10 Best Crate For Escape Artist Dog

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

The Definitive Guide For The Best Crate For Escape Artist Dog

Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on the ‘perfect’ dog cage for your pooch, only to find them roaming the streets minutes later. Dog crates should be your secondhand supervision. They’re what you’ll resort to as a pet owner to ensure Fido’s safety and security in your absence.

I often recommend them for energetic canines and for correcting destructive pup behaviors. If you own an escape artist dog, you’ll know what I mean. Crate training can do wonders.

Yet nowadays, I notice more and more clients complaining about faulty kennels. Our pups are getting smarter, and most brands don’t make escape-proof dog crates anymore (which defeats the purpose anyway). Take it from an expert: your escape artist would be better off in one of these best heavy-duty dog crates.

You could save yourself time, tears, and accidents with an option below.

1. Petmate Ultra Vari Dog Kennel- Best for Puppies

It’s best to train your pet during their youth before they settle into any destructive behaviors. Petmate understands that; it’s why they focus on fur-friendly products for dog lovers. Dogs have innate tendencies to huddle in snug places to rest – a term vets like to call denning. The small size of this dog kennel makes it ideal for encouraging your pup to seek shelter.

Not all young pets adopt their dog crates with ease. But Petmate offers a crate with ample airflow to help reduce your pup’s anxiety. The design allows both dogs and owners to view each other and ensure their security. Besides the durable plastic walls, I like its simple front latch mechanism, which grants easy access to your pooch.

If your puppy loves banging against the door, you’ll appreciate the tie-down strap holes included along the entrance. These will prevent your developing escape artist from bursting out of the kennel. Although the Ultra Vari won’t be suitable for all life stages, it also works well with smaller dog breeds like the Papillon, Poodle, and Chihuahua.

● Best for small dogs under 30 lbs
● Eco-friendly plastic
● Minimal sharp edges
● Excellent ventilation
● Strong latch system
● Easy to clean material

● It can be tricky to assemble

Petmate Ultra Vari Dog Kennel

2. MidWest Ovation Folding Dog Crate – Best for Space Saving

Finding the ideal spot to place your pup can be complicated. Most dog crates come with a hinged door or swinging barrier that gets in the way. But this folding wire crate from Midwest brings a breath of fresh air to many dog owners. Its garage-type door opens with just a lift and rests on the roof until you’re ready to close.

The door won’t flap and jam your pet’s paws, either. Its steel frame includes a channel that locks the gate in place. Dogs tend to outgrow their crates. Hence, this one contains a divider panel that you can glide up to free more space for your pooch.

The best part is you can store this anywhere – whether you own wooden floors or tile. The cage contains rubber feet that won’t leave a scratch on your surfaces. There’s also a leak-proof plastic tray at the base, so don’t worry about getting dog food on your rug.

● Flat folding cage for easy storage
● Garage-style door to save space
● Door locks to prevent accidents
● Divider panel for growing dogs
● Portable; comes with a carrying handle
● Gentle on floor surfaces

● It may not be easy to set up

MidWest Ovation Folding Dog Crate

3. LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate – Best for Simple Setup

If I had a pooch for every time a client complained about missing parts in crate packages, I’d have a farm by now. That’s why this LUCKUP seems to be a lucky pick for so many dog owners these days. It comes with every piece of hardware you’ll need for assembly – all four wheels and eight bolts. The locks even come preassembled.

Aside from the convenience, this crate is heavy-duty strong. Its corrosion-resistant steel frame is durable and comes coated with a non-toxic finish. Clients love the two-door system that lets them interact with their pup from either the front or upper openings.

Escape artists have a hard time getting out of this one. This indestructible dog crate comes with two locks, each fastened by strong safety buckles. And talking about safety – all four caster wheels also come with locks to secure the cage in one place.

