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

How Big Should a Dog Crate Be? Don’t Get the Wrong Size for Your Pup!

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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.

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?

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. 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

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.