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The 8 Best Dog Crates for Labradors in 2021 (and Playpens)

There’s no place like home, and for your dog, home is where the crate is. Making sure you get the best crate for your Labrador is the easiest way to make your pup feel at home. In making this decision, you’ll need to consider two factors: the kind of material and the size of the crate.

The best crate for Labrador Retriever puppies, therefore, differs from the best crate for adult Labs – mainly in size. You should keep the crate material consistent throughout your Lab’s lifecycle for familiarity. That’s why it is critical to get the right crate at the beginning.

Best Dog Crate for Labrador

What Kind of Crate is Best for a Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retrievers can be introduced to their crates as soon as they’re released into your custody. While an 8-week-old Lab can sit in any type of crate, you must ensure you get him the kind of crate he can feel at home in even as a grown-up.

The best kind of crate for a Labrador is one made of metal wire. They are the most practicable and durable enough to resist any damage. More importantly, they maximize visibility and airflow, which helps your Labrador not feel isolated. Wire crates are also easy to clean, and most fold flat.

However, not all metal crates are built alike, as you will discover from the rest of this article. Each crate must be judged on its portability, ease of assembly, durability, and of course, Lab-friendliness. But fret not, as I’ll cover the best options below with each of these aspects reviewed.

I’ll also tell you my pick of different types of crates and playpens depending on your Labrador’s needs, such as the best:

  • Soft crate
  • Travel crate
  • Furniture style crate
  • Soft playpen
  • Metal playpen

But first, let’s look at what you should consider when choosing the best crate for your Labrador…

What to Look For in a Dog Crate

You would think there’s not much in choosing the best crate for your Labrador. Wrong! Here are the main features you should consider when choosing a metal wire crate for your doggo:

  • Size. Your dog’s crate should be large enough for your Labrador to comfortably stand, turn round, and lie down on his side with outstretched paws. Make sure you choose a size 42″ which is just perfect for your Lab to grow into. 
  • Durability. You need a sturdy metal crate for a large dog such as the Labrador Retriever. Make sure the edges are nicely rounded for safety, especially if you have small children.
  • Style. Choose a double door variety that provides versatility so you can put it anywhere in your home. However, opt for a single door if you already know where you are going to put it. It will also save you a few dollars.
  • Accessories. I recommend an adjustable divider while your Lab pup is growing. You don’t want a crate that is too big for your puppy as he may be tempted to use half of it as a toilet! If you divide the crate when he is small, he won’t want to pee or poop in his area. Your crate should also come with an easy-clean removable plastic tray.
  • Easy Assembly and Portable. Choose a crate that you can quickly set up without needing any tools. It needs to be able to fold flat and has a carrying handle so you can move it around. Some dog crates also have roller feet that prevent your hard floor from scratches.

What are the Best Dog Crates for Labs?

Here’s a quick look at the products I review in this article. Whilst I review three popular metal wire crates for your Labrador Retriever, my favorite – and the best by far in my opinion – is the MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate. However, the MidWest iCrate starter kit comes a close second.

ProductCrate TypeBuy Now
MidWest Homes for Pets iCrateMetalCheck Price on Amazon
New World Pet Products Dog CrateMetalCheck Price on Amazon
MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate Starter KitMetalCheck Price on Amazon
Amazon Basics Portable Soft CrateSoft PortableCheck Price on Amazon
Petmate Vari KennelTravelCheck Price on Amazon
New Age Pet eco FLEX Dog CrateFurniture StyleCheck Price on Amazon
Zampa Portable PlaypenSoft PlaypenCheck Price on Amazon
MidWest Homes for Pets Portable Metal PlaypenMetal PlaypenCheck Price on Amazon

Best Metal Wire Crates

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

This folding metal dog crate is ideal for Labs because of its roominess and convenience for the owner. At 42-inches, there’s plenty of space for your adult Lab and the divider that you can place at any point in the crate. You can start small and let the crate grow with your dog.