● Easy setup in under five minutes
● Rust-proof, durable metal frame
● Non-toxic coating for dog safety
● Two doors for easy access to pet
● Reinforced locks to prevent escapes
● Easy to clean; includes a removable plastic pan
● Heavy to transport or pull around
● Some owners prefer if there were more locks

LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate

4. New Age Pet ecoFLEX – Best for Versatility

As a dog owner myself, I’m all for keeping my pets indoors. New Age makes this easy with their antique wood crate that doubles as an end table at home. It’s sturdy enough to house your pooch without spilling coffee over on your sofa.

As a plus, the ecoFLEX wooden polymer used in its design is non-toxic and won’t crack under pressure. We all know dogs can get messy in their crates, but this one is moisture-resistant. So you can forget about the stains and lingering odors.

As a trainer, however, I only recommend this kennel for dogs who are already crate trained. The double latches on the locks are great for preventing escapes, but anxious dogs might struggle with this as their first cage. The wooden sides can block your pet’s view and cut your connection as you coach them into their new shelter.

● Decorative furniture design
● Non-hazardous wooden material
● Low maintenance
● Moisture-resistant
● Stainless steel bars
● Available in all sizes

● Wooden frames are chewable
● Not best for untrained pups

New Age Pet ecoFLEX

5. Pet Gear “The Other Door” Steel Dog Crate – Best for Travel

There’s no need to walk out on your dog when you leave home. Pet Gear offers a portable, folding dog crate that lets you bring your pet on every ride. The cage includes built-in wheels and a handle to help carry Fido’s luggage.

Some trips introduce long rides and harsh weather conditions. The good news is, this crate comes with a bolster pad to guarantee your dog’s comfort. Its base also has full insulation to keep pets warm despite the cold weather.

Moreover, the cage’s four doors allow you to feed, pet, and play with your doggy from any angle in the room or vehicle. Each of these entrances has secure steel locks, making this another excellent escape-proof dog crate.

● Folding crate for easy storage
● Scratch-proof; no sharp edges
● Insulated base with bolster pad
● Four doors; each with steel locks
● Storage bag to pack away during travel
● No tools required for setup

● Memory foam padding would be better for lengthy trips.

Pet Gear "The Other Door"

6. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage – Best for Separation Anxiety Dogs

Dogs with separation anxiety experience feelings of stress and abandonment whenever left alone. They may exhibit negative behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing, scratch, or digging. These can lead to both pet injury and home wreckage. But that doesn’t have to be your problem with an indestructible dog crate from ProSelect.

This reinforced steel frame includes durable latches that can withstand all kinds of abuse from a disturbed dog. And its corrosion-resistant paint protects the bars from rusting after getting slobbered down in a frenzy.

Visibility is crucial for distressed canines. Hence, the caster wheels are an excellent addition to this cage. You can effortlessly move your pet into rooms where it can see you – a surefire way to relieve its anxiety.

● Durable steel frame
● Anti-rust paint
● Chew-proof
● Strong door locks
● Full visibility
● Grated floor has a removable cleaning tray
● Expensive
● It may require extra locks.

ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

7. SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate – Best for Powerful Pets

Some pets are stronger than others, but this metal dog crate is at the top of our list for keeping escape experts in check. Its upgraded model includes a specialized Y-pattern design that prevents dogs from getting trap-jaw. SMONTER also uses a new side bolt latch technique to secure your dog inside.

One advantage of this heavy-duty crate is that its bars leave enough space for your dog to see you. As long as they’re able to look at their owners, canines tend to remain relaxed.

Moreover, the paint on the steel cage is non-poisonous. So your pet will be safe even if they do try to chew their way out.

● Thickened steel bars
● Upgraded lock system
● Full ventilation and pet visibility
● Easy-wipe plastic tray
● Lockable caster wheels for motility
● Partially assembled in the package

● Pricey
● Locks require zip ties for reinforcement.

SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate

8. KELIXU Updated Metal Dog Crate – Best for Destructive Dogs

KELIXU updated its latest steel frame cage to a model that Escape artists will hate. This version comes with thicker, rust-resistant metal tubes and an advanced plug lock system. Destructive pets will have a hard time getting out of this durable, bite-proof dog cage.

The design allows easy airflow in and out of the crate to keep your dog from feeling claustrophobic. And you can easily keep an eye on your pup through its steel bars.

This heavy-duty dog cage also comes with a changeable tray that traps waste and keeps your pup clean. Still, accidents happen. So as part of their quality service, KELIXU also offers each customer a 3-year warranty on their crate.

● Updated metal dog crate
● Corrosion-resistant steel
● New plug locks
● Great ventilation
● Easy to clean
● Tools for assembly included

● Some dogs manage to chew through bars.

KELIXU Updated Metal Dog Crate

9. HAIGE Heavy Duty Dog Kennel – Best for Large Dogs

Even large dogs need to learn how to stay in their kennels. HAIGE offers a spacious, corrosion-resistant steel frame cage for giant dog breeds. Pitbulls, Border Collies, and German Shepherds will thrive in their 46-inch tall dog crate.

The cage is sturdy and locks with two strong safety buckles to prevent hounds from breaking free. Like many of the other indestructible dog crates on our list, the HAIGE kennel comes with rotating caster wheels that can move across your home.

Typically, you can expect big messes from big canines. Luckily, this cage is easy to clean up after spills from dog food and potty time. You can guarantee the safety of any sized dog with one of these.

● Spacious; houses large dogs
● Reinforced steel pipe walls
● Non-toxic, anti-rust finish
● Locks contain safety buckles for added security
● Low maintenance

● Some pet owners opt to add extra locks on the door.

Heavy Duty Dog Kennel

10. Homey Pet Store Stackable Dog Cage – Best for Convenience

If you’re looking for a wire dog crate that will last as your pet grows, this is the one. The Homey Pet Store dog crate is large enough to accommodate dogs as heavy as 150 lbs. Ergo, you won’t need to replace crates as your pup develops into a full-grown canine.

As an escape-proof dog crate, the company included a double chain lock on the door to avoid any mishaps. And you can always wheel your pup from room to room so they don’t get lonely.

This cage has everything – a small feeding door at the front and a removable ABS plastic tray at the bottom for cleaning. Unlike most metal dog crates, this one has a plastic floor grid that’s gentle on paws. Say goodbye to foot blisters! And when you’re ready to pack it away, you can use the cage’s stackable feature to save space around the house.

● Large dog cage for all pet sizes
● Corrosion-resistant steel
● Convenient feeding door
● Double chain locks
● Lockable caster wheels for transport
● Comfortable plastic floor grid

● Pricey
● It does not have a top door

Homey Pet Store Stackable Dog Cage

The Ultimate Buying Guide

There are multiple features to choose from when buying escape-proof dog crates. However, these should be your priority:


Soft-wall cages are cute and often look like outdoor tents. But if you want a dog crate that lasts, it needs to be heavy-duty strong.
Hard-sided crates are the best option for young pups who are still in their teething and chewing stages. However, the ideal dog crates for escape artists contain sturdy metal frames. These will resist the impact of your dog’s scratching, biting, and pounding when you’re out of sight.
SMONTER’s Heavy Duty Dog Crate is our first choice, especially for powerful canines. While no product is perfect, escape artists are less likely to chew their way out of this one.


Yes, you’ll want a cage that’ll fit snug around your pup. Still, you need to consider the costs of buying new dog crates every time your pooch outgrows their den.
It would be wise to buy a cage with adjustable sizing – one with a divider panel included in its package. As your pet develops, you can always release more space in the crate so it can feel comfy.
Not only does the MidWest Ovation have adjustable features, but it can also fold to fit into tight storage spots.


