What Size Crate for German Shepherd? (For Adults & Puppies)

Last Updated on July, 2024

The Perfect Crate Size For Your German Shepherd?

(Ideal Sizes For Adults And Puppies!)

Choosing the perfect crate size is a TASK! Let alone for German Shepherds…

Like many GSD dog owners, you too are stuck at choosing the perfect crate size for your German shepherd dog.

Is it recommended to initially purchase a smaller crate and then gradually transition to a large one as the puppy grows? 

Or is it best to get a large crate once and for all?

Hang tight, and I will give you the solution. This information on the German Shepherd crate size is more than enough for you. I’ll tell you the correct size crate for your GSD, how to measure a GSD for a crate, and many more important factors to consider be getting a crate. 

Quick Summary

The recommended crate size for an adult German Shepherd is 48 inches in length, 30 inches in width, and 33 inches in height.

It is important to consider the individual preferences of your dog when choosing a crate size.

Crate training has many benefits, including providing a secure and safe space, aiding in house training, and facilitating travel. However, it is important not to leave a dog crated for excessive periods of time, as it can lead to negative effects on their mental and physical well-being.

What Size Crate for German Shepherd?

A gsd dog inside a wire dog crate

To be honest, there is no “one-size-fits-all” crate recommendation. If it was that easy, I could end this article right now. There are, of course, things to consider.

When choosing a crate size for your German shepherd, unlike other pet owners, it’s important to consider the adult size of the dog breed. 

GSD fall into the category of medium to LARGE-SIZED dogs, and their crate should provide enough room for them to stand, turn and lie down comfortably. I will talk about it more deeply toward the end of this article. 

The suitable size for an adult GSD would typically be around 48 inches in length, 30 inches in width, and 33 inches in height.

This size allows for ample room and ensures the dog can stretch out comfortably while feeling like a safe space in the dog crate.

But hey, average dimensions are approximate, and it’s always a good idea to measure your GSD dog to ensure the dog crate is the right size.

Additionally, consider the individual preferences of your German shepherd, as some German shepherds may feel more comfortable in a slightly larger or smaller crate.

Best Crate Size for German Shepherd Puppies

Are you looking for the best crate size for your german shepherd puppy?

Heh. You’ve come to the right place. 

Everyone initially thinks about getting a small size crate for their german shepherd puppy. Well, is it bad? Is it better to buy a small crate until your puppy becomes an adult? Or should you buy a large crate that will fit even when the puppy grows?

Let’s find out!

Starting with a small crate has two major benefits:

  • It feels more secure to a small puppy as opposed to a larger crate.
  • Your pup won’t have as much room to use part of it as a bathroom.

The downside? Puppies grow fast, so you’ll get maybe a few months out of it before you have to upgrade. 

My German shepherd puppy went from ant-man to HULK in a blink of an eye!

A large crate will provide ample room for your GSD puppy to move around comfortably as it matures into an adult. But there can be control problems when you give too much space for your dog, like when you try to potty-train your puppy in a crate that is too large.

Avoid Making These Mistakes By Following These Guidelines;

  • Measure Your Puppy

Measure your German Shepherd puppy from the apex of your dog’s nose to the very end of its cute tail. This measurement will give you an estimate of the crate length.

  • Consider The Adult Size

German shepherds are large breeds. On average, adult German shepherds typically range from 22-25 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh between 50 to 90 pounds.

  • Choose A Size

Select the one that provides your GSD with a living space based on your puppy’s measurements and the projected adult size. Generally, 1.5 times the length of your puppy. 

  • Consider Adjustable Crates

Some dog crates come with a crate divider or panels that allow you to adjust the size as your German Shepherd puppy grows, like all other puppies. These types of crates save you money and adapt to your puppy’s changing size.

Is a Crate Essential for a German Shepherd?

a german shepherd dog inside a wire crate

Long story short, YES, IT IS!!!

Just like you get insurance for your newly bought car, crates are not any less important for your dog.

