Ruff Tough Kennels Dog Crate
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    I was rear-ended by someone without insurance a few months ago. Both Shibas were with me with a harness attached to the seatbelt when this happened. I stopped at the red light and the guy behind us drove too fast and couldn't stop. Luckily, none of us were badly injured, but my old sedan was not so lucky. It was deemed too damaged to be fixed by the insurance company and I had to total it and got a replacement vehicle.

    I got a wagon/small SUV that much better meets my needs with dogs and I became super concerned about the dogs safety in the car. I always put the dogs either in a safety harness attached to the seatbelt or crate them for safety. I have since tried many different products for this purpose and am very happy with what I currently have.

    Ruff Tough Kennels are made of super strong plastic material and they are one piece constructions, making them very sturdy. You can find a more detailed description of the crates on the manufacture's website. http://www.rufftoughkennels.com/

    I bought 2 to put in my car, medium size for my girl Maluko, who is about 14.5 inch at wither and 22 pounds and an intermediate size for my boy Koji, who is about 17.5 inch at wither and 27 pounds.

    Medium Dimensions- 18" wide X 20" tall X 28" deep
    Intermediate Dimensions- 20" wide X 23" tall X 31" deep

    What I like about these kennels:
    Safety - they are very well-made and sturdy. This YouTube video got me hooked. I understand their testing is not very scientific, but I am very impressed with how well the crate holds up its own in different testing scenarios.


    Size- I have a wagon/small SUV, and the two crates fit nicely side by side in the back. I previously had a Midwest iCrate Double Door 30 inch wire crate and a Kennel-Aire Small 30 inch wire crate and they wouldn't fit side by side.

    Here is a picture of the crates in my car.
    image

    Quiet - The crates do not rattle like the metal crates do, making the car ride much more joyful for both me and the dogs. I also replace a stainless steel crate bowl with Popware crate bowls. They are collapsible and can be folded up when not used. Did I mention they do not rattle, which is super nice! In the picture above, you can see the green one on the left in Koji's crate when it is in use and the purple one in Maluko's crate to see how the bowl looks when not in used.

    Design - For the Intermediate and larger size crates, you can choose a double door design for flexibility. I also appreciate the fact that the crate door can be opened to either the left or the right without any change of configuration (in the picture, you see two "RTK" on either side of the crate and that is door handle). The optional tie-downs give you more choices to further secure the crates in your vehicle if you want.

    What I don't like about these crates:
    None so far.

    I would highly recommend this product to anyone who wants maximum safety and security of their dogs in the car.

    On a side note, here is the new sticker I got for the car. I really like how it matches the color of my car.
    image
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    Wow those look like awesome crates! I normally have Tsune ride shotgun when doing local streets (I drive like an old man with him in the car), but plan on doing road trips to camp/hiking sites in the future. Will definitely bookmark that site. They look pretty badass and non-ugly too, unlike a lot of plastic crates.

    A little off topic, but what car do you have btw? I sold my motorcycle before getting Tsune and am shopping around for a small SUV/stationwagon.
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • WrylyBrindleWrylyBrindle
    Posts: 3229
    That's a subaru Forester! My car, too. :)
    Though yours is newer, mine is an '04. I also have a cool dog sticker, but I will need to take a photo...

    Are there any other air holes besides the front door? Ventilation would seem to be a concern...
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    @cezieg

    I have a Subaru Forester '03 now to replace my old sedan that was wrecked in the accident.
    I like it a lot. It suits my needs now that I have 2 dogs in my life. I fold the backseat down, so I can have more space. It is AWD and just have enough space for me and 2 Shibas and some of their gears!

    @WrylyBrindle Mine is actually an older model, '03. I found the car on craiglist and it belonged to an old lady who hardly drove the car. Her son actually was the one helping her sell the car. It is '03, but the mileage was low when I got it. I can now totally understand why dog people love Subaru!

