The Lockdown: What Size Dog Crate Do I Need?

September 11, 2016

One of the best things you can get your dog is a dog crate. It pays for itself by giving your pooch his very own place in your home as well as a device that makes it easier to have a successful house training. One thing I always ask myself before getting a dog crate is, what is the best I can get for my dog?

Believe me when I tell you that my kennel hunting involved a lot of trial and error. I can’t begin to tell you how many kennels I have had to dump due to poor quality, dangerous materials, and too little space for my dog.

Quite honestly one of the most asked question regarding dog crates is the size. Let me give you a personal example. Years ago I had a little male English Bulldog puppy. When it was time to house train him, I immediately went out to the pet mart and got him a crate without researching first.

It was fine for the first month, but my little baby suddenly was not looking too little anymore. He started filling up that rickety plastic kennel in no time and I was forced to buy another one. Lesson learned!

So now I am going to share some tips on what size dog crate you will need.


1. Research is the key!


Don’t be a smarty pants like me and do some research beforehand. What is the breed of the dog? If he is still a puppy, read credible sites for information on what height, length, and weight is the maximum that the breed can gain.

Here is a good website where you can check your dogs average weight and size. You could even compare breed sizes if you are still looking.

  • Tip: Look for a crate that can comfortably fit your puppy even if he grows to adult size. There are a couple of dog crates that you can buy which includes a divider. You can use that divider when your dog is still a pup and when he turns full size you can just remove the divider. Pretty neat trick huh? Just remember to buy a crate that is very sturdy and puppy proof so it can withstand years of abuse (mostly from your puppy). 

Check out this offering from OxGord, which is an example of a sturdy dog crate with a bonus divider.

2. Pooch crating commandments


When getting a crate keep in mind of the following factors:

  • It must be roomy enough for the pooch to move around without giving up too much space.
  • The pooch must be able to sit straight without hitting the roof of the crate.
  • Pooch must be able to lay down and stretch without the hitting the walls of the crate.
  • Pooch must be able to turn around with relative ease.
  • Tip: When you go off buying a crate for little Fido, it might be tempting to get him one large enough for him to perform summersaults or whatever. Keep in mind that the purpose of the crate is to make your dog have a safe place as well as a tool for house training.

If the crate is too large the dog can just do his business on the other side. A roomy crate could also lessen the feeling of safety for a dog as it creates more sounds and emptiness inside.

3. Measuring time

  • Take the measurement of your dog while he is in his normal standing position. Measure the very tip of the dog’s nose up to the base of the tail and add about 8 centimeters more to get the ideal length of the crate. (Remember to measure at the base of the tail and not the end).
  • Have your dog sit up straight, measure the dog from for the floor to the head. As with the first measurement, add another 8 centimeters from your reading. This will give you an idea on how much height the crate should have.

Don’t forget to give your pooch a treat after keeping still when you measured him! I know how hard that can be.

  • Tip: A friend of mine had a dilemma, she needed to buy a crate right away because it was on sale but her dog won’t be available for two more weeks for her to measure. I suggested she check out this site. This page is an approximation on what size dog crate is ideal for a specific breed.

Choosing the right size of your dog’s crate can be quite a chore. After going through several of them, I definitely know the feeling. But of course, the rewards of giving your dog a safe haven will make all the searching worth it. 

If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to write them on the space below.


About the Author


Hi, I’m Sara and I would like to thank you for checking out my blog. I have been around dogs since I was kid and I cannot imagine life without one. So now, I am sharing with you the knowledge I have accumulated over the years and hopefully it helps you too.

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