|Best Overall||Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel|
|Best Top-Loading||Pet Magasin Collapsible Dog & Cat Carrier Bag|
|Best Soft Crate||AmazonBasics Premium Folding Portable Soft Pet Crate|
|Best Configurable||Life Stages Double Door Folding Crate with Divider|
|Best for Travel||Henkelion’s Puppy Travel Carrier|
|Best Durability||Ultima Pro Professional Series Durable MidWest Dog Crate|
- The #1 Best Overall puppy training crate is the Petmate Two-Door Top Load Kennel.
- Using a crate for puppy is a great training method. However, no crate is a one-size-fits all. To choose the best training crate for your puppy, you need to consider what your and your puppies needs are. For example, how big will your puppy get? How energetic is your puppy? Are you going to use the crate only at home, or are you planning on traveling longer distances with your puppy?
- We narrowed down your search by selecting the six best puppy training crates based on the following criteria: dog size and temperament, space, lifestyle, and budget.
Congratulations! You’re having a puppy! But before the little fluff baby waddles its way into its new home, you need to prepare! After all, would you bring home a newborn human without a crib or baby seat on hand? The same logic applies to puppies. But instead of a crib, they’ll need a puppy training crate. Without one, potty and behavior training will be infinitely more difficult.
And don’t worry, crating puppies isn’t evil, bad, or even inhumane. For starters, canines are genetically predisposed to seek out safe, small protective dens. Before domestication, their ancestors used caves, tunnels, and shallow holes to sleep in and care for their young. They purposefully chose small spaces to mitigate the possibility of predator attacks.
But which puppy training crate is the best? What should you look for when buying one? Do different breeds of dogs do better with different types of crates? Some dogs are best suited for apartment living, while others, like a Rottweiler, are bigger dogs. What about materials? Is a plastic puppy training crate better than a wire one?
Our team of pet product reviewers attacked all these questions, and this is the guide they developed for new puppy parents in search of the best crates. When considering options, we looked at several factors, including budget, quality, versatility, special features, and style.
Finally, we also added a bonus sixth training crate option that wins on durability, because some puppies are relentless chewers.
- Check Amazon
- Made of Polyester and Polyvinyl Chloride materials in 4 color choices
- Multiple screen panels, well ventilated
- Fleece covered pet bed inside
- Dimensions 26.2 x 17.8 x 18.1 inches; available in larger sizes
Top Picks: The Best Puppy Training Crates Today
#1 Best Overall: Petmate Two-Door Top Load Kennel
Petmate’s two-door, plastic model is our pick for the best overall puppy training crate. The dual-purpose unit works for both training and traveling. It features loads of ventilation holes in the plastic, as well as two steel wire doors on the front side and top. This ensures that your dog has plenty of air to help them feel comfortable and stay calm while inside the crate.
If your puppy gets uncomfortable or nervous when you try to lead them through the front entry, the top entry offers a second option. This is also a great option for cats or kittens who are not fond of carriers. It’s never a good idea to force an animal into a carrier if they feel uncomfortable, but loading through the top often helps to remedy this issue.
The unit comes in two sizes (19-inches long and 24-inches long) with many different colors, including metallic and pearlescent hues. The former holds pets up to 10 pounds and the latter up to 20. Both units are sturdy but not too large for handling. The crate itself is a strong, durable plastic, keeping your pup safe and secure. The doors (both the front door and the top door) are made of steel wire, so your dog won’t be able to chew or scratch through them to escape.
In addition to safety and comfort, Petmate’s puppy training crate is equipped with several extra features as well. Although the crate is a hard plastic, making it strong and durable, the handle is designed to be ergonomic. That way you can have a secure grip as you carry your pup, but you won’t hurt or exhaust your hand.
The design is airline approved, so you can not only use it to take your puppy to the vet, but you can also go on longer trips as well. Since it is a hard crate, you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged or punctured. It can also double as a temporary home-away-from-home for your puppy while you’re traveling, giving your dog a familiar and comfortable place to go when traveling. It also costs less than $50 — making it the best value option.
