A good dog crate is essential for any German Shepherd, and it is essential for more than one reason. You will need a crate if you want to travel with your pet, but they also serve as a haven for the animal.
The inside of that crate becomes your dog’s territory, giving them the feeling of security that would exist in a natural den.
With that in mind, let’s look at six of the internet’s best dog crates for a German Shepherd.
Best Overall Product: KELIXU Heavy Duty Dog Crate
We chose this crate as the best because of its exceptional toughness. The German Shepherd is a large and powerful dog, so it takes a serious kind of crate to contain them. If you are dealing with a dog that is particularly good at escaping, this cage will probably be a big help.
The whole thing is made of thick steel bars, and all of them are coated with a non-corrosive layer. This ensures that the cage will not be degraded by rust.
Of course, these coatings don’t last forever, so you might need to re-enamel this cage every few years. You can easily buy a can of spray-on enamel from any hardware section.
This one gets pretty high marks in the portability department. It is somewhat heavy, but it shouldn’t be outside the ability of most people to lift.
When your dog is not present, you should have no trouble putting this crate in the back of your vehicle. Whenever you have to move this crate, the caster wheels make it much easier. These wheels are very strong and should be able to hold the weight of your dog reliably.
At the same time, this is the most expensive crate on our list. You will pay a little bit more for this one, even if it is likely to last for years.
Also, we don’t like the fact that this cage’s floor is composed of slotted steel. This would have to be a little bit uncomfortable for the dog, so we recommend that you put a blanket or dog bed on the bottom. Just ask yourself: Would you want to sleep on a cold metal floor?
- Extremely strong and secure
- Caster wheels make it easy to move
- Resistant to corrosion
- The tray is separated from the floor of the kennel
- Better visibility than most
- Pretty expensive
- Cold metal floor
Best Budget Product: New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
If you are looking for a good budget crate, this one is a good option to consider. It’s just a simple cage made from thick steel wire, and many companies make crates and cages of this type.
While this product may not offer anything special, it gets the job done at a low cost, making it our best bargain product.
We are glad to see that this product comes with a 1-year warranty, as that is more than we would expect from an inexpensive crate.
The latches are quick and convenient to use. You just lift and pull with one smooth motion, unlike some latches that require all sorts of fumbling and flipping around.
This cage should be strong enough for most German Shepherds, but it wouldn’t be a good choice for a dedicated escape artist.
The wires of this cage are held together by welds, and a large dog can break those welds if they make a serious effort.
It is also possible for them to slip through the gaps that are present in the edges. Thus, you might need to reinforce this cage with additional wire.
The slide-out bottom is also flawed because it forces you to pull the tray through a thin slot in the front. When there is a heaping pile of fecal matter on the tray, you can probably imagine what happens when it is pulled through a small slot.
We’ll give you a hint: It’s disgusting. Still, this is a product that gets the job done at a reasonable cost.
- Quite inexpensive
- Easy to assemble and break down
- 1-year warranty
- Strong enough for most dogs
- Latches are quick and convenient
- May not be strong enough for your dog
- The slide-out bottom is flawed
The Runner-Up: PetGrooming Table Heavy-Duty Dog Crate
This product is very similar to our winner and has most of the same features and advantages.
This is another steel-bar design made of well-coated steel, and it offers an extremely high level of security. The number of latches on the door makes us think that they might have gone overboard.
This one is also sitting on caster wheels, which make it easier to move this crate around. The most distinctive thing about this product, of course, is its’ sloped roof.
This is both a blessing and a curse. It does give the dog a little bit more headroom, allowing them to stand or sit without hunching. However, the extra height of the roof makes it hard to fit this crate into most vehicles.
As before, we also have the problem of a cold metal floor. Still, any blanket or bed will solve that issue easily.
This product was almost declared our winner, but its reduced portability (due to its non-standard shape and size) knocked away some points. We also find the latches to be a little awkward.
