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8 Best Dog Crates for German Shepherds in 2021 (and Playpens)

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There’s no place like home, and home for your dog is in his crate. The easiest way to make your German Shepherd feel at home is to make sure you buy the best crate. You’ll need to think about two things when making this decision: the type of material and the size of the crate.

Therefore, the best crate for German Shepherd pups differs from the best crate for adult GSDs – primarily in terms of size. For consistency, keep the crate material the same throughout your GSD’s lifecycle. That is why it is crucial to start with the right crate.

Best Dog Crate for German Shepherd

What Kind of Crate is Best for a German Shepherd?

When you bring home your new German Shepherd puppy, he can be introduced to his crate right away. While an 8-week-old GSD may like any crate, you must pick a crate in which he will feel comfortable in as an adult.

The best kind of crate for a German Shepherd is a metal wire type. They are the most practical and robust to withstand damage. They also increase visibility and airflow, preventing your dog from feeling isolated. Wire crates are very simple to clean, and the majority of them fold flat.

Nonetheless, not all metal crates are built alike, as you will discover from the rest of this article. Each crate must be assessed on its portability, ease of assembly, durability, and of course, GSD-friendliness. But fret not, as I’ll cover the best choices below with each of these aspects reviewed.

I’ll also tell you my pick of individual crate types and playpens, depending on your needs. These include the best:

  • Soft crate
  • Travel crate
  • Furniture style crate
  • Soft playpen
  • Metal playpen

But first, let’s look at what you should contemplate when choosing the best crate for your German Shepherd…

What to Look For in a Dog Crate

You would assume that deciding on the best crate for your German Shepherd is a simple task. However, when selecting a metal wire crate for your dog, you should keep the following things in mind:

  • Size. Your German Shepherd’s crate should be large enough for him to stand, turn around, and lie down on his side with his paws outstretched comfortably. Make sure to get a size 48′′ that will accommodate your GSD’s growth.
  • Durability. You need a robust metal crate for a large strong dog such as the German Shepherd. Make sure the edges are nicely rounded for safety, especially if you have young children.
  • Style. Choose a double door style that provides versatility so you can put it anywhere in your home. If you already know where you’re going to put it, go with a single door. It will also help you save some money.
  • Accessories. While your GSD puppy is growing, I recommend using an adjustable divider. You don’t want your puppy to be encouraged to use half of his crate as a toilet if it’s too big! He won’t want to pee or poop in his area if you separate the crate while he’s small. Your crate should also include a removable, easy-to-clean plastic tray.
  • Easy Assembly and Portable. Choose a crate that can be assembled quickly and easily without the use of any tools. It should be able to fold flat and include a carrying handle so that you can transport it. Some dog crates include roller feet to prevent scratching on your floor.

What are the Best Dog Crates for German Shepherds?

Here’s a quick snapshot of the products I recommend in this article. Whilst I review three popular metal wire crates for your German Shepherd, my favorite – and the best by far in my opinion – is the MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate. The MidWest iCrate starter kit, on the other hand, is a close second.

ProductCrate TypeBuy Now
MidWest Homes for Pets iCrateMetalCheck Price on Amazon
New World Pet Products Dog CrateMetalCheck Price on Amazon
MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate Starter KitMetalCheck Price on Amazon
Amazon Basics Portable Soft CrateSoft Check Price on Amazon
Petmate Vari KennelTravelCheck Price on Amazon
New Age Pet eco FLEX Dog CrateFurniture Check Price on Amazon
Zampa Portable PlaypenSoft PlaypenCheck Price on Amazon
MidWest Homes for Pets Portable Metal PlaypenMetal PlaypenCheck Price on Amazon

Best Metal Wire Crates

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

This folding metal dog crate is ideal for GSDs because of its roominess and convenience for the owner. At 48-inches, there’s plenty of space for your adult German Shepherd, and you can place the divider at any point in the crate. You can start small and let the crate grow with your pup.