    Yes, there are other air holes beside the door. You can see more pictures here, http://www.rufftoughkennels.com/Photos.html

    I personally think the crates with the air holes are much better than wire crates for my two. They get less visual stimuli in these crates than in their wire crates and actually rest more and not sit up the whole time watching everything that goes by while on the road.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    For anyone that is not using some kind of vehicle restraint or crates to protect their dogs in the car, check out this video that shows what may happen upon impact


    Here is another video that talks about Dog Seat Belts & Car Restraints: Vet Chat from DrsFosterSmith.com


    It is really not safe to have your pets riding in your car without any safety precautions. Don't play with fate!
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1925
    Oh, those crates seem pretty neat. I will definitely look into them when I can finally upgrade to a vehicle that can fit a crate in it. Thanks for posting this!

    (edit)
    Went back and watched the video of the crate testing... That first one that the 20 pound weight basically destroys? That is the exact crate I have for my border collie to use in the house.
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
    RIP Amy (Border Collie)

    “Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
    But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
    --Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear

    "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
    --Brandon Sanderson, the First Ideal from The Stormlight Archive.
    Post edited by WhoBitMe at 2012-05-19 01:22:37
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    This is another video of crash testing with stuffed animals upon impact. Pretty scary to watch.
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    Holy cow, I'd never really thought into the extent of injuries that could come from a collision, even at low speeds the seatbelt sliced that flimsy carrier up and the stuffed dog hit the dash. I'm definitely investing in a seatbelt for Tsune with my next paycheck.

    ...I do have to admit that I lost it at 20s thought, the look on that stuffed animal's face :P
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • Hinata23Hinata23
    Posts: 1444
    Wow Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely get two of these when flying back to Florida with ChoCho and Goro.

    For the car, what car restraint do you guys use?
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    I use a Ruff Wear Web Master harness and a short-leash (less than 1 foot, traffic-lead type) looped through the seatbelt as a restraint.
    image
  • Hinata23Hinata23
    Posts: 1444
    @Losech Thanks! We usually put the back seats down since ChoCho feels unsteady while standing on the seat and gets car sicks.., We loop her leash through the hocks on the floor to keep her from jumping in the front seats. We'll have to see how we make it work. :)
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    Just want to bring this up to every dog owners, so they know the risks involved and do something about it.

    I know how easy it is to think accidents will not happen to "me and my dog" and that "we only have short trips around town" or "I am a very careful driver", but the risks are real and it is hard not to do something about it after seeing the videos.

    I have tried wire crates, several harness designed for car travel and now settles on the Ruff Tough Crates. There are many products out there that will fit different scenarios and what works best for you and your pup. For a car harness, I really like the CHAMPION Canine Seat Belt System http://usak9outfitters.com/CCSS.htm

    CHAMPION Canine Seat Belt System uses really strong materials and the thing is totally bad-ass. For anyone that is considering a harness/seat belt system, that's what I would consider. However, for my situation, I feel a crate would provide them maximum security/safety and comfort as we travel a lot in the car to shows/trials and classes.
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 3431
    Wow, I'm kind of sad and embarrassed to admit that I never thought much on how well a cat carrier would handle a car accident. Just kind of blindly assumed it would hold up which makes no sense when I have spent no less than a month researching different carseats for my son. Definitely something to think about.
    -Rina
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    So, are the Ruff Tough kennels still holding up? I'm in the market for a travel kennel since the only big one we had was stolen out of our driveway (although, it was pretty old and crappy anyway).

    In our station wagon, they ride in the back behind the car barrier, but I'm looking for something for the back of my truck. During my camping trip, Sosuke rode back there loose (there's a topper), and all the luggage was secured. He had a bed, water, and wasn't going to get loose or anything, but that's a lot of room for him to go flying if we get into a crash, plus the topper could pop open if we rolled or something. \

    I also like the plastic crates for agility practice. Carrying the metal crates around is a huge pain, and he seemed to whine more in them (because he could see more, maybe?)
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    Yes, my Ruff Tough Kennels are still holding up great in the car. They are pretty sturdy and I have 2 (one medium and one intermediate) side-by-side at the back of my Subaru Forester. I will also suggest using some kind of strong straps/tie-downs to secure the crates in place for better safety.

    If you want to go all out, this is imported from Sweden and is crash tested. They are pretty spendy though.
    http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=714

    For Agility practice, if you are thinking that the Ruff Tough Kennel would be lighter to move around, you may be disappointed. It is probably not as heavy as a wire crate, but it is definitely not light. If your dog will stay in a soft crate and not break out, then it will be your best bet in terms of portability. If he whines in the crate, I will use a mesh cover to block what he can see, but still has enough ventilation for air. This is what I have - http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=564&ParentCat=313 . I have 3 different sizes, so I can use them to either cover the dog crates or the car.

