If you hunt with a dog, you understand that there's not a more valuable thing or piece of gear out there. The time spent training, traveling with, and taking care of these guys can build memories that last a lifetime. To look out for your hunting companion, it's necessary that you have the Best Hunting Dog Kennel money can buy and here's why!

Dog kennels (or crates) are essential parts of a hunting trip with a dog, and you need all you can get from this gear... especially if you're willing to spend the money. We've taken a look at some of the top things hunters look for in a suitable kennel or crate - Safety, Price, Quality, & Design. So no matter if you're using your dog to hunt ducks, quail, deer, or rabbits - there's something here for you!

Many reviews or comparison charts out there leave hunters spending hours on the internet researching to make sure they don't miss anything. As a result, we've taken the time contact friends and other direct users of these kennels, and give you the key facts in one simple place. Furthermore, I have personal experience using and testing one of these kennels for over 7 years! 

Take a look at the information we've gathered from top kennel manufactures, and remember to read over our "Things To Consider" and "FAQs" section before you make your next purchase. Good luck and we hope you enjoy!

Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Gunner G1 Kennel Ruff Land Performance Kennel Dakota 283 G3 Kennel Lucky Kennel
Brand Gunner Ruff Land Dakota Lucky Duck
Image Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Gunner G1 Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Ruff Land Performance Kennel Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Dakota 283 G3 Kennel Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Lucky Dog
Construction Double-Wall Rotomolded Ruff Flex Technology Single Molded Piece One-Piece Rotomolded
Sizes S, M, INT, L (See Below) M, L, XL INT, L
Warranty Lifetime 1-Year Limited 1-Year Limited Lifetime
Price Range Around $500-$975 Around $190-$435 Around $380-600 Around $600-700
Best Price Gunner G1 Kennels Ruff Land Performance Kennels Dakota 283 G3 Kennel Lucky Duck Kennel

 

Best Deer Attractants

Best Travel Hunting Dog Kennel

Gunner G1 Kennel

Gunner revolutionized the way hunters look at kennels, and really raised the bar for other manufacturers out there. After years and years of perfecting, many hunters label the Gunner G1 crate as the best travel hunting dog kennel out money can buy. 

The G1 kennel is the only double walled rotomolded kennel on the market. This means that the outer layer absorbs a majority of the impact, while the inner layer keeps your partner safe. 

This particular designs marks the G1 Small, Medium, and Int. as 5 Start Crash Tested. This means that it offers nearly 2x the strength of other standard crates, and will put your hunting dog in the best possible position if a wreck were to occur - "Virtually Bombproof" as Gunner dog crates would state!

Other great features include a reversible door designed to be opened from either side. The door frame is also quite amazing as its reinforced with an aluminum frame for added protection. 

Additionally, Gunner kennels meet most airline requirements. It's noted by the brand that you must following additional guidelines that pertain to consumer requirements. More information below in our FAQs. 

What We Like

  • Crash Tested
  • Double-Wall Rotomolded
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • American Made

What We Dislike

  • Weight
  • Price
  • Limited Air Vents

Gunner offers the G1 in four different sizes: Small, Medium, Intermediate, and Large. As far as Gunner kennel dimensions and weights for each size, check out the chart below for a quick summary!

Size Interior Dimensions Exterior Dimensions Weight
Small
21.75"L x 14.5"W x 15.5"H
24.5"L x 18.625"W x 19"H
27 lbs.
Medium
25"L x 18"W x 19.75"H
29.5"L x 20.5"W x 23.5"H
38 lbs.
Inter.
30"L x 18"W x 25"H
34"L x 23"W x 28.5"H
48 lbs.
Large
33.25"L x 21"W x 29"H
40.25"L x 28"W x 33.25"H
72 lbs.

 

For latest prices, and more information click here!

Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Gunner G1

Best Priced Hunting Dog Kennel

Ruff Land Performance Kennels

Ruff Land Kennels might be the most innovative kennel manufacturer on the market as it produces a wide range of specifically designed crates for every hunter. And the greatest thing about this is the fact that are very reasonably priced - even with so many top characteristics. 

As far as the technology you get with Ruff Land kennels, it's important to note the kennel's best features:

- Ruff Flex Technology: All sides of the kennel house a built-in flexibility which absorbs energy that would otherwise be transferred to your dog. Most double-walled crates are very stiff and provide little give in the event of a crash.

- StackRight Design: The tops and bottoms all feature form-fit nesting making them stackable - something highly valued if you need to store multiple kennels efficiently.

