Home Dog Crates and Kennels – Reviews 2020 A Guide to Find the Most Suitable Crate for Your Dog

A Guide to Find the Most Suitable Crate for Your Dog

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Brown Dog Crate Made Of WoodAre you the one entering the keywords “crate sizing for dogs?” It makes sense that you love your four-legged buddy, and you care about its comfort and health conditions. We have compared and contrasted different types of kennels that are present on the market today. The pets should not find tricky ways to escape from their new “shelter,” yet they must feel comfortable. Our tips are what both amateurs and experienced dog handlers need.

Naturally, dogs are den animals, which is why dog crates help dogs achieve a sense of security in the absence of a suitable natural environment. As a dog (and many other animals) will not soil its den in a natural setting, a dog crate will provide sufficient house training to keep it from soiling parts of your home. It acts useful during the puppy period and prevents dogs from developing destructive habits, keeping furniture safe from all the jaw fury. Looking for a dog crate might sound easy, but certain factors require attention when doing the job. Your dog will probably spend a lot of its time inside the crate, so make sure it doesn’t turn out as a punishment. Various factors like dog crate sizes and the materials they contain play major roles in determining the eventual comfort for your dog.

Several Factors That a Dog Owner Should Keep in Mind

From soft-sided to plastic dog crates, it is not easy to pick the most suitable one for your pet. In most cases, the selection depends on the pooch. Dog crates sizing is the top priority, but other properties and qualities play a vital role too. One should consider the following when picking the right crate:

  • The style that suits home
  • The age of your favorite pet
  • Preferences of your pet that might give a clue on the size
  • The preferable climate
  • Travel opportunities
  • Proper measurements of the dog (estimated length, width, and height)

So, these factors are necessary. Keep in mind one important thing: the stronger your pet is, the stronger the crate has to be. Once again, what is the proper crate size for dogs? Keep on reading to find out!

What Is the Recommended Size of a New Kennel for Your Puppy?

The medium one. You see, the primary question is related to the kennel’s properties. Its size may either fit your pet or not, making it feel uncomfortable or even scared. Of course, all pets sooner or later accommodate, but it is crucial to make them love the new “shelter” from the first sight. Your dog should feel both comfortable and safe.

What does the process of sizing a dog crate look like? To begin with, it is necessary to take a tape measure. Start with calculating the length. To do so, command your dog to stand on its back paws. Estimate the height while the pet remains in that posture. Start doing it from the nose if the head looks up and moves it to the ground. You should not consider the full length of a tail.

Measure the dog from its nose to the base of the tail. That would be the length. After that, command the pet to sit down and take additional measures. Add between two and four inches to the obtained numbers to obtain the perfect dog crates size. Remember that you’re doing this so that your dog or puppy will not feel uncomfortable in their temporary “shelter.” After all, it will serve them as a second home.

Dog crates come in various sizes, and going with the wrong one can produce some long-term problems for you and your dog. You should consider the following when trying to choose a dog crate:

  • Make sure it’s not too small. The crate should be large enough for your dog to be able to stand, sit straight, turn around, and lie on its side with its paws stretched. If it’s too small, the limitations in movement produced by the crate can result in cramps for your dog, and possibly some of the worse internal injuries after regular use.
  • The crate being too large isn’t any good either. You might think that you’re doing your dog a favor, but large dog crate sizes aren’t too nice for your dog’s house training. Your dog should have enough space for comfortable movement, but not enough to reserve an area for dumping its waste.
  • Do not rely on ‘ideal sizes’ for particular ages or species. Dogs vary in almost every physical characteristic (except being a dog), including size. Individual measurements should be considered when looking for a dog crate.

Tips and Tricks for Measuring Grown-Up Dogs

Guide to Dog MeasurementBefore estimating the size of a pet, one should take into account the age and dog breed. For instance, if you own a puppy, there is no need to purchase huge crates as it develops. It is better to order one that would suit the size of an adult pet. It is possible to decrease the size of the kennel with the help of special dividers. So, what size dog crate should be? 

Estimating the Length

You should start by estimating the length. Your dog must obey your commands. The idea is to make it stand on both back paws. The dog should keep its head up. Once again, start from the nose and move down to the tail (the tail must also be included). However, do not take into account the full tail’s length to avoid the oversized kennel. You might have to add four inches to the obtained results. It is required if the pet is large. It would be enough for the rest of the dog types to add only a couple of inches to get the perfect crate picture.