Size

This crate is 30 inches tall and 28 inches wide. The variable length is 42 inches, making it ideal for large breeds. It is essential to consider your Labrador’s maximum potential height when purchasing a crate. Remember, this height is calculated not by estimating growth per year but by simply looking up the maximum size of a male of your dog’s breed. 

Even if your Lab’s a female, getting a crate fit for a male Lab is safer. With most male Labradors growing up to 24 inches, the 30-inch height of this crate is more than enough.

Material

With a metal wire material across all sides, your Labrador isn’t going to feel alone or isolated. At the same time, the wire will restrain him, which is crucial as he starts learning to accept the crate as his nook.

Other Features

With the size and material covered, let’s look at what other aspects make this crate one of the best options for your Labrador. The product’s patented rounded side clips make it safer for your dog compared to the sharp edges found in traditional wire crates. 

On the subject of safety, the crate’s secure locking mechanism is worth mentioning as well because it gives you the peace of mind that your Labrador’s not going to wiggle free and wreak havoc in the room, especially in your absence.

In your presence, it is a different story. The two doors, alongside a design that maximizes visibility, allows your Lab to feel socially integrated while being in his crate. The drawback of this could be that grounding your dog in his crate might not be as effective when he loves his crate so much.

But if you are a good dog owner, you’ll already know that this is not a good way to discipline your Labrador.

Convenience

Finally, we must consider the convenience of the product to you. Yes, your Labrador will be comfortable and feel at home, especially during crate training, but will this crate be a pain to assemble or maintain? If you go by the aggregate of over a hundred thousand reviews and ratings on Amazon, the answer is a resounding no. 

The crate’s ease of folding is rated at 4.6 stars out of 5, and its ease of assembly is rated the highest at 4.7 out of 5 stars. If you were previously skeptical of the fact that the crate, despite being big, is perfect for your fresh Lab puppy, the 4.5-star rating for the “for potty training” feature might change your mind.

I love the icrate, and as the name suggests, it’s an all-inclusive product, so you’ve nothing else to buy, which leads me onto the next product…

New World Pet Products Dog Crate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

Labs might not be the messiest dogs, but all puppies make a mess. This mess-proof dog crate is ideal for large breeds and allows you to make an early introduction without front-loading your efforts. 

A typical dog-mom might have to commit to a difficult crate-cleaning regimen when crating her puppy, but this crate allows you to skip that tough work. But before we get into the product’s unique features, let’s go over its size and material.

Size

This product is slightly smaller in height compared to the previous option but still gives a good 3 to 4 inches of free space for your fully grown Lab to stand. As mentioned above, you must consider a fully grown male’s height for your puppy’s breed to make sure the crate will be a consistent fixture in the ever-changing world of your dog.

The length of this crate is 42 inches, which might be too big for a puppy. To make your puppy feel secure, and speed up your Labrador’s potty training, you need a divider for this crate. Most people project their own psychology onto their pets and assume more room is always preferable. 

This is okay when it comes to the height; a dog can be comfortable in a room with a ceiling nine times his height. However, when it comes to the width and the breadth of the area of the crate, your Labrador needs a smaller space to feel comfortable.

If you get this crate, make sure to separately purchase a crate divider to help your puppy feel comfortable in it. If your Lab’s already grown up, then this isn’t something to worry about.

Material

This crate is the same metal wireframe variety as the previous one, albeit with better accolades. Over 18,000 reviews have set its average sturdiness rating at 4.5 out of 5 stars. But that isn’t even the best part; the greatest thing about this crate is that its dimensions are better suited for dog beds. 

In other words, the greatest material feature of this product isn’t the material it is made of but the material it can accommodate. You can put any dog mattress that is 28 inches wide and up to 42 inches long in this crate.

Other Features

The plastic pan that comes with this dog crate allows you to clean it easily by pulling it out and washing and drying it in a convenient space. Since you’re with your canine best friend for the long haul, getting a convenient product is the best thing you can do for both of you. 

