Figure out the type of crate you will need. If it's for home use, choose a heavy gauge wire crate for the best ventilation. Wire crates also provide a better view for your dog and facilitate more interaction and socialization. If you will be storing or moving it often, a collapsible model with handles that can be easily folded down into a "suitcase-style" shape will work best.

Choose a hard plastic pet carrier for car travel. These are normally two-piece units with ventilation areas along the sides and a steel wire door in front. You can buy one crate for both the house and car, or if you travel a lot, you might want to buy a separate crate for each. If you need a crate to take your dog hiking or camping, consider a collapsible soft crate or tent, which is portable, lightweight and easy to set up and break down.
  • Choose a crate that is 1 1/2 times the length of your dog when fully grown. Your dog should be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in the crate comfortably. If it's for a puppy, a partition should be placed so that she has 1 1/2 times her length to move around. Some crates come with a divider panel that can be adjusted to the different growth stages. If you prefer, you can choose one without dividers and make your own out of something indestructible such as plywood.
  • Size the crate according to your dog's breed.
  • The following is a good guide:
    Extra small:  Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua
    Small: Boston Terrier, Jack Russell, Yorkie, Maltese
    Medium: Cairn Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Llasa Apso, Dachshund
    Large: Basset Hound, Bulldog, Welsh Corgi, Shar-Pei
    XLarge: Chow, Collie, Dalmation
    XXLarge: German Shepherd, Greyhound, Golden/Labrador Retriever

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