What is the best size crate for a German shepherd puppy?
Should you get something small at first, then buy another larger one as he grows?
Or is it best to just get him used to his “forever crate” right away?
We’ll take a look at the answer to all of these questions, then I’ll share my top 5 recommendations!
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What is the best size crate for a German shepherd puppy?
For once, I’m going to bottom-line it for you before all the discussion: the best size crate for a German Shepherd puppy is usually a 42″ or 48″ model.
Very long story short, if you have a female, get the 42″. A male? Get the 48″. Fairly simple and straightforward, right? Well, sort of.
If it was that easy, I could end this section right now. There are, of course, other things to consider.
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Should you get a small crate first or go right to the large?
There are pros and cons to both choosing a smaller crate at first or just jumping right to the one he’ll use as an adult.
Pros and cons of starting with a small crate:
Starting with a small crate has two major benefits.
- One, it feels more secure to a smaller pup than a large crate.
- Your pup won’t have as much room to use part of it as a bathroom.
The con? Puppies grow fast, so you’ll get maybe a couple of months out of it before you have to upgrade.
My GSD went from lap-size to crushing-my-lap-size in a blink of an eye!
Pros and cons of starting with a larger crate:
On the flip side, a larger crate right off the bat means you don’t have to spend more money in just a few months.
However, it can feel a bit overwhelming to a puppy. Then there’s the biggest con of all- too much space means he has a nice spot to use as a bathroom!
So, which crate size should you get for your GSD?
Unless you have a pretty good budget for upgrading crates as needed, I’d just go with the large right off the bat.
Again, a 42″ will be perfect for most female shepherds, while a 48″ is ideal for males.
Fortunately, you can find dog crate dividers on Amazon to help deal with the cons of larger crates.
Now that we know which size to get, let’s look at some of my top recommendations.
Top 5 Best Crates for German Shepherd Puppies
All of the crates below come in both 42″ and 48″.
However, for the sake of uniformity, I choose the 42″ to display. That way, you can compare prices a little easier.
Use the table below for a quick look, then read on for more details.
1. MidWest iCrate Starter Kit Review
The absolute best “look no farther” crate for a German Shepherd puppy is definitely the Midwest iCrate Starter Kit.
Along with the crate, it comes with everything else you need to get your GSD pup set up in style.
Let’s look at the features and pros, then we’ll check out the few cons.
Features & Pros
- Everything you need comes in one carton, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time shopping for extras.
- It even includes a free divider panel, so you can adjust the usable size as your pup grows.
- Included a 2-door iCrate, dog bed, cover and food/water bowls.
- The bowls affix to the crate so they don’t spill.
- Included fleece bed and polyester cover are both machine-washable.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty on all products.
- Budget-friendly, especially when you factor in all of the extras
- Doors aren’t removable
- Warranty only covers manufacturer defects
- Cover isn’t waterproof
- Bed isn’t the highest quality, and your puppy can easily chew it.
- Door isn’t strong enough for super determined puppies.
I like that this kit comes with everything you need to get started, even if the bed isn’t the best and the cover isn’t waterproof.
Honestly, you shouldn’t be leaving your puppy outside in a crate anyway, so the waterproof thing shouldn’t be an issue.
The only real con is the door. A super strong and determined dog WILL get through it.
However, if you train your puppy to view the crate as a happy place and not something that needs escaping, it shouldn’t be a major concern.
- ULTIMATE CONVENIENCE & PERFECT STARTER KIT FOR THE NEW DOG OWNER. Everything you need arrives in 1 carton so you can enjoy more time with your new family member
- LARGE DOG BREED KIT INCLUDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED: 1 fully equipped 2 door iCrate, 1 dog bed, 1 crate cover & 2 (1 quart) pet bowls that affix to the dog crate; Dog crate measures 42L x 28W x 31H inches when assembled
- STARTER KIT ideal for large dog breeds with adult weight up to 71 - 90 pounds
- DESIGNED TO FIT & USER FRIENDLY: Fleece pet bed & polyester crate cover fit your dog crate & are machine washable/dryer friendly; 2 inches Snap'y Fit inches dog bowls are designed to attach to the dog crate keeping food & water in one convenient location
- MIDWEST HOMES FOR PETS QUALITY GUARANTEE: Entire dog crate kit includes 1-Year Manufacturer's Warranty on all products
2. AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
AmazonBasics is, obviously, an Amazon brand. Unlike many store brands, though, their products are surprisingly good.