The easy cleanup feature might become useless when your dog is disciplined enough to keep his crate clean, but there are other lifelong areas of convenience to consider.

Convenience

Accessories can be added to the crate to decorate and add practical fun to the space. There’s also a handy user guide you can download from the product’s Amazon page, which is great for those purchasing their first dog crate. 

This product has also secured the highest possible rating for the “for potty training” aspect, which currently stands at 5 out of 5 stars. The overall rating for this crate, from an average of over 18,000 reviews, is 4.7 out of 5 stars, and it has gotten props for its ease of assembly (4.7 stars), portability (4.3 stars), and ease of folding (4.7 stars).

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate Starter Kit

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

While many manufacturers assert that their crates are more than crates and, in fact, are “home” for the dog, this product truly fits the description. The product is a bundle in which the crate is only one part. The contents of this crate kit include a cover for the crate, a dog bed to place inside the crate, and food and water bowls that can be attached easily to the crate’s interior.

Material

The crate itself is a collapsible metal wire crate. As you may have read in the beginning, metal is the ideal material for Labradors, which is why most options on this list will feature metal. 

Included also is a fleece bed, which helps your Labrador stay warm and cozy inside the crate. Adding to the coziness is a polyester cover that you can use at night time to minimize distractions and help your Labrador go to bed.

Size

The dimensions of this crate aren’t particularly unique. With a 42-inch length and a 28-inch width, the crate matches the dimensions from a previous option, though it has a larger height. At 30 inches, the crate hits the maximum mark for most large-breed dog crates and gives even the bigger Labradors a good 6 inches of headspace.

Other Features

While not unique, the crate does include a double-door option. I find it worth mentioning here because not every product in this post checks this mark. It is also collapsable, again, like many other metal dog crates. Ultimately, the unique proposition of this product is its convenient bundling, which also makes for great value-for-money. 

You can include the brand as a feature because the humane message of the manufacturer is quite endearing: the product’s sales page includes instructions regarding humane and patient introduction to crates. When a manufacturer warns customers not to force their dogs into the crate or use it as a tool to punish, I cannot help but give it a few points.

The product has also gotten props for durability with a 4.8-star rating on a 5-star scale. This is well-differentiated from the accolades of other products here. However, it doesn’t rank too high for me because I know that no matter how durable a crate is, you may wish to replace it throughout your Labrador’s life.

Convenience

Finally, no product review is complete without looking at its convenience for you, the one responsible for the dog. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything out of the ordinary in terms of convenience, though the crate has been reviewed thoroughly enough for there to be a higher resolution of feedback. 

For example, we know that a few other options on this list are easy to clean, thanks to their respective removable trays. However, this product has a 4.6-star rating in the “easy to clean” dimension. 

Other feedback that speaks to the crate’s convenience includes ease of assembly, which stands at 4.8 stars, and foldability, which is given an average rating of 4.7 stars.

The ultimate convenience of this product comes from the fact that you do not have to make individual purchases to bring together your Labrador’s home. Getting a bed and cover separately may mean having different waiting periods, paying for shipping of each product in some cases, and shelling out more cash overall.

Most dogs love the den-like feel of having a cover over their special place, and I always draped a blanket over my pup’s crate both when she was young and as an adult. But if you’d rather buy your accessories separately then, this crate kit isn’t for you.

Related: How Long Can You Leave a Lab in a Crate? Myths vs. Reality!

Best Soft Portable Crate

Amazon Basics Portable Soft Crate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

If your Labrador’s disciplined enough to sit silently in a covered crate, you can use this portable soft crate for short-distance traveling. There’s not a lot about this crate that makes it a must-buy except for its portability, but then again, a travel crate has to be easy to move, or it isn’t a good travel crate. Let’s look at its material and size before getting into its differentiating features.

Material

This is a polyester product, which is great for moving Labrador puppies. In theory, you can use this crate even as a dog home as long as your puppy is young, but that would make it harder for your Labrador to accept a metal crate later on. 

