Crate training dogs is one of the most popular and very important parts of house training your puppy or adult dog. When done correctly, dog crate training gives your Fido a safe place to stay when you're not at home to keep an eye on him. Learning how to choose the right size dog crate is an essential part of the whole crate training process.
Let's first talk about crate training your canine:
Crate training needs to be done gradually. Locking your dog in a crate and expecting him to instantly be comfortable is unrealistic. Once you learn how to crate train your pup, he'll think of his kennel or cage as a safe place to go for sleeping, relaxing or just to get away when he's in need of some alone time.
It's important to know how to choose the right size dog crate. Having the right sized dog crate will be essential in making the training process effective. When you find a dog crate that is the right size for your pet, it'll help with potty training and save you money.
If you're new to crate training, you may need a few tips on the actual training procedure. Lucky for you, I've also created a quick step-by-step guide and filmed a video on how to crate train a dog here. The short guide will walk you through the process of how to train to your dog to enjoy staying in his pet crate while you're away from home.
DAILY VIDEOS: Top Dog Tips Videos on YouTube
But how do you find the right size dog crate and what exactly does that even mean?
How To Choose the Right Size Dog Crate
1. Plan for the future
First, you need to decide on the type of dog crate and who's going to use it.
Is your dog full grown? If you're planning on crate training a puppy, which is a great idea, you're going to need to buy a dog crate that your pup won't grow out of in 3 months. You need a pet crate that “grows with your dog.”
There are many different types of dog crates that are designed to “grow with your dog.”
As I explain in my video guide, these pet crates will come with a divider, which is key. You can position the divider to create the right size crate for your young dog, and then remove the divider to offer your adult dog plenty of room when he's fully grown.
2. Measure your dog
Many dog crates are returned after the purchase because the owner didn't pick the right size. Don't make this mistake, and ensure that you measure your dog for the crate.
Understand the importance of the right size:
A dog crate that is too small will confine your pet and make him uncomfortable. This will cause him to dislike his pet crate, and it's likely that you'll have trouble getting him to climb into the cage willingly when you need him to. Crate training won't work either.
A dog crate that is too large will cause problems as well. If your dog is not house trained, he may be able to use the bathroom in one corner of the crate and sleep in another. This will hinder the house training process, and it will also be quite an annoyance for you to clean the pet crate every day.
HELPFUL TIPS: 9 Ways to Stop a Dog from Pooping in a Crate
If you have a puppy, you'll need to estimate the full grown size of your dog. It'll take some effort on your part. For example, do you have a friend with the same breed? Do some research online to find the average breed height and length of your pup.
To learn exactly how to choose the right size dog crate for an adult canine, there are some measuring guidelines to follow. Here are a few most important considerations:
- Measuring to find the right length: You'll need to measure the length of your dog from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. Now, add 2″ to that measurement if you have a small/medium breed and 4″ if you have a large/extra large breed. This is the length of the crate that you will need. It will allow your Fido enough space to turn around comfortably.
- Measuring to find the right height: You'll need to measure your pet's height from the floor to the top of his head if he has floppy ears. If he has erect ears, you'll need to measure from the floor to the tip of his ears. Now add 1″. This is the height of the crate that your dog needs.
- Measuring to find the right width: Measure the widest point across your pet's chest. Now add 4″. This is the correct width for the crate that your dog will need.
3. Choose a slightly larger dog crate
Of course, you will probably not be able to find a crate that fits the exact length, width and height that you measured. Just try to stay as close to those measurements as possible. When in doubt, go with a bigger length, width or height than you need.
Whether you're picking a soft dog crate, a plastic one, or a metal dog crate, the exact size matters. 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 and there's no “wiggle room” in that case.
For example, let's say your dog is 14 inches long. He's a small breed, so you will need to bump that measurement up to 16 inches. If you find a crate that is 17″ long, that's okay.
When you're learning how to choose the right size dog crate, it's important that your dog's comfort is the first priority. An extra inch or two won't give your pup enough space to defecate in the pet crate and get away from it.
However, if you take an inch or two off the amount of space that he needs to be comfortable it could result in him not being able to turn around or lie down comfortably.
Make sure you watch the video for the full explanation, and if you have any questions on choosing the right size dog crate, feel free leave those below and we'll get to them.
READ NEXT: 11 Tips on How to Use Dog Crates Safely