Getting a crate for your German shepherd does more GOOD than bad. And it certainly makes life easier for you AND for the dog. 

You can go ahead and do otherwise, just don’t complain to me when your German shepherd turns your house upside down, making your life a living HELL!

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Crate Size

  • SIZE

For the nth time, German shepherds are large dogs, so it’s crucial to choose a crate that provides enough space for them to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. 

  • DURABILITY 

Selecting a crate made from sturdy materials (plastic crates are not advisable) that can withstand their energy and potential chewing is essential.

An aluminum or metal crate is ideal, but if you’re on a budget, wire crates or a strong plastic crate will do the job too.

  • VENTILATION 

Adequate airflow is vital to keep your German shepherd comfortable and prevent overheating. Bars or mesh panels facilitate good air circulation.

  • SAFETY FEATURES

The crate should have secure latches or locks to keep your GSD safely contained. Check that the door is sturdy and can withstand the dog’s attempt to escape or break out.

  • EASY TO CLEAN

Look for a crate with a removable plastic tray or one that can be easily disassembled for cleaning. German shepherds can shed quite a bit *holds a deep breath* so a crate that facilitates cleaning will make your life easier.

  • PORTABILITY

 If you plan to travel frequently, consider a folding metal dog crate or one that has handles for easy transportation. It can come in handy for trips or visits to the veterinarian.

  • COMFORT

Add a dog bed to make it cozy for your German shepherd. This will help create a positive alliance and provide a comfortable resting place.

Benefits of Crate Training Your German Shepherd

A german shepherd standing infront of a crate
  • SECURITY AND SAFETY

The crate provides the safest and the most secure space for your GSD when you can’t directly supervise them. That’s extra safety with ZERO extra effort!

  • HOUSE TRAINING AID

A crate is the MOST effective tool for potty training your GSD. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping area. Your dog will hold their bladder and bowels until they are outside. Pretty cool, right?

  • TRAVEL CONVENIENCE

Having a crate makes transportation much easier and safer. Don’t stress about leaving your dog alone at home; instead, make him your new travel companion.

  • PREVENTING DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR

German shepherds require mental and physical stimulation. However, when left unsupervised, they may WRECK HAVOC! A crate limits access to certain areas and prevent destructive habits.

  • STRESS MANAGEMENT

A crate provides a private space where your dog can retreat and relax, during times of stress, such as when guests visit or during thunderstorms or fireworks.

  • FACILITATING TRAINING

Crate training is essential for overall obedience training. It helps teach them important commands like “crate” or “kennel.” You wouldn’t want your dog disobeying your commands.

  • VETERINARY VISITS AND RECOVERY

Crates can be invaluable for post-surgery or recovery periods, providing a secure and controlled environment for rest and healing.

While there are several benefits to crate training German shepherds, it’s important to consider some potential downsides as well.

Downsides of Getting a Crate for a German Shepherd 

  • RESTRICTED MOVEMENT

Crating can limit a GSD’s freedom of movement. If your dog spends excessive time confined to a crate, it’s going to frustrate your dog.

  • SOCIAL ISOLATION

GSDs experience feelings of isolation and loneliness when crated for extended periods. It negatively affects your dog’s mental well-being and contributes to separation anxiety.

  • LACK OF MENTAL STIMULATION

GSDs tend to get bored and exhibit destructive behaviors such as excessive chewing, barking, and digging.

A dog sitting near the dog crate door
  • POTENTIAL PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT

Small dog cages restrict your dog’s movements and prevent them from stretching or changing positions comfortably.

  • TRAINING CHALLENGES

Relying solely on crate training will present challenges. Crates should not be seen as a substitute for proper training and socialization.

Dimensions of a Dog Crate

  • 36″ Crate (36″ X 23″ X 25″) 

The typical dimensions of a 36-inch dog crate are 36″ in length, 23″ in width, and 25″ in height. It is advisable to use this size crate for dogs weighing between 40 and 70 pounds.

