A large dog crate is an invaluable tool that can make it much easier for you to give your big furry friend a long, happy life.
Dog crates give you a way to ensure your canine stays out of trouble while you are away, as well as when the cable guy drops by. They are very helpful during the initial housebreaking period, and they even serve as a secure hiding place for your pup – a place into which he can retreat when he needs a little peace and quiet.
But you can’t buy just any dog crate; you have to carefully consider the different options available to find one appropriate for your large breed. Different dog breeds have different size needs when it comes to dog kennels and crates, and hopefully, this article can help you make the best choice for your dog.
We’ll help you do so below by explaining the different things to seek in a dog crate, and the best ways to use one. We’ll also share our opinions about five of the best crates for large dogs (if you’re in a hurry, you can see our favorites in the chart below).
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Crates for Large Dogs:
- MidWest Extra Large Dog Crate – Our Top Pick
- MidWest iCrate Folding Large Metal Crate
- AmazonBasics Folding Metal Large Dog Crate
- OxGord XXXL Dog Crate
- Carlson Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Dog Crate
Best Crates for Large Dogs
The following five are some of the best-rated dog crates for large dogs. Just be sure to select the one that makes the most sense for your situation. There are many features to consider in selecting a crate, and hopefully, this guide will help make your decision simpler.
There aren’t that many extra-large dog crates on the market, and few provide sufficient space for a Great Dane, Mastiff or extra-large breed. Fortunately, MidWest Homes for Pets has you covered, with their Extra-Large crate model.
Measuring a whopping 54” L x 37” W x 45” H, this heavy-duty, XXL dog crate provides plenty of space for the biggest breeds, and it is also built using materials and construction techniques appropriate for containing massive and muscular dogs. The crate is pretty heavy, weighing about 80 pounds, and it requires two people to assemble it, but that’s to be expected from a big dog crate built to contain the Kraken.
- Double door configuration provides greater access to the crate
- Removable tray makes it easy to clean up accidents and spills
- Four rubber “roller” feet will protect your hard floors while providing improved mobility
- Each door features two heavy-duty slide-bolt latches to ensure the crate securely contains your pet
- The steel wire is coated in a protective E-coat finish to prevent rust
- Comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
Most owners were quite pleased with the MidWest Extra-Large Dog Crate, noting that it was well-built, durable and even larger than they’d expected. More than one reviewer included photos of their dogs and family members all hanging out inside the crate together. This is a truly huge dog crate; in fact, several users found the crate excessively large.
Most owners were satisfied that the crate was secure enough for their pet, but a few found that the cage was not secure enough for their liking. However, after adding a few zip ties to the corners, they felt the crate was rock-solid.
The dual-door design is always a convenient feature, but it is especially helpful when dealing with such a large crate. The bottom pan is extremely durable and washes off in just a few seconds with a hose.
All in all, the MidWest Crate is a great value and represents one of the best extra-large dog crates for those seeking accommodations for their giant dog. If you have a huge dog, you might find your options slightly limited, so it is reassuring to know that this crate is available.
If your family loves to travel, you’ll want to be sure to select a dog crate that is easy to transport – like the Midwest Homes for Pets’ iCrate. Designed to be both portable and secure, the Midwest iCrate is one of the best large dog crates for owners on the go.
This crate features a somewhat lighter build from other large dog crates and places an emphasis on portability above all else. The iCrate is available in numerous sizes, but this particular model is built for large breeds, as it measures 48” L x 30” W x 33” H, and weighs 43 lbs. The crate also folds flat for easy portability.
This model is not only designed for mobility, but it is also designed with flexibility in mind, as it comes with a divider panel. This allows you to avoid having to purchase multiple crates as your pooch grows – simply purchase the crate that will suit his adult size, and use the divider to reduce the available space as necessary.
Given its very competitive price point, this crate is a great value, and easily one of the most popular models currently available.
