New pet owners often shrink from the idea of crate training their puppy. After all, we have negative associations with cages, even if it’s in the best interest of our pets. Many people think that they’re cruel and heartless, which flies in the face of probably everything you’ve thought about when inviting a dog into your life.
The fact remains that a dog crate is an excellent way to keep your German Shepherd feeling secure. You have to remember that canines are hard-wired to stay safe in the wild. Letting down your guard is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, we all have to do it to sleep and recharge our batteries. Ironically, always staying alert is just as harmful as not taking the time to relax.
We understand your concerns about buying a crate. Rest assured that it’s not puppy prison. It’s an effective way to help your pet feel safe. It takes away the worries of unknown noises that may startle your pet. It’s also a proven method to housebreak your pup. We’ve done the homework to help you choose the best product with detailed reviews that show you what to consider in your search.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 10 Best Dog Crates for German Shepherds
1. MidWest iCrate Fold & Carry Wire Dog Crate – Best Overall
The MidWest iCrate Fold & Carry Wire Dog Crate is an excellent choice for a German Shepherd, with sizes going from 18–33” H. That’s well in line with the 22–26” that your pup will reach as an adult. We liked the fact that it includes a divider. You can get the large or extra-large size to save money on buying a new cage when he grows out of his puppy crate.
The crate is easy to clean and has a no-leak metal pan on the bottom. There are four rubber feet in the corners to keep the cage in place if your dog gets rambunctious. The cage folds up quickly so that you can take it along on vacation. It’s also easy on your pocketbook with its affordable price. The crate comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
2. Paws & Pals Oxgord Double Door Wire Dog Crate – Best Value
The Paws & Pals Oxgord Double Door Wire Dog Crate is, without a doubt, the best dog crate for German Shepherds for the money. It is also value-priced, making it suitable for a permanent solution at home or as a travel cage for trips. It has two doors, each with two latches. It has a plastic tray instead of a metal one. That keeps the cost down, but it also makes it easier to clean without absorbing odors.
The crate is collapsible with a carrying handle for easy storage. On the downside, the bars are widely spaced, especially for a puppy. The other red flag for us was the skimpy warranty for only 30 days. However, it gets the job done. We liked that the divider is included with your purchase, which makes this crate an even better value.
3. Pet Gear Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate – Premium Choice
The Pet Gear Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate is the Rolls Royce of dog cages. This one has a removable fleece mat on the top and both sides to keep your pup warm. It also makes the crate seem more inviting than a plain wired cage with its padded, rounded corners. The bar spacing is excellent for puppies and adults. It has one door with two quick-release clips.
The manufacturer considered the owners as much as the pets with this product. It has built-in wheels and a handle to make it easy to move into another room or to the car. It even has a carrying bag. Unfortunately, you might find the size a bit snug, especially if your German Shepherd is on the large size. As you may expect, it is also a spendy purchase.
4. Frisco Heavy-Duty Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
The Frisco Heavy-Duty Collapsible Wire Dog Crate is an excellent choice if you need to break out the big guns to keep your German Shepherd in his cage. It has an electro-coat finish on its steel bars to protect it from moisture and to prevent rust. There is a plastic tray for easy cleaning. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite fit all the way, making the cage not leak-proof.
The crate is roomy with an extra-large size available for taller German Shepherds. It goes up to 32.5” H. It also includes the divider, making it a wise purchase for a permanent solution. It has two doors with two latches and rounded corners to make it safer for your pet. The name of the product also points to another point to consider: it’s a heavy cage, which is only an issue if you intend to move it.
5. MidWest Solutions Series Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
The MidWest Solutions Series Collapsible Wire Dog Crate is a wise choice if you have a designated place to keep this cage. It’s a roomy crate, measuring 54” L x 37” W x 45” H. It isn’t something you’ll move around easily, at 79 pounds. Unlike many products we reviewed, this cage doesn’t fold up with a convenient handle. Instead, you have to assemble it, with its drop-pin construction.
The crate has two extra-wide doors that will make it easy for your Shepherd to go in and out of it. The slide bolts will help ensure that he stays put, too. This product is not meant for puppies because of its size and the absence of a divider. However, it is well-made and built to last. The manufacturer also backs up their crate with a 1-year limited warranty.