The product, ultimately, is at the mercy of your dog and his training, but its opacity does present an advantage; there’s little to no stimuli that would otherwise make your Labrador hyper-aware or too excited. The harder potions of this crate are made of PVC, which is sturdier than polyester but is a nightmare to clean.

Size

Size isn’t a concern with this soft crate, as it stands at 30 inches with a matching width and a 42-inch length. This spaciousness, however, doesn’t offset the material disadvantage, especially since the metal crates (the best ones) also come in similarly spacious options.

Other Features

While the product will last a much shorter while than its metal counterparts, it does present its own advantages. I just don’t know whether they’re worth the shortened lifespan. The key features include the breathability of polyester, lack of stimuli, and a fleece pet bed. It is pretty easy to carry and comes with a strap to help manage this.

Convenience

With this product, the convenience is dictated entirely by how well-trained your dog is. If your Labrador is an obligate scratcher, then the crate’s panels will be its canvas, but if your canine is patient and mellow, this is a convenient option for traveling and moving. 

All in all, it’s a good crate to have as a backup as it doesn’t take too much space. And if your Lab’s trained to be relatively inert when there’s a cover on his metal crate, you might be able to get him into this crate and have him stay put.

Best Travel Crate

Petmate Vari Kennel

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

Unless you charter a private jet every time you fly, you know that traveling requires compromising on space. Every model of transportation is significantly less “roomy” than the place you reside in. This travel crate defies that principle and presents a spacious way of housing your Labrador on your travels. It’s the equivalent of an RV for humans.

Material

This crate incorporates both metal and plastic, which is great for travel but inconvenient for home use. Metal crates aren’t perfect for traveling because a 360-degree wireframe means your Lab will get hyperstimulated looking at the changing environment in all directions. Opaque plastic on the side reduces this stimulation, while the metal wire window keeps your dog from feeling claustrophobic.

Size

As mentioned above, one of the flagship features of this product is that it allows you to transport your Labrador without really “caging” him. The crate dimensions stand at 48 inches x 32 inches x 35 inches, comparable and even more spacious than many metal options. Cleaning such a crate can be quite a chore, but its spaciousness means you’ll have enough room to reach and scrub the corners.

Other Features

Comparing this travel crate to metal ones wouldn’t be fair. Instead, you should compare it to other portable options. The plastic sides are better than polyester panels commonly used in travel crates. 

Another thing to consider is the airflow because dogs can start feeling claustrophobic if they don’t get fresh air. The metal wire window alongside the ventilation holes at the back allows air to circulate properly.

Convenience

This travel crate makes it convenient to transport your Lab because there’s little distraction and confusion. The only concern one might have is regarding the crate’s durability, given that metal makes up a minor portion of the overall product. However, the crate’s 4.5 rating for sturdiness is evidence of the fact that the product is durable enough despite not being as strong as a wire crate.

Best Furniture Style Crate

New Age Pet ecoFLEX Dog Crate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

If you’re not too sensitive regarding the optics and want your dog crate to double as an end table, this is the perfect crate for your Labrador. It features metal bars and a wooden roof, panels, and flooring.

Material

The product features wood which can be a concerning aspect because of the rivalry between dogs and wooden posts. However, this is plastic wood and is not as scratchable.

According to the manufacturer, the wood is non-toxic and recycled. The stainless steel bars are obviously strong enough to make sure the crate boundaries are actual boundaries and not suggestions (like they are with travel crates).

Size

The crate is 29.1 inches high (on the inside), but the thick wood at the top makes the overall height of the crate reach 30.9 inches. With a 24.6 inches wide 39.8 inches long interior room, the crate is spacious enough for all female Labradors and most male Labs.

Other Features

The only prominent feature is the style and aesthetic appeal of this crate. While most crates look like jailhouses, this one looks like a luxurious house arrest destination. 

It comes in black, white, grey, espresso, and russet colors, of which I only knew three. Espresso is a fancy way of saying brownish-grey and russet, reddish-brown. This variety allows you to pick the crate that complements your furniture.