    So, are the Ruff Tough kennels still holding up? I'm in the market for a travel kennel since the only big one we had was stolen out of our driveway (although, it was pretty old and crappy anyway).

    In our station wagon, they ride in the back behind the car barrier, but I'm looking for something for the back of my truck. During my camping trip, Sosuke rode back there loose (there's a topper), and all the luggage was secured. He had a bed, water, and wasn't going to get loose or anything, but that's a lot of room for him to go flying if we get into a crash, plus the topper could pop open if we rolled or something. \

    I also like the plastic crates for agility practice. Carrying the metal crates around is a huge pain, and he seemed to whine more in them (because he could see more, maybe?)


  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    Well, it doesn't have to be that light. It's not like the wire crate was too heavy for me to carry, I just liked the plastic crate because it was more compact and I didn't have to set it up. But really, I'm thinking of this new crate mainly for in a vehicle. I don't think I'd buy a whole new crate for training since I already have a spare wire crate.

    I have thought about the cloth ones, and I think my dogs would stay in those, but I'm not sure I like the idea. They're not any less expensive, and they don't double for anything else. As in, they don't also act as good travel kennels and I wouldn't leave a dog in one while I left the house or something. I doubt they last as long, either. Other people at agility practice had them and they always ripped sooner or later.

    I had been just using a wire crate and covering it, but that actually didn't seem to work as well as the plastic crate in terms of stopping him from whining. Although, now that I think about it, it may be because the plastic crate was stolen around the time we switched from practising outside to practising in a barn, so the new environment could be to blame and it could have nothing to do with the crate.

    I could use the wire crate in the truck, too, I guess. I hadn't really thought of that.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • I have a cloth kennel and I love it. The main benefit of it is convenience for transportation. With the plastic or wire crates, I have to take the dog out and carry the crate and walk the dog to the destination. When I needed to take an entire litter of puppies out of the house or when Angirasu had her surgery and we couldn't life her by the belly in and out of the car, using the soft crate as a stretcher or gurney worked fantastic. It was light enough to be able to pick it up and lift it down, even with dogs inside. We leave the soft crate assembled in the back of my car, but its so light weight and easy to move around and collapse that I can put it away and make room for passengers with no problem. A plastic crate really can't collapse down very much and requires tools to take apart / break in half. A wire crate is a huge pain in the ass to collapse, and I would not be able to use one as large as my soft crate in the back of the car, because it can't fit through the hatchback opening unless its collapsed and can't be assembled inside. Plastic and wire crates are both heavy and awkward, making their day-to-day usefulness in my car very limited. That said, when I go to a show I don't use the soft crate but instead use the plastic ones. They are easier to carry (even one-handed) and/or toss over a fence to the show grounds. I don't get pinched and injured trying to set up and take down like I do with the wire. And they don't rattle constantly like the wire crates every time the dog shifts position. I also like that the plastic crates limit the dogs' view so they don't get all interested and bark at stuff going on around them. That said, if its stuffy out, wire crates offer better ventilation than both other types.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    I could carry my plastic crate and walk the dog all together pretty easily. I could even carry the wire crate and set it up one-handed while holding a leash, but we're not allowed at our training facility. We have to set up first, then get our dogs out regardless. But, I see what you're getting at. The soft ones do seem to be easier to transport.

    My wire crate didn't fit in the trunk of my station wagon and took up all three seats in the back, so I guess it's lucky I only ever went by myself. The plastic one fit in the trunk, but it took up the whole thing. I never collapsed it. I don't think the Ruff Tough kennels collapse at all. But, I'm mostly going to be using my truck. It won't take up any passenger space and of course there's plenty of room. It's good to be flexible, though. I might want something for a family vacation (as in, not the truck where I have passengers).

    A lot of this could be solved by simply getting a smaller crate. My spare wire crate is the same size as the one we use to crate the dogs when we're not home, which is the 36" wire one. It's quite a bit more spacious than what the dogs need when they're just waiting their turn at training or being driven from A to B, or even as a temporary away-from-home crate on vacation. They only ever seem to use half of their 36" crates.

