German Shepherd dogs are large, powerful animals that need a sturdy, secure crate to keep them secure and safe.
So, what’s the best kind of crate for a German Shepherd? What size crate does a German Shepherd need to be comfortable? And how long can you leave a German Shepherd puppy in a crate?
Read this guide for helpful tips and advice and to read our reviews of the best dog crate for German Shepherds.
Comparison Table of The 5 Best Dog Crates for German Shepherds
Diggs Revol Large Dog Crate
- Adjustable dividers included
- Excellent ventilation
- Large size ideal for German Shepherds
MIM Safe Variocage
- Crash-tested for safety
- Heavy-duty dog crate
- Durable, anti-corrosion material
Confote Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel & Metal Dog Crate
- Safe, secure, and escape-proof crate
- Wheels for easy maneuverability
- Removable tray
MidWest iCrate Starter Kit
- Complete kit
- Double-door option available
- Includes a removable tray
WLO Wood Hexxon Modern Wooden Dog Crate
- Powder-coated wooden frame
- Nameplate to customization
- Suitable for large dogs up to 89 pounds in weight
What Is A German Shepherd?
The German Shepherd is a large breed of dog that’s considered to be the second most popular breed of dog in the US.
These powerful dogs can weigh up to 90 pounds, standing up to 31 inches at the shoulder, so you’ll need a large dog crate to accommodate this breed. German Shepherds are loved for their confidence, loyalty, and protective nature, although they can be suspicious and aloof with strangers. Shepherds have a very strong work ethic and for many years have been used as working dogs by both law enforcement and the military.
German Shepherds are heavy shedders, having a double coat, consisting of a thick, fluffy undercoat and an outer layer of long, water-repellent guard hairs. Twice a year, the coat is “blown,” when the undercoat is shed in line with the changing seasons of spring and fall.
What Size Crate Is Best For A German Shepherd?
As mentioned above, German Shepherds are large dogs, so they need a large, heavy-duty crate that offers plenty of space.
Basically, your dog must:
- Have sufficient space to stand up without bumping his head or ears on the top of the crate
- Be able to lie down flat out without catching his paws on the end or sides of the crate
- Be able to sit up without bumping his head or ears on the top of the crate
- Have enough space to turn around without catching himself on the sides of the crate
As a general rule of thumb, a crate for a German Shepherd needs to be a 48-inch crate. The crate should be 30 inches wide and 33 inches tall as a minimum.
You don’t want the crate to be too spacious. If the crate is too big, your dog might decide to use one end of his cage as a toileting area and the other for sleeping. That said, it’s cruel to keep your dog in a crate that’s too small, so a crate that’s a few inches too big is a better option.
What Size Crate For A German Shepherd Puppy?
The same basic principle applies to choosing the correct size of crate for a German Shepherd puppy.
However, you can avoid the need to buy multiple crates as your furbaby grows into adulthood. Most wire crates come with puppy dividers that you can gradually move to expand the crate as your dog grows. Keeping a dog is expensive enough, and a simple crate divider panel can save you a fortune on replacement crates!
Also, a crate divider is invaluable when potty training your puppy. Dogs are naturally clean animals that won’t soil their sleeping area unless they are absolutely desperate to relieve themselves. So, you can use a crate divider to give your puppy enough space to stand up, sit down, lie down, and turn around in his crate, without leaving so much space that your pet might be tempted to use one end of the crate as a potty area.
As the puppy grows and potty training is established, you can move the divider and expand the crate size.
What Kind Of Crate Is Best For A German Shepherd?
There are several kinds of dog crates available but not all styles of dog crates suit every breed of dog.
Generally, German Shepherds need a heavy-duty metal crate to keep them safe and secure. For that reason, we recommend that you go with a metal wire type of crate. These crates are the strongest, most robust crates and are able to withstand the damage that a large dog can inflict.
Also, wire crates provide your dog with excellent ventilation and a panoramic view of his surroundings. Although German Shepherds are not generally known as being sufferers of separation anxiety, they are very loyal dogs, and your canine companion will be more settled if he can his human family around him.
Wire crates are easy to keep clean, usually containing a removable plastic tray, and most of them are collapsible, making storage and portability straightforward.
What Crates Are Not Suitable For German Shepherds?
