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Discussion Starter #1
I would love for others to chime in with their review of sturdy crates. I realize there are some major industrial crates, like Leerburg offers, but here is my take on the usual wire crate brands. My criteria for sturdiness is that the wire does not bend easily. Granted, some of these may work for your needs, but I've tried the ones below and I don't want others to have to go through the time and expense of buying online (which is convenient and often cheaper) and ending up with multiple returns, like me.

Icrate - flimsy

Midwest life stages- better than Icrate, but still bends too easily and latches on 48" crate are too far apart

Precision - don't bother, like Icrate

Petco premium - sturdiest so far of the usual crates
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Update:

As for the Midwest series, this heavy gauge sounds interesting. I wish I could see one before buying. I'm tired of scrimping on crates and saving a dollar here and there, but not having what I need.

3 doors sound good in case I need to reposition it.

I'll post if I find one I can physically touch. If I can lay and open hand on the wire and bend it easily in, I am rejecting it.

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"Ultima Pro Dog Crates are made from our heaviest wire gauge, feature the closest wire mesh spacing and our toughest, most durable powder coated finish. If you're looking for the toughest crate, then the Ultima Pro would be the one!

The combination of heavier gauge wire and closer spacing makes the crate much heavier, and much stronger than some of the other crate series. Model-for-model, the Ultima Pro can be up to 70% heavier than an iCrate, for example. That may also be a factor to consider if you want to move your crate around. These models get pretty heavy with the largest size Ultima Pro 748UP weighing in at 60lbs.

As well as being extremely durable, the black powder-coat finish is smooth and attractive. Ultima Pro is a folding model, featuring carrying handles, free divider panel, ABS plastic pan, and a free crate training DVD. They come in five sizes to suit dogs from 11 to 110lbs.

There are three doors on the crate, configured just like the Select crate with a door on each narrow end of the crate, and a door on one side. Also like the Select crates, the doors are removable, so you can leave the crate open when you want to let him come and go, but close it up quickly when you want to contain her.

The triple door design of the Ultima Pro means that, just like the Select crates, you can use the divider panel to divide the crate in two sections and use the end door to allow two dogs to enter each half of the crate. You may be able to one, larger size, Ultima Pro in place of two smaller crates."
 

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I was just on another thread some where (cant find it now of course) and someone else is having some issues keeping their dog contained. I think they would find this info helpful, I know I did but I have not had a break out just yet. I will be zip tying mine together in hopes that it will not be busted out of ...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really would like 3 latches on a 48" crate. And high tensile strength (among the usual crates).

I have always bought and sold crates over the years, some with Craigslist and others from the store (in person or online). I wish I paid better attention to certain features and kept the really good ones!!' grrrrrrr
 

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The weak point to me on a folding crate is the part under the tray and the gaps there. I would prefer a good old style drop pin crate. Those were SOLID.

I think the Foster and Smith is a *new* Kennel Aire but not the original. After my "gorilla tough" crate was wimpy and easy for the dog to open the latches and they would not stand behind it I quit buying anything from them
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did some research. Wire gauge is just diameter. You would think greater diameter would mean greater strength, but it does not. Tensile strength has to do with the type of metal, finish, carbon or alloy mix, etc.

Therefore, I'm not going to buy off the Internet based on wire gauge.

Granted, I don't need some crazy @$$ crate, but I'm just tired of flimsy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm on a mission!!

Pet Crates Direct: wire dog crates

You can search for heavy duty.

Sure enough, icrate was is the light duty (dont bother with this one) and Precision & Midwest life stages were in the medium duty category, which is somewhat flimsy to me, still. Their Ultima is in the heavy duty category, but I've never laid hands on one to compare.
 

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Even with zip ties, both Lillian and Jack can escape the wire crates...they snap the zip ties with their teeth (yep!) and then go for that weak spot where the tray slides out.

I have yet another in the back of my pickup headed for the dump today.

Dismantled my heavy duty plastic airline crate (I usually use it in the truck) so it would fit through the door and into my bedroom, reassembled, and that's where Jack is spending the day. It's not pretty, but I know my dog is safe and not breaking any windows today :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm going to look at the specs on the petco premium and compare to the Midwest ultima. I really dig the 3 door flexibility of the ultima.

