Big dogs need – wait for it, you’re never gonna guess – big crates.
I know. I’ll give you a second to process this mind-blowing bit of info.
But there are a couple of other things to think about when buying a crate for your extra-large canine, some of which are actually a bit surprising. We’ll dive into this issue below and talk about the things you’ll want to look for when picking a crate for your big pooch.
Finally, we’ll recommend six of the best options available (feel free to skip to the bottom if you like for full review details).
Best Dog Crates for Large and Extra-Large Dogs: Quick Picks
- #1 Impact Collapsible Dog Crate [Best Overall Dog Crate for Large Dogs]: Collapsible, comforting, great-looking, and stronger than Fort Knox, this is easily the best crate on the market for the large or extra-large dog in your life. [Get 15% off by entering code K9OFMINE at checkout!]
- #2 AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Dog Crate [Most Affordable Dog Crate for Large Dogs]: Need a budget-friendly crate for a ginormous canine? AmazonBasics has you covered with this functional, feature-packed, and affordable option.
- #3 Petmate Sky Kennel [Best Airline-Approved Dog Crate for Large Dogs]: Got an upcoming flight with a super-sized Fido? The Sky Kennel is not only one of the best all-around crates for air travel, it comes in sizes suitable for big ‘ol doggos too.
First Thing’s First: What Qualifies as a “Large” Dog?
There’s no commonly accepted definition for a “large” or “extra-large” dog. Nor is there an official size range for terms like “giant,” “colossal,” “jumbo,” or “oh-my-god-how-much-does-that-dog-weigh?”
It’s all varies pretty arbitrarily from one manufacturer, owner, breeder, vet, and writer to the next.
But for our purposes here, we’ll keep things simple:
- Large breeds will refer to dogs weighing more than 50 pounds
- Extra-large breeds will refer to dogs weighing more than 100 pounds
But to make it even easier, we’ve listed some of the most common examples below.
Just remember that all breeds vary a bit and individuals of some breeds may be larger or smaller than is typical for the breed.
- Labrador retriever
- Golden retriever
- American pit bull terrier
- Staffordshire terrier
- Siberian husky
- Doberman pinscher
- Great Pyrenees
- German shepherd
- Bernese mountain dog
- Standard poodle
- German shorthaired pointer
- Great Dane
- Irish wolfhound
- Scottish deerhound
- Tibetan mastiff
- Neapolitan mastiff
- Saint Bernard
- Presa Canario
- Cane Corso
- Anatolian Shepherd
Of course, there are dozens of other breeds who fall into one of these categories, but you get the idea. Nevertheless, when trying to determine the proper size dog crate for your dog, you’re better off using linear measurements.
We’ll explain how to do that below.
Determining the Proper Crate Size for Your Pooch
Finding the proper crate size for your pooch is fairly easy. Just grab your dog and a tape measure and we’ll get to work.
Start by having your dog stand. Measure your dog from the tip of her nose to the base (not the tip) of her tail. Add 2 to 4 inches to that figure to get the proper crate length.
Next, you’ll want to have your dog sit (a dog’s head is typically tallest when sitting). Measure the distance from the ground to the top of her head. Add 2 to 4 inches to this figure, and you have the proper height for the crate.
These two measurements – the crate length and height – will serve as your guide. You don’t have to worry about the crate’s width, as most crates are designed with appropriate length-width ratios.
For example, if your dog is 38 inches long and 30 inches tall (while seated), she’ll need a 42-inch-long crate that is 34 inches tall. In most cases, you’ll want to focus primarily on the length of the crate when making your selection. Most large and extra-large dogs will need crates measuring between 40 and 60 inches long.
Note that some authorities recommend adding 4 to 6 inches on top of your dog’s length when selecting the proper crate size, instead of the 2- to 4-inch guideline we prefer. This is fine if you’d prefer to scale up the crate a little bit, but understand that it is not a good idea to provide your dog with a crate that is too large. Doing so will eliminate some of the benefits crates provide (more on this later), so stay in the 2- to 6-inch range.
You can theoretically go overboard on the height of the crate without causing many problems, but you’ll rarely find many super-tall crates in practice.
