You are ready to take your German Shepherd through crate training, but now you are burdened with the thought of the size to choose that would be a perfect fit for it. How big should the crate be? What of the crate’s width? Read on to find answers to your questions.
Average Crate Size For A German Shepherd
Most German Shepherds fall into a particular number in height, and this number has been used in creating an average size for their crate.
Before this is mentioned, it is important to note that the crate size will differ for each dog, but the number is the most used when creating Shepherd crates.
The average crate size for an adult German Shepherd is 33 inches in height, 48 inches in length, and 30-inch wide. For a puppy that has barely crossed eight weeks, only ⅛ of that size is required.
In such a scenario, getting a crate divider will be a good idea. The crate divider will be used to bring the crate to the needed size of the puppy and will be adjusted as the dog grows.
Why Use A Divider?
You might be wondering since the dog will grow anyway, why use a divider?
A crate divider is a material made of either plastic, nylon or metal and is used in “cutting” the cage into the needed size until the puppy is old enough to fill in the rest of the space.
It helps you save the extra dollar to be spent on buying another crate when the dog grows older and saves you the stress of cleaning a messy space regularly as the dig grows.
Therefore, save yourself the trouble, and the money by getting a crate divider
Why Use A Crate In The First Place
When many dog owners have a small bed by their bedside where their dog can stay, you might be wondering why you need a dog crate in the first place. It would be easier and, as you might see it, save you more money to just place a dog bed by the bed. Here are a few reasons why you should use a crate.
- An Area to Cool Down
Animals have been known to have feelings, and as such, will need to cool down too. Instead of a stuffy bed where the heat of night gets into its body, a German Shepherd would appreciate a cold floor that can help with reducing the heat coursing through its body.
- Personal Space
As much as German Shepherds are known to want to play most of the time, there is also the time when they wish to stay alone and not have their owners running their hands over them. A crate where it can “hide” from you during that time is just what you need a crate for.
- Greater Success with Potty Training
When training a dog to use the potty, a crate is just the best place to use. Dogs hate to pee or poo in the space where they sleep, thereby, making them have to hold it until they find a better place.
- Reduces the Chances of Destruction
With an agile dog like a German Shepherd, avoiding destruction when they have only a bed by your bedside will be hard. Instead, keeping them in the crate will reduce the chances of them gnawing at furniture or other things they feel like laying their teeth on.
- Works on Self-Discipline
When your Shepherd begins going to the crate on its own without your asking it to, you understand that the level of self-discipline has increased, and as such, will make it less liable to being involved in situations you would frown at.
A German Shepherd is naturally a guard dog, but even the best guard needs to feel safe sometimes. A crate, instead of a bed, will be able to provide that for your dog.
Cons Of Crating
Just as there are good sides to putting your dog in a crate there are also the cons
- Easier Chance of Misuse
Due to the crate being a place where you can “forget” your dog while you focus fully on work, there is the tendency of leaving the dig in its crate for too long. For this not to happen, a timer that tells you to let the dog out of its crate is best.
- Emotional Pull
Seeing a dog with a sad face is not an easy sight to behold, especially when the sad face is sitting on the pretty face of a German Shepherd. But with time, the feeling begins to reduce, and you can start keeping the dog without feeling like you were sending it to die.
How Long In A Crate Is Ideal?
There is no minimum to how long your German Shepherd spends in a crate, as you might decide to keep it while you get something down the crate, but there is a maximum to it.
For a German Shepherd that is only ten months old, you can only leave it crated for no more than an hour. Three hours is the maximum you can keep a German Shepherd crated once it gets to its eleventh month.
Keep in mind that the time in the cage for each dog varies, and it is advisable you note the timing every time you crate your dog to ascertain how much time it can stay there.
Guide To Buying A Crate
Just as with the crate size, there are several things to put into thought when choosing a crate.
- Crate Size
We have discussed the crate size to buy, but it would be important to reiterate that the size of the crate is a very important part when choosing a crate to buy.
- Dog’s Activity Levels
How active your dog also helps in determining what crate to choose. Since a German Shepherd is agile, choosing a crate that can match its agility is important as it will be needed so as not to create destructive behaviors.
- Its Purpose
There is a difference between the crate you keep your dog at home when you go out for the day and the crate you keep your dog in while travelling together. It is important to keep this in mind when choosing a crate, so as not to choose a crate that would serve the wrong purpose.
- Its Construction
No matter how eye-catching a crate is don’t make the mistake of buying a crate that will not be strong enough to contain your dog. A German Shepherd is agile with teeth that are enough to tear through plastic, therefore, keep this in consideration when choosing a crate.
Some Recommended Crates
You have been taken through everything that should be considered when choosing a crate for your German Shepherd, and are now ready to go on to buy one. You are now faced with the decision of where to start from and which is the best to buy. In a bid to help, we have made a compilation of some crates that you might consider buying.
- Carlson Pet Products Metal Crate
- Frisco Ultimate Dog Crate
- Midwest Homes Dog Crate
- Frisco Soft-Sided Crate
The decision whether or not to crate your dog solely lies with you, although it is recommended you do so, especially if it’s a new puppy.
You should choose a comfortable size for your German Shepherd. There are different types of crates available on sale, all coming in different shapes and sizes. Choose which one best suit your environment and lifestyle.
Nonetheless, do not crate your dog for too long at a time. Mind you, your German shepherd loves to be in your company most of the time. Crating your dog at night should be gradual as well, so it doesn’t feel isolated at once.
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