German Shepherds are large dogs that have a lot of power when they choose to use it. If your dog is boisterous and feisty, you’ll need a resilient, heavy-duty crate to keep him safely contained. For that reason, metal crates are generally considered to be the best choice of Shepherd dog crate
That said, there are some plastic crates that can be suitable as a Shepherd crate, provided you find one that’s large enough and very well-made.
If you want a travel crate, you’ll most likely find that a plastic crate is the best way to go. Plastic crates are lightweight and easy to move around, usually incorporating a carrying or pull-along handle. Many plastic travel crates that are built for large dogs also have casters or wheels for easy portability.
There are a few downsides associated with plastic crates:
- Plastic crates don’t look great in your home
- A dog that chews might destroy a plastic crate
- Ventilation and airflow sometimes aren’t as good as that in a wire crate
- It’s not as easy to load and unload your dog from a plastic travel crate as it is from a metal one with double doors or an escape hatch
However, on the plus side, a plastic crate is easier to move around, and these crates are often cheaper than metal ones.
You can buy soft crates that are large enough for a German Shepherd. However, these comfortable dog crates are generally quite flimsy when compared with metal or plastic crates, and they can be damaged by a large dog leaning against the sides of the crate.
You can sometimes use a soft crate as a travel crate if you have a small dog. Soft crates are handy in that most are collapsible for easy, space-saving storage and some can be washed for hassle-free cleaning.
However, you might struggle to find a soft travel crate that’s large enough to accommodate a German Shepherd.
A good option for a well-behaved German Shepherd dog that doesn’t chew might be a wooden furniture crate.
Furniture crates are usually made from natural wood, laminate, or rattan. These crates double as pieces of furniture, such as end tables, side tables, or nightstands. That can be a very useful option for you if you live in a small home and you want to incorporate your Shepherd’s crate into your living room or bedroom.
How Long Can You Leave A German Shepherd In A Crate?
Dogs generally appreciate the peace and tranquility that’s offered by their crate, and most enjoy taking time out of a hectic household every so often. Many pet parents prefer to leave their dogs crated overnight or securely contained in a crate when mom and dad go out to work.
But how long can you leave a German Shepherd in a crate?
Not everyone appreciates being disturbed by Fido wandering around the house, especially if you’re a light sleeper. So, most dog owners prefer to have their dogs crated overnight. But is it fair to leave your dog in his crate for the whole night without a potty break?
Is It Okay To Crate Your German Shepherd Overnight?
You might have noticed that your dog takes naps throughout the day, usually for an hour or two at a stretch. Older dogs and puppies might sleep more than that, but the general principle remains the same. Because of that behavior, because dogs are regarded as “polyphasic sleepers.”
Animals in that category tend to sleep throughout the day in short segments with times of activity between of around the same timespan. That means that your German Shepherd sleeps for around a total of 12 hours per day. Also, when your adult dog is awake, he spends most of that time laying around doing not a lot.
Puppies are the exception to that rule, enjoying bouts of frenzied activity and playtime before collapsing and falling fast asleep for a while before the next mad half-hour session of crazies begins.
That means that a healthy adult German Shepherd is able to spend around 12 hours sleeping in his crate during the nighttime. However, it’s important that your dog gets plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise before you settle him down for the night.
What About Puppies?
Cumulatively, most very young German Shepherd puppies actually spend more time asleep than their adult counterparts do. However, your puppy can’t be expected to spend 12 hours overnight in his crate without at least one potty break.
Puppies simply can’t physically hold on for long enough to last all night, and need to be taken out for a potty break until they are around four months old.
How Long Is Too Long?
Generally, a dog shouldn’t be expected to spend more than eight hours in a crate overnight.
The first job in the morning for Shepherd owners should be to let their furry friend outside or take him for a stroll so that he can relieve himself, as well as having some exercise to stretch his legs and set him up for the day. That’s especially important if you’re going out to work and your German Shepherd will be left home alone.
If you have a job that keeps you away from your pet for more than four to six hours, you’ll need to find some way of ensuring that your dog gets sufficient toilet breaks throughout the day. A few ways to do that include:
- Ask a friend or neighbor to let your pet outside
- Hire a dog walker
- Hire a pet sitter
- Put your dog into doggy daycare while you’re at work
- Take your dog to work if your employer will permit that
If you live close enough to your workplace, you might be able to pop home at lunchtime to let your German Shepherd out for a potty break, perhaps play with him in your backyard, and give him a snack before settling him down again in his crate.
