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If you’re considering a dog crate for crate training your dog, or want to provide your dog with a safe and secure space all his own, away from the foot traffic in your home, you know the decisions before you are endless. From the range of sizes available to crate materials to choose from, there are a lot of features to keep in mind when shopping for a dog crate.
We’re here to help you learn how to choose the crate that’s best for your Aussie, border collie, or other lovable, medium-sized dog—and you, of course!
The first thing to keep in mind when shopping for a dog crate is to remember that all dog crates are not created equally. From sizing, to the type of material used, to the various purposes they can serve, there are many different types of crates out there—so you’ll want to get the one that will meet your medium-sized pup’s needs.
As you begin to shop, consider the purpose of the crate you are looking for.
- Is your medium-sized dog a puppy who is beginning crate training and will have different needs as he grows?
- Are you seeking an upgrade for an older medium-sized dog who has chewed through his first crate?
- Something to travel with you in the car, or on the plane?
- An item that can seamlessly blend into the decor or your home?
- Something portable, or collapsible, that can be used indoors or out?
Determining why you need a crate, how it will be used, and the life stage of your medium-sized breed dog will help you make an informed decision.
There are as many size crates as there are dogs! So, how do you choose the one that’s right for your medium-sized dog who could be anything from a shibu inu to a Brittany spaniel?
Kate LaSala, a New York City-area dog trainer and behavior consultant, and owner of Rescued By Training, advises that “the crate be just large enough for the dog to be able to stand up and turn around.”
A crate that is too small will restrict your dog’s movements and won’t be associated with a relaxing place to rest and risks going unused by your dog. A crate that allows your dog to move comfortably, while also offering the den-like experience that most dogs find comforting, is the optimal choice.
Clearly, large dogs need a large crate, while small dogs need a small crate! So, where does that leave your collie or English springer spaniel? In the middle—and that’s why measuring your dog and taking note of crate dimensions are key. Likewise, it’s important to check before purchase that your dog crate can support your medium-sized dog’s weight to ensure the safest possible crating.
Crates require some planning, so you’ll need to have a place for the crate to go that can house its size without being in the way, while also finding a place in your home where it won’t be tripped over or bumped into. “You want the dog to know he can use that space as a safe escape from kids, noises, and guests,” LaSala says.
Another consideration when it comes to size is a dog crate for a growing puppy. Some crates come with dividers that can be used to create a smaller crate for young puppies, which can be removed to create a larger space that can grow with your dog.
Dog crates are primarily made from four main materials: wood, metal, plastic, and fabric.
When it comes to the most attractive crates, wood is generally the best bet. However, keep in mind that wood is not the best choice for crate training puppies, as it’s more susceptible to damage from chewing and scratching—behavior puppies, as well as some full-grown dogs, often exhibit. Chewing can not only harm your crate, it can harm your dog. Wood can also be more challenging to clean because it’s porous and may absorb messes and odors.
Less attractive, but more durable, are metal crates that can often take more wear and tear and are easier to clean. Another benefit is that many versions are collapsible, so they can easily be stored or relocated, and as mentioned earlier, many are built with dividers to accommodate your dog throughout all life stages.
Plastic crates are commonly used for travel and transportation and are easy to clean and quite durable. Plastic dog crates do tend to be easier to find for small dogs than for other sizes, so be sure to compare the measurements of the one you’re considering to make sure it will accommodate a medium-sized dog.
Lastly, fabric or soft crates have the advantage of being easily stored and transported (though you’d want one with a frame for travel safety), and are often the lightest crates so are easy to pick up and move. But, they are more difficult to clean if your puppy has an accident and can be shredded to bits if your pup is a determined chewer or scratcher.
It’s important to remember that the goal with any crate is to make your dog feel safe and secure.
“With proper crate training, the dog will see the crate as a happy, safe place and voluntarily go into the crate,” LaSala says.
Successful crate training equals a happy dog, which equals a happy owner, so you’ll want to choose the dog crate that’s right for you with care and consideration.
Now that you have a better idea of how to choose the right dog crate for your medium-sized dog, read on for some of our top picks.
Available in a double or single door option, this metal crate comes in several sizes, including dimensions that are just right for medium-sized dogs.
Collapsible for storage and transport, the crate also comes with a removable plastic pan for easy cleaning. Adjust your crate to accommodate your growing puppy with the included divider.Shop on Amazon
It’s a wooden-style crate, and so much more! Wire and solid wood veneers make for an attractive addition to your home and can work as an end table or stand.
Available in the “medium” size of 32 by 22 by 23 inches, slide the panels out and connect the pins to transform this space from a crate to a gate. Handy if you need to keep your dog from certain areas in your home.Shop on Chewy
This versatile soft crate is made from double weave, water resistant mesh fabric and includes mesh windows for ventilation. Constructed with a top and front door, this crate also contains a steel frame so it’s a great option for vehicle travel. Petnation’s soft crate is also collapsible for easy transport and storage and comes in a variety of colors for your medium doggo.Shop on Amazon
Though primarily meant for transporting your pet (hello, air travel!) this crate from the trusted Petmate brand can also be used for crating at home. Available in several sizes which can accommodate your medium dog, the heavy-duty plastic connects via metal screws and plastic fasteners for easy assemblage, plus the latch on the outside provides extra security.Shop on Amazon
Heavy-duty, indeed! Some escape artists may require a bit more heft to their crate and this one is made from nontoxic coated reinforced steel. Front and top doors are secured with anti-escape locks, while two of the four removable wheels lock into place to keep your pup secure.
Common sense caution: There’s no such thing as a completely “dog-proof” crate, so be sure your dog is supervised when acclimating them to a crate.Shop on Amazon
Just right for medium dogs (45 lbs and under), this solid fir wood crate is a snap to put together and store. Simply fold or unfold and voila! You’re all set to create a space for your pup at home, or store the crate with your luggage on your next road trip and bring your dog’s home along.
This crate has two entrances—a lockable door in front and a solid folding door on top. Note: Avoid a wooden crate if your dog chews or is being crate trained.Shop on Wayfair
A budget friendly option for metal crates, this item is collapsible and includes a divider for growing puppies, plus removable plastic pan. Choose between single or two-door models in your dog’s size.Shop on Amazon
When an end table just won’t do, go for the credenza! This crate saves space by fitting into the corner areas of your home. Made for medium-sized dogs from hardwood birch with steel rods, this item comes in a range of top finishes and base colors. This chic statement piece sports a barn door style entrance with secure latch for crating.
Note: This crate is not a good option for crate training or dogs who chew.Shop on Wayfair
For more information about dog crates and crate training, check out one of the articles below.
- Tips for Crate Training a Puppy: No Whimpering Necessary
- The Best Crate Pads for 2020
- Best Heavy-Duty Dog Crates for 2020
- The 12 Best Dog Gates and Playpens for Dogs (Even Escape Artists)
- The Best Dog Crates for Puppies