How to Choose the Correct Size Crate for Your Dog

There is a common misconception that your crate should only be big enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around inside the crate. In reality, it is completely fine to crate your puppy in a larger crate that allows for additional movement inside. The only reason why you would need to restrict movement in the crate would be if your puppy is going to the bathroom inside the crate. 

When determining the size of crate you plan on purchasing, you should think about how big your puppy will be when they are full grown. Remember that you can always make a crate smaller by blocking off some of the inside area, but you cannot make the crate larger.

If you are looking into purchasing a crate, you will see 3 sets of numbers that describe the crate’s dimensions. For example, you may see: 42L x 28w x31H. These dimensions give you the length, width, and height of the crate. The most important dimension to consider is the length of the crate. The height and width may play an important role if you are going to be transporting your dog inside your vehicle or if you have a very large breed dog such as a Great Dane.

For some odd reason I have yet to determine is why many sellers advise you to choose your crate by weight of your dog when selecting a crate. Instead of weight, you should choose crate size based on your dog’s body size. An English Bulldog will no doubt weigh more than a Greyhound, yet a bulldog will be able to fit in a smaller crate more comfortably.

Here are my personal recommendations that should give you a guide that I think you will be pleased with. I will give you some examples of popular dog breeds that should give you an idea of size to match up with your dog.

Use the information below as a guide.

54 inches in length- Great Dane, Mastiffs, Alaskan Malamute, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland,

48 inches in length- German Shepherd, Boxer, Golden Retriever, Husky, Rottweiler, Weimaraner, Akita

42 inches in Length- Labrador, Boxer, Springer Spaniel, Pit Bull, Australian Shepherd, Doberman, Standard Poodle, Border Collie

36 inches in Length-Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog, Boykin, Shiba Inu, Corgi, Beagle

24 inches in length - Jack Russel, Boston Terrier, Pug, Yorkshire terrier, Miniature Poodle, Pomeranian, Dachshund, Shih Tzu

Trainer Tip
If possible, I recommend buying two crates if you have a young puppy. One small and one large.

The smaller crate should be big enough for the puppy to stand up and move around comfortably, but small enough to prevent the puppy from going to the bathroom in one end and lying in the opposite end. This crate is primarily used as the sleeping crate and should be placed in the bedroom for the first few weeks so you can hear your puppy whining in the middle of the night when they need to go to the bathroom.

The second crate should be large enough to accommodate your dog when they are full grown. This crate should be placed in a high traffic area of the house. This larger crate can act as play pen area or management area when you are unable to supervise the puppy.

If your budget currently only allows for one crate, pick a crate that your dog will fit into when they are fully grown.

Also keep size in mind if you are going to be traveling with the crate in the car. Simply moving down from a 48 inch to a 42 inch crate will allow for the ability to travel in most Suvs. A 42 inch crate is sufficient for many large breed dogs. Owners of the giant breeds will probably want to go with a 48inch or larger.

Return to Crate Training Guide

Published on July 23, 2017

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