- SureVent Tapered Wall Design: Vent holes line the side walls of Ruff Land's kennels, and its tapered wall design ensures air ventilation will remain present if the crate is up against a flat wall. 

- 2-Way Door: All doors are ambidextrous and can be adjusted to swing either way.

These are just a few of the most notable things you'll receive with a purchase of a Ruff Land kennel. We encourage you to check out some of their other top designs options including the SUV / BackSeat Model, Side Doors, Slant Back Mold, etc. 

Aside from general features, this particular kennel is one I've used for the past 7 hunting seasons with my 2 GSPs. Not only has this item remained durable, but it continues to offer everything I need in a good hunting dog kennel. There are so many great things to mention about this particular product, and that's why I decided to do a video summary of everything - check it out below!

What We Like

  • Price
  • Weight
  • Double Door Feature
  • SUV / Backseat Models
  • Custom Ventilation 

What We Dislike

  • No Bottom Drainage
  • Accessories Not Included (But Many Available)

Ruff Land gives several different size options within their performance line, including: Small, Mid-size, Medium, Backseat, Intermediate, Large, X-Large. Take a look at the comparison chart below for all dimensions and weights.

Size Interior Dimensions Exterior Dimensions Weight
Small
20.5"L x 15.5"W x 13.25"H
22.25"L x 16"W x 15"H
10 lbs.
Mid-size
22.5"L x 16.25"W x 16"H
24.5"L x 16.5"W x 18"H
14 lbs.
Medium
26"L x 17.5"W x 18"H
27.8"L x 18"W x 20.75"H
17 lbs.
Backseat
26.1"L x 17"W x 22"H
27.8"L x 20"W x 23.75"H
17 lbs.
Inter.
30"L x 19.5"W x 22"H
30.5"L x 20"W x 23.25"H
20 lbs.
Large
34"L x 21.8"W x 25"H
35"L x 22"W x 26.75"H
30 lbs.
X-Large
39"L x 21.8"W x 28"H
40.4"L x 22"W x 29.8"
42 lbs.

 

Our Pick
Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Ruff Land Performance Kennel
Ruff Land Performance Kennel
The Best Priced Kennel
This kennel is the perfect balance of price and performance.

Most Durable Hunting Dog Kennel

Dakota 283 G3 Kennel

Dakota is well-known for its pet care products, and the quality sure comes through in their kennels. As a result, we've named the Dakota 283 G3 Kennel as the most durable crate out there for hunters. 

To start, durability is going to really hinge on design, and Dakota has a unique design unlike many other kennel producers. The solid one-piece rotomolded military grade structure is sure to stand up to years of travel and wear and tear from your dog.

As far as additional features, a Keyed Paddle Latching Door ensures your dog will remain safe in the kennel with little room for error. Dakota also incorporated an easy-grip handle into the crate design to minimize the need for attachment carrying handles. Lastly, the kennel houses over 40 large ventilation holes with an easy-to clean drain hole in the rear (something greatly needed when cleaning your dog's kennel).

What We Like

  • Dakota Guard
  • Double-Wall Rotomolded
  • Integrated Carrying Handle
  • Made in the USA

What We Dislike

  • Door Movement
  • No Bottom Drainage
  • Exposed Interior Door Ledge (Chewing Concern)

Dakota provides hunters with a few different sizes: Medium, Large, X-Large. Before you purchase one for your pup, here's the kennel dimensions and weights:

 Size Interior Dimensions Exterior Dimensions Weight
Medium
28.5"L x 19.8"W x 25.2"H
31"L x 21.5"W x 25.5"H
37 lbs.
Large
33"L x 22.8"W x 26.2"H
35.2"L x 24.5"W x 26.5"H
46 lbs.
X-Large
36"L x 23.75"W x 29.25"H
38.5"L x 25.5"W x 29.5"H 
59 lbs.

 

For latest prices, and more information about the Dakota 283 G3 check it out!

Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Dakota 283 G3 Kennel

Best Engineered Hunting Dog Kennel

Lucky Duck Lucky Kennel

Lucky Duck (as you guess by the name) is a brand that truly focuses on creating goods that benefit the waterfowl hunter. As you'd expect, they carried this over to their kennels - the best engineered hunting dog kennel we could find!

The Lucky Duck Lucky Kennel offers quite a few unique features, but it's important to start with the 5 Star Crash Test rating. Similar to the Gunner G1, the Lucky Kennel has successfully passed some of the most difficult crash tests designed by the Center for Pet Safety. For more information on these tests, scroll down to our "Things To Consider" section.