    I might rethink the cloth crates. Sosuke sometimes digs in his crate, like when he's getting comfortable to go to sleep, but that's not something he does while he's at training. Rakka's kind of unpredictable. She's mostly fine in her crate but once in a while, we come home and her bedding's been ripped or chewed, so she could just unexpectedly decide to rip a hole in the crate in two seconds while I'm not looking.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    If you are thinking about a crate to put in the vehicle for safety concerns, I would suggest a sturdy plastic crate or one of the crash-tested metal crates I mentioned before. Soft crates can help keep a dog in place and not distract the driver, but when a car accident happens, I don't feel comfortable with the level of protection they provide to maximize my dog's chance of survival.

    Check out the harness car crash test video linked in the article, http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130812/OEM11/308129989/a-safer-ride-for-rover-and-rex#axzz2cjnnaxKR

  • aykayk
    Posts: 1979
    @poeticdragon - There are some non-airline approved plastic crates that aren't put together with bolts. Instead they have a dial that you rotate. Still, they do take up space even when broken down.

    Here's a Petmate Deluxe Vari-kennel.

    image

    For wire crates, I know there is a "suitcase" crate that some of the dogshow people have. Collapses and assembles straight up and down with the sides folding inward. They're usually sold at the bigger AKC dog shows (ie. Ventura).

    The one I saw in person was made by Precision.

    image
    Post edited by ayk at 2013-08-22 19:13:45
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    Oh yeah, I'm not sure what size I would get. It seems like most of the 30" travel crates were supposed to be for dogs up to 50lbs and my dogs are 35 and 40 lbs. Their regular home crates are 36", like I said, and they are spacious.

    I went to PetSmart and looked at 30" and 36" plastic crates side by side and I'm still not sure. The 30" seemed adequate, but like it would be too cramped for any significant length of time. The 36" seemed bigger than what I wanted.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 225
    You have to look at individual crate's dimension to figure it out if a crate will fit in the space you have. I never pay much attention to the weight range to decide on a crate size.

    For most medium size dogs in the 30-40 pound range, the 30 inch long crate usually works. Also note that the Ruff Tough Kennel is narrower and a bit longer than crates of similar size. I have transport 35-40 pounds dogs in my Intermediate Ruff Tough Kennel without any issues. For a crate that is used in the car, I would suggest sufficient space vs. looking for a spacious crate/kennel. When an accident happens, you really don't want the dog to have a lot of space to be thrown around in the crate.

    Ruff Tough Kennel is one piece construction, so there is no set-up/take-down. It is one of the reasons why it is so sturdy as the whole thing is just one piece.
  • One of my adult female JAs loves her (incredibly small-looking) 36" Intermediate wire crate. My puppy sleeps in the same size crate. The other JAs and my AA do well in the 42" Large wire crate. We now use the ginormous 48" Extra Large wire crate for puppy corral in the living room while I work.

    As for plastic crates, my 75lb JA male uses a size 500 Extra Large 39", my 60lb JA female uses a size 400 Large 36", and my adult and teenage 50lb JA females use a size 300 Intermediate 32". JA puppies up to 35lb fit comfortably in a size 200 Medium 28". All of these plastic crates are smaller than what they sleep in at night, but a good size for shows and travel.

    EDIT: Our soft-sided crate is 37" x 25" x 28" which seems similar to the wire crate (36" x 23" x 25") but believe me there is a noticeable difference with the extra 1"-3" inches in each dimension adding 5,200 cubic inches. That's just over 3 cubic feet.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2013-08-22 19:02:57
  • souggysouggy
    Posts: 247
    MIM are awesome. I saw them everywhere in Finland and Norway.
    Blog: Prick-Eared - now featuring primitive dogs
    Post edited by souggy at 2013-08-23 02:53:36
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    I guess I should hold off till I buy my new car. I'll be taking a measuring tape to the dealership as well!

    ETA: Thanks for all the info and opinions, guys! Super helpful.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
    Post edited by Heidi at 2013-08-23 23:09:06
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    Soooo... I was looking at the FAQ/Instructional page on the Ruff Tough kennel website and they had a video on choosing a size. They only addressed the intermediate and large sizes, but they had a 65 and 80 lb dog in both. It made me think that the intermediate size would for sure be fine for my dogs. I could probably even use the medium, now that I think about it, but the intermediates are probably just right. It looks like we'll most likely have a new SUV tomorrow, so I'll measure the cargo area and then I'll know for sure what will fit.

