Last Updated on December, 2023
If you’re here, chances are high that you had a bad experience using a regular crate for hunting dogs.
You’re not the first.
However, it’s one of those mistakes that you should avoid repeating. So, you’re lucky to stumble across my review of the best hunting dog crates.
But why should you trust me?
Table of Contents
- Why Trust Me?
- 4 Best Hunting Dog Crates
- What Makes a Great Hunting Dog Crate?
- Purpose of a Hunting Dog Crate
- In Conclusion
Why Trust Me?
For starters, I’ve been a dog crate critic for years. As always, I brought in topic-specific people to get real-life opinions.
For this review, it was a group of hunters.
With their help and my own research, we trimmed down a list of about 10 best hunting dog crates to the 4 best of the best.
Not only that, we tested them on our own with these hunters. That’s why this list is as authentic and accurate as possible.
Without further ado, let’s start the list with the best — the Gunner G1.
4 Best Hunting Dog Crates
1. GUNNER G1
Gunner is a brand symbolizing resilience in the outdoor setting. Their G1 kennel is an absolute beast as a hunting dog crate.
Let’s see why so many hunters choose the G1 kennel.
The first green flag is how the crate is crowned as the world’s safest travel kennel. You’ll be convinced as we go through the features.
The G1 kennel is the ONLY double wall rotomolded crate in the market. What’s so special about it?
For starters, the crate stays 12% cooler than most aluminum and single-walled rotomolded crates. It also requires 20% less energy for your dog to stay warm inside it.
These features are immensely helpful when the crate is exposed to unavoidable harsh hunting environments.
The cherry on top is the element-repellent windows. These windows are big enough to enable excellent air circulation and visibility but placed strategically sufficient to keep your hunting dog safe from rain, snow, and sleet.
In other words, the Gunner G1 is designed to always provide the utmost comfort to your dog.
While that comfort factor is there, the Gunner G1 is acclaimed for strength. In fact, the crate has a powerful aluminum frame designed to protect a dog before, during, and after a wreck. You know how unsafe hunting trips can be.
The ultimate layer of trust is how Gunner shows you the videos of how the G1 is crash-tested. You also get to see real dogs saved in real accidents — this has been the deciding point for most hunters.
But what if your hunting dog broke through the crate door?
Thanks to the solid primary latch and top and bottom backup latches, that’s impossible. Not even David Blaine could escape this crate.
Some hunters we spoke to found it hard to clean typical dog crates with their hunting dogs. This explains why Gunner included a removable oversized drainage plug inside the crate.
On top of that, the recessed floor ensures your dog will never stand on water or after an accident, as it will flow to the inner edges.
Portability is a key requirement with hunting dog crates. To do it conveniently, the Gunner G1 has two super strong handles placed at two ends of the crate. It’ll stay steady thanks to the tie pins and the wide bottom.
I am sure its non-slip feet further increase the crate stability.
Not to bring up favoritism, but I know American-made crates are reliable. So, it’s great that the G1 is made in the USA from start to finish. I trust this is why the brand gives a lifetime guarantee.
Not only that, but you also get 30-day return period.
What about its personalization factor?
The Gunner G1 is available in 5 camouflage colors.
You also get four crate sizes whose smallest comes with dimensions 21.75″ (L – Floor) x 14.5″ (W – Floor) x 15.5″ (H) / 16.5″ (W) at the kennel’s widest interior point.
The largest crate is 33.25″ (L – Floor) x 21″ (W – Floor) x 29″ (H) / 23″ (W) at the kennel’s widest interior point.
There are three size guides if you’re worried about finding the crate size. One is based on your dog’s dimensions, the second is based on the vehicle fit, and the last is directly based on crate dimensions.
Whether I like it or not, Gunner G1’s feature list is not closely matched, and it undoubtedly keeps your hunting dog safe.
2. ROCK CREEK ALUMINUM DOG CRATE
The best alternative dog crate for the Gunner G1 is the Rock Creeks Aluminum crate. Why so? Let’s find out.