Many hunters out there appreciate the fact that this kennel was engineered for extreme strength, and the one-piece rotomolded construction sure shows it. Lastly, it's actually fairly lightweight - with the large models coming in at only 45 lbs. 

Additional features include a molded reversible door, so you can switch how you'd like to release your dog depending on your setup. It also includes easy clean drain holes, powder coated tie downs, non-slip rubber feet, and heavy duty lift handles

What We Like

  • 5 Start Crash Test Rated
  • Built-In Handles / Tie Downs
  • Lightweight
  • Well Ventilated

What We Dislike

    • Price
    • Limited Size Options
    • Exposed Interior Door Ledge (Chewing Concern)

Unfortunately, Lucky Duck offers the least amount of differentiation in their kennel models: Intermediate and Large. To view both models' measurements and weights, take a look here!

 Size Interior Dimensions Exterior Dimensions Weight
Inter.
30.25”L x 20.5”W x 22”H
32.5”L x 22.5”W x 24.5”H
38 lbs.
Large
35.75”L x 22”W x 26.5”H
38”L x 24”W x 29”H
45 lbs.

 

For latest prices, and more information on the Lucky Duck Lucky Kennel we've got that too!

Best Hunting Dog Kennels - Lucky Dog

Things To Consider When Buying A Dog Kennel

Crash Tested / Durability

When traveling with a hunting dog box, it's important to remember that your hunting companion won't have a seat belt available if a crash were to occur. 

The best way to see if your kennel meets the highest crash test standards is to see if it's CPS Certified (Center For Pet Safety). This particular test really puts kennels through the most rigorous tests available. It's important to note that there are over 6 million accidents per year, and Kelton Research estimates that tens of millions of dogs travel in the US each year. 

Gunner and Lucky Dog were the only two CPS Certified kennels mentioned in our review, as well as the only two travel crates listed on the CPS website. Absolutely amazing quality from these two brands!

Warranty

Unlike the kennels used by most Americans that sit in your bedroom or living room, a hunting dog kennel is going to go through some beatings. Hunters expect a kennel to last quite a long time and withstand tough hunting conditions. 

It's important to note that many manufacturer's warranties do not cover the standard wear and tear caused by your dog. Also, they usually do not cover damage after an accident or any custom modification made the individual owner. 

For a concise list of kennel warranties, check out the list below:

Gunner - Lifetime Warranty
Lucky Dog - Lifetime Warranty
Ruff Land - 1-Year Limited
Dakota - 1-Year Limited 
Kennel Up - N/A

Size / Weight

When choosing the right kennel, it's important to walk through every possible place you might store or travel with it. It's also good to check the weights, as you'll likely be loading, unloading, and moving these for next several years. 

For instance, will you need to stack these kennels in storage for the spring/summer months? Is your truck bed wide enough to hold the kennels side-by-side? Or, will this kennel fit in the back of my truck or SUV?

Take a look at the dimension and weight comparison charts listed for each brand and size before purchasing. We've taken these measurements directly from the manufacturers' website for both the interior and exterior specifications. 

For SUV owners, and hunters like to keep their dog's kennel in back seat, take a look at Ruff Land's BackSeat Rider option. This particular model was specifically engineered to squeeze behind the front seat, and can even sit back to back in most standard vehicles. 

Pro Tip: Check out Ruff Land's SlantBack option, as well as the side-door features.

For size questions related to what's best for your dog, please scroll down to the FAQs below. Thanks!

Available Accessories

Who ever bought a single piece of hunting gear, and didn't expect to add on a few accessories to round out the purchase? The good thing (and bad thing - at least for your wallet) is that many of the brands are making accessories built specifically for each model so efficiency isn't wasted. 

The most popular kennel accessories including the following: Tie-Downs, Connectors, Mats/Pads, Covers, Food/Water Attachments, and even motorized Fans. 

When purchasing a kennel, make sure to include all the necessary accessories to keep your pet safe. Obviously, some of these add-ons are just for looks or provide minimal improvements. However, there are quite a few needed to ensure the kennel's optimal operation.

Hunting Dog Kennel / Crate FAQs

How Can I Keep My Dog Warm In Their Kennel?

For many of the kennels mentioned above, air ventilation was a big concern - especially for warm weather conditions. However, it's important to remember that as the season goes on temperatures are going to drop, and you need to protect your dog. 