Size

This crate is 33 inches tall and 30 inches wide. The variable-length is 48 inches, making it ideal for large breeds. It is essential to consider your German Shepherd’s maximum potential height when purchasing a crate. Remember, this height is calculated not by estimating growth per year but by simply checking on the maximum size of your dog’s breed.

Even if your GSD’s a female, getting a crate fit for a male GSD is safer. With most male German Shepherds growing up to 26 inches, the 33-inch height of this crate is more than enough.

I will reiterate that it is best to be super safe where crate size is concerned, and I’d always advise going big. The quoted sizes of dog breeds are only rough guidelines, and every dog is different. As an example, my female German Shepherd is 27 inches tall, making her taller than the average male.

Material

Your German Shepherd will not feel alone or isolated thanks to the metal wire material on all sides. At the same time, the wire will keep him confined, which is important while he learns to accept the crate as his personal space.

Other Features

Let’s look at what additional features make this crate one of the finest choices for your German Shepherd now that we’ve covered the size and material. Compared to traditional wire crates, the product’s innovative rounded side clips make it safer for your dog.

On the subject of safety, the crate’s secure locking mechanism is worth a mention as well because it gives you the peace of mind that your German Shepherd’s not going to wiggle free and cause havoc in the room, especially in your absence.

In your presence, it is a different story. The two doors, alongside a design that maximizes visibility, allows your German Shepherd to feel socially integrated while being in his crate.

The negative of this could be that grounding your dog in his crate might not be as effective when he loves his crate so much. But if you are a good dog owner, you’ll already know that this is not a good way to discipline your German Shepherd.

Convenience

Lastly, we must consider the convenience of the product to you. Yes, your German Shepherd will be comfortable and feel at home, especially during crate training, but will this crate be awkward to assemble or maintain? If you go by the aggregate of over 100,000 reviews and ratings on Amazon, the answer is a resounding no. 

The crate’s ease of folding is rated at 4.6 stars out of 5, and its ease of assembly is rated the highest at 4.7 out of 5 stars. If you were previously skeptical of the fact that the crate, despite being big, is perfect for your new German Shepherd puppy, the 4.5-star rating for the “for potty training” feature might change your mind.

I must say, I love the icrate, and as the name suggests, it’s an all-inclusive product, so you’ve nothing else to buy, which leads me onto the next product…

New World Pet Products Dog Crate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

Although GSDs aren’t the messiest dogs, all pups make a mess. This mess-proof dog crate is great for large breeds and allows you to start working with them right away without having to put in a lot of effort upfront.

A typical dog-mom might have to commit to a difficult crate-cleaning routine when crating her puppy, but this crate allows you to skip that hard work. But before we get into the product’s unique features, let’s go over its size and material.

Size

This crate is the same height as the previous option and gives a good 6 to 7 inches of free space for your fully grown GSD to stand. As mentioned above, you must consider a fully grown male’s height for your puppy’s breed to make sure the crate will be a consistent fixture in the ever-changing world of your doggo.

The length of this crate is also 48 inches, which might seem too big for a puppy. So, to make your pup feel safe and secure and speed up his toilet training, you need a divider for this crate.

Most people project their own psychology onto their pets and assume more room is always preferable. This is okay for height; a dog can be comfortable in a room with a ceiling nine times his height. However, when it comes to the width and the breadth of the crate area, your German Shepherd puppy needs a smaller space to feel comfortable.

If you get this crate, make sure to separately purchase a crate divider to help your puppy feel snug in it. If your GSD’s already an adult, then this isn’t something to worry about.

Material

This crate is the same metal wireframe variety as the previous one, albeit with better accolades. Over 19,000 reviews have set its average sturdiness rating at 4.5 out of 5 stars. But that isn’t the best part; the greatest thing about this crate is its dimensions are ideal for crate mats. 

In other words, the greatest material feature of this product isn’t the material it is made of but the material it can accommodate. You can find my recommendations for the best crate pads for German Shepherds here, something significant for a breed predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia and osteoarthritis.

Other Features

You can quickly clean the plastic pan that comes with this dog crate by pulling it out and wiping it down. Since you’re with your canine best friend for the long haul, getting a convenient product is the best thing you can do for both of you. 