This is a cuboidal metallic crate, a bit similar to the G1. The crate is available in four sizes, whose smallest length is 30″ and the largest is 48″. Holding a big hunting dog inside there is not a challenge at all.
The color selection of the Rock Creek crate is less camouflaged than the Gunner G1. However, you get seven crate colors, including black and dark grey, which suit the hunting environments better.
How does this crate perform as a hunting dog crate?
This is the only internally welded aluminum crate in the market. Bringing a strong sense of guarantee, the crate is the first metal kennel to pass a 5-start crash test rating. So, hunting dog owners don’t have to worry about their dogs’ safety.
Rock Creeks brings the escape-proof label to the crate thanks to the beefy door and an upgraded main latch. You also get two secondary butterfly latches to discourage even the most determined dogs.
There is no chance of hunting dogs bending the strong aluminum bars on its door.
Just as much as the safety and security, the comfort level of this crate is sky-high thanks to the optimal hexagonal ventilation system. There’s enough visibility as well.
Knowing that the dog will have a good night’s sleep after a day of hunting is a wonderful feeling, according to the hunters that came aboard — do you relate too?
The two easy-to-carry handles are similar to the Gunner G1. But these are better as they are recessed.
As you can carry it more easily, you can also tie it up better, thanks to the threaded insert compatibility.
This is also a USA-made hunting dog crate that comes fully assembled, which is convenient — the relieving 10-year warranty compliments that convenience. You also get easy returns and exchanges.
With all these features, the Rock Creeks aluminum dog crate is the second-best hunting dog crate I can recommend.
3. Ruff Land Performance Dog Kennel
At first glance, the Ruff Land dog kennel looks similar to the Gunner G1 — it’s alright to copy the best one’s look as long as you’re delivering enough.
Does this crate do that? Let’s find out.
This hunting dog crate comes in three sizes, whose smallest is 30½ “L x 20” W x 22 “H, and the largest is as big as 40¼ “L x 22¼ “W x 30½ “H.
We ordered the X-large (the largest size), and one downside of this crate would be different shipping charges for each size.
But it comes only in one color: black.
Nonetheless, Ruff Land’s one-piece rotomolded construction is admirable. The entire crate is made to absorb energy by design. This is a bit similar to Gunner G1’s design approach too.
But how does Ruff Land do it?
It’s by using a race-car-inspired energy dissipation technology. Not only does this manage heat impressively, but it also provides excellent strength against accidents and the turbulent nature of hunting environments.
But these crates aren’t crash-tested.
In comparison to the best crate, it’s a downside.
However, you’d like the recessed floor design that ensures your dog doesn’t stand in water. But cleaning is more challenging than the Gunner G1 as it lacks a drainage plug.
I’m comparing it with Gunner G1 because it’s clear that Ruff Land crates are trying to resemble the G1 while falling short.
Ruff Land performance crate’s ventilation design, however, is impressive. The circular ventilation holes are all over the crate, and it provides enough light, too, even when you’re in the woods.
Although it doesn’t have secondary locks, this crate has a strong enough door with one strong locker. It could comfortably hold a well-grown Great Dane — we checked it ourselves.
While the crate itself keeps the dog safe, the no-bite grid pattern discourages dogs from chewing. Ultimately, that elongates the lifespan of the crate.
All of these factors make it easy to use the crate for dog owners and dogs themselves. The cherry on top is the dual sturdy grab handles at the top, making transporting easier.
Being a brand running successfully since 1856 in the USA, it’s great to have that sense of accountability. After all, you get free shipping too.
If you asked me, Ruff Land Performance kennel is a fantastic attempt by the brand to match Gunner G1’s quality. It’s an impressive alternative crate.
Here’s our complete review of Ruff Land Kennels.
4. Lucky Duck Kennel
And for the last recommendation, I give you Lucky Kenel. Let’s see what makes it special.
The crate has a unique body shape, just as much as the design. The shape allows you to place it on almost any flat surface easily.