Convenience

Despite looking like a complicated piece of carpentry, the crate is easy to assemble and requires no tools. It also doubles as furniture making it more convenient for you to make room for the crate, especially if you live in a studio apartment.

All in all, I love the look of this crate and the great choice of colors which will fit any decor.

Best Portable Playpen

Zampa Portable Playpen

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

This product isn’t as much of a crate as it is a friendly boundary-setting play area that’s portable and convenient to carry. It comes in brown, blue, pink, and red colors, of which dogs can only see blue because they don’t discern colors the same way we do.

This playpen is a great puppy zone for controlling your new puppy’s environment and keeping him safe. You can also use it as an effective time-out during training.

Read More: How to Train an 8-week Old Labrador Puppy.

Material

The playpen is made of materials not disclosed by manufacturers, but I can convey it best by describing the feel. The exterior of this water-proof playpen feels like canvas, while the bottom feels like the outside of a tent. The material is sturdy but is no match to plastic or metal.

Size

This is one of the most spacious items on this post because it serves a different purpose. It is not meant to be the sleeping place of a dog or a traveling carry-case. It gives an inspiring environment for your Labrador and spans 61 inches in length and breadth across its octagonal shape and 30 inches in height.

Other Features and Convenience

The product comes with a carry mechanism that makes it look like a large laptop bag and features outer pockets and even a water bottle holder. Since the whole thing is made of fabric and inbuilt support, there’s no assembly required. That, however, isn’t a differentiating factor since many other options on this list require no assembly.

Best Metal Playpen

MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Playpen

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

This product brings together the spaciousness of the previous option with the sturdiness of the first item in this post, making the perfect environment for your Labrador to relax or play within a relatively confined space. This playpen is best for those with a bigger residence who want to “dog-proof” an area without covering every piece of wood with an anti-chew spray-like product.

You can also use it with my favorite recommended crate (hint: the first on this list) to make a larger puppy/dog zone as both can be connected together.

I love this idea as it gives your Lab loads more room whilst keeping him in a safe environment and allowing a positive experience.

Material

This playpen features metal wire panels and has an open top and bottom. In other words, the flooring could be grass or carpet, depending on the place where you assemble the playpen. Since this is recommended for puppies, it is safe to use indoors as most adult Labs with appropriate training don’t wet the floor.

Size

Each panel is 24 inches wide, and there are eight panels. You can determine the width of the playpen by assembling the panels closely or even attaching extra panels. You can even attach this to a wire crate and create a home+terrace setup for your Labrador, as mentioned above.

Convenience

The most convenient thing about this playpen is that it takes your hands off of babysitting your dog. This also is the thing you must be most concerned about because leaving your Lab in his playpen for extended periods might make it easier for you to slack off on your responsibility to socialize with your best friend, take him out on walks, and play with him.

FAQ

What Size Crate Should I Get for a Labrador?

Labradors need a 42-inch-size crate, so their size is well-accommodated in it. The crate should also be 27 inches tall at minimum, so the dog can safely stand without hitting his head and 28 inches wide so that he can move around, lie on his side, and comfortably stretch out his paws.

What Size Crate is Best for Lab Puppy?

The best crate size for a Labrador puppy is 42 inches. A wire crate with a divider is perfect as you can start your pup off in a small enough space by setting the divider a few inches away from his full length and continue to adjust as the dog grows. This also speeds up potty training.

Which Crate Should I Pick?

Labradors are very social and strong enough to rip apart delicate boundaries that cordon them off from their favorite pastime: playing with people. A metal wireframe checks two boxes with the same pen as it allows the dog to feel like he’s a part of the surrounding social scene because of high visibility.

So, if we discount the different types of crates I have chosen for you and just concentrating on metal wire crates, here’s what I’d pick…

The best dog crate for Labradors is the MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate as it’s strong, durable, and ideal for large dogs. This “all-inclusive” crate has everything you need, as it includes a convenient divider panel and a removable plastic tray, meaning you’ve nothing else to buy.

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