6. Precision Pet Products Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
The Precision Pet Products Collapsible Wire Dog Crate is a roomy cage at 42” L x 28” W x 31” H and weighs 41.4 lbs. It can easily accommodate a German Shepherd comfortably. The divider is included with your purchase so that it can last through adulthood. It has double doors to fit a variety of space issues. The only problem is that there is only one latch on it.
The cage is well-made, except for the plastic tray. It’s not as thick as we’d like to see. The two design flaws are a shame, given the quality of the build, otherwise. Our other concern was the lack of a warranty. Overall, the crate is durable and could handle an active Shepherd puppy.
7. Merry Products Furniture Style Dog Crate
The name of the Merry Products Furniture Style Dog Crate says it all. It is deluxe accommodations for a pampered pooch when only the best will do. You can even use it as an end table because it looks that nice. It looks gorgeous, considering what it is. The dimensions are a decent size for a full-grown German Shepherd. It includes a divider so that you can limit the space to his size.
The crate has a double door with two latches and comes with a cover. That’s a good thing, given its larger size. You will have to assemble this cage before your dog can use it. Our main concern was the wood’s finish. A puppy will likely make short work of it. That raises the specter of splinters and other hazards. We can see it more as an indoor solution for a pup that is already crate-trained.
8. EliteField 3-Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
The EliteField 3-Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate takes accessibility to the next level with not one but three doors, each with two latches on them. The cage provides plenty of room for an adult German Shepherd. The extra-large size measures 47” L x 30” W x 32” H. It’s relatively lightweight, given its size. It only weighs 40 lbs.
The three doors raised a concern about the sturdiness and stability of the cage. We thought that the wiring was a bit flimsy. However, the manufacturer stands behind their product with a 2-year limited warranty, the longest of any of the products we reviewed.
9. Lucky Dog Wire Dog Crate
The Lucky Dog Wire Dog Crate is unique in that it has a sliding door instead of one that swings out if space is an issue for you. It’s an excellent design that helps to reinforce the sides. The cage is a decent size at 48” L x 30” W x 33” H, weighing only 38 pounds. That figure raised our eyebrows for a product made of steel. Given its size, we’d expect it to weigh a lot more.
The crate felt flimsy to us. We could see a determined German Shepherd getting out of it. Thankfully, the corners are reinforced. The other dealbreaker comes from the puppy side of things. The cage does not include a divider, which makes it less of a value in our minds. There isn’t a warranty other than a money-back guarantee for a faulty product.
10. Four Paws Deluxe Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
The Four Paws Deluxe Collapsible Wire Dog Crate is the second cage with a sliding door, a feature that we wish more manufacturers would include—as long as it is done right. Unfortunately, this one misses the mark with a door that isn’t easy to open or close. On the positive side, the latches are sound when you do get it shut.
The large or extra-large crates are both roomy, with more than enough space for a German Shepherd. The extra-large size measures 48” L x 30” W x 33” H, making it the roomiest option. It comes with a divider and a removable pan for easy cleaning. The tray is made of plastic and seems cheap. That puts it in the dealbreaker category when you consider the high price tag, too.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best German Shepherd Crate
Buying a crate for your German Shepherd is an important decision. Essentially, you’re shopping for his bedroom and safe place. Therefore, it’s vital to consider your options, along with thinking of how you plan to use the cage.
Do you want a crate just for housebreaking, or will it be his permanent sleeping area?
Determining the answer to that question can guide your purchase and lead you to the right German Shepherd crate. German Shepherds are intelligent dogs. They are also muscular. Even a puppy is going to need a sturdy cage, which we think you should place high on your list of features.
Crate training can serve different purposes. You may choose just to use it as a way to housebreak your pup and transition him into his new home. You’ll give him a small enough space that is adequate for sleeping and moving around while keeping it limited to make the process easier. This area will become his home turf that he will learn not to soil.
It’s evolutionary hardwiring in the making. Many mammals navigate their world by scent. Soiling a canine’s home is a red flag for other predators on the hunt. Minimizing your presence is the key to survival. When you keep your German Shepherd in a crate, you are replicating this scenario. The best thing is that biology takes over without a lot of work on your part, with one critical caveat.
This factor goes hand-in-hand with the last one. An adult German Shepherd can reach heights of 22–26” H with weights of 50–90 pounds. If you only want to use the crate for your puppy, it makes little sense to get one for an adult. He could just soil one part of the cage and use the rest of it without worry. The point of using a crate for housebreaking is that your dog will keep his living quarters clean.