Pros and Cons of the Petmate Two-Door Top Load Kennel
|There is an entry door on the front side as well as on top of the carrier, giving you multiple loading options to help your pet feel more comfortable.||Since it is a hard, sturdy crate, it is heavier than other soft-sided options.|
|This is a hard crate made of strong plastic and steel wire, so you don’t have to worry about your puppy chewing through the doors or the crate getting damaged or punctured.||The top entry door does not stay open on its own, which can be tricky for some when lowering a pet into the carrier since you’ll need to hold the door open.|
|The strong, ergonomic handle helps to prevent fatigue in your hand while carrying your dog.||While it can be a great option for many puppy breeds, it cannot fit larger pups that weigh more than 20 pounds.|
|It is airline approved.|
|It comes in two different size options and many colors.|
#2 Best Hard Crate: Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Carrier
Pet Magasin’s hard-cover puppy crate is stylish, has excellent ventilation, and it’s collapsible! It is quite a unique carrier that is perfectly sized for puppies, cats, and rabbits, measuring 17″ long by 13″ high by 14″ wide. It is a unique combination of a soft carrier and a hard carrier, protecting your puppy while also providing them with a comfortable place to rest.
The top and bottom are hard, while the sides are made of a softer material, which lets you collapse and fold it flat for easy storage when you’re not using it. The hard top and bottom also attach to the middle with zippers, so you can fold up the soft middle section and store it inside the two hard shells. You can also zip the two hard shells together (with the soft section tucked neatly inside) to make it a rounded flat case that you can store in a closet or under the bed.
The hard top and bottom of Pet Magasin’s carrier are waterproof, so if your new puppy has an accident they are easy to clean up. There is also a plush pad inside to keep your pet comfy and cozy. The front has a large mesh that unzips, making it easy for getting your dog in and out of the carrier as well. The carrier also has excellent floor-to-ceiling ventilation, providing plenty of fresh air for your pooch during their travels.
The Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible pet carrier is also an excellent choice for traveling since it folds for easy storage and is lightweight. It only comes in one size, but it is pretty roomy, especially for puppies.
Pros and Cons of the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Carrier
|This carrier can be unzipped and folded flat for easy travel and storage.||It only comes in one size, so it may not be suitable for larger puppy breeds.|
|The inside is waterproof, making it easy to clean.||If your dog likes to scratch or chew, the soft fabric sides may not be strong enough to contain them.|
|The soft fabric sides make it comfortable for your dog, while the hard top and bottom offer sturdy protection.||Not as heavy and durable as some of the other carrier options.|
|Small holes on the sides and a large mesh door provide 360 degrees of ventilation.|
#3 Best Soft Crate: Amazon Basics Premium Folding Portable Soft Pet Crate
Amazon Basics’ soft puppy training crate is a great value product that’s $20 less than other comparable products. It is made of PVC material and durable polyester and has multiple mesh windows on all sides, providing better ventilation than many similar options. There is a flap that goes over the door that can also be held up with Velcro if you want to allow your pup to see out.
The unit comes in five colors and sizes. The smallest size can handle pups up to 12 pounds, and the largest one works for dogs up to 90 pounds. Unlike other soft crates, this one doesn’t have a steel frame, and it folds down completely. It even comes with its own storage bag. making it easy to transport and store when not in use. Inside there is a fleece lining to keep your puppy comfortable, that can be removed and washed. Despite being a soft carrier, it is very sturdy and not flimsy at all.
This puppy crate also has a few extra features that make it extra helpful for puppy training, like detachable bags to keep your puppy’s favorite toys or accessories in. It also has different carrying options, like short handles for more control, and a longer shoulder strap so you can carry it like a gym bag (which is especially convenient at the vet when you’re trying to fill out paperwork).
The Amazon Basics puppy crate made our list because it was easier to open than similar units — and the price is right!