- Fold-down design and included carrying handle allow you to collapse and carry the crate with ease
- Double doors provide multiple access points for your dog
- The included divider panel makes this a great choice for soon-to-be-large puppies
- Leak-proof plastic pan allows you to clean up spills and accidents with ease
- Rubber feet protect your hardwood floors and reduce vibrations
- Rounded corners help prevent injuries to you and your pup
- Comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
The vast majority of buyers were very impressed with how easy the crate is to set up. No tools are required for assembly, you’ll simply need to clip the side walls to the crate top. The divider is easy to set up as well and uses the same type of latching mechanism as the wall panels do. The bottom pan is also secured by clips, which helps to keep it from sliding out of place.
The primary complaints most owners expressed related to the crate’s durability. More than one owner noted that their dog was able to bend the metal panels during escape attempts.
Accordingly, this is not a great cage for Houdini-like dogs who are committed to busting free (check out our guide to the best escape proof dog crates). However, owners of calmer dogs will find that the MidWestiCrate is a great option.
However, on balance, most buyers were very happy with the crate’s portability and were pleased with their purchase. This is a great foldable dog crate that provides plenty of features to meet your dog’s varying needs and your on-the-go schedule.
The AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate is a no-frills, super basic crate designed to keep your pet safely contained and nothing more. However, while the AmazonBasics Folding Dog Crate isn’t s flashy as some other crates, it still provides a great value.
This product line comes in several different sizes, but this particular model for large dogs is 48” L x 30” W x 32.5” H. The AmazonBasics Crate collapses easily and weighs just under 47 pounds, making it a great option for families who travel a lot.
This model features the same type of slide door latches that appear on most other metal crates. It has a hard-plastic pan and includes a divider so that you can use the crate for smaller dogs or growing puppies.
- The double-door design allows you greater flexibility when placing the crate in your home
- Quick fold-down design and attachable carrying handle make it easy to transport the crate
- It includes a divider panel for reducing the amount of available space in the crate
- Leak-proof composite pan ensures that accidents and spills are easy to clean up
By and large, owners loved this design and expressed their satisfaction with the purchase. Most buyers loved the crate’s low price point while noting that it performed as well as many pricier options. Most reviewers found it easy to set up and collapse the pet crate as necessary, and the detachable carrying handle was seen as a nice bonus.
The primary concern or complaint about the crate related to the strength of the metal bars. However, this is a common complaint among many crates, including those that are twice as expensive as the Amazon Basics model.
This is only likely to be a problem for owners of dogs who are inclined to escape at all costs; if your dog is on the calmer side, this shouldn’t be a problem. Additionally, the pan is not secured in place, but you can easily engineer a solution to this using zip ties.
Overall, this is one of the best values on the market. Although it is not the most feature-packed model available, it is the perfect choice for cost-conscious customers.
Just be sure to use caution when using it for escape-artist pooches. So if the price is your primary concern, this is a great option, especially when you consider that it performs almost just as well as the more expensive crates.
The OxGord XXXL Dog Crate is a spacious dog crate that is large enough for dogs up about 30 inches in height. It comes with most of the same options as similar crates, and it also collapses easily when you need to travel with your pooch.
OxGord has redesigned this crate from older models, by giving it smaller openings between the bars, and making it easier to fold down and store away. It measures 48” L x 29” W x 32” H, and weighs 34.2 pounds, making it one of the lightest large dog crates available. This lightweight design is a great relief when you need to move such a large contraption.
- Double doors provide flexibility when setting up the crate
- The easy fold-down design allows you to take the crate with you when it is time to travel
- The crate divider makes it easy to use this crate for smaller dogs or growing puppies
- The plastic pan makes it easy to clean up spills and accidents
- The included carrying handle makes it easy to transport and carry the crate
- Rust and corrosion-proof bars ensure that the crate will last for years to come
Most customers who purchased his model were pleased with the pet crate and rated it highly. Many loved how light it is, and frequently mentioned how easy it is to break down and store away – the crate is only 4 inches thick when completely folded, thereby making it easy to store under a bed or in a closet.
