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 review the best dog crates for a German Shepherd.
What Size Dog Crate for German Shepherd?
Since German Shepherds are a larger dog breed, they need a larger crate. The dog crate you choose should be around 42-inches.
Traditional dimensions Shepherd crates are 42″L x 28″W x 31″H.
At a Glance: Our Top 5 German Shepherd Dog Crate Picks
KELIXU Heavy Duty Dog Crate
New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
Ecoflex Pet Crate/End Table
KELIXU Heavy Duty Dog Cage Large Dog Crate Dog Kennels and Crates for Large Dogs Indoor Outdoor with Double Doors,Locks and Lockable Wheels
New World Pet Products Folding Metal Dog Crate; Single Door & Double Door Dog Crates
Heavy Duty Dog Cage Crate, Pet Kennel Strong Metal for Training Large Dogs, Easy to Assemble, with Prevent Escape Lock & Four Lockable Wheels, Removable Tray for Indoor Outdoor
Extremely strong and secure
Doubles as an attractive piece of furniture
May not be strong enough for your dog
Not particularly strong
Best Overall Dog Crate
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. However, you can easily buy a can of spray-on enamel from any hardware store.
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 one of the most expensive crates on our list. You will pay a little 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
- More expensive
- Cold metal floor
Best Budget Dog Crate
While this wire crate 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 wire dog crate 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
Most Decorative Dog Crate
This one is listed as an alternative product because it isn’t just meant for utilitarian use. Instead, 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 is no 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 to break down the whole thing 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.
Also, the latches are made of thin metal and look like they would be easily broken if a big German Shepherd threw its 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
Best Dog Crate for the Car
This soft dog crate comes in an assortment of sizes, including a Large 36″ crate and an Extra Large 42″ crate.
There are two doors – one at the top and one in the front. The double door crate also features mesh windows to help with ventilation on all four sides of the dog crate.
For safe and secure travel, there are also secured zipper closures and fastening straps. When you want the doors to stay open, simply unzip them and roll them up.
The frame of this soft sided dog crate is PVC, and it is covered in polyester fabric. It takes seconds to set it up and requires no tools to do so.
When you are done with it, you can fold it down, and it stores flat for easy transport and compact storage.
- Comfortable, soft sided dog crate
- Has a durable design
- Great ventilation with mesh windows and two doors
- Convenient and portable
- Compact and collapsible dog crate for easy storage
- Lightweight and easy to set up in seconds
- Breakdown process isn’t as fast as setup
- Seems as if it sits wider at the top
Best Dog Crate for Travel
It comes in a variety of sizes, including X-Large and XX-Large, to accommodate your larger dog.
It is airline-approved and meets IATA airline requirements, making it ideal for travel. It is suitable for dogs up to 140 pounds in weight.
This rolling kennel includes a water dish and the metal bolts and nuts you need. It is made from a durable plastic material and is easy to assemble.
The wheels on this rolling kennel are removable, and there are tie-down holes for the bungees, as required by airlines.
For even more comfort, there is plenty of room to add a SportBed fleece bed (purchased separately), so your dog can be cozy in its kennel for the duration of your trip.
- Has an accident moat to keep spills away from your dog
- Strong and durable crate with metal door
- Easy to grasp latch
- Ventilation holes
- Approved for airline travel
- Your dog should be kennel trained prior to use
- May be difficult to maneuver through the airport
To finish this analysis, let’s look at the essential qualities of a dog crate. You can use these qualities as a “checklist” 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, which 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) and look at how 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, portability will be very important if you are the kind of person who likes to take their dog on trips and outings.
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 its 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 guidelines for this factor, as every dog has different preferences.
However, 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.
Reasons to Crate Train Your German Shepherd
Now that you know the criteria for choosing the best German Shepherd dog crate, let’s look at a few reasons crate training is important.
Did you know that many dogs actually feel safer in a den environment? Many dog breeds prefer enclosed areas when they are trying to get away and relax.
A dog crate is a private and secluded space for your German Shepherd to do just that.
However, when training your pup, you must use positive reinforcement to get him to look at his crate in this way.
An adult German Shepherd and a German Shepherd puppy can get into trouble when left unsupervised at home.
Crate training is a good way to keep your pup confined, relaxed, and out of trouble until you return home.
One of the biggest advantages of crate training for dogs is having the opportunity to help with proper house training. A dog will not want to soil their den.
Naturally, they want to keep it a clean place for them to be in. So, it is a good place to keep your puppy for short periods of time when you are potty training.
Dog Crate Training Tips
When it comes to crate training your dog, the American Kennel Club stresses that crate training is not imprisonment.
Rather, it provides your pup with a safe and secure space where they can relax and calm down any feelings of anxiety they may be experiencing.
1. Choose the right crate
Crate training starts with choosing the right crate. With all the information and recommendations we have listed in this article, it should be easier to narrow down your choices.
Wire crates are popular for most dogs; however, if you plan on traveling, you want to find an enclosed crate that is durable and easy to transport.
2. Maintain the right mindset
When training your pup, you both have to have a calm and relaxed mindset.
This is a place they need to learn to want to go to, so if you train them while they are calm, they will associate their crate with a place of rest.
3. Ensure the dog is comfortable
Don’t forget to ensure your dog’s comfort while they are in the crate. You can purchase a dog bed or lay down blankets or towels to make the crate a cozy space.
However, if your dog gets bored or agitated, you may find them chewing on these. So, you want to watch for this.
4. Offer treats
When training, positive reinforcement helps. Offer them treats or their favorite chew toy when it is time to go into the crate.
Having these items also may help keep them in their crate for longer by making it a more enjoyable experience.
5. Watch the time
Finally, German Shepherds need plenty of exercise to expel their energy, so don’t let them stay in their crate for too long.
Especially if you would rather avoid lots of crying!
They still need to be able to go to the bathroom, eat, and have ample playtime.
Stretching, walking, and playing outside are all activities they will enjoy after crate time.
Best Dog Crate for German Shepherd: The Choice Is Yours
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 its territory. With all that your dog does for you, you owe it to them to give them the best territory that you can get.
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 large crate 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 torture, both legally and morally.
In general, the long side of the crate should be at least 40-42 inches. Of course, 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 they all 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 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.