Yes, that limits the space, but it’s the point of using this method. After all, your pet isn’t going to stay in the cage all day long. Its purpose is to prevent accidents during the downtime. However, it’s something you need to consider before you buy a dog crate for your German Shepherd. It has to serve its purpose in the most effective way to be a wise investment.
The best way to get the right size crate is to break out the tape measure and get your dog’s height from his head to the floor. Get his length, too, from hindquarters to his muzzle. Use these dimensions to help you home in on the one that can accommodate his size. If you’re buying a cage for a puppy, you can opt for the larger adult size if it comes with dividers to close off the extra space until he grows into it.
The essential thing is that he can stand, turn around, and lay down comfortably.
The German Shepherd is an intelligent dog. He’ll likely pick-up housebreaking quickly. Nevertheless, the crate can still serve a useful purpose as sleeping quarters. When you’re considering the cage’s size, also think about where you’re going to put it. The ideal place is free from drafts and probably an area where there isn’t a lot of activity at night.
Don’t forget to take into account the extra space needed to open and close the door. We recommend putting in an area where there is still circulation around the cage, especially if it’s enclosed. Remember that housebreaking usually means a few accidents along the way. Placing it on a mat or small rug will help keep it clean.
Wire crates are the most popular type of cage. They offer several advantages, beginning with circulation. That makes it more comfortable for your pet while cutting down on odors. They are also easier to clean since many products have coated parts. You can just take the crate out in the backyard and give it a good spray down with a garden hose.
A plastic crate offers many of the same advantages. The partially covered sides simulate a cave environment that many fearful breeds may prefer. The material makes it easy to clean without absorbing odors. The ambient temperature is the main limitation. It can help in a cool environment and create a dangerous situation in a hot space.
Another option is a soft-walled crate like you see in some pet carriers. It has similar pros and cons as the previous choice. However, they are often more lightweight, which makes them portable. That adds to their versatility, especially with smaller dogs.
A wooden crate is an option if you’re looking for a permanent housing solution for your German Shepherd and want it to be aesthetically pleasing, too. You’ll see some products that look more like furniture than a dog crate. On the downside, they are heavy and more difficult to clean. We think they are a better choice for a pet that is already full-grown and housebroken.
Some of the main concerns rest with wire cages. Your puppy will chew on his crate. That’s a given. He will paw at it and scratch it until he gets used to being inside of his crate. The risk is if his jaw gets caught between the bars. There is some concern about him gnawing on any coatings on the bars and swallowing them.
You’ll find cages suited for dogs of all ages and sizes. Typically, one intended for a smaller pup will have bars that are narrower than one for a larger dog, such as a German Shepherd. We also suggest looking at the locking mechanism. A smart pooch like a Shepherd may figure out how to escape without an extra clip. We strongly urge you to remove your dog’s collar or harness before you put him in his crate.
The next thing to consider is how to outfit your dog’s digs. He’ll need a mat on the floor of the crate, preferably something that is machine washable. We like products with a removable cover to make cleaning easier and quicker, without having to wait for a thick pad to dry. There are several variations on this theme. You can get cooling mats or even a heating pad, depending on the temp.
Then, there are your pup’s water and food bowls. We don’t recommend free-feeding your pet, but he should have fresh water available at all times. If your dog is active in his cage, you might consider getting a bottle or a bowl that snaps on the bars of the crate to keep his space dry. If he has trouble settling down for the night, you can get a cover to put over the cage.
It’s an excellent way to cut down on the distractions that are keeping your pup awake. It’s also an effective method for creating a bedtime routine. The best part is that it will help keep him snug and warm as he sleeps.
The MidWest iCrate Fold & Carry Wire Dog Crate is a wise investment that you won’t regret. The cage comes in a full range of sizes, whether you want it just for housebreaking or a permanent bed. The divider makes the choice easy, either way. The best part about it is that it’s affordably priced. It is sturdy, yet not overly heavy. It strikes the right balance between weight and strength.
The Paws & Pals Oxgord Double Door Wire Dog Crate gets high marks for an affordably priced cage with features of more expensive products. It has two doors with two latches to deter even the most determined puppy. We liked the plastic tray for its ease of cleaning. It’s also collapsible with a divider to get the most out of your purchase.