemicals were used during its manufacture.
The reason this crate doesn't rank as highly as the Empire is that it's not quite as escape-proof. I think the top door might be a weak point, so you may want to use a zip tie to stop it opening if you don't plan on using it. The most determined and strongest chewers may be able to attack the bars though - so for these dogs look for sheet-walled crates instead.
The wire is thinner than my old crate, which is also made of the black metal, but it is still sturdy. I used to have the really heavy silver steel crates but they are ugly and stronger than necessary. I guess if you have a dog you think might get out, you should use zip-ties all around and bungee the door when the dog is inside. The ... full review
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