Crates are great training tools for puppies and can become a comfort for adult and senior dogs. By nature, dogs will seek out smaller spaces to help them feel protected and secure, allow them to relax and feel comfortable. Most veterinarians, trainers, and breeders recommend crate training dogs starting at puppyhood
German Shepherds are strong, intelligent working dogs. You will need to find the right size crate that will be able to keep them secure. It is essential to have a crate that fits a German Shepherd comfortably, without giving too much space to encourage bad behaviors.
Crate Size for a German Shepherd
So what size crate is ideal for your German Shepherd? The answer depends on their size. German Shepherds typically range in size from 50 to 90 pounds, some large males have even reached up to 120 pounds. Because of this, there is no one-size-fits-all crate recommendation.
A small to medium-sized German Shepherd may do well in a 36-inch crate, but this is the smallest size a full-grown shepherd would need. It’s more likely you’ll need either a 42-inch crate or a 48-inch crate.
If you’re getting ready to purchase a puppy, a good idea is to speak to the breeder about the size of your dog’s parents. This can give you a rough estimate of how large they will be fully grown. Males also grow to be larger than females.
Things to Consider
If you use a crate that’s too small, it can cause unnecessary anxiety and discomfort for your dog. You will want to ensure the crate size is big enough for your dog to stand up comfortably, turn completely around, and stretch out and sleep comfortably. Some crate brands will come with a divider that will allow you to adjust the size as needed. Your goal is to make this a safe haven and a place your dog enjoys being.
It’s important to have a very durable crate for these powerful dogs. This breed has high energy and will require stimulation. You will run the risk of them trying to escape the cage before crate training is complete. This doesn’t mean every German Shepherd will attempt this, but it’s best to be prepared.
Number of Doors
Another convenience is that some brands of crates will come with two doors, one in the front and one on the side. This will allow you some versatility when finding a place in your home to put the crate.
Crates by Dimension
36” Crate (36” X 23” X 25”)
The average 36-inch dog crate has dimensions of 36” length, 23” width, and 25” height. This size crate is recommended for dogs weighing 40 to 70 pounds.
42” Crate (42” X 28” X 31”)
The average 42-inch dog crate has dimensions of 42” length, 28” width, and 31” height. This size crate is ideal for dogs weighing anywhere between 70 to 90 pounds.
48” Crate (48” X 30” X 33”)
The average dimensions of a 48-inch dog crate are 48” length, 30” width, and 33” height. This dog crate size is ideal for dogs that weigh more than 90 pounds.
How to Choose the Right Crate Size for a Puppy
Your German Shepherd puppy needs a crate that is large enough for him to comfortably turn around in but not much else. A crate any bigger will leave room for accidents when potty training.
When your German Shepherd puppy reaches adult size, they will need to be able to comfortably stand and turn around inside the crate. For sizing, it is recommended to measure the length from their nose to the base of their tail, then add approximately 2 to 4 inches of extra room.
The good news is, a lot of large crates on the market come with dividers. These dividers can be used for puppies and can be moved as they grow and need to accommodate more space.
Purchase a crate that fits their estimated adult size and use a divider to adjust the inside space as they grow. Eventually, you’ll be able to remove the divider and utilize the full size of the crate. Some dog owners prefer to buy cage sizes as they grow, but this is a great option that will save you money in the long run.
German Shepherds are large dogs that will require a sturdy, comfortably-sized crate. Because these dogs can vary in size from medium to large, you’ll have to find the right size for your dog. When purchasing a puppy, you can get a pretty good estimate of their adult size by looking at the parents.
Smaller German Shepherds could require no more than a 36-inch crate while some of the larger German Shepherds will need a 48-inch crate. Once you find a puppy, you can purchase a crate that fits their estimated adult size and use a divider as they grow.
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Featured Image Credit: andyround62, Pixabay