Air is crucial. There are tons of misconceptions in the pet industry, and many of them stem from poor training practices.
My clients often wonder if breeds like Rottweilers are easy to train because of the stereotypical aggression. But did you know that your canine might be resisting their crate because they feel constrained?
Small crates can make dogs feel claustrophobic and trigger their anxiety attacks. Plus, cramped spaces aren’t healthy for any pet. They tend to harbor bacteria that could make your dog sick.
Among our list, the Proselect Empire Dog Cage comes specially made for treating dogs with behavioral issues. The whole point of its design is to allow maximum ventilation for an agitated pup.


Dogs are one of the most creative creatures to exist. Don’t be surprised if Spud figures out how to unlock his cage. Nevertheless, you could be making it easier for him.
Ensure that you examine the lock type on your dog crate. Many claim to be escape-proof but turn out to be just as good as a box.
Safety buckles are good reinforcements for locks, though they shouldn’t rely on them solely.
Slide bolt latches don’t need much technique to master. On the other hand, slam latches close on impact, and most require a key to open them back up.
Overall, dog owners show the most success with double chain locks, like those from the Homey store. Sometimes, I even get confused by their style!


Most heavy-duty crates come with wheels to help move them around. But if you’re into serious travel (I mean airtime), you need something compact and a bit lightweight.
Our crate selection from Pet Gear is perfect for travel. It’s foldable and comes with a travel bag.
Beware, however, that not all travel agencies allow pets on board their flights. And not all those who permit them will pay your pet any dignity.
You should always request information on their air travel guidelines. Some companies have strict policies for dogs and animal crates.
Here’s what the AVMA has to say on the matter:
“Make sure that your pet is allowed where you are staying. Some accommodations will allow pets, and some will not so check in advance. Also, when traveling, you should bring a portable kennel with you if you have to leave your pet unattended.”


It’s not just about having wheels on dog kennels. Pet hygiene is essential, too.
I always tell clients to check if there’s a removable plastic tray beneath the crate. These usually collect food and puppy waste that would otherwise soil the cage.
No dog wants to lie in their filth, and the tray takes away the hassle of always having to peep inside your pet’s crate.
Homey Pet Store earns all our points here with their convenient wire crates. Their model even includes a feeding port at the front of the cage. You won’t need to open the main door and risk another escape during lunchtime!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deal with escape artist dogs?

A few tips:
1. Introduce your new crate with some tasty treats. Place them inside the kennel and watch Fido walk right through.
2. Take your dog for some exercise before caging. They won’t have the energy to fight afterward.
3. Keep them busy with a toy during crate time. It will distract them from the locks.
4. Change your dog’s scenery while in the crate. Canines are sensitive to their environment, and the wrong venue can spoil their overall experience.

How long should I leave my dog in his crate for punishment?

Dog crates are NOT a substitute to unspoil your dog. Their kennel should be a haven for them – a place where they find solace when they can’t connect with owners. Don’t take that away from them.

If you scold your pooch into their crate, they’ll begin to associate caging with negative feelings. That’ll make staying inside even less appealing and might as well aggravate the dog’s behavioral problems.

Is it cruel to crate a dog at night?

Most pet owners don’t see any harm in overnight caging. For puppies, vets recommend an hour of crate time per their age in months. It’s a brilliant technique to help train young dogs to accept their dens.

By the time they grow old, most of these dogs willingly walk into their crates at nap time.

However, it’s a bad practice to keep your pet locked up for too long during waking hours. They need their exercise and day-to-day interactions. Otherwise, they’ll fall into bouts of anxiety and depression.

Last Advice

Heavy-duty dog crates are just one of many items you’ll come across as a budding pet owner.

You’re not having a pooch-gone-wrong moment. Escape artists are a lot more common than you think. Your puppy might just be suffering from a case of boredom or pent-up energy. There aren’t many ways to release those emotions from the four walls of a dog crate.

On the contrary, if you notice your doggo showing teeth, chewing bars, or expressing some other unusual behavior in their kennel, it might be time to give us a call. These levels of agitation are alarming and may signal more serious health issues.