A few owners found that the divider wasn’t as sturdy as those of some other crates, but you are going to have to make a few tradeoffs when selecting such a budget-friendly crate.
However, like many other crates at this price point, several weren’t impressed with its rigidity. Accordingly, it is probably best suited for calm dogs, who are disinclined to escape. So if you are looking for a basic crate for your extra-large dog, this is a great option.
The Carlson Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Dog Crate is a straight-forward crate, that features relatively few of the bells and whistles that accompany some other models. It only features a single door and comes without any dividers.
The crate measures 48” L x 30” W x 33” H and weighs about 37 lbs. Because it lacks many of the additional features and is thinner than many other products in the category, the Carlson Crate is very light when compared to others.
- Durable steel construction to help ensure the crate lasts for years
- Removable plastic pan allows you to clean up accidents and spills quickly and easily
- Double locks ensure your dog will remain safely contained inside the crate
- Folds down flat for ease of transportation and storage
Most owners found the this crate design to be extremely effective, although a few lamented the absence of a divider or second door. Although there were a few owners who criticized the durability and strength of the metal bars, such complaints were quite rare.
While this dog crate big dogs is not a great option for strong or large dogs who are intent on escaping, it will work very well for calmer canines. However, this is a common complaint across the entire product category, and such problems were only rarely reported by those who had purchased the crate.
Overall, this is a great, basic dog crate if your needs are not very extensive, and you simply want something that functions well.
Are Dog Crates Cruel? (Spoiler Alert: Nope)
A lot of owners – particularly first-time owners – are uncomfortable with the idea of putting their precious pooch in a tiny box.
But rest assured, when provided with a high-quality crate of the proper size, most dogs love using them.
By and large, humans prefer hanging out in big spaces. We want gigantic homes, huge cars and 4 feet of space between the seats in a movie theater.
But dogs (and many other canines) don’t share this preference. They still appreciate stretching out and having room to run, but they don’t mind crawling into small spaces to sleep, whelp puppies, or feel safe.
So the main key here is just finding a dog crate that is appropriate for your specific dog. Larger dogs especially may have more difficulty fitting in such a confined space. But rest assured, if you do your research and buy a large crate appropriate for your dog, your dog will most likely be happy to spend time there.
Types of Dog Crates
There are three basic types of dog crates. The first two are appropriate for large dogs, but the third is only suitable for small to medium breeds.
1. Wire or Large Metal Dog Crates
Metal dog crates are constructed from a thick, plastic-coated wire on all six sides. These crates are typically the best crates for large dogs, as they are strong, secure and safe, and they also provide your dog with the best view and ventilation.
Additionally, most metal crates collapse for easy storage or transport. These are convenient crates and allow maximum portability for you and your dog.
2. Hard-Sided Dog Crates
Well-built hard-sided dog crates can often be used with large breeds, and they are a perfectly acceptable alternative to wire models if they suit you and your pup better.
Most hard-sided crates are made of rigid plastic, and have a metal wire door and (usually) a metal wire window or two; however, some are made from plastic-coated wood or metal instead. These are big, sturdy crates that may be great for your large dog.
3. Soft-Sided Dog Crates
Soft-sided dog crates usually consist of a semi-rigid wireframe, over which a flexible nylon shell is attached. A soft dog crate is often very lightweight, portable and easy to store, but few are strong enough to contain a large dog.
This isn’t a fundamental problem of the design, and theoretically, manufacturers may one day produce soft-sided crates that are strong enough for big dogs, but such crates would probably cost more than wire or hard-sided alternatives.
Therefore, while a soft crate does have its purpose, this purpose is not generally for large breeds.
Dog Crate Sizing Requirements
As stated earlier, obtaining a crate of the proper size is crucial for your dog’s happiness and well-being.