As far as protection inside the kennels, many hunters will add a simple solution such as straw for added warmth. If you want something a little more permanent we recommend purchasing a pad or mat. This will keep dogs off the floor and provide a barrier between water and the cold plastic. 

If temperatures continue to drop it might be necessary to add another protection layer on the outside of the kennel. For example, Gunner provides an an all-weather protective sleeve that covers the windows to provide that's waterproof and wind-resistant. Also, available is a full body kennel cover made by Mud River - which comes in both an insulated and uninsulated option. 

What Kennel Should I Get If I Have Multiple Dogs?

If you have multiple dogs and you're trying to house and travel them as efficiently as possible, we recommend the Ruff Land Performance Kennels as mentioned above. 

The number one reason we recommend Ruff Land is because of the price, especially in comparison to other top kennel brands out there. The price points available allow most hunters to comfortably house multiple dogs while not sacrificing quality. 

Additionally, Ruff Land kennels incorporates their StackRight design so you can store and stack their kennels perfectly on top of one another. They also offer a very nice accessory in their Coupler Kit. This particular add-on lets you bolt kennels side by side in your vehicle, home, or business. Pictured below!

What Kennel Should I Get If I Have Multiple Dogs

What Is The Best Size Crate For My Dog Breed?

If you've been researching dog crates, you'll notice that many manufactures decline to recommend any specific kennel size for an individual breed. As expected, sizes and weights can vary tremendously within each breed, so it's going to be difficult to call up one of these manufacturers and get a simple answer.

The top three questions any hunter needs to keep in mind as far as avoiding a kennel that's too small is the following:

- Can My Dog Stand Up?

- Can My Dog Turn Around?

- Can My Dog Lay Down?

On the other side of things, it's important to remember that having a kennel that's too large can be detrimental as well - especially when it comes to traveling. Gunner kennels, one of the safest traveling kennels on the market, has done extensive research on the topic. We encourage all individuals to watch their YouTube channel about optimal kennel size, and review the handy chart below:

 How Your Dog Should Fit In A Kennel

Image Source

What Should I Do About Purchasing A Kennel For My Puppy?

If you watch any kennel/crate recommendation video you'll notice there's a big difference between individual reviews and dog trainer reviews. 

Dog trainers, or hunting preserves, that house and train numerous dogs might purchase many different size kennels to accommodate them during the different periods of their life. By doing this, they ensure the best fit for each dog at any point in their training. 

However, if you're an individual with only one dog and a limited budget it's not practical to buy multiple kennels over the lifespan of your dog. To counter this, we recommend you buy the kennel size needed for adulthood. Try your best to estimate the size of your dog according to the height and weight of its parents - something any breeder should have. 

Once you have your one and final dog kennel, it's important to adjust it a bit while your dog is just a puppy and still growing. Many dog trainers recommend that you insert some sort of divider to cut off the empty space. Having a divider not only improves the safety of the kennel, but also improves kennel training as puppies can urinate/defecate in the far corner of the kennel if space is limited. 

Pro Tip: You can use PVC pipe and plywood to create a cheap divider that can be adjusted as your dog continues to grow.

Overall, it's optimal to build or buy a kennel divider as your puppy continues to grow into its home away from home!

Should You Kennel Hunting Dogs Together In The Same Crate?

It's not uncommon to see hunters put a couple dogs together in a single kennel enclosure, most notably large trailer kennels. However, if you have the option, it's always best to kennel your dogs separately.

First, while dogs routinely hunt together, tensions can arise and tempers can get heated. If two dogs are stuck in the same kennel and conflict starts, it's going to be extremely difficult to separate the two. 

Secondly, having two dogs can make it difficult to measure the necessary space required to comfortably and safely house your companions. The more compact a space is (within reason) the safer it will be. Additionally, you want to minimize the items in the kennel to avoid collision - meaning two dogs together could cause additional harm. 

Which Kennels Are Airline Approved?

Many airline providers base their requirements on the rules set forth by the USDA and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

It's important to not that the IATA does not certify, approve or endorse any pet container manufacturer. As a result, the decision will ultimately come down the individual working the baggage counter. As a result, we recommend you contact the individual airline to pre-approve your kennel before the trip. 

To help hunters out on their next trip, we summarized the top airline providers and the links to their kennel/crate requirements:

- United Airlines

American Airlines

- SouthWest

- Delta

- JetBlue

    Best Hunting Dog Kennel Review Video

     

    For a blog about the Best Garmin E-Collars For Hunting check it out!