Measuring the Height

Do you know how to put your pet in the upright position? If no, you may need to study some guides explaining this and how to make them stand and obey your commands. You will need your puppy in this posture for some time, so it should obey you. You may begin the process with the floor. Finish with the top dot of the head. Many people ask whether ears count. Well, in most cases, no. Add 2-4″ like in the previous case, and here you go! That is how you size crate for the dog.

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Choosing the Right “Shelter” for Your Cute Puppy

The crates for dogs’ sizes are special for small pets. A puppy, or just a small dog, requires a different type of kennel. The tiniest one is roughly 24″. A crate of the same size from different brands can vary in terms of comfort. Except for the color and other small nuances, the owner should start by estimating the length.

Both puppies and tiny breeds may benefit from wearing the same kennels. Pick one that is 18-22 inches (in most cases). They would fit the following dogs:

  • Mini poodle
  • French bulldog
  • Jack Russell terrier
  • Maltese
  • Most of the puppies

Recommended Dog Crate Sizes for the Popular Breeds

We have mentioned that the size of dog crate often depends on the breed. There are large, intermediate, small, and extra small doggies. The basic rules to keep in mind are:

Consider the pet’s gender and ancestry as these factors impact the dog’s size.

XS Dog Breeds (e.g., Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Japanese Chin, Russkiy Toy, Yorkshire Terrier, etc.): the minimum length is 18 inches; the minimum width is 14 inches; the maximum length is 22 inches; while the maximum width is 16 inches.

S Dog Breeds (e.g., Australian Silky Terrier, Chinese Crested, Dachshund, Fox Terrier, French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, Tibetan Spaniel, etc.): the minimum length is 24 inches; the minimum width is 19 inches; the maximum length is 25 inches; while the maximum width is 21 inches.

M Dog Breeds (e.g., American Pit Bull Terrier, Basenji, Cocker Spaniel, German Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Tibetan Terrier, etc.): the minimum length is 30 inches; the minimum width is 21 inches; the maximum length is 31 inches; while the maximum width is 24 inches.

Intermediate & L Breed Dogs (e.g., Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Boxer, English Setter, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Thai Ridgeback, standard Poodle, etc.): the minimum length is 42 inches; the minimum width is 30 inches; the maximum length is 43,25 inches; while the maximum width is 30,25 inches.

Those are the recommended dog crates sizes concerning the breed. Now, we should speak about specific types of kennels for your pets.

What Kind of Cages to Purchase Today? Four Basic Options

Nowadays, the range of zoo products impresses. You may order online, but the best idea is to go to the zoo store and try it on. It is possible to pick one of the listed kennels:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Soft-sided
  • Metal heavy

They all possess different features. Thus, they suit different dogs. Once you type in “sizing dog crates” in Google, you’ll get the list of recommended stores and models.

Metal Wire Kennel: Noisy but Secure

Wire Dog KennelsIt is a time-tested option for you and your dog. Those are the most demanded kennels as they allow taking your pet with you anywhere, including airport and plane. You can notice most people having these kennels. As a rule, they are equipped with just one door.


If you do not want to spend much time cleaning, remember that this option is simple to take care of. It makes it possible to notice everything that happens to your pet and watch what’s happening around. Special divider panels are there for pet owners who wish to modify something. Such crates work best for hotter climates. Now, learn about the cons of our dog crate sizing guide.


The visibility has its pros and cons. For instance, one of the pitfalls may lead to whining and even stressful situations. This type’s kennel is the loudest one among the offered, so not all dogs feel comfortable. This product proposes insufficient shelter when the temperature of the surrounding is low. Do not order this one for intelligent pets.

Plastic Kennels: Cheap but Not Durable

Plastic Dog KennelsDo you spend a lot of time alone on vacation? Perhaps, your family simply misses your pet. If it is tiny or light enough, the plastic crate might be the solution. Not all people are ready to part from their pets for a while. Say, if you plan to go on a trip for more than a week, a plastic cage is a good decision. As for the sizes of dog crates, this one would feel okay for most of the breeds.