- Very strong and secure
- Gives the dog a little more headroom
- Trays are separate from the floor
- Strong caster wheels
- The cage opens from the side or top
- Hard to fit in most vehicles
- Cold metal floor problem
Honorable Mention: Pet Gear 4 Door Steel Crate
This product may not be our winner or even our runner-up, but it does deserve an honorable mention. In most ways, this is a very good crate that should serve the needs of most people beautifully. It has a few flaws but is a very good product overall.
This cage has a thick plastic frame that encloses a steel cage, giving it strength without being entirely made of metal.
This is a bit more comfortable for the dog, and probably a little warmer as well. We like the wheels of this thing, as they are concealed by the bottom of the cage. Like a suitcase or a cooler, it can be pulled behind you with a convenient carry handle.
Speaking of portability, this one can easily be folded up and placed in a travel bag. Once folded, this crate is surprisingly small.
At the same time, this is one of the smaller cages on our list. It should be fine for most German Shepherds, but particularly large dogs might need something else.
This one also comes with a nice plush bed, which complements the insulated bottom nicely. We think this would be a great choice for cold-weather dogs, but not such a great choice for rowdy and mischievous dogs.
All those doors, combined with all that plastic equals too many opportunities for escape. It’s hard to believe that a plastic door will hold a German Shepherd, especially if they are making a dedicated attempt.
- All sides can open except the bottom
- Very portable-comes with a travel bag
- The bottom is insulated from the cold
- Wheels and handle for easy moving
- Comes with a very nice bed
- A little small for a German Shepherd
- Might be too easy to escape
Alternate Product 1: Nova Microdermabrasion Folding Soft Dog Crate
This one doesn’t offer a high level of security, but not all dogs require that. If your dog is calm and obedient, this crate should do the job nicely.
However, we should tell you that rowdy dogs will probably destroy this thing within an hour or less. We have listed it as an “alternate product” because it is a good choice, but only for some dog owners.
This one is extremely light and portable and can be folded up to an even smaller size. Setting it up again is quite easy, and three of its sides unzip to provide access. This can be handy at certain times.
For instance, you might want to feed or pet your dog without giving opening the front door. Usually, the opening of the door means it is time to leave the cage, so you don’t want to confuse the dog. Instead, you can partially unzip the top cover.
This one allows for plenty of ventilation and light, so it’s great for those summer outings. It doesn’t have any insulation to speak of, but it’s not built for cold weather.
Still, the fabric is pretty thick, and it is reinforced at the corners where strength is most needed. We also like the padded bottom, which serves as a great bed for your German Shepherd.
This is a great example of a dog crate that is built for comfort rather than security. It will probably feel more like a den than a cage since it has no bars and no metal. That’s a good thing because a den is much more reassuring to the dog.
- Very light and portable
- Allows for plenty of ventilation and light
- Doors can be rolled up for easier access
- Fabric is thick and corners are reinforced
- Soft, padded bottom
- Only suitable for calm, obedient dogs
- No real insulation factor
Alternate Product 2: Ecoflex Pet Crate/End Table
This one is listed as an alternative product because it isn’t just meant for utilitarian use. This one is a combination of a dog crate and an end table, allowing it to serve as both crate and furniture.
The smoky grey color matches well with either light or dark colors, and the details are subtle enough to make you forget that it’s a dog pen.
In the wild, dogs tend to curl up in a dark, cozy den. This might be as simple as a hole dug in the earth, or the overhang of a cliff.
Either way, this crate does a good job of simulating that environment. Dogs naturally want to curl up and go to sleep in this thing.
This one is made of a composite material, which is a nice way of saying that it’s high-grade plastic. This would give us some worries about its ability to hold a dog, but there doesn’t seem to be any good place for a dog to chew.
Thus, it would be very hard for them to gnaw their way out of this cage.
Assembly is fast and easy with this crate, so that’s another benefit. It’s easier to assemble than most pieces of furniture since it is made from only a few large pieces.
It would be nice if the whole thing could be broken down for compact carrying, but you can’t have everything in life.
The only issue here is security, as this one might not be strong enough to hold your dog. The latches are made of thin metal and look like they would be easily broken if a big German Shepherd threw their weight against its surface.
Also, this crate doesn’t have a tray or any sort of drainage system, so you will want to line it with newspaper or sheet plastic.
