Many dog owners choose to use a crate for their pups for a variety of reasons, but choosing the perfect crate can raise some questions.
Selecting the correct size, for example, can be tricky, but basing the size on the dog breed can help to simplify things.
As a larger breed, German shepherds have some specific needs when it comes to crate size and durability.
German Shepherd crate size
A dog crate should be large enough that the dog can easily turn around inside without bumping into the sides. The dog should also be able to sit up in the crate without having to crouch or lower its head. In addition, dogs should be able to lie down in the crate and stretch out their paws.
Adult German shepherds can weigh between 50 and 90 pounds and usually grow to between 22 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder, with males growing slightly larger and taller than females.
This means they’ll need a crate that’s at least 42 inches long, although a crate that’s at least 48 inches long is even better. Usually, crates of this length are considered to be an extra-large size, although even bigger crates are available. Forty-two-inch crates are usually around 30 inches wide and tall.
Crates for puppies
If your German shepherd is a puppy, you may think that purchasing a smaller crate and then upgrading is the best option.
However, most adult-sized crates come with a divider, so it’s often best to purchase the crate size you’ll need for an adult dog and use a divider to create a smaller, puppy-sized crate until the dog grows.
There are a few reasons for purchasing a larger crate size, even for a puppy. First, crates, even smaller ones, can be quite expensive, so purchasing only one crate can often save you money in the long run.
Second, purchasing a larger crate will ensure that you have enough space right from the get-go, and you won’t have to work a larger crate into your living space later on.
Finally, purchasing the crate your dog will use as an adult will ensure that they get used to this particular setup right away, and won’t have to readjust later on down the road.
It’s best to use a divider and create a smaller space for puppies so they feel safe. A smaller space also works better when housebreaking a puppy, as puppies are less likely to soil an area they consider a sleeping space.
Uses for Crates
Not all dog owners use crates, but they can have many benefits. Crates are a great way to housetrain dogs. Crates are also a good training tool for different behavioral issues.
They provide a safe, quiet place where dogs can calm down, and this can help to deter destructive or annoying behavior, such as barking.
You can also crate a puppy when you leave the house, and this will ensure that the puppy doesn’t dig, bark, or chew on items while you’re not watching.
Later in life, crates are often the place dogs go to sleep, feel safe, or get a bit of time to themselves whenever they need some space from children or other pets.
Different crate types
Size isn’t the only factor when it comes to choosing a crate. There are also several different types of crates available, including metal, plastic, and soft-sided varieties.
Metal crates are one of the most popular options. They are usually the largest option available, and they’re quite durable. The metal sides also allow for plenty of airflow, so they’re comfortable and won’t get too hot.
A soft dog bed or blankets can be placed inside, and the metal construction makes these crates easy to clean. Some metal crates also come with wheels at the bottom, so they’re easier to move.
Plastic crates are also an option. Because they’re not as open, they offer more privacy for the dog, so they’re a good choice for shy dogs or dogs that don’t react well to visitors.
However, this construction can also make the crates warmer, as there’s less airflow. Plastic crates are often a bit lighter than metal crates, so they’re easier to move around when necessary, and the plastic construction means that they’re relatively easy to clean.
Like a metal crate, blankets or a dog bed can be placed inside the crate to make for a cozy resting spot.
Soft-sided crates are lightweight and collapsible, so they’re easy to move around. These crates are often a good choice for car trips or any time when a crate will only be needed temporarily.
Soft-sided crates are also usually less expensive than larger crates made of plastic or metal. However, these crates aren’t very durable, and the fabric construction makes them difficult to clean.
In addition, soft-sided crates aren’t always available in the larger size that a German shepherd or other large breed requires.
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