For crybabies and whiny dogs, it is a more effective solution. Such type of cage is rather tiny; it does not weight too much. Do you plan to move to a chilly or extremely cold location? Your dog will feel sufficiently warm in this type of crate. For an average dog, it would be a challenge to escape this “labyrinth.” Owners may use the bottom of the kennel as an open puppy bed. Items like these often possess removable meal and beverage dishes.


Be ready to expand your premise as more storage space is required if you buy this product. It is not simple to clean this sort of product. Visually, such kennel is not very pleasant, but it is a matter of taste. Finally, the decreased level of ventilation can lead to overheating, where the temperature is too high.

Soft-Sided Puppy Crates: Pros and Cons

Crate-adverse owners usually pick this product, which may rather remind one of the soft toys than a cage. They appear to be less intimidating for the beginners that impose wire ones. They almost weight nothing. It means that you can carry your favorite pet with you, no matter how far the journey takes.


These kennels are soft and flexible. The pet owners will be able to transfer such little homes with no special efforts. Even the kids will handle this mission. Most of the stores offer a carry bag as an addition. If you are not traveling by plane, and the distance is not that large (e.g., camping), this is the perfect option.


Some dogs have a nasty habit of clawing and scratching their cages to get out. That is why the kennel may suffer. These kennels are not really durable and will not serve for a while. That is why it is not the most cost-effective solution. Many dogs who purchase these kennels find it complicated to clean the mess that the pets leave in their places. These products barely look attractive, but they are relatively cheap.

Description of the Metal Heavy Duty Cages

Heavy Duty Dog CrateOwning large and intelligent dogs is a pain in one’s back. They are playful yet able to ruin everything around. Cheerful huskies and related breeds are a great example. These are mostly expensive pets. If you feel more like you are a parent than a master, metal heavy duty kennels will suit you. Of course, it is a bit costly, but such an investment is rather cost-effective for those who need kennels for long-lasting usage. At least, your dog will never destroy it and escape. The noise level is optimal. Most often, artists choose this option.


Many organizations approved this type for carrying pets in the planes. It does not bother dogs while on a trip much. It is hard to destroy such a crate. Do not spend your vacation without your favorite puppy any longer!


Well, typical cages of this type are not very attractive from the first sight. Perhaps it is not the essential quality, but it matters for many ladies and teenagers who wish to express their pets’ individualities. In the eyes of your buddies and dog handlers, your pets will appear solid and well-trained so that you can feel proud of them.

Which Is the Right Type to Choose?

Each type has its pros and cons, and it doesn’t seem easy to choose one. To me, the owners of large breeds should pay attention to metal wire and heavy metal duty crates though they are not the silent ones. After all, the safety of your dog matters more. We have checked plenty of customer feedback, comments, and ratings from professionals, and it appears that many of them prefer Midwest Life Stages. This brand produces plenty of nice stuff for the home animals. You can pick this kennel from 22 inches long to 48 inches long. You may consult a specialist first if you have any doubts or concerns.

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What It’s Made Of

Sad dog Laying in a Soft Dog CrateAgain, there’s no ideal material either. Dogs vary and have different natural (or even habitual) reactions to different substances. Some dogs may be allergic to plastic; some might show an uncomfortable reaction to stainless steel while some of their bodies might reject other component materials of certain dog crates. Make sure your dog’s body is compatible with everything it’ll be exposed to when inside a dog crate.

Convenient Design

Having your dog’s nose bleed because it’s constantly forced through an opening isn’t something that’ll please you or your dog. Make sure the dog kennel does not contain any unnecessary parts that could hurt it, or lead to any inconvenient habits (such as getting your dog used to constant chewing). While a particular design may please your eyes, it might not please your dog.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article provided you with the best answer to the question, “What size crate for a dog to choose?” Do not forget to estimate the height and length of your pet properly before purchasing any kennel. Also, if the puppy plans to go big, it is better to buy a larger crate from the beginning to save some money. We wish luck to you and your dog!


Images credits: Amazon.com


Susan Cropper

As a veterinarian practicing for 48 years, Dr. Cropper brings her priceless experience to all our readers. She is currently taking care of her two rescues, Ollie the Greyhound and Bryce the Pitbull mix, that is why she always sees things as a veterinarian and a pet owner simultaneously.

View all posts by Susan Cropper | DogsRecommend.com