Kennel size and suggestions

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Kennel size and suggestions

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:10 am

I never thought I would even entertain the idea of dropping $500 on a dog kennel, but I'm now debating the purchase of a gunner kennel. I've recently purchased a new-to-me truck that's too nice on the inside to be having 2 labs constantly jumping in and out, and that I need to last until roughly 2080. This brings me to my kennel dilemma...I have two labs, a BLF that's ~70 pounds and a RLM that's ~40 now and will most likely end up weighing between 65-75. Most of my everyday traveling is short distance, but I make several long trips (up to 8hrs one way) every few months. Currently, the biggest selling points of the gunner kennel, and why I'm leaning towards it over a ruff tough, North Star, et., are the design of the tie downs (which come standard) and the lockable kennel door. The rule of thumb I've always used for boats is the 80/20 principle...get something that's perfectly suited to your needs 80% of the time, and that works adequately the other 20. I would like to get a kennel that can hold both dogs when needed, but I'm not looking to purchase a large if it isn't necessary. In others' experience, would the intermediate size be sufficient or should I jump up to a large?
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:25 am

Probably need the dimensions to help much. The "lock" on plastic doors aren't real secure if you'll have your dogs in a box unattended in public areas i.e. eating, running into stores, etc. Helps if you lock the tail gate though.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Dakota Creek » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:38 am

Unless you need the full cargo area in the back of the pick-up, why not look at a double box slide in. Safer for the dogs as they have their own kennel space, doors are lockable, storage space either over or under, some have water storage for your longer trips and often a fan to keep the dogs cooler as you list the SE in your location.

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Rather than buying new you can often find these types of units in the classified sections of sites like Retriever Training Forum (RTF)
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Colin83 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:35 am

The issue with getting a box that fits 2 dogs is when/if you only have one dog in it there is a ton of space for the dog to get thrown around if you were to get in an accident essentially making the main selling point of getting a gunner kennel moot. If I was in your situation I'd get an aluminum box as suggested or 2 ruff toughs for the price of a gunner. The RT has threaded holes so you can buy simple tie down hooks. You can also bolt them together with a plate at front and back. I've been looking at tail gate locks and that seems like the way to go.

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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Dakota Creek » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:50 am

FYI ... there is a 2-hole box in the RTF classifieds for $400 .... has a fan but no insulation. One of the two locks is operational so you would need to replace that.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:53 am

I should have been more specific...a dog box would be ideal, I just don't have the space for it-which is also why I'm looking to purchase a kennel that can hold both dogs when needed. In reality, I just need a kennel that CAN hold both dogs, if needed. Comfort isn't an utmost priority, as the vast majority of times that I would have both dogs in the same kennel would be short trips...30 minutes to an hour. As far as locking goes, if someone really wants in, it doesn't matter if the door is plastic or steel, they're getting in. Having the ability to lock the kennel door is just a convenient way to prevent the easy-opportunist walking by from scratching and grabbing my dog. My BLF would be deterrence enough, but I do like the option.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby HNTFSH » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:30 am

DUCK-DAWG wrote:I should have been more specific...a dog box would be ideal, I just don't have the space for it-which is also why I'm looking to purchase a kennel that can hold both dogs when needed. In reality, I just need a kennel that CAN hold both dogs, if needed. Comfort isn't an utmost priority, as the vast majority of times that I would have both dogs in the same kennel would be short trips...30 minutes to an hour. As far as locking goes, if someone really wants in, it doesn't matter if the door is plastic or steel, they're getting in. Having the ability to lock the kennel door is just a convenient way to prevent the easy-opportunist walking by from scratching and grabbing my dog. My BLF would be deterrence enough, but I do like the option.


JMHO - most I know would not put two dogs in the same box period. If you kennel both in one box at home and had never had an issue, you may be among the few or the lucky. 10 minutes, 10 hours, doesn't really matter.

As far as locks, again I'd advise that does matter. Yes, anyone can break into anything but making it easy isn't my first choice.

Again, IMO, coming from someone that uses a truck box a lot.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Dakota Creek » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:24 pm

HNTFSH wrote:JMHO most I know would not put two dogs in the same box period. If you kennel both in one box at home and had never had an issue, you may be among the few or the lucky. 10 minutes, 10 hours, doesn't really matter.

As far as locks, again I'd advise that does matter. Yes, anyone can break into anything but making it easy isn't my first choice.
Again, IMO, coming from someone that uses a truck box a lot.


Agree with HNTFSH on both points ..... so the two hole dog box is not the solution you are looking for, BUT do yourself and more so your dogs a favor and at least invest in TWO kennels so they each have their own space when travelling. My dogs all get along great in the house, but we have had the occasion where someone pushed someone else and it was game on! I would not want to have to try to pull two angry dogs out of a kennel on the side of a highway if something set one of them off!

As to the locks ... when travelling the doors are not locked in case of emergency, but once stopped and leaving the area of the truck the dog doors are locked! Too many nuts out there!
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby DirkR » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:00 pm

Dakota Creek wrote:As to the locks ... when travelling the doors are not locked in case of emergency, but once stopped and leaving the area of the truck the dog doors are locked! Too many nuts out there!


Solid gold advice.

The concern should always be the safety of your animals.