The 7 Best Crates for Large and Extra-Large Dogs
Now that you’re familiar with some of the most important things to look for in a crate, you’re ready to start making your choice. We’d recommend picking one of the crates listed below, as they’re all high-quality units, which have received great reviews from other big-dog owners.
1. Impact Collapsible Dog Crate
About: Sometimes, you just want to stop messing around and get the best product the market offers. And in terms of crates for large and extra large dogs, that means going with an Impact Collapsible Dog Crate (or really, any of the crates in Impact’s lineup).
Made from aluminum, fitted with military-grade handles and stackable corners, and backed by the manufacturer’s 10-year warranty, this crate stands head-and-shoulders above most other options on the market.
Impact Collapsible Dog Crate
A top-of-the-line collapsible dog crate featuring military-grade components.
- Made from durable aluminum panels
- Collapses to just 8-inches tall
- Ships fully assembled
- Available in several sizes, including 48- and 54-inch models
- Financing available
- Comes in your choice of 5 colors
- Built like a tank and secure
- Easy to collapse and store when needed
- 54-inch model should accommodate most pups
- Color options is a nice bonus
- Stackable for owners with multiple pups
- Pricey (though they do offer financing)
- Heavy (the largest size weighs 106 pounds)
2. AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Dog Crate
About: The AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Crate is designed to be functional and affordable, so it doesn’t come equipped with a lot of fancy extras. This makes it a great choice for those who are interested in obtaining a high-quality crate without spending a ton of money.
- Made with thick steel wire for safety and security
- The bottom of the crate features “mini dividers” to prevent your pup from sneaking a paw through
- The crate is collapsible for storage or transport
- Comes with a removable divider and plastic litter pan
- Available in single- and double-door models and sizes ranging from 22 to 48 inches
- Much more affordable than most other options
- Comes with most basic features owners want
- Relatively light and collapsible
- Provides good value for your dog-care dollar
- Not suitable for escape artists
- Collapsible, but not great for travel
3. Petmate Sky Kennel
About: As the name suggests, the Petmate Sky Kennel is designed to comply with the requirements set for by most airlines for four-footed passengers. However, it is also a great crate for general home use, and the mostly solid plastic sides may provide additional security for nervous pups.
Petmate Sky Kennel
An IATA-compliant crate that’s suitable for air travel and breaks down for storage.
- Built from sturdy plastic
- Provides plenty of ventilation to keep your pet comfortable
- Door features a vault-style secure latch and is secured in four places
- Available in several sizes from 21- to 48-inches
- Comes with a “Live Animal” sticker and two clip-on water dishes
- Perfect for jet-setting pet parents
- Provides some privacy for your pet
- Very secure latches
- Included extras (water dishes, stickers, etc.)
- This is a pretty pricey crate
- While you can take it apart, it isn’t “collapsible”
3. Walnest Heavy-Duty Double-Door Dog Crate
About: The Walnest Heavy-Duty Dog Crate is a super-heavy-duty crate, designed to keep even the most determined dogs safely contained. One of the strongest crates available, the Sliverylake Dog Crate is a good choice for owners seeking an escape-proof crate for their big dog.
- Super strong steel tube frame
- Supported by four heavy-duty casters (two of which lock to keep the crate in place)
- Folds down when not in use
- Comes with a removable litter pan
- Two-doors provide multiple access points
- Available in 3 sizes (up to 48-inches) and 3 colors
- Very strong and secure
- Wheels make it easy to push around
- Elevated design helps keep dogs cool
- Removable bottom tray is convenient
- Pretty pricey
- Heavy, so transporting it will be difficult
4. SportPet Designs Rolling Kennel
About: The SportPet Designs Rolling Kennel is a plastic crate, which will work well in your home or when traveling with your pet. It is designed to comply with most airline regulations, and it is even easy to push through the airport, thanks to the included wheels.
- Metal hardware to comply with most airline regulations
- Both sides and the back panel feature a metal-wire window
- A clip-on water dish and 4 “Live Animal” stickers are included
- Comes with 4 swiveling casters (2 casters lock when needed)
- Gutter-style floor to keep your dog dry in the event of an accident
- Available in several sizes up to 48-inches
- Great for home use or during flying
- Gutter-style floor is pretty innovative
- Wheels make it easy to move
- Great