While you should consider the manufacturer’s sizing recommendations, be aware that different companies use different definitions for cage sizes. One manufacturer’s “large” may be another manufacturer’s “extra-large.”
Nevertheless, owners of large dogs (those weighing more than about 70 or 75 pounds), will be looking for crates labeled large, extra-large or extra-extra-large.
However, the wisest course of action is to measure your dog and select a crate accordingly. Fortunately, measuring your dog and determining the best size dog crate for him is super easy.
You’ll need a pencil and paper (or a good memory), a tape measure and your furry friend. So if you have an XXL dog, you will need an XXL dog crate.
Here is how to measure:
- Measure the distance between the tip of your dog’s nose and the base of his tail (do not include the length of your dog’s tail in the measurement). This is your dog’s length; write the number down.
- While your dog is standing, measure the distance between the top of his head (or the tips of his ears, if he is an erect-eared breed) and the floor. This is your dog’s total height; write this number down too.
- Add 2 to 4 inches to each of these measurements to provide you with the proper length and height of your dog’s crate. Most cages of a given length will feature relatively similar widths; if there is a difference, it is usually wise to opt for the wider option.
For example, if you measure your dog and find that he is 36 inches long and 26 inches tall, he’d need a crate that is between 38 and 40 inches long and 28 to 30 inches tall.
Additional Dog Crate Selection Criteria
Different pet crates possess different bells, whistles, and design features, while others offer these types of things as “add-ons.” In either case, it is important to consider which ones are helpful and which ones are not.
This will, of course, come down to personal preference, and it’s important to consider that these features often come with additional expense. Some of the most common options included in different products include:
- Multiple Doors
The best crates for large dogs typically have more than one entrance. This is especially helpful for homes that are tight on space – you can place the crate against a wall, while still allowing your pup to access the crate via the other door.
- Removable Dividers
While your dog will eventually need a large pet crate, it is best to keep young puppies in relatively small spaces (they may go to the bathroom in their crate if it is too large). By opting for a crate with dividers, you can avoid having to purchase multiple crates as your puppy grows – simply purchase the size they’ll ultimately need and use the dividers while he grows.
- Removable Litter Pans
Many metal crates have a removable litter pan that makes it easier to clean up spills or accidents. Note that large crates have very large litter pans, which can be a bit unwieldy, so you’ll want to place the crate in an area with plenty of room to maneuver it in and out of the crate.
- Food and Water Bowls
Several crates feature water and food dishes that attach to the sides or door of the crate. While some authorities find it risky to provide your dog with food while he’s unsupervised, most agree that it is wise to leave your pup with a bowl of water if you are going to be away for more than a few hours. Additionally, these types of mounted water dishes will reduce the likelihood of spills.
- Crate Covers
Crate covers are very helpful for providing a den-like atmosphere for nervous pups. They can also help block drafts caused by fans or leaky windows and doors. Most crate covers can be used to darken varying amounts of the crate, so be sure to experiment to find the perfect amount of seclusion for your dog.
Again, you needn’t consider any of these features mandatory. Always consider your specific circumstances and needs, and tailor your search accordingly. Some may not see the value in a litter pan, while others find removable dividers absolutely crucial.
Look for a crate with options that are important to you (and your furry friend). After all, the crate is for your dog, but you have to consider what features make life easier for you as well.
The Proper Use of a Dog Crate
Use a crate the right way and your dog will love it; use it the wrong way, and he’ll view it as a punishment. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to use a crate the right way.
Just keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Use a crate of the proper size.
Crates that are too small for your dog are cruel, but those that are too large cause their own slate of problems — insert Goldilocks metaphor here.
The basic rule of thumb is that crates should be tall enough that your dog can raise his head while standing without bumping into the top, and it should be just long and wide enough to allow him to turn in a full circle.
