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What Size Crate Does My Dog Need? Crate Size Chart & Guide | Pupford

November 29th, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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Are you a new pup parent trying to figure out what size crate your dog needs? If you’re unsure what size dog crate to buy for your dog, you’ve come to the right place. We here at Pupford know dog crates serve multiple uses regardless of how your doggo comes into your life – as a new puppy, young adult, or older senior.

Selecting the right size dog crate depends on a few factors. The right crate with the right crate training can help him tolerate periods of separation from his human family and provide a safe place to leave when you cannot supervise him. And if you didn’t know already, most pooches actually enjoy having a place they can call their own.

Hundreds of sizes and styles of crates are available, and pup parents are often overwhelmed by the choices and can’t make head or tail of it. See what we did there!😉If your head is spinning after reading all that, don’t worry! We got you! We will explain the factors you need to consider. For example:

  • How do you intend to use the dog crate?
  • What crate size is right for your dog depending on size, weight, breed, and age?
  • Ways to measure your dog for the right size crate
  • The best type of dog crates

Let’s look into the first factor to help you decide what size crate your dog needs.


puppy in a dog crate that fits

Dog crates are an investment in your dog’s well-being. Crates come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. Before choosing one, you’ll need to consider how you intend to use the dog crate.

For example, your intention could be to help your pup with:

  • A sense of security: A crate offers a safe space for your dog to rest and relax. Sick, injured, or older dogs can use their crates as sanctuaries when they need rest and recovery.
  • Additional training: One way to use a crate for training is by using it for potty training. Crated dogs tend to wait for the right place and time to go as they do not wish to soil their crate.
  • Safe car rides and air travels: A crate-trained dog will be much easier to transport than a non-trained one. Crates can also be handy for other times like on road trips or air travel.
  • An emergency: In the unfortunate case of an emergency like a fire, you can easily and quickly move your pet without relying on dog cues.

As pup parents, it can be important that an emergency is not the first way to introduce your dog to a crate. Instead, it should signify a safe and comforting place.

Related Reading: How Big Will My Puppy Get?


One of the most common mistakes people make when buying a crate is to think, ‘Bigger is better.’ Nope, not the way to go, my friend.. even if you have a big dog! 😅

Too big of crates may make it so your pup is more likely to use part of the crate as a potty area, while too small of crates can make your pup feel too confined and unable to comfortably sit, stand, or lay down.

A crate should be big enough for your doggo to stand up without hitting their head, turn around comfortably, and leave room to lay on their side with their paws stretched before them. Here are general sizing guidelines in an easy-to-understand chart.

Dog crate size chart

But, if you follow the rules discussed, you will need a different size crate when a puppy turns into an adolescent and a different size again as an adult. That could quickly get expensive, so let us give you a money-saving tip:

Look for a crate with a built-in divider that moves in the crate as your puppy grows.

Many dog crate brands have dividers. A divider is a removable panel you can place inside the crate to reduce the space to suit the size of your dog.

As crucial as crates are, it’s equally essential to ensure that your dog’s crate correctly accommodates them.

🐶 Don't miss out, get access to a video training course covering crate training, leash walking, and puppy biting. Sign up for free here!


how to find the right size crate for your dog

The most significant consideration when choosing a crate is the size of your dog. Knowing your dog’s length, height, and width is the only way to find a perfect fit. Here are a few most important considerations:

  • To measure the length: Measure your dog from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail. Then, add 2″ to that measurement if you have a small/medium breed and 4″ if you have a large/extra-large breed.
  • To measure the height: Have your dog in a sitting position. Measure your dog’s height from the floor to the top of the head if they have floppy ears. If they have erect ears, you’ll need to measure from the floor to the tip of their ears. Then add 1″.
  • To measure the width: Measure the widest point across your dog’s chest. Then add 4″.

An extra inch or two won’t be a big deal, but if you take an inch or two of needed space away, your dog may not be comfortable. Therefore, when choosing the right dog crate size, your pet’s comfort must be the priority.


While it's important to know what crate is best for your dog, it's equally (or more) important to get your dog comfortable with the crate that you will be using. To successfully crate train your dog, you want your dog to think about the crate as a good place to be! In other words, you want to make your dog's experiences with the crate positive.

Here are some tips from Em Fitzpatrick CPDT-KA on Crate Training.

You'll need:

Getting Started:

  • Start by marking and reinforcing your dog for being in the crate (if you're using a plastic crate take the top off)
  • Any time your dog is in there, mark and reinforce
  • If your dog lays down, give them a jackpot reward
  • You can then briefly close and open the door
  • And work your way up to being able to close the door for extended periods of time
  • End the training with some fun play!
🐶 Don't miss out, get access to a video training course covering crate training, leash walking, and puppy biting. Sign up for free here!


Once you have a sense of the right size crate for your dog, you should consider a couple of other things before selecting the right one. For example, whether you are looking for a more stylish option to suit your home décor, how naughty your dog is, or if your pup prefers being closed in or having some visibility. With all this in mind, we are going to discuss the four best types of dog crates:

  • Wire crates: These dog crates are the most popular and purchased of the many types of dog crates available. Some have a single door, while some have two or three. Most have a removable plastic tray at the base, and most are foldable and easy to clean.
  • Wooden / custom-made stylish dog crates: These dog crates look great! Some are stylish and desirable, especially when compared to a wire or plastic crate. You can pick one that slips seamlessly into your home’s overall look and theme. They aren’t as easy to escape from as a wire crate.
fable stylish dog bed
  • Crash tested/Travel crates: These dog crates are travel friendly, many of which can come as ‘airline approved’ for air travel. People buy plastic crates mostly as secondary ones for transportation and use outside the home. They are more ‘boxed in’ and sheltered, making them more suitable for colder climates.
gunner dog kennels
  • Soft walled / fabric crates: These dog crates are lightweight and the most portable of all crate styles. You can easily store them because of their collapsible nature, and they are fantastic to take anywhere to provide your dog with temporary shelter.

Which is your favorite type of dog crate?


dog being trained in the correct size crate | Pupford

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when choosing the right size crate but doing your research ahead of time is a significant first step.

Always be sure to measure your dog, choose the right style, and give your dog some space to grow into the crate as needed.

We are sure you and your beloved pooch will benefit from this article.

Now that you have a better idea of what size dog crate to purchase, you’re on to the training phase! Check out How to Crate Train a Puppy.

Want a full deep-dive into crate training and dozens of other behaviors? Get access to the 100% free online video course 30 Day Perfect Pup, taught by Zak George. Sign up here!

🐶 Don't miss out, get access to a video training course covering crate training, leash walking, and puppy biting. Sign up for free here!


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