  • 42″ Crate (42″ X 28″ X 31″)

The typical dimensions of a 42-inch dog crate are 42″ in length, 28″ in width, and 31″ in height. It It is advisable to use this size crate for dogs weighing between 70 and 90 pounds.

  • 48″ Crate (48″ X 30″ X 33″)

The typical dimensions of a 48-inch dog crate are 48″ in length, 30″ in width, and 33″ in height. This dog crate size is suitable for dogs weighing over 90 pounds.

How to Measure the Correct Crate Size for a German Shepherd?

Follow these steps; 

  1. Measure the dog’s length: Measure from the nose to the end of its tail. Add 2-4 inches to this measurement to determine the minimum crate length.
  2. Measure the dog’s height: Measure the height from head to toe. Add 2-4 inches to this measurement to determine the minimum crate height.
  3. Measure the dog’s width: Measure the widest part of the dog’s body, typically around the chest or shoulders. Add 2-4 inches to this measurement to determine the minimum crate width.
  4. Consider the dog’s weight: Make sure the crate is strong to hold its weight and provide sufficient space for movement.
  5. Choose an appropriate crate type: Select a crate type, such as a wire crate, plastic crate, or wooden crate.

Here’s my comprehensive guide to choosing the right crate size for any dog.

How Long Can I Leave My GSD in a Crate?

NEVER! And I repeat, NEVER keep your German shepherd dog inside a crate for a long time.

As I mentioned earlier, they’re happiest when they get to spend time with their family. Therefore you must give them plenty of time, love, and attention.

If you are a busy person, the tendency is that you will leave your dog in a crate until you get back home.

German shepherds won’t thrive in such situations.

Ideally, you should spend at least 2 hours going into physical activities with your GSD.

A gsd standing near the dog crate door

At home, you should also allow them to cuddle with you on the couch or at least spend some time close to you.

If you need to run some errands, ensure they have someone with them to keep them company, such as another family member, a trusted friend, or another canine companion they are comfortable with.

FAQs

A good size crate for a German Shepherd is a 48-inch crate, with dimensions of 48 inches in length, 33 inches in height, and 30 inches wide. It is recommend to use a sliding divider to accommodate for increasing size as the puppy grows.

For a 50-Pound German Shepherd, a 30-inch by 36-inch crate would be an appropriate size.

Yes, leaving your German shepherd in a crate overnight is acceptable, provided the crate is comfortable, secure, and in an appropriate location, and your German shepherd has been given the chance to eliminate and get enough exercise throughout the day.

It is not recommended to use the crate as a form of punishment as this could create negative associations and anxiety/fear in your dog. The crate should be associated with positive experiences and serve as a safe space for the dog.

Having a spill-proof water bowl attached to the side of the crate is a great way to make sure your dog always has access to water without the risk of creating accidents or wet bedding. Having a leak-proof plastic pan is also a great way to further prevent leakage.

For car travel, it is best to use a dog crate that is small enough so that the dog can comfortably touch three sides while lying down. If the dog can touch four sides while lying down, the crate is too small; and if the dog can only touch two sides, it is too large.

A dog crate divider panel is a very helpful way to ensure your pup has the right amount of space as they are growing. It helps you adjust the size of the crate to fit your pup’s needs, so you don’t need to buy a larger crate directly. The dividers are usually made of plastic or metal caging so that they can stand up to wear and tear.

Conclusion

Finally, now that we’ve learned how to choose the best crate size for your dog and discussed its best uses, you don’t have to brainstorm about crate sizes anymore.

It really is a NO BRAINER!!

A dog crate effectively sets boundaries and provides a GSD with a suitable enclosed space.

However, avoiding excessive confinement is important, as it leads to chaos. Train your dog to develop a positive association with the crate, seeing it as his own dog kennel so that they won’t constantly attempt to break free from it.

However, if you still need help picking a crate for your GSD, check out our guide on the best German Shepherd crates, we’ve done the homework for you there, and all you need to do is pick the one you like the most. 

Was this article helpful?

User Avatar
Author
Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

Leave a Comment