Naturally, dogs are pack creatures that need to live in the company of other dogs to thrive and be happy. An isolated dog that’s left alone will most likely suffer from separation anxiety. That not only leads to a stressed, miserable dog, but can also cause behavioral problems, such as constant barking, chewing, and aggression toward visitors.
Fortunately, dogs are quite adaptable animals and they thrive on a routine. So, if you can get your Shepherd accustomed to spending time in his crate while you’re out at work, he should be fine.
You can also make life more interesting for your dog by providing him with a few safe toys to play with or a little bit of company in the shape of another dog or even a cat. You might even be able to set up a run attached to your dog’s crate so that he has space to move around.
What A Relief!
So, how long can your German Shepherd wait before he needs to pee?
The good news is that large dogs, such as German Shepherds have large bladders and can, therefore, wait for longer between each pee break than toy breeds. Also, younger, healthy dogs can usually wait longer than senior dogs and those with health problems.
Age is also a major consideration when it comes to pee breaks. Check out the table below to see how the time that a dog can last varies quite widely throughout his lifespan.
Waiting time vs. Age
Under 6 months old
1 to 3 hours
Over 6 months old
2 to 6 hours
Adult dogs under 7 years old
6 to 8 hours
Senior dogs over 7 years old
4 to 6 hours
Elderly dogs over 12 years old
2 to 4 hours
Under 6 months old:
1 to 3 hours
Over 6 months old:
2 to 6 hours
Adult dogs under 7 years old:
6 to 8 hours
Senior dogs over 7 years old:
4 to 6 hours
Elderly dogs over 12 years old:
2 to 4 hours
So, you can see that the average mature dog needs to pee between three and five times every day, which works out at roughly once every eight hours. Unless something happens to prevent you from letting your dog out, eight hours is the very longest time you should expect your dog to wait for a potty break.
5 Best German Shepherd Crates
Now that you know more about crating your German Shepherd dog, it’s time to dive into our reviews of the best dog crates that are currently on the market.
1. Diggs Revol Large Dog Crate
Adjustable dividers included
Large size ideal for German Shepherds
Our favorite dog crate has to be the Diggs Revol dog crate.
This is a very versatile metal crate that you can use for transporting your German Shepherd, as well as for regular use at home. To make it easy to transport and store the crate, it’s collapsible, has integrated wheels, and also has a carry handle.
German Shepherds are powerful dogs, but the Diggs Revol dog crate is strong enough to contain your canine companion securely and safely. The crate is made from corrosion-resistant metal wire and heavy-duty plastic material. The diamond-shaped mesh design is attached to a solid, single-piece frame that’s designed to prevent your dog from getting his nose or paws trapped.
Also, the crate has a ceiling hatch that allows you to quickly get to your German Shepherd in an emergency situation. The side door makes loading and unloading your furry friend a breeze, and you also get a puppy divider panel that’s ideal for potty training a German Shepherd puppy. Assembling the crate is simple and takes only a few minutes without the need for any additional tools. For easy storage, you can store the collapsed crate into tight spaces, and a removable plastic tray is included for easy cleanup.
- Easy to clean
- Includes a handy crate divider
- Collapsible for easy portability and storage
- Includes a removable plastic tray
- Quite expensive but this crate is a top-of-the-range product
2. MIM Safe Variocage
Crash-tested for safety
Heavy-duty dog crate
Durable, anti-corrosion material
The MIM Safe Variocage is a true heavy-duty portable crate that’s ideal for German Shepherds and other large breeds. The crate is built using durable metal and is the only crate that we could find that’s crash-tested by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). So, you know that when you’re traveling with your German Shepherd, he’ll be safe and secure in his crate.
The crate is portable and fits into most trucks and family cars, and the large size or extra large size will comfortably accommodate a German Shepherd. For your additional peace of mind, the crate features an emergency escape hatch.
- Large and extra-large crate sizes are available
- Crash-tested for safety, so the perfect crate for safe travel
- Features an emergency escape hatch
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Provides plenty of ventilation
- The crate is quite heavy, so it might be a struggle for you to manhandle single-handed
3. Confote Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel & Metal Dog Crate
Safe, secure, and escape-proof crate
Wheels for easy maneuverability
The Confote metal dog cage is constructed using stainless steel, so you know that this crate is really built to last and will securely contain and large, powerful dog.
