What Size Crate for My Dog? (Avoid Buying the Wrong Size)

Dog in a crate - selecting the right size is important.

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Buying a dog crate is a tricky business! You obviously want to buy a crate that gives your dog enough room to be comfortable, sleep, and move around. You also want to make sure if you’re buying a dog crate for a puppy you’re crate training that your dog can grow into it (and if you do have a new puppy you already have a massive list of things to buy).

On the other hand, you don’t want to buy something that’s bigger than you need, particularly if you’re going to have the crate in a small space or small room. My family has a Bernedoodle that is now 87 pounds. We bought the wrong size crate for him twice as he grew. Crates are heavy, tough to store, and can be expensive (in some cases you may even want to skip buying a crate altogether and consider an indoor dog house).

Either way, we want to keep you from making the same mistake I did!

For that reason, we consulted our veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Coates, about the how big a dog crate should be for your dog. Find out below so you don’t make the same mistake I did.

How Big Should a Dog Crate Be? What’s the Right Size Crate for My Dog?

According to veterinary advisor Dr. Coates DVM, a crate should be several inches longer than a dog’s body length (minus their tail) to ensure comfort.

Additionally, your dog should be able to stand up, and turn around comfortably in the crate.

In order to figure that out, measure your dog from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail, along his side. The most convenient time to do this is when he’s already lying down stretched out. How he normally spreads out gives you a better idea of what size the crate should be.

Here is our dog crate size chart to help you map this for your own dog:

Dog Crate Sizes Length of Crate Weight Common Breeds
XS
S
M
L
XL
2XL
19″
24″
30″
36″
42″
48″
<10 lbs.
10 – 20 lbs.
20 – 40 lbs.
40 – 60 lbs.
60 – 80 lbs.
80 – 130 lbs.
Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian
Jack Russell Terrier, Miniature Poodle, Havanese
Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog, Beagle, Corgi
Bulldog, Pit Bull Terrier, Portuguese Water Dog
Lab, Golden Retriever, Boxer
Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog

Dog Crate Sizes By Breed

If you’re looking for the right dog crate size for your breed, here’s a basic outline (based on the standard sizes for different breeds – obviously if your dog is outside the range outlined by our size chart then you’ll want to adjust the crate size accordingly):

  • Crate Size for Chihuahua – XS
  • Crate Size for Maltese – XS
  • Crate Size for Pomeranian – XS
  • Crate Size for Jack Russell Terrier – S
  • Crate Size for Miniature Poodle – S
  • Crate Size for Havanese – S
  • Crate Size for Cocker Spaniel – M
  • Crate Size for French Bulldog – M
  • Crate Size for Beagle – M
  • Crate Size for Corgi – M
  • Crate Size for Bulldog – L
  • Crate Size for Pit Bull Terrier – L
  • Crate Size for Portuguese Water Dog – L
  • Crate Size for Lab – XL
  • Crate Size for Golden Retriever – XL
  • Crate Size for Boxer – XL
  • Crate Size for Rottweiler – 2XL
  • Crate Size for Bernese Mountain Dog – 2XL

What’s the Right Dog Crate Size for Air Travel?

Travel crate sizing will be a bit different as you’re not only thinking about the desired size of the crate but also have to take into account the airline’s regulations.

This will be different from airline to airline, so you need to check with the specific airline you’re travelling with on crate size requirements. 

The best practices for crate sizing outlined above will be the same, and some airlines actually require that a dog be able to stand up and turn around (which again: should be the case for your dog anyway).

Here are some standards from different airlines.

American Airlines shares their overall dog crate guidelines:

A screenshot of American Airlines dog crate guidelines

As well as information about typical kennel sizes:

Another screenshot of American Airlines dog crate guidelines

And compatibility by aircraft:

You can also find rules and regulations for other airlines:

Crate Sizing Videos

There are a number of good videos with additional tips on choosing the right size crate for your dog. Here is one from Top Dog Tips:


Here is a brief overview from Chewy:


And this walk through from McCann Dog Trainers:

Frequently Asked Questions About How Big Your Dog Crate Should Be

How much room should a dog have in a crate?

According to Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates, a crate should be several inches longer than a dog’s body length (minus their tail) to ensure comfort.

In order to figure that out, measure your dog from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail, along his side. The most convenient time to do this is when he’s already lying down stretched out. How he normally spreads out gives you a better idea of what size the crate should be.

42 inches refers to the length of the dog crate – the width and height of a 48 inch dog crate can vary.
How big is a XXL dog crate?

An XXL dog crate is typically 48″ – these are typically heavy duty dog crates for larger dogs (this is what our 87 pound Bernedoodle “puppy” uses).
How big should a crate be for a 70 lb dog?

A 70 pound dog should have a 42 or 48 inch dog crate, depending on their height.

Thomas Demers
Tom is a managing partner with Pet News Daily. He has been writing and researching on the web for over 10 years. He owns 3 dogs, 3 cats, and is a huge animal lover. His current obsession is working on training his (currently very good but very poorly behaved) 87 pound, 1 year old Bernedoodle named Pinecone.