As a dog hunting crate, having a patented design is a definite flex.
The Lucky Kennel looks resilient & badass, and it lives up to its appearance. The crate is 5-start crash-tested and built specifically for harsh hunting settings.
The brand assures hunters that the crate can withstand a force of even 4000 lbs when dropped from over 8 feet.
In other words, you don’t have to worry about its safety.
One downside of this kennel is that it comes in only one size and one color: black.
The dimensions are 33 “L x 23” W x 25 “H, weighing only 38 lbs. This is around the mid-size range of typical hunting dog crates.
Although it looks metallic, this crate is single-walled rotomolded plastic, Gunner G1’s material. This eliminates metallic crates’ downsides, with immense strength and protection from severe hunting environmental conditions, especially heat and coldness.
The comfort of this crate is higher with enough wall ventilation. Your hunting dog will experience ample airflow, light, and visibility with its door.
Like the Gunner G1, the Lucky Kennel has a reversible door accompanied by a main latch and two secondary corner-locking pins. This door is injection molded, but you also have the option for a metal door.
However, the frame is not premium aluminum, which is another reason why it is not as good as the Gunner G1.
However, we tested the corner locking pins, and they work amazingly. But it would take a few tries to get fully accustomed.
Transporting the Lucky Kennel is easier due to two reasons. The first one is safe transportation features.
The crate stays in one place when the strategic body shape accompanies the non-slip feet. The powder-coated tie-downs are the icing on the cake of stability.
The second reason is the balance of its weight with the two carrying handles. It makes it extremely easy to move around.
As a finishing touch, hunter-dog owners can conveniently clean the crate thanks to the drain holes. But personally, I don’t think it’s as effective as a removable plug.
The cherry on top is the space for a custom nameplate — who doesn’t like branding?
All things considered, this USA-made hunter-dog kennel has excellent features. They work together to provide a great experience to hunting dog owners.
What Makes a Great Hunting Dog Crate?
So, what criteria did I consider in choosing and ranking these? What did the hunters use? Let’s check that out under this section.
- Durable construction is imperative to withstand rough handling and protect your hunting dog during rough transportation. I urge you to get a crash-tested crate.
- Higher portability by design should be there to ensure it’s easy to do it — remember Gunner G1 is crowned as the world’s safest traveling crate?
- A great hunting dog crate will always have secure locking mechanisms with strong locks. Not just any locks but escape-proof design quality.
- Sufficient ventilation is crucial to keep your hunting dog comfy and prevent overheating during transportation or extended stays in the crate.
- Hunting dog crates with smooth surfaces and /or removable parts makes cleaning easier after muddy hunting trips.
- Enough space inside for your hunting dogs to stand, lie down, and turn comfortably, but not too spacious to prevent injury, is crucial.
While there are several other factors, adhering to only these factors is more than enough. But why buy a hunting dog crate?
Purpose of a Hunting Dog Crate
Hunting dog crates are designed specifically for harsh conditions.
For example, containing a strong hunting dog in a traditional crate is least likely to be successful. In parallel, hunting dog crates, especially like the Gunner G1, are made to be crash-proof.
You shouldn’t take chances there.
Additionally, a bespoke hunting dog crate can serve as a secure shelter during hunting trips, offering a familiar and safe space for the dog to rest and recuperate between hunting sessions.
In conclusion, the purpose of a hunting dog crate is to be what it is named to be; a crate for hunting dogs in hunting situations.
Guest what? We’ve reviewed the best dog crates that fulfills all the needs. Check them out here.
Authentic hunting dog crates are hard to find. But not only did I find the best ones with the endorsement of real hunters, but I also ranked them for you — my ranking criteria were nothing but features and their benefits.
When comparing, it’s obvious how the Gunner G1 leads the list thanks to its superior performance. Ultimately, that gives you immense peace of mind about your dog throughout the hunting trip.
That’s how great hunters become legendary.
I hope this review was helpful to you. Stay safe out there, and happy hunting!
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