This crate stands apart from cheaper crates in that it uses strong welds that will hold firm even in the face of tough opposition from a strong, determined dog. You can use this crate indoors and outdoors since it’s rust and corrosion-proof. Also, the finish is scratch and scuff-resistant, so it stays looking good for many years. Also, all the materials used in the making of this crate are non-toxic and safe for your canine companion.
The crate features a double-door design. That means you can take your German Shepherd in and out of the front and top of the crate. This is a heavy crate but the lockable 360-degree rotating casters enable you to move the crate around if you want to but ensure that it remains stable, too. The removable plastic tray makes cleaning up accidents quick and hassle-free.
Surprisingly, this crate is very quick and easy to assemble, and it comes with all the tools you require to complete the job.
- Double-door entry for easy loading and unloading of your German Shepherd
- Sturdy, strong construction
- Removable tray for hassle-free cleanup
- Heavy-duty crate but the 360-degree lockable casters make it easy to move around
4. MidWest iCrate Starter Kit
Double-door option available
Includes a removable tray
If you want an excellent all-inclusive product that includes everything you need for your German Shepherd, look no further than the MidWest iCrate Starter Kit! The crate comes in a bundle with a crate cover, food and water bowls that you can attach to the side of the crate, and a cozy dog bed to line the crate bottom.
This wire dog crate is basically a standard metal wire crate. For easy transport and storage when not in use, the crate is collapsible. The open structure of the crate’s metal mesh provides your pet with excellent airflow and ventilation, but a polyester crate cover is included for times when your Shepherd wants some me-time and privacy to rest without being disturbed. You also get a removable plastic tray to catch any accidents and make for hassle-free cleaning.
The MidWest iCrate is a fabulous affordable option for those on a budget who want a safe space for their dog.
- Affordable wire crate kit
- Includes a bed, crate cover, and food and water bowls
- Sturdy, strong construction
- Removable tray for hassle-free crate clean
- Excellent value for money
- Some owners prefer to customize the crate, making the included extras superfluous
5. WLO Wood Hexxon Modern Wooden Dog Crate
Powder-coated wooden frame
Nameplate to customization
Suitable for large dogs up to 89 pounds in weight
If you plan on keeping your dog crate in a room in your home with your family, you might prefer to buy an indoor crate that doubles as a piece of furniture. That gives you the option to use your dog’s crate as a nightstand, end table, side table, or even as a media table, giving you lots of extra space to play with in your home. The wooden crate is available in three attractive different shades to blend perfectly with any interior decoration scheme.
The Hexxon crate is an attractive piece of furniture that makes a real statement in your room! The crate has feet to keep it stable on any kind of surface with no risk of causing damage. The crate includes a cotton-coated bed to keep your German Shepherd nice and cozy at nights, and you even get to choose what color cushion your pet has. You can personalize the crate with your dog’s name, thanks to the cute bone-shaped nameplate.
- Comes in three attractive shades
- Has feet attached to stabilize the crate
- Powder-coated wooden frame
- Comes with a cozy crate mat and color choice
- Effective safety latch keeps your dog safely contained
- Not suitable for puppies or dogs that chew
I hope you enjoyed our guide and reviews of the best dog crates for German Shepherds. These heavy-duty dog crates are built to withstand escape attempts by even the most determined, powerful dogs.
Our favorite crate of those we reviewed is the Confote Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Dog Cage. This crate is a standout from the cheaper dog crates on the market in that it has strong welds that keep the strongest German Shepherd securely and safely contained. The crate is suitable for outdoor and indoor use, being rust and corrosion-proof with a scratch and scuff-resistant finish. Also, the materials used to make this crate are non-toxic, so you know that your canine companion will stay safe even if he chews or bites the metal.
Loading and unloading your dog is made easier, thanks to the crate’s double-door design. Although this is quite a heavy crate, the lockable 360-degree rotating casters make it relatively easy to move the crate around when you want to. Also, you get a removable plastic tray for quick and hassle-free cleanup.
If you found our article helpful and informative, please take a few moments to share. We’d love to know which dog crate you chose for your German Shepherd dog. Tell us in the comments section below.