Once set up, I'm thinking about carabiners (easy, strong) for all 8 corners. Not that I think she'll get out, but I never want it to happen even once. I'll probably put another on the front door bewttn the two latches that are far apart, IMO.

Lol, right now Myah is asleep under my bed with her green Plush Puppies squeaky snake.

The Midwest life stages crate is setup in the living room, with the box saved for a speedy return!
 

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I have a Petco Premium crate for my 22 pound Rat Terrier. It's smaller than my mutt's Midwest I-Crate, but is just as heavy as, if not heavier than, it. He bent some of the wires on the doors by chewing at it.

Whatever you do, don't get a Petmate brand one. The Rattie pretty much trashed the door to that one.
 

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I don't have any problems with the iCrate, but I wish they would include locks or tamper-proof latch for the doors.

A lift and slide type latch is too easy for a GSD to open. I really have to work on her getting me a beer if she's smart enough to open her crate latches.
 

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Zoey was an escape artist too. The way I kept her from getting out was taking a metal clothes hanger, unwrapping it and wrapping it around the crates corners so she couldn't push them apart anymore. Much stronger than a zip tie since you can't bite through one of those clothes hangers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm glad Icrate works for you. It's certainly the lightest of the bunch for portability. Try a carabiner on the door. If the simple latch kind doesn't work, put a twisting lock carabiner on while you're gone.

However, for those of us looking for a heavier gauge, the frustration of online purchases and trying to get a "deal" can leave us frustrated and with more dollars out than we planned. ("we"? Ok, me! Ha...)

Icrate - light duty

Precision - med duty
Midwest life stages - med duty

Midwest ultima - heavy duty
Petco premium - heavy duty

Latches and other features are a separate issue. When I have time, I'm going to check out more and add to this list!

:paw:
 

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The carbiner didn't work. She just worked around it. I use a Master Lock padlock now.

She hasn't figured out yet how to get ahold of the key. :rolleyes:
 

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Once set up, I'm thinking about carabiners (easy, strong) for all 8 corners. Not that I think she'll get out, but I never want it to happen even once. I'll probably put another on the front door bewttn the two latches that are far apart, IMO.
IME, the weak spot is the bottom latch. Every single GSD I have had (foster and owned) has been able to push the bottom of the door out enough to slip the latch out and get through. I had a smaller Lapphund foster who could also do it with the top latch. Only two have busted out the whole back, one of the them completely collapsing the crate. I use zip ties (with any excess cut off so it can't be chewed) to reinforce sides and a leash clipped at the bottom latch for extra security.

I have an old 54" drop pin crate and no one has ever gotten out of that one. I wish I could find more of them!

Most of my crates are Midwest, I think one is not.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
IME, the weak spot is the bottom latch. Every single GSD I have had (foster and owned) has been able to push the bottom of the door out enough to slip the latch out and get through. I had a smaller Lapphund foster who could also do it with the top latch. Only two have busted out the whole back, one of the them completely collapsing the crate. I use zip ties (with any excess cut off so it can't be chewed) to reinforce sides and a leash clipped at the bottom latch for extra security.

I have an old 54" drop pin crate and no one has ever gotten out of that one. I wish I could find more of them!

Most of my crates are Midwest, I think one is not.
Here's a drop pin crate - wow, it is huge. I may have to go this way with how big my girl is going to get (90 lbs and tall).

Looks like a drop pin crate is a more durable, non-folding crate, but the latches are the same, no?

Midwestpetproducts.com - Midwest drop pin dog crates. Bay Isle drop pin rattan / wicker dog crate.
 

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Looks like a drop pin crate is a more durable, non-folding crate, but the latches are the same, no?
They work the same, yes but the metal is heavier so it doesn't bend as easy as the cheaper collapsible crates.

It is a huge crate and it was given to me. I'd love to find the same style in the 48" or 42" because it takes up so much room but don't see it as often.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
They work the same, yes but the metal is heavier so it doesn't bend as easy as the cheaper collapsible crates.

It is a huge crate and it was given to me. I'd love to find the same style in the 48" or 42" because it takes up so much room but don't see it as often.
http://www.midwestpetproducts.com/page/1127628

Yeah, I see where they discontinued that size. I'm thinking about the 748UP for size and durability....then wonder if I should go all out and get the 54" drop pin one?

:headbang:
 

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Dang, I better get my act together now. Beau needs a bigger crate and I wanted to just go with a drop pin.
 
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