Don’t Get Duped: Target’s Pop Open Dog Kennel

May 30th, 2006 by Micah

My wife and I purchased the Boots & Barley Sporty Pop Open Dog Kennel from Target this past weekend. It was on sale for $24.99. We needed something compact and lightweight, but suitable for our 45 pound dog as we get ready to travel this summer. The packaging on this product indicated that it was suitable for dogs up to 70 pounds.

Let’s sum this review up with 1 word: baloney! We decided to test the out before traveling, and within 1 minute our 45 pound dog had managed to not only roll the kennel over, but also to open up the zipper. You heard that correctly. Our dog was able to open up the kennel zipper. Unbelievable.

If you thought you’d be able to buy this product for your dog to stay in at someone else’s house (sort of like a portable playpen for your kids), then think again. Even if your dog is crate trained (as ours is) I doubt that this thing would work for any dog over 20 pounds.

Oh, and even though our dog went inside, we’re returning this defective product to Target right away.

35 Responses to “Don’t Get Duped: Target’s Pop Open Dog Kennel”

  1. Colette Says:

    Thanks for the review of the Target Pop Open Kennel…..I just purchased one today and am returning it tomorrow. Before reading your review, I wanted to return this one and purchase a medium instead of the large. NOW I will return it and head to Petsmart (or similar) to find a more durable kennel. Great idea (love the pop-up ease) but will continue looking.

  2. Heather Says:

    I bought the pop up and it is a bit flimsy, but my 82 pound lab sits happily in it! And he’s a high energy dog! I think it just depends on the dog and the circumstances.

  3. Cindy Says:

    I purchased one last week and just opened the container to check it…then, couldn’t fold the kennel up properly to put it back into the round container. The instructions are terrible!

  4. Friend Says:

    how do you close it? i can’t figure it out!

  5. Dee Says:

    OK…can we honestly say that all pet products are meant for all pets?? I purchased the pop up crate and I think it is the best thing ever!! I am a registered vet nurse and I occasionally bring my 55# golden to work with me. She is also crated at home and with the exception of 1-2 paws at the door, she does very well. All I have to do is tell her to stop and it isn’t an issue! Maybe the writer if “Don’t get Duped” should invest in a personal dog trainer instead of a travel crate! Also for those of you that are having a hard time folding it back up…just treat it like your car sun visors (although those can be tricky at times too!!!!) :-)

  6. Meg Says:

    This kennel has worked beautifully for us. I think-as others have said-it depends upon the dog. Our dog was used to being crated in a hard-sided crate, so he accepts confinement with no fuss. We did put a cushion and fleece in the bottom for his comfort and to protect the floor of the kennel. I cannot close the kennel up, but my son can.

  7. Kadee Says:

    I would also like to comment on Targets pop-up dog crate by Boots & Barkley. We love it! My dog loves her “tent” and she is a 45 lbs. labradoodle. She is crate trained and has no problem being in. The one problem I do have is folding to fit back into its round case.

  8. Nini Says:

    I think it is a terrific crate to use for travel. We just spent a weekend at a friends in the country and it worked beautifully for our overweight chihuahua. However, I can’t close it though I have a few other times. The idea of “treat it like a car sun visor” is great and I know that works but I just can’t fold it up. So, off to Target tomorrow so they can show me how (hopefully!)

  9. ar Says:

    Bought the crate and returned it too. My Golden will get to big for the large size which was suggested. The worst part of the thing is getting it back in the bag. I hit myself in the face and could hardly make my skinny arms hold it together. My husband spent 45 minutes putting it back into the package and he told me he has no idea how he did it!

  10. Sarah Says:

    I just bought this small pop up kennel for my maltese, and I LOVE IT!! If your dog doesn’t listen to you when you say stay or leave it this isn’t for you. If your dog is hyper and won’t sit still this isn’t for you either…but a well trained dog it should and does work wonderfully!! I have a 10 month old Maltese and we are in 2nd stage obedience and he loves it!! It has room and is very ‘breathable’ for him.