We have this crate for Freya, and while she rarely used it (we don’t crate train), it’s held up really well. We’ve even used it outdoors for the garden.
Features & Pros
- Features two doors- one on the front and one on the side.
- Slide-bolt latches on both doors add a little extra security.
- Sturdy metal constructions.
- Folds down fairly flat so you can store it.
- Comes with a divider panel that you can use to make the “living space” smaller.
- No extras, what you see is what you get.
- Not strong enough for super determined dogs.
- Kind of a pain to assemble, at least in my experience.
Like I said, we have this crate and it worked great for us. Yes, it’s a pain to put together, but I’m kind of assembling-challenged to begin with.
I do think that a strong enough dog could get out of it, but you’ll find that issue with all but the strongest heavy-duty crate (see #5).
3. Ultima Pro by Midwest Crate with Divider
Another model by Midwest, this one is a bit pricier than the iCrate, but it’s also a more “deluxe” model.
Features & Pros
- Features a front door and a side door
- It’s the strongest crate Midwest makes.
- Uses heavy duty metal and the thickest wire gauge for added security.
- Designed for strong dogs as well as dogs who spend a lot of time in the crate (such as show dogs).
- Comes with a free divider panel to change the usable size.
- Also includes a leak-proof plastic pan and strong handly.
- 1 year Manufacturer’s Warranty
- Folds flat for storage
- One of the pricier options (although not the most expensive)
- Bulky and heavy
- A pain to assemble
- Some complain that the latch isn’t all that durable
While some reviewers did say that their dog still managed to break out, overall the Ultima Pro has fantastic reviews.
Granted a few of the older reviews are very concerning, but they are for an different model. Midwest has since addressed those problems.
Like I said above, a determined dog can break out of just about anything! My childhood German Shepherd could open locked front doors.
We lived in a rural area, and back then people didn’t really crate or even leash their dogs. When he wanted to come find me, nothing could stop him from getting out.
While this isn’t the strongest choice (again, see #5), if you need a heavy-duty wire crate, I feel that this is your best option.
- Double door heavy-duty folding metal dog crate | Includes free divider panel, leak-proof plastic pan, a strong carrying handle, rubber feet to protect floors & a 1 year Manufacturer's Warranty
- Product dimensions – 43” L x 28.5” W x 31.5” H | Weight – 59 lbs. | For dogs with a weight between – 71 to 90 lbs. | Mesh – 1.5” x 4” | Wire gauge – 3, 7, 9, 11
- Convenient double door (front & right side) dog crate configuration with two slide-bolt latches per door securely locking doors in place
- Dog crate folds flat for convenient storage, travel & portability | Ultra strong crate design creates a safe place for your pet while you're away
- Ultima Pro is the strongest, thickest wire gauge & most durable metal dog crate MidWest Homes for Pets manufactures | This dog crate is great for strong dogs, show dogs & pet parents who travel a lot with their dog and use their dog crate often
4. Precision Pet by Petmate “ProValu” Crate
The “ProValu” Crate from Petmate is a fairly mid-ranged crate. It’s not as cheap as the first two yet not as pricey as the Ultima Pro.
Features & Pros
- Doors on both the front and side.
- 5-point precision lock system makes the crate more secure.
- Comes with a divider panel so you can adjust the usable size.
- Folds down flat (to about two inches thick), making it a great travel crate.
- Rust-resistant finish helps make it last longer.
- Rounded corners help avoid snags and make it among the safest crates.
- Challenging to assemble, especially since the instructions are inside the crate!
