How to Size Dog Crates

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Dog crates are available in a range of sizes to suit different breeds of dogs, but the purpose of the dog crate is also a consideration. Traditionally dog crates were used almost exclusively to transport adult dogs, but today they are most often used in the home. If you plan to use the crate as a den or private retreat for an adult dog or a place to confine an adult dog, then you probably will want something a bit roomy. If you plan to use the crate as a tool to help house train a puppy, then you should select a crate just big enough to accommodate him.

Crate Options

Select a puppy crate that is just large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down. A small crate is helpful in house training a puppy because dogs will not soil the place where they live and sleep. The puppy crate teaches the dog to “hold it” until you take him outside to relieve himself.

Choose a crate that is at least 6 inches higher at the shoulder and 6 inches longer than your adult dog. Some dog owners prefer a crate that is tall enough for the dog to sit and long enough for him to move two or three paces. Whatever size you buy, remember that the comfort of your pet is paramount.

Purchase a crate that is suited to the temperament of your dog. A light-wire or light-duty crate is appropriate for passive, well-behaved dogs. A medium-wire or medium-duty crate is right for almost any well-trained dog. A heavy-wire or heavy-duty crate should be used for dogs that are strong, aggressive or difficult to control.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the idea of a wire crate sitting at the end of your living room or family room is unappealing, wooden crates that look like furniture are available (see address below).
  • Policies regarding the transportation of dogs varies from airline to airline, so if you are planning to ship your dog to another location by air, call the airline before you purchase a shipping crate.

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