Pros and Cons of the Amazon Basics Premium Folding Portable Soft Pet Crate
|The carrier has multiple carrying options, including short handles and a longer shoulder strap.||The mat included is a little thin, and some pet owners may want to put in a thicker one or a pet bed instead.|
|It is sturdy, lightweight, and easy to fold up and store.||The crate is well-ventilated, but the material can get hot and make the interior humid.|
|There are several detachable bags for plenty of extra storage.|
|It is large and spacious and comes in different sizes to fit your needs.|
- Made of Polyester and Polyvinyl Chloride materials in 4 color choices
- Multiple screen panels, well ventilated
- Fleece covered pet bed inside
- Dimensions 26.2 x 17.8 x 18.1 inches; available in larger sizes
#4 Best Configurable Crate: Life Stages Double Door Folding Crate with Divider
Like its name, the MidWest Home life stages crate is a configurable puppy crate that grows with a dog through their life stages. There are six divider sizes available that allow you to make the crate smaller until your puppy gets bigger. It’s a solid wire crate that folds, packs away, and stores nicely.
There are two doors, one on the front and one on the side, making it easier to lead your dog into the crate and get used to staying inside. The crate also has locks (with a patented Paw Block) to keep your puppy safely protected inside, as well as a leak-proof plastic dog tray that is easy to clean. Since it is made with a heavy gauge steel and tight wire mesh, your puppy can see out while tucked away safely inside with plenty of ventilation as well.
A one-door model is also available, and for the quality and price, it landed atop our value ranking for the category. Just add a plush bed to the bottom for your furbaby, and you’re good to go!
Pros and Cons of the MidWest Homes Life Stages Double Door Folding Crate with Divider
|Both doors have slid-bolt latches to keep your dog safe and secure inside the crate.||The crate does have a handle for carrying it, but it can be quite heavy compared to other options.|
|You can get a larger crate with an additional divider so that you can adjust it as your puppy grows.||Some customers have reported struggling with assembly.|
|It is made of sturdy and durable metal with plenty of ventilation.||It’s important to get the appropriate size for your dog, otherwise it may be too small and your pup will outgrow the crate quickly.|
|There are two doors (one on the front and one on the side).|
|The crate is made with a heavy gauge steel and tight wire mesh, making it strong and durable.|
|The base has a plastic tray that is easy to pull out and clean if your pup has an accident.|
- Slide-bolt door latches with Paw Block and locking tips
- Portable, collapsible design with easy assembly
- Available in 6 sizes with double door design
- Protective feet to prevent damagine floors
#5 Best Travel Crate: Henkelion’s Puppy Travel Carrier
Henkelion’s puppy crate made our “best of” list because it is top-rated across the board.
If you’ve secured permission to bring your puppy on a plane as a cabin guest, you’ll need to get an airline-approved carrier — and Henkelion’s carrier fits the bill. As is required for air travel, it’s a soft carrier that fits under the seat. Plus, it’s thoughtfully designed to slide onto a luggage handle, making airport navigation leagues easier. It also has a shoulder strap, which can be quite useful when trying to carry other luggage and items.
This travel puppy crate is soft, has an adjustable strap, and features front, side, and top mesh windows so your baby can easily keep track of where you are and feel safer. The windows can be unzipped and used as an entry as well, giving you several options for loading and unloading your puppy. This is especially helpful for nervous dogs or ones that may still be getting used to being in a crate or carrier.
When you’re not using this dog carrier, you can fold it and store it away easily. The soft sides and fleece bed make this a comfortable bed for your dog while you travel. In addition, the carrier’s polyester material is lightweight and waterproof, and there is a fluffy fleece mat that can be removed and machine-washed. Even though the bag is light, it is sturdy and has plenty of ventilation with its three mesh windows. There is also an additional side pocket for storing your puppy’s accessories.