And as much as people like to say that a lock won't keep determined criminals from getting in, it will actually do a heck of a lot. Most people that are going to try something will only take a path of limited to no resistance.

What I would add, is to use locks to secure the kennels to the truck bed. This would be in addition to how you are securing them from movement.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby HNTFSH » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:52 pm

DirkR wrote:What I would add, is to use locks to secure the kennels to the truck bed. This would be in addition to how you are securing them from movement.


That is what I do as well. One to keep the box from flying out of the vehicle in the event of an accident and 2, to keep people from stealing the damned box. Simple chain and lock. Another reason a sturdier (heavier) box is best, it don't slide around and require tie downs.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:17 pm

My previous post may have been confusing...one of the biggest selling points of the gunner kennel, to me, is the ability to lock the kennel door. If it didn't have that feature (and a few others), I would probably already have a ruff tough in the bed of my truck. Under no circumstances would I rely solely on the kennel's lock...my truck bed gets locked, and everything in the bed of my truck that could "sprout legs" gets lock & chain treatment.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Dakota Creek » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:53 pm

Well then if the Gunner Kennel is the kennel of choice .... rather than an XXXXL that two dogs can fit in, buy 2 of the correct size for your dogs so they each have their own safe space. Problem solved!
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby dogyak » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:58 pm

Dakota Creek wrote:Well then if the Gunner Kennel is the kennel of choice .... rather than an XXXXL that two dogs can fit in, buy 2 of the correct size for your dogs so they each have their own safe space. Problem solved!

Hey Robbie . Guess you're done with law school and got another pup . Hope your well . Dakota is spot on , if your not going to get an box that has a two sides , then get 2 Gunner's and let the dogs have their own space . It's safer that way too . Take care
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Colin83 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:40 pm

Ruff Tuff has an option for locks. Not super strong but it's maybe an option you overlooked.

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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby BooneVFL88 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:52 am

I have the Intermediate Gunner Kennel and it holds my 95lb BLM (in avatar) just fine. He certainly doesn't have a lot of extra room to mess around but he has plenty of room to lay down and has been seemingly happy with it for 2 years. I also like that with the Intermediate over the Large, there isn't a lot of extra room for him to be thrown around if something was to happen. And as far as the lock goes, the doors have a keyed lock on them and are pretty solid. I still keep my kennel chained to the back of my truck and the door up against the locked tailgate, but the lock on the kennel is nice to have also. Also, I know its a lot of coin to throw on a kennel, but one of these things is almost like a lifetime investment. They are awesome.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby cartervj » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:55 pm

I revived this thread cause I’m needing to order a crate. You may have answered my question I’ve been searching for. My vet says my yellow lab pup will 80 lbs plus and was looking at the lucky duck and gunner crates. Intermediate size seems like it should work. So now I’ll decide between the 2. I was worried he’d need a large size and the price is getting pretty salty with all the works added.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby HNTFSH » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:44 am

cartervj wrote:I revived this thread cause I’m needing to order a crate. You may have answered my question I’ve been searching for. My vet says my yellow lab pup will 80 lbs plus and was looking at the lucky duck and gunner crates. Intermediate size seems like it should work. So now I’ll decide between the 2. I was worried he’d need a large size and the price is getting pretty salty with all the works added.


Carter - I have not used either one of those so can't speak to which size is best for sure. Will say the last two Labs were 80+ males and "large" has served them better than "intermediate". It's like a boat or table saw, go bigger than the minimum you need. I put a fan in the door and keep a water bowl inside at the door. Obviously the dog should be able to turn around in the crate easily too.

You have the actual dimensions for both? Are they the same?
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby cartervj » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:20 am

Lucky Duck is wider and less tall by a few inches. Gunner came up when I was looking for a larger crate. The large Gunner is $699 and then pad etc. that’s getting a little salty for me.

Which crate do you have
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby HNTFSH » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:48 am

cartervj wrote:Lucky Duck is wider and less tall by a few inches. Gunner came up when I was looking for a larger crate. The large Gunner is $699 and then pad etc. that’s getting a little salty for me.

Which crate do you have


Agree, prices are stupid, it's like buying something for a boat. :fingerhead:

I have the Owens Dog Box in L. Several reasons I went aluminum but it's been a great fit for us. I think about box use for 12 months a year use versus a few cooler months during a season, That, and occasional needs to sleep the dog in the crate overnight.

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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby HNTFSH » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:28 am

Carter - I use rubber (bar floor) (honeycombed mat) in the bottom. Water and dirt drain off the dog that way.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby Dakota Creek » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:52 pm

Size wise .... and it always depends on the dog's structure, not just weight .... but I have found the 65-70 lbs is the "sizing" breakpoint between Intermediate and Large when it comes to Ruff Tuff / Ruff Land kennels.
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Re: Kennel size and suggestions

Postby cartervj » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:00 pm

That’s what makes this hard. I’m trying to buy ahead of him being grown. He will be 4 months in 2 weeks. Weight 30 lbs as of now. Long lanky and big feet. 80lb plus sire to the liter so I’m thinking he’s gonna be in that range.

I hate waiting but I think it might be warranted right now.

How do you like the ruff tough crates. Been looking at those today
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