    Actually, I found the crate I used for Tojo to see if Sosuke would fit in there, but it's too small, lol. Tojo was about the same size as Koji. I guess I remembered the kennel being bigger. I measured it and it's only 22" long, so duh. Well, he did fit all the way inside to get the treat I tossed in, but couldn't turn around.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • jikjakjikjak
    Posts: 431
    wow that MIM Variocage that was linked above looks very nice!
    i wish i could see one in person!
    i wonder if it would be suitable for a pickup truck as well.
  • cdenneycdenney
    Posts: 961
    @hondru what model suv?
    image
    image
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    @jikjak I've seen them in pickups before. I don't know if it was that particular type of crate or a different brand, but I have seen something similar to that used for hunting dogs.
    image
  • jikjakjikjak
    Posts: 431
    ya ive seen metal boxes for hunting dogs that have a hole for them to pop their heads out. i guess the variocage might be too open for a pickup bed.
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    @cdenney - Probably either a 2011 Grand Vitara or a 2010 Ford Escape. Those are the two we have our eye on. Mostly because those are the good deals available in the area at the moment, in terms of mileage, price, age, etc. We'll see.

    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • souggysouggy
    Posts: 247
    @jikjak I've seen them in pickups before. I don't know if it was that particular type of crate or a different brand, but I have seen something similar to that used for hunting dogs.


    Dogboxes. Lots of American companies make them. They're not the same as MIM since MIM is meant to prevent injuries caused by rear-end crashes and are tested for such.

    Dog-boxes are meant for transporting a dog or a pack of dogs on trucks; to prevent dogs from falling out of the truck. Not meant to prevent injuries from being rear-ended.

    http://www.diamonddeluxe.com/
    Blog: Prick-Eared - now featuring primitive dogs
    Post edited by souggy at 2013-08-29 05:49:57
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    Well, we got the Suzuki and the trunk isn't big enough for two intermediates side by side, lol. It's wide enough, but not long enough unless I lean the back seats forward. Which, I can only do if the kids aren't with me. We were just getting such a good deal on it, though. We talked them down to close to wholesale value and he said he just wanted to get it off the lot, so there ya go.

    Now, I have to look at some other option for dog transport, either smaller kennels, or stack the ruff toughs sideways in the back of this SUV. Or, the medium kennels would fit. Although, we've been using a car barrier plus leash restraints successfully for several years, so maybe we should just stick with that.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    I could get one of these.. http://www.transk9.com/index.php/dog_cage/suzuki_grand_vitara_lwb_2006/
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • tmdtmd
    Posts: 345
    So the rides thread needs a pic of your new ride
    - Hanzo (Kai Ken), Pharaoh (JA/AA tweenie), Meg (Border Collie/Lab mix)
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    I was at Wholesale Sports and saw one of these crates and it fit in the back perfectly and looked big enough to my pups. On the plus side, it's also the least expensive crate I've seen so far.

    Sosuke fits in it comfortably. He can stand up, lie down, and turn around, so it works. I could have sworn I put him in the same size vari-kennel at the pet store and it was a very, very tight fit (could still turn around and lie down, but only just), but the pet store employee was telling me which crate was which, and now that I'm looking at pictures, I think it was this crate, which is 26.1". This crate has the same measurements as the vari-kennel medium and he fits in this one fine. That would also explain why I remember thinking that the intermediate was huge compared to the medium, and wondering why there was such a gap.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to put two side-by-side, so that's where I might want a medium Ruff Tough. According to its measurements, it would fit beside the Remington in the back. It's narrower, but there's that inch lip on either side of the Remington that makes it wider, so as far as inside space goes, I think they are exactly the same, or very close. The Remington's a bit taller, but I'll just put the taller dog in there. They are 18" and 19" at the shoulder.

    When we upgrade to a bigger trunk, we'll hand the medium Ruff Tough down to our future shiba that Noah wants to get and get two intermediates for Rakka and Sosuke.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image

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