Zen and the Art of Dog

Find Your Heavy Duty Dog Crate – The Four Best Heavy Duty Crates for Anxious Dogs and Escape Artists – Updated for 2022

Heavy duty dog crates are one of those indispensable tools for dog ownership. They make life easier in a lot of ways and are often crucial for your dog’s mindset. All three of my dogs benefit from being crated and it’s likely that your dog will too.

Crates are especially important for dogs with anxiety- which can vary in intensity to a large degree- and very smart dogs that get themselves into trouble. I know that one of our dogs (Benji) needs to be crated throughout the day just to calm his mind down so that he doesn’t drive himself crazy.

Training a crate command can solve a lot of your run of the mill behavioral issues in a lot of dogs. It is especially helpful with anxious and destructive behaviors. After crate training, a dog will view its crate as a its sanctuary. If your dog starts to exhibit anxious, excited or obsessive behaviors you can instruct them to go to “crate” where they can calm down.

However, dogs with especially severe anxiety or the brilliant “escape artist” dogs can’t be crated in a typical wire frame crate. These special dogs need heavy duty crates that are particularly engineered to keep them safe and secure. Here are four crates that are up to snuff.

Zinger Winger PR4500 – The Absolute Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate For Anxious Pups

Zinger Winger has created and sold sport dog gear since 1998 and and they are committed to providing the best heavy duty dog crates that they themselves would use. Their attention to detail and quality shows in the PR4500 crate. This crate is manufactured especially for “escape artists”, but it’s good for dogs with severe separation anxiety as well. In fact, Zinger believes so deeply in this crate that they provide a 90 day “escape proof” warranty.

The PR4500 features a reinforced door with superb welding and bracing. Additionally, there are two lock on the door frame and spring loaded handles. There are no chewable parts or anything that a dog with anxiety or a knack with escape artistry can get to.

The ventilation on the PR4500 is truly excellent. Because it is manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum, Zinger can provide superb air flow without sacrificing weight or strength of the crate’s walls. The crate is light and strong making it a great choice for travel. Unfortunately, the crate is not foldable for storage.


  • The strongest and lightest crate on the market.
  • Manufactured with the highest standards and every thought put in to protecting anxious pets and escape artists.
  • Perfect for people who travel with their dogs in crates.
  • Ventilation is excellent.
  • Optional IA82 airline compliance kit.
  • Only 43 pounds, very light for a crate this large and strong.
  • Stackable and modular.


  • Expensive. You get what you pay for. This crate is the best on the market and will last a lifetime, but it is expensive.
  • Not foldable. This crate can’t be folded for storage.

Ultimately, this crate is best for people who are struggling with either an escape artist dog or a dog with severe anxiety. It is light enough to be tossed onto a truck bed or into the back of your SUV for a weekend escape. You can read more about it in my review here.

Click here to check it out on Zinger’s website! And let them know I sent you by typing ZEN5 in the promo code box during checkout. (You’ll get a nifty 5% discount. Make sure you register with the site to apply the coupon.)

Dakota G3 Dog Crate – The Only Crash Test Rated Dog Crate

We have been searching for a long time for heavy duty dog crates that promise both protection for an anxious puppy and protection in a car accident. The Dakota 283 G3 is crash test rated by the center for pet safety, so you can be assured that your dog will be safe in this crate at home and in your car.

This crate offers features that truly make it top of its class. It is engineered to have a double-wall rotomolded construction. The door is custom welded and reinforced with an aluminum frame. The door also has back-up safety latches to ensure that your dog is safely contained inside. This is truly the most durable crate on the market.

The G3 also offers recessed flooring so that your pet won’t be sitting in waste. There is a drainage plug on the exterior of the crate.

Most importantly, the G3 is designed to protect against both extreme heat and cold. The vents are designed for maximum airflow while also preventing rain from getting inside. The crate will ensure that your dog is comfortable inside.

Finally, Dakota offers a lifetime warranty- so your purchase will be protected.


  • Rotomolded construction and crash test certified by the Center for Pet Safety.
  • Escape-proof reinforced door and latches protect your dog inside.
  • Vents and airflow will keep your dog cool in the summer and protect from rain.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Can be used for airplane travel.
  • At 38 lbs, this crate is pretty maneuverable making it a great choice for road trips.


  • Not collapsible or foldable.
  • Warranty does not cover damage your dog may do to the crate.

Check it out here!

Kennel Boss Aluminum Dog Crate – The Heavy Duty Collapsible Dog Crate

Kennel Boss has created the absolute best portable and collapsible indestructible dog crate. Manufactured from light-weight aluminum, the Kennel Boss crate collapses to less than 8 inches in height. This crate is so easy to use that it folds and assembles in seconds.

The Kennel Boss aluminum dog crate also features marine-grade stainless steel latches, welded rust-proof rivets and cross-bar stability. All of these features mean a well constructed crate engineered for maximum portability while considering security.


  • Intelligent foldable design makes this crate highly portable.
  • High quality manufacturing.
  • Easily stored.


  • Expensive.
  • Not for escape artists or highly anxious dogs.
  • The crate is not as well ventilated, only a problem for dogs being kept in higher temperature areas or highly stressed dogs.

The Kennel Boss collapsible heavy duty dog crate is the best portable travel crate we’ve found. The foldable design makes it perfect for the family wishing to vacation with their dog. This crate can be easily stored so it’s perfect for a family or business that’s caring for a dog temporarily. Finally, the Kennel Boss collapsible dog crate is a very practical and useful choice for hunters wishing to transport their dogs. Unfortunately, it’s not right for dogs with severe anxiety. I wrote a long breakdown here, check it out for more information!

Definitely click here to check it out.

Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Crate – The Best Value Crate

Of all the heavy duty dog crates that we’ve found, the Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire crate provides the best value for money. It definitely lacks features that the previous four provide, but it is strong, durable and secure.

The Empire crate uses 20 gauge steel bars and top-of-the-line welds at stress points. Additionally, the Empire crate has two latches on the door, so it is secure enough to meet most needs. Finally, the box includes casters that can be mounted to the bottom of the Empire crate. The casters provide some degree of portability.

However, the Empire crate lacks many of the great features that the previous two crates provide. The steel bars are strong, but steel is much heavier than the aircraft grade aluminum of both the Kennel Boss and Zinger Winger crates (the shipping weight is 76 lbs). This crate is not collapsible, either, so it will be staying put wherever you assemble it. The wheels are a nice feature and are helpful in this respect.

The construction of the Empire crate is good for most dogs, however, the steel bar design is not good for escape artists or highly anxious dogs. Dogs that desperately want to escape will be able to. I have personally seen dogs chew right through steel bars- destroying their teeth and bloodying their mouth and throat in the process- in order to escape.


  • A good value for the money.
  • Steel is strong and this design is suitable for most dogs.
  • Included casters make this heavy crate somewhat maneuverable.


  • Steel is much heavier than aluminum and this crate is heavy.
  • The design is not suitable for holding smart or troubled dogs.

This crate is perfect for a family dog that needs a place to sleep. You can store it anywhere and roll it to different spots on the floor. This crate is not for families with troubled dogs, or families that will be traveling with their crate.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.


When we leave our dogs we need to know they are safe. Leaving them in a crate that they can tear apart won’t do. Depending on the degree of our dog’s anxiety, we can choose the right crate for them.

The very best crate for highly anxious dogs and brilliant escape artists is the Zinger Winger PR4500. If your dog isn’t as anxious and you want a crate that’s portable, the Kennel Boss collapsible crate is a great option. And, if your dog is only moderately anxious and not an escape artist and you don’t care about portability, the Empire crate is the best option for the money.

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