- No warranty or return policy
- Strong or determined dog can escape.
- No extras beyond the divider (sorry, but a plastic pan isn’t an extra, it’s a vital part of a crate).
Overall, the reviews are very good on this model. While most of the cons are pretty standard across all wire crates, there is one that annoys me.
Why, oh why, would they put the directions on how to open the crate INSIDE the crate?
Honestly, though, they’re not the only brand that does this, but it’s still annoying.
- Adjustable Dog Crate: This adjustable dog crate folds flat for easy storage & includes a divider panel to accommodate small pups as they grow. It's 42 inches long & perfect for dogs 70-90 lbs
- Secure & Versatile: A 5-point precision lock system secures the crate & doors on either side allow for placement in different room layouts. Comes with a removable plastic pan for quick & easy cleaning
- Kennels & Houses: Crate & kennel training is vital for dog safety & comfort. We provide traditional travel carriers, wire training & exercise kennels, play pens, barn-style dog houses & more
- Petmate: For over 50 years, we at Petmate are passionate about our dogs, cats & furry friends in general. Starting with the very first dog kennel, we've produced plenty of eco-friendly products that pets will love
- Just For Pets: Petmate makes a variety of pet products for dogs, cats, chickens & other small furry friends! Check out our brands such as Aspen Pet, Arm & Hammer, Booda, Chuckit!, Jackson Galaxy & more
5. LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate Review
I promised you heavy-duty option for super strong pups, and this is it. I actually went back and forth between this and another model by ITORI.
While the ITORI has a higher rating half a star, it also had significantly fewer reviews. Plus, it doesn’t ship free.
The LUCKUP is a 4-star crate with over 500 ratings AND it ships free with Prime.
Features & Pros
- Made with rust-resistant steel, so it’s super strong and durable.
- Nontoxic finish keeps dogs safe, even if they try to gnaw on it.
- Two locks with safety buckles made it very hard to escape.
- Top panel opens up, acting as a second door.
- Comes with wheels so you can easily move it (the wheels also lock to keep it in place).
- Easy to clean, the tray slides right out.
- Easy to assemble.
- Multiple styles for the 42″, including an “anti-biting” upgrade.
- The plastic pan goes under the crate, not inside. So basically, there’s no floor.
- Priciest option on this list (and among the pricier crates overall)
- The 48″ model doesn’t have the same upgrade options as the 42″
- Not very travel-friendly
I would recommend this ONLY if you need a super strong crate. Otherwise, it’s kind of expensive.
If you do choose it, please heed the warnings about adding an additional floor for your dog. Some owners had issues with their dog’s feet getting stuck!
- Heavy duty frame: made from industrial corrosion-resistant steel, indestructible and durable, hard to be damaged, nontoxic finished surface keep your dog health, suitable for most medium and large dogs, two locks with the safety buckles to prevent the high anxiety dogs from opening the door and escaping.
- Double door & locking caster design: The front door is suitable for pet in and out for you interacting with your dog. 360 degree rotated locking casters can help you to move crate anywhere easily and lock the wheels to keep the crate in place.
- Easy to clean:Removable (slide-out) plastic tray helps you to catch the fallen dog food and excrement,and allows you to wipe and clean easily.
- Easy to assemble:All hardware pack included,just need to fit it with four wheels and eight screw bolts, locks were pre-assembled,Just takes 3-5 minutes to complete.
- Overall Dimensions: 41.5"L X 30.5"W X 37"H; Internal height of the dog cage : 32"H; Metal pipe spacing:2"; Metal"slat-like" floor spacing:1" Color: Black.
While the best crate depends on how strong and determined your dog is, I think the first option (the iCrate) is the best overall choice.
It’s affordable and comes with everything you need to get started.
Train your dog to like the crate and view it as his own personal den, and he won’t spend all of his time trying to escape it.
Also, just to reiterate, the best size crate for a German shepherd puppy is either a 42″ or 48″, depending on whether you have a female or male dog.