Pros and Cons of the Henkelion Puppy Travel Carrier
|Henkelion’s puppy travel carrier is airline approved, so you can travel with your pup on a plane.||When you unzip one of the window panels, the structure can lose its shape, which is sometimes difficult for nervous dogs.|
|There are two different strap options to make carrying your dog more convenient depending on your circumstances.||If your puppy gets nervous or moves around constantly, the carrier can tip over easily because it is so lightweight.|
|Three windows provide ventilation, the ability for your dog to see out, and for you to see in to check on them without having to open a door.||Although the carrier is airline approved, the large version is too big to travel on an airplane. In addition, the medium-sized carrier is too tall for some airlines (like Southwest or Alaska Airlines).|
|The carrier is lightweight and soft, making it safe and comfortable for both you and your puppy.||It can smell a bit strange when you first purchase the carrier; however, this is quickly remedied by placing it outside or in a well-ventilated area for a few hours.|
|You can fold the carrier and store it when you’re not using it.|
#6 Most Durable Crate: Ultima Pro Professional Series Durable MidWest Dog Crate
Puppies love to chew, especially when they are teething. The more energetic the breed, the more they seem to chew. And the stronger the dog, the tougher your crate needs to be. This is why we love that MidWest also has an extra durable crate that offers the thickest wire gauge yet folds down and doesn’t sacrifice convenience. The Ultima Pro is made with their strongest and thickest wire gauge and metal, so it can withstand even the mightiest of puppy chewing.
The reliable construction is perfect not only for avid chewers or puppies who are becoming large, strong dogs, but it’s also sturdy enough to withstand regular use and travel. The crate also has a front and side door with two slide-bolt latches each, keeping your dog safe and secure inside.
Like their Life Stages Double Door crate, MidWest Homes’ Ultima Pro crate also has adjustable dividers. You can still keep your puppy safe and sound in the Ultima Pro crate as it grows. The divider allows for customizable space so you don’t have to buy a bigger crate after a year.
Pros and Cons of the Ultima Pro Professional Series Durable MidWest Dog Crate
|The bottom of the crate has protective rollers to prevent scratching floors.||The crate does have a handle for carrying it, but it can be quite heavy compared to other options.|
|This crate is made with the company’s thickest and strongest steel wire gauge and metal.||Some customers have reported struggling with assembly.|
|Although it is strong and sturdy, the crate is foldable and can be stored easily.||It’s important to get the appropriate size for your dog, otherwise it may be too small and your pup will outgrow the crate quickly.|
|There are two convenient doors (one on the front and one on the side).|
|The leak-proof pan on the bottom of the crate can be removed and washed if your pup has an accident.|
|Both doors have slid-bolt latches to keep your dog safe and secure inside the crate.|
|You can get a larger crate with an additional divider so that you can adjust it as your puppy grows.|
How to Choose the Best Puppy Training Crate
Not every crate will work for every pup, parent, or household. So before exploring the training crate options, consider the following factors so you know exactly what to look for:
- Dog size and temperament
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Dog Size and Temperament
Obviously, if you want your crate to last past puppyhood, you’ll need to take your puppy’s eventual full-grown size into account to make sure they don’t outgrow the crate. Some puppy and dog crates can even be configured to adjust to your puppy’s size as they grow.
Also, owners of bigger, heavier dogs may benefit from having a crate with special carrying handles, straps, or wheels to accommodate the extra weight.
Another variable is your dog’s energy level and where they are in their puppy training. Is your pal likely to just take a nap when they go in the crate? Or are they a bit more high-strung? If they’re a big chewer, it’s worth thinking about heavy-duty crate materials and construction.
Is your puppy potty trained yet? If not, your safest bet is a hard crate or a waterproof material that’s easy to wipe down and wash.
If you have limited space in your home, it’s nice to have a collapsible or foldable crate that you can discreetly stow away. If you plan on taking your dog in the car in the crate, make sure the crate will fit into the space, especially if you drive a smaller car. In addition, if you are using the crate for your puppy to nap in during the day, you will want to make sure that it fits the space where it will go in your home.
How often will you be crating your puppy as they grow up? If they’ll be spending time in the crate for hours every day, you will probably need something rather durable.
Are you going to travel a lot with the crate or fly with your dog? If so, be sure to check airline regulations and plan accordingly. Although many of the carriers on this list are airline approved, some of them are not. Also, the more time your dog will spend in the crate, the more important it is to make sure traveling is a comfortable experience for them with ample ventilation.
Will you be using the crate for one puppy, or do you have other pets, such as another dog, or even a cat? Some puppy training crates are versatile enough that you can use them when you need to take your cat to the vet or on a trip as well.