- Use only well-built crates that lack sharp edges or other hazards.
Poorly built, “economy” crates are often worse than having no crate. Cheap materials and manufacturing techniques will often cause these crates to feature sharp edges or fur-pinching cracks, which will injure your pet. By contrast, the best crates for large dogs will not present these types of hazards.
The difference in price between an economy model and a high-quality unit is rarely that big of a difference, and your pup will thank you. Besides, you’ll obliterate any savings from purchasing the cheap option the first time you have to take your dog to the vet to treat one of these injuries.
A good dog crate is an investment, and surely dog owners will have no problem investing in their dog’s happiness.
- Use a dog crate that is strong and secure enough to contain your dog.
You are entrusting a crate with keeping your dog safe, so you must use a large crate that will keep him safely inside while you are gone. Although there are a few Houdini dogs out there that figure out latches, you can usually thwart these buggers with a zip tie or similar bit of technology.
On the other hand, there isn’t any good way to make a flimsy cage sturdy. Big or strong dogs can often bend the wire or tear apart the seams of cheap crates, so always avoid crates that are in any way suspect. After all, you won’t be saving money in the long run if you have to keep buying new crates.
- Never leave your dog in a crate for an inappropriate length of time.
Your dog isn’t a criminal, so don’t treat him as though he is. While he may not mind hanging out in his crate while you are at work or overnight, he needs to be able to get out, stretch his legs, run around and bond with his people for a large portion of the day.
There’s also the issue of answering Nature’s call. Most adult dogs will be able to go about 6 to 8 hours between bathroom breaks, and some can even hold it longer. However, puppies can only hold it for about one hour per month of age, up until they are 6 months old. In other words, a 2-month-old puppy will need the chance to pee every 2 hours.
SEE ALSO: How to Potty Train a Puppy Fast
- Don’t punish your dog by making him go into his crate.
You want your dog to feel comfortable in his crate, so always treat it like a positive experience, especially at the outset. You may even introduce him to the crate by tossing in a treat or two. Don’t shut the door the first few times, just let him go get his treat and wander out when he wishes.
Later, once he’s comfortable, you can begin closing the door and leaving him inside for increasingly long periods. If you treat your crate as a punishment, you might find it will become an ordeal any time you want to get your dog in there for any reason.
- Allow your pup to use the dog crate as a safe space.
It’s generally a good idea to leave your dog’s crate door open when he’s not inside, so he can get away from everything when he feels nervous. Owners of particularly anxious pups may find it helpful to cover metal crates with something opaque to make it feel more den-like. A kennel can be a very comforting environment for a dog, and it is always healthy for them to have a spot where they feel safe and secure.
- Think carefully about the things you leave in your dog’s crate.
There isn’t a broad consensus regarding the dog supplies you should and shouldn’t place in your pooch’s crate. Some vets, breeders, and dog training advice pieces recommend feeding your pup in his kennel, while others find this unnecessarily risky. Some encourage owners to leave a durable chew toy in with their dog, but others feel that because no toy is truly indestructible, this is also a bad idea.
The same things could be said of dog supplies like blankets, towels or pet beds. You’ll have to make up your own mind about these issues, but be sure to think through the pros and cons carefully and keep your dog’s best interests in mind. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your dog’s temperament and how you choose to raise your dog.
Above all, your dog should view its crate as a safe, comfortable space, and not as some sort of dog cage. If you keep this as your paramount goal, there are many different approaches you could take.
We hope this article has helped you to understand the purpose and functions of dog kennels and helped you make your decision about the best crates for large dogs.
There are many options available to dog owners, and it will ultimately come down to what works best for your dog. It is tough to go wrong with any of the crates on our list, just be sure that they are the proper dimensions for your dog, and offer the features you are looking for.
Have you stumbled across a large dog crate that has worked well for your canine? We’d love to hear all about it. Tell us what model has worked for your pet, and let us know what you like most about it.
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