- Doubles as an attractive piece of furniture
- Provides a dark and cozy den
- No real opportunity to chew
- Easy to assemble
- Very lightweight
- Not particularly strong
- No tray or drainage system
At this point, you should be a little more familiar with these products. However, a person can always learn a little more. Let’s go over some of the most common questions that we receive on this subject.
How Large Should A Crate For A German Shepherd Be?
Because the German Shepherd is a pretty large breed, you must get a crate that is large enough for them. When we say that, we don’t mean “large enough for them to fit.”
They need to have a little bit of extra room so that they can move around. Forcing someone to stay in the same position for hours on end is considered to be torture, both legally and morally.
In general, the long side of the crate should be at least 40 inches. 42-46 is better, but 40 inches should be good enough. That’s about 3.4 feet, in case you’re wondering.
The shorter side can be as small as 28 inches, but that is a bare minimum. 32-38 inches is a much better width if you can find something like that.
How Durable Does A German Shepherd Crate Need To Be?
The answer to this will depend on the nature of your dog. Again, this is a large and powerful breed, but they also tend to be very smart and obedient.
German Shepherds are considered some of the easiest dogs to train, but that doesn’t mean that all of them learn at the same rate.
If you have a dog that reacts badly to confinement, you will need something a little stronger to contain them. Dogs like this will fling themselves against the doors, grab the bars with their teeth, and will seek any opening through which they can wriggle.
Thus, you have to go the extra mile for them. On the other hand, dogs that have a calmer nature can make do with a less durable crate like our first alternative product.
Can I Modify These Crates?
As long as you do so with care, you should be able to modify any of these crates as needed. We bring this subject up because all of these products have flaws, and you might want to correct those flaws.
For instance, you can use padded steel wires to tie the walls of a folding cage together. You might also want to replace the latches if they don’t seem strong enough. Whatever you choose to do, keep the safety and comfort of your pet foremost in mind.
Best Crate For A German Shepherd Buyer’s Guide
To finish this analysis, let’s look at the essential qualities of a dog crate. You can use these qualities as a “checklist” with which to evaluate any crate that isn’t on our list.
Durability And Security
Durability and security go hand in hand because only a strong cage can hold your dog. A crate that isn’t tough enough will allow the dog to escape, and that means you wasted your money.
You can keep from wasting your money again by paying more attention to durability. Look for tough materials (steel is always the best), but also look at the way its pieces are connected.
You should be able to kick that crate reasonably hard without damage, although you certainly can’t do that test in the store.
This may or may not be a big issue for you. However, if you are the kind of person who likes to take their dog on trips and outings, portability will be very important. A cage with wheels is an obvious plus here, but you should also think about the weight.
If you can’t pick up the cage and move it around easily, it’s going to cause you a hassle with every trip. Look for things that are collapsible, wheeled, lightweight, and/or conveniently shaped for your vehicle.
Size And Shape
Speaking of size and shape, we have already given you the recommended size parameters for a German Shepherd crate.
As for shape, it just needs to fit the space in which it will be placed. For instance, if you have a small backseat, you should opt for a long cage with less width, as this will be much easier to fit in your car.
Drainage And Cleaning
Most dogs will soil their crates from time to time, and you have to be prepared for that. That’s why most crates have a tray in the bottom (or something similar). However, we have seen that not all dog crates have them.
If you are lucky enough to have a dog that doesn’t soil his crate, you can opt for a trayless model like our second alternative product. Otherwise, we recommend you get something with slots and trays like our winner and our runner-up.
Last but not least, we come to the factor that matters most to the dog. If the dog is not comfortable in the crate, every hour spent there will be miserable.
It is hard to pin down a set of guidelines for this factor, as every dog has different preferences. The best thing is to keep the receipts and packaging when buying a dog crate. That way, you can return the product if your dog finds it uncomfortable.
We hope that this article has given you a new perspective on the subject. We also hope that you will be able to make the best choice for you and your German Shepherd.
In many ways, your dog will view that crate as their territory. With all that your dog does for you, you owe it to them to give them the best territory that you can get.