The price of puppy training crates can vary. But we tracked down a few quality, affordable products, and we’re sure you can find one that works within your budget.
The Different Types of Puppy Training Crates
There are many different types of dog leases, each with their different pros, cons, and use cases. Some of the most common include:
- Soft-sided puppy crate. – The structure of these crates is made of soft fabric or mesh material, similar to a backpack. Some will also have a plastic or steel frame. These carriers are lightweight, making them easier to carry. They are also easy to store since they usually can fold down, and they tend to be comfortable for most pets. Moreover, many soft-sided puppy crates are airline-approved. However, they are not the most durable and can be tricky to clean.
- Plastic puppy crate. – These crates are usually a lot lighter than wire ones, and many models can be popped apart and used as a dog bed without the top. Instead of unobstructed views, plastic crates typically have a row of holes for ventilation and limited viewing, which is great for dogs who prefer privacy or, for whatever reason, need an environment with few distractions. Moreover, many plastic puppy crates are airline-approved. However, they can also be stifling for some pups in warmer climates and can get stinky (although they are usually pretty easy to clean).
- Metal or wire puppy crates. – Wire crates are great for dogs in warmer climates and those with longer or thicker hair because they provide maximum airflow. Plus, with wire puppy crates, your furbaby can see all the action. In addition to the ventilation, wire crates are easier to store because they fold down, and many are configurable and can size up with your pup. However, for some puppies being able to see and not get out can cause stress, which can lead to excessive whining and yapping. They can also be too cold for small puppies in colder climates. Moreover, metal and wire crates are not airline-approved.
- Best Dog Cone– After a not-so-fun trip to the vet, your pup deserves to recover in comfort.
- The Best Puppy Harness– Determine the perfect size, type, and training process.
- Best Puppy Pads– Accidents happen, and puppy pads have you covered for those inevitable potty-training oopsies.
Related Crate Products
Here Are the 6 Best Puppy Training Crates: Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What type of crate is best for a puppy?
It depends on the puppy. What may work for a dachshund pup may not be ideal for a malamute one. Above, we’ve outlined our picks for the best puppy training crates in several categories.
Is crate training the best way to train a puppy?
For non-professional dog owners, crate training is the most effective way to train puppies. However, each individual puppy is different and will have different needs, so it’s important to take this into account when choosing a puppy training crate.
Is a crate or playpen better for a puppy?
Playpens and crates are different and serve different purposes. Playpens are best when you want to control the pup’s environment while simultaneously giving it space to romp. Also, if you must leave a puppy alone for several hours, playpens are best. Crates, on the other hand, are better for sleeping and potty training.
What size crate should you get for a puppy?
Ideally, a puppy’s crate should be large enough for him or her to stand up, turn around, and sleep comfortably. If you’re looking to buy one that will last a dog’s lifetime, a configurable or adjustable option is best.
How long can you leave an eight week old puppy in a crate?
Puppies younger than eight weeks old need near-constant attention. But once a newborn canine turns eight weeks old, they can be left alone in a crate for one hour per month-age plus one hour. In other words, if your puppy is eight weeks old, they can be crated for three hours (two months = two hours, plus one hour). A puppy that’s 12 weeks old can be left alone for four hours.
Should I put a pee pad in my puppy's crate?
No! Don’t put pee pads in puppy crates. It’s counterproductive. One of the main reasons to crate puppies is to potty-train. By letting them relieve themselves in the crate, they never learn how to ask to go outside. In addition, dogs do not relieve themselves in the same place that they sleep and rest, so placing a pee pad in their crate will confuse and cause stress.
Are puppy crates cruel?
No. Puppy crates aren’t cruel as long as you do not leave your puppy in a crate for hours on end, the crate is the correct size, and it is used appropriately. Dogs are genetically predisposed to seek out small, safe dens, so they are trained appropriately, a crate will provide them with a place of security and safety.
Where should a puppy sleep the first night?
For the first night in a new home, puppies should sleep in a crate right next to their human’s bed. If possible, include a a blanket or a few plush toys that have the scent of their littermates or doggie mom.
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