Choosing The Right Crate For Different Dog Sizes

Dog Crates for Different Dog Sizes

There are many different dog crate brands and designs made for different families and dog sizes and breeds. The most important thing owners should consider when looking for a good dog crate is size according to professional dog trainer, Jen Jones. After all, there are small, medium sized dogs, and big dogs!

Here's your complete guide to choosing the right dog crate for your pooch!

Choosing The Right Crate For Different Dog Sizes

Here are some things you need to consider before getting a dog crate:

  • Your dog's size
  • Your dog's age
  • Does your pooch feel comfortable in a den-like environment or does she prefer an open crate?
  • Proper ventilation and insulation
  • Style that fits your home
  • Do you need it for travel?

How Big Should a Dog Crate Be?

Jen also noted that crates should not be too big nor should they be too small. Consider getting a crate that "grows" with your dog. Dog crates should be just big enough for your dog to stand up, lay down, and turn around comfortably.

Dog Crates - Is this dog crate the ... x

Different Dog Sizes Need Different Dog Crates

Big Dogs:

For large dog breeds such as Great Danes or German Shepherds, you'll need the extra space of a 42" size crate.

Medium Sized Dogs:

Medium sized dogs such as Poodles or Border Collies will do well in an intermediate size 28" crate.

Small Dog Breeds:

Small dogs such as Pomeranians or Chihuahuas should be fine in a tight, cozy 18" crate.

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How To Measure Your Dog For A Crate?


To accurately measure the length of your dog, get her standing on all four paws and measure from the tip of her nose to the base of her tail. You do not need to include the entire length of your dog’s tail, or the crate will be too big.

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For this one, you’ll need to get your dog sitting down. Measure the width of her chest, right behind the forelegs.


To measure for height, get your dog standing up and gently press their back against a wall. There should be some spring in their step so they can move around inside of the cage if they want to stretch out or curl up.

Dog sizes Big dogs medium sized dogs

What Size Crate Should You Get For A Puppy?

If you plan on getting a crate for a puppy, it’s important to know what size crate they will need when they are fully grown. Dog owners should always buy a dog crate that has a divider so the space can be adjusted as your pups grow into big dogs.

Dog Crate Sizes for the Smallest Dog Breeds:

Yorkshire Terrier - Smallest Dog Breeds

18" Dog Crate

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Pomeranian

22" Dog Crate

  • Shih Tzu
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Miniature Dachshund
  • Toy Poodle
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Maltese and Toy Spaniel.

Dog breeds such as these, who have delicate bone structures and can be prone to compressed spinal discs or fractured bones, often benefit from the extra small crate of just 22 inches long. This is because there isn't a lot of room for them to move around in the crate, so they have less chance of injuring themselves while playing or getting up. However, it's important that these little guys still have enough room to stand up and turn around comfortably.

24" Dog Crate

  • Australian Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Schnauzer
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Miniature Poodle
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Dog owners with these small breed dogs might also want to consider their pup's comfort when they choose a dog crate in the 22"-24" range. These breeds have delicate bone structures and can be prone to compressed spinal discs or fractured bones, so they might enjoy having more room to move around in instead of just standing up and turning around comfortably due to extra head space.

Dog sizes Big dogs medium sized dogs

Dog Crate Sizes for Medium Sized Dogs:

Basenji-Small-Dogs-That-Are-Medium Sized Dogs

30" Dog Crate

  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Shetland Sheep Dog
  • Dachshund
  • Beagle
  • Basenji
  • Welsh Corgi

36" Dog Crate.

  • Boxer
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Greyhound

A 30-36" Dog crate is a good choice for medium sized breeds of dogs that can be active and playful, but may still have a bit of growing room left to do. Because this size is considered "intermediate," it's a good fit for many larger breed puppies as well as full grown medium-sized pups. It also makes a great option for owners with multi-dog households since you'll have ample space to set up the crates.

Dog Sizes Medium Sized Dogs Big Dogs

Dog Crate Sizes for Big Dogs

Big Dogs That Don't Shed - Airedale Terrier

42" Dog Crate

  • Dalmatian
  • English Setter
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Standard Poodle

Dog owners with big dogs like these should definitely consider getting a crate that is at least 42 inches long to allow space for their dog's head and body.

48″ Dog Crate

  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Rottweiler
  • Chow Dog
  • Samoyed

Dog owners with big dogs like these should certainly invest in a crate that is at least 48 inches long to allow head room, leg room, and some extra elbow space just in case!

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54″ Dog Crate

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Great Dane
  • Saint Bernard

Dog owners with big dogs like these should certainly invest in a crate that is at least 54 inches long so they can stand up or stretch out entirely, making them feel comfortable and secure.

Dog sizes Big dogs medium sized dogs

Contributor | Jen Jones

Jen is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. She is also the Editor in Chief of Your Dog Advisor.

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