  11. tiffany Says:

    i bought a Large for our 25 lb collie mix and our 17 lb terrier to share. They love it and prior to this, hadn’t even shared a crate together except when they were boarded! We also put a memory foam ‘mattress’ to keep them comfortable (cut to size some pre-existing memory foam). I think it’s great for travelling; the dogs love both the visibility through the mesh as well as how quiet it is compared to a metal crate.

  12. Julie in Houston Says:

    My Jack Russel Mix doesn’t mind being in the kennel. It’s serving it’s purpose, but I wouldn’t use it for anything long term. But I seriously cannot get it to fold up!!!! Apparently you have to be an engineer to do it! I did a post about it over at my blog:


  13. Kris in Houston Says:

    These are FANTASTIC for traveling w/ show cats, bit of a streatch maybe re: dogs. Sorry they stopped making the ones w/ the removable plastic stays that could go through the wash.

  14. cat foster Says:

    Don’t know about dogs, but it has worked as a breathable litter box holder which helps keep much of the litter contained for those foster cats I get who are a little bit too exuberant with their litter covering habits. I have only seen them at Target and only in large and small. Wish I could find a medium as the small is too low and a bit tight for the litter box, and the large is a little bit too roomy, but much more breathable than standard litterbox covers which I prefer not to use. Agree with the washing in washing machine, I destroyed one that way. Wash in bathtub now.
    Since it is a rectangular pop-up, does take some playing to find the correct ends to grab to twist back into a folded up circle, but does so very easily once I get the correct ends.

  15. Jami C. Says:

    I just purchased a pop up kennel for my new puppy, but am worried that it could be a safety hazard (the chewing nylon). Does anyone know? Thanks

  16. Joel Says:

    We purchased this crate more than a year ago and it has been the best thing ever !!!! We use it every weekend because we love to travel. We have a 45 pound dog and he lays right down and relaxes just like he would in his metal crate. I believe that it depends on the breed and dog itself. This product has been great and for $25 you can’t beat the price.

  17. Susan Says:

    I purchased a large for my 80lb lab and it was too small. I exchanged it for a an XL and my dog loves it and so do I. If your dog is not relaxed in a crate, this is not for you. To fold it push the sides together to make one big rectangle then fold it in half with the small ends touching and twist to the circles. Simple once you get the hang of it.

  18. Kirstie Says:

    Fortunately, I measured my standard kennel before going out to purchase a pop-up kennel and realized their dog weight suitability was off. I bought an XL for my 70-lb dog too, and it’s perfect for her. I had planned on having to spend $100+ for a portable kennel, and got this for ~$35. Considering a night in the local kennel costs $39, I’ll recoup my savings immediately AND I can take my dog on the road with me, which will be much more fun for both of us.

  19. Tanya Says:

    I use the large pop-up dog kennel for disaster preparedness for our cats. It easily fits a full-size litterbox, food, water, and there’s plenty of room for the cat to stretch out and lie down. I bought one for each cat, just in case. So, if we have to evacuate for a hurricane, the cats have a safe pen to be in–perfect for hotel rooms or traveling in the car. These pop-up kennels are much better than a pet carrier, because with a pet carrier, you’d have to let the cat out to use a litterbox, and then you’d worry that the cat would escape. Because all their needs (litterbox, food, water) fit inside the pen, they can stay safely inside. These kennels are also great for when adopting a new kitty, who can comfortably stay inside and separate from the other kitties for a couple of days.

  20. wendy Says:

    Our 50 pound husky mix LOVES his Boots and Barkley. We upgraded him from a Large to an extra large and our dog looks forward to sleeping in it every night. It has an egg crate and a fleece blanket along the side for him to lean on it. We have had him since he was a puppy so he has learned how to behave in a crate. If you’re dog is obedient to begin with you shouldn’t have a a problem.

    In fact, I’m bummed I can’t buy it online from Target anymore

  21. Colleen Says:

    My dog absolutely loves this crate too. We use it as a second crate upstairs near our bed rooms. My dog stays in it without a problem, we don’t even zipper it closed. He loves to lay in it and we have never had a problem with it. I think the other posters are correct, this crate is for dogs that love to lay in their crates and won’t try to escape. If that sounds like your dog, this is a great crate.

  22. Erin Says:

    My dog loves her red pop-up Boots & Barkley crate! We call it her “Taj Mahal” because we have lots of little dog pillows and beds on the floor. She was crate trained and sleeps in it at night but most afternoons you will find her in there napping! We take it everywhere she goes and it is her little security blanket. She is also very protective of it, so you know she loves it! My sister has bought 2 because (after leaving her lab in it one day for about 8 hours) he did chew threw the zipper and break out. But they are very durable and I love it and so does my dog!

  23. e.k. Says:

    love the crate
    my dog and his friends love it
    it is like a toy to them
    they can tip it over jump on it

    i need another one and do not know where to find a large

  24. Eyerish Says:

    WE LOVE THIS….getting another for the 2nd dog. We have a 16lb Dachshund and this is perfect for travel situations. We take it with us to work, camping, car, etc. Our dog is crate trained and does not make an issue with getting out of this product or the crate. He’s actually a very well trained dog for that matter. I have to agree with some of the postings that dog obedience is in order. Perhaps these kennels are better suited for smaller dogs too. I don’t know. Obedience training should be a must no matter what.

  25. Sally Says:


  26. Etam Says:

    I definitely believe it has to do with the temperment of the dog. I have a medium one that works well with my pomeranian if I need to use it because he’s coughing all night and we need to put him in the office for a night or two.

    My problem was getting the stupid thing closed. but here’s a video on how to fold a pop up kennel! MUCH easier once you’ve seen it done! Hahaha :)

  27. Delia Says:

    I used this product for years with three Chihuahuas. Down to two Chihuahuas now and the product is still going strong. Great for traveling!

  28. J. Graves Says:

    We have had the kennel for years and it’s great. We have taken it all around the country (great for hotel traveling) and I have even had friends borrow it.

  29. kate Says:

    I have had this kennel for about two years and love it. It folds into a small square or just flat and can’t weigh more than 3 lbs. The dog does need to be crate trained but all 3 of mine will sit in it for hours with a cushy bed in the bottom.

    Folding it into its original shape is a bit of an origami project but it folds just like those sunshades for car windows do so it’s not impossible.

  30. Claire Says:

    LOVE IT !
    I bought one for my male Australian Shepherd, XL size, but he could easily fit in the L size. Actually, both of my Aussies can stay in the XL.
    This pop-up crate is not meant for everyday use, for destructive dogs, or for crate training.
    But for a dog who is used to crates, it’s fantastic !
    I use mine at hotels, for visiting friends, and even at Agility trials.
    Outside, you can stake it in the ground if your dog tends to roll in it like a hamster wheel.
    My dogs don’t.
    I’ve had mine since 2 years, and just bought a second one for my female Aussie.
    I really love this crate, you just have to use it for what it’s meant.

  31. Josh Says:

    All pets are not made equal. My dog (25lb beagle) loves the pop open dog kennel and I love how packable it is. Sorry you had poorer luck than we.

  32. LACEY Says:

    the sportpetdesign video link doesn’t link. Can someone please tell me HOW to refold this thing!

  33. Mark Says:

    I recently purchased 2 of the small pop open kennels for my 12 lbs. poodle min. mix. He is crate trained and loves them. I keep one in my vehicle for travel and the other at home. At less than $25 per kennel, it was well worth the price.

  34. Brenda Says:

    Well DUHHHHHHHHHHH…’s mostly just for them to sleep in. What do you expect from a piece of nylon. My dog does fine in there for sleeping. Grow up and figure how far a piece of expanadable cloth goes. My God… old are you.

  35. Sweat Pants Blog Says:

    Folding Nylon Travel Dog Crate Medium Medium

    [...] y 80lb lab and it was too small. I exchanged it for a an XL and my dog loves it [...]

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