The easy cleanup feature might become useless when your dog is disciplined enough to keep his crate clean, but there are other lifelong areas of convenience to think about.

Convenience

Accessories can be added to the crate to decorate and add practical fun to the space. There’s also a helpful user guide you can download from the product’s Amazon page, which is ideal for those purchasing their first dog crate. 

This crate has also achieved the highest possible rating for the “for potty training” aspect, which currently stands at 5 out of 5 stars. The overall rating for this crate, from an average of over 18,000 reviews, is 4.7 out of 5 stars, and it has received props for its ease of assembly (4.7 stars), portability (4.3 stars), and ease of folding (4.7 stars).

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate Starter Kit

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

While many manufacturers claim that their crates are more than just crates and that they are the dog’s “home,” this product genuinely fits the bill. The product is a bundle in which the crate is only one part. This crate kit comes with a crate cover, a dog bed to go inside the crate, and food and water bowls that can be easily attached to the inside of the crate.

Material

The crate itself is a collapsible metal wire crate. As you may have read in the beginning, metal is the perfect material for German Shepherds, which is why most options on this list will feature metal. 

Also included is a fleece bed, which helps your German Shepherd stay warm and snug inside the crate. Adding to the coziness is a polyester crate cover that you can use at night to minimize distractions and help your German Shepherd go to bed.

Size

The dimensions of this crate aren’t particularly unique. With a 48-inch length and a 30-inch width, the crate matches the sizes of the previous two options, including the same height of 33 inches. Like my other two recommendations, the crate hits the maximum mark for most large-breed dog crates and gives even taller German Shepherds a good 6-7 inches of headspace.

Other Features

While not unusual, the crate does include a double-door option. I find it worth mentioning here because not every product in this article checks this mark. It is also collapsable, again, like many other metal wire dog crates. Ultimately, the unique feature of this product is its convenient bundling, which also makes for great value-for-money. 

Because the manufacturer’s compassionate message is particularly endearing: the product’s sales page includes guidelines regarding humane and patient introduction to crates, you can also include the brand as a feature. When a manufacturer warns customers not to force their dogs into the crate or use it as a punishment tool, I cannot help but give it a few points.

The product has also received praise for durability with a 4.8-star rating on a 5-star scale. This is well-differentiated from the accolades of other products here. However, it doesn’t rank too high for me because I know you may wish to replace it during your German Shepherd’s life, no matter how durable a crate is.

Convenience

Finally, no product review is complete without looking at its convenience for you. It doesn’t appear like there’s anything unusual in terms of convenience, though the crate has been reviewed thoroughly enough for a higher resolution of feedback. 

For example, we know that a few other options on this list are easy to clean, thanks to their respective removable trays. However, this product has a 4.6-star rating in the “easy to clean” category. 

Other feedback that speaks to the crate’s convenience includes ease of assembly, which stands at 4.8 stars, and foldability, which is given an average rating of 4.7 stars.

The ultimate convenience of this crate comes from the fact that you do not have to make individual purchases to piece together your German Shepherd’s new home. Getting a bed and cover separately may mean having different wait periods, paying for each item’s shipping in some cases, and forking out more cash overall.

Most dogs adore the den-like feel of having a cover draped over their special place, and I always placed a dark blanket over my German Shepherd pup’s crate. But if you’d prefer to buy your accessories separately then, this crate kit isn’t for you.

Related: How Long Can You Leave a German Shepherd in a Crate?

Best Soft Portable Crate

Amazon Basics Portable Soft Crate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

If your German Shepherd’s disciplined enough to sit silently in a covered crate, you can use this portable soft crate for short-distance traveling. There’s not a lot about this crate that makes it a must-buy aside from its portability, but then again, a travel crate has to be easy to move, or it isn’t a good travel crate. Let’s have a look at its material and size before getting into its characteristic features.

Material

This is a polyester product, which is great for moving German Shepherd puppies. In theory, you can use this crate even as a dog home as long as your puppy is young, but that would make it more difficult for your dog to accept a metal crate in the future. 

The product, ultimately, is at the mercy of your dog and his training, but its opacity does present an advantage; there’s little to no stimuli that would otherwise make your German Shepherd hyper-aware or too excited. The harder parts of this crate are made of PVC, which is sturdier than polyester but is difficult to clean.

Size

Size isn’t a concern with this soft crate, as it stands at 30 inches with a 28 inches width and a 42-inch length. This roominess, however, doesn’t offset the material disadvantage, especially since the metal crates (the best ones) also come in similarly spacious options.

Other Features

While the product will last far less than its metal counterparts, it does present its own advantages. I just don’t know whether they’re worth the shortened lifespan. The key features include the breathability of polyester, lack of stimuli, and a soft pet bed. It is pretty easy to carry and comes with a handy strap.

Convenience

With this product, the convenience is dictated entirely by how well-trained your dog is. If your German Shepherd is an obligate scratcher, then the crate’s panels will be its canvas, but if your canine is patient and mellow, this is an advantageous option for traveling and moving. 

All in all, it’s a good crate to have as a backup as it doesn’t take too much room. And if your German Shepherd’s trained to be relatively inert when there’s a cover on his metal crate, you might be able to get him into this crate and have him stay put.

Best Travel Crate

Petmate Vari Kennel

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

Unless you charter a private jet every time you fly, you know that traveling requires compromising on space. Every form of transportation is significantly less “roomy” than the place you live in. This travel crate defies that principle and presents a spacious way of housing your German Shepherd on the road (or in the air). It’s the equivalent of an RV for humans.

Material

This travel crate integrates both metal and plastic, which is excellent for travel but inconvenient for home use. Metal crates aren’t perfect for traveling because a 360-degree wireframe means your German Shepherd will get hyperstimulated looking at the changing environment in all directions. Opaque plastic on the side reduces this stimulation, while the metal wire window keeps your dog from feeling claustrophobic.

Size

As mentioned above, one of the flagship features of this product is that it allows you to transport your German Shepherd without really “caging” him. The crate dimensions stand at 48 inches x 32 inches x 35 inches, comparable and even more roomy than many metal wire options. Cleaning such a crate can be quite a chore, but its spaciousness means you’ll have enough room to reach in and clean the corners.

Other Features

Comparing this travel crate to wire ones wouldn’t be fair. Instead, you should compare it to other portable options. The plastic sides are better than polyester panels often used in travel crates. 

Another thing to consider is the airflow because dogs can start feeling confined and anxious if they don’t get fresh air. The metal wire window alongside the ventilation holes at the rear allows air to circulate properly.

Convenience

This travel crate makes it convenient to transport your GSD because there’s little distraction and chaos. The only concern you might have is regarding the crate’s durability, given that metal makes up a minor part of the overall product.

However, the crate’s 4.5 rating for sturdiness is evidence that the product is durable enough despite not being as strong as a wire crate.

Best Furniture Style Crate

New Age Pet ecoFLEX Dog Crate

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

If you’re not too touchy regarding the optics and want your dog crate to double as an end table, this is the perfect crate for your German Shepherd. It features steel bars and a wooden roof, panels, and flooring.

Material

The product features wood which can be a concerning aspect because of the rivalry between dogs and wooden posts. However, this is plastic wood and is not as scratchable.

According to the manufacturer, the wood is also non-toxic and recycled. The stainless steel bars are obviously strong enough to make sure the crate boundaries are actual boundaries and not suggestions (like they are with travel crates).

Size

The crate is 29.1 inches high (on the inside), but the thick wood at the top makes the overall height of the crate reach 30.9 inches. With a 24.6 inches wide 39.8 inches long interior room, the crate is spacious enough for most female German Shepherds and smaller males.

Other Features

The only prominent feature is the style and aesthetic appeal of this crate. While most crates look like jailhouses, this item looks like a luxurious house arrest destination. 

It comes in white, black, grey, espresso, and russet colors, of which I only knew three! Espresso is a fancy way of saying brownish-grey and russet, reddish-brown. This variety allows you to pick the crate that complements your furniture.

Convenience

Despite looking like a complicated piece of carpentry, the crate is effortless to assemble and requires no tools. It also doubles as furniture making it more convenient for you to make room for the crate, especially if you live in a studio apartment.

All in all, I love the look of this crate and the great choice of colors which will fit any decor. However, I feel it’s a bit on the small side for a larger dog, so it may be best to wait until your pooch is fully grown.

Best Portable Playpen

Zampa Portable Playpen

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

This product is more of a friendly boundary-setting play space that is portable and easier to carry than a crate. It comes in brown, blue, pink, and red, of which dogs can only see blue because they don’t discern colors the same way we do.

This playpen is a perfect puppy zone for controlling your pup’s environment and keeping him safe. You can also use it as an effective time-out during training.

Read More: How to Train an 8-week Old German Shepherd Puppy.

Material

The playpen is made of materials not disclosed by manufacturers, but I can convey it best by describing the feel. The exterior of this water-proof playpen feels like canvas, while the base feels like the outside of a tent. The material is sturdy but is no match to plastic or metal.

Size

This is one of the most spacious items in this article because it serves a different purpose. It is not meant to be the sleeping place of your dog or a traveling carry-case. It gives an inspiring environment for your German Shepherd and spans 61 inches in length and breadth across its octagonal shape and 30 inches in height.

Other Features and Convenience

The playpen comes with a carry mechanism that makes it look like a large laptop bag and features outer pockets and even a water bottle holder. Since the whole thing is made of fabric and inbuilt support, there’s no assembly needed. That, however, isn’t a differentiating factor since many other options on this list require no assembly.

Best Metal Playpen

MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Playpen

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

This product brings together the spaciousness of the previous option with the sturdiness of the first item in this post, making the perfect environment for your German Shepherd to play within a relatively confined space. This playpen is best for those with a bigger residence who want to “dog-proof” an area without covering every piece of wood with an anti-chew spray-like product.

You can also use it with my favorite recommended crate (hint: the first on this list) to make a bigger puppy/dog zone, as both can be easily connected.

I adore this idea as it gives your GSD loads more room whilst keeping him in a safe environment and allows a positive experience for you both.

Material

Metal wire panels and an open top and bottom characterize this playpen. In other words, based on where you put the playpen together, the flooring might be grass or carpet, depending on whether you choose to put it inside or outside.

Size

Each panel is 24 inches wide, and there are eight panels. You can decide the width of the playpen by assembling the panels closely or even attaching extra panels. You can even attach this to your crate and create a home+terrace setup for your German Shepherd, as mentioned above.

Convenience

The best part about this playpen is that it relieves you of the responsibility of dog-sitting. This also is the thing you must be most concerned about because leaving your GSD in his playpen for extended periods might make it easier for you to slack off on your responsibility to socialize with your best friend, take him out on walks, and play with him.

FAQ

What Size Crate Should I Get for a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds need a 48-inch-size crate, so their size is well-accommodated in it. The crate should also be 33 inches tall at minimum, so the dog can safely stand without hitting his head and 30 inches wide so that he can move around, lie on his side, and easily stretch out his paws.

Read More: German Shepherd Crate Size: What Size Crate for a GSD?

What Size Crate is Best for GSD Puppy?

The best crate size for a German Shepherd puppy is 48 inches. A wire crate with a divider is ideal as you can start your puppy off in a small enough space by setting the divider a few inches away from his full length and continue to adjust as the dog grows. This also speeds up potty training.

Which Crate Should I Pick?

German Shepherds are very social, affectionate, and strong enough to rip apart delicate boundaries that cordon them from their favorite pastime: playing with you. A metal wireframe checks two boxes with the same pen as it allows your dog to feel like he’s a part of the surrounding social scene because of high visibility.

So, if we concentrate on metal wire crates, here’s what I’d pick…

The best dog crate for German Shepherds is the MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate as it’s strong, durable, and ideal for large dogs. This “all-inclusive” crate has everything you need, as it includes a handy divider panel and a portable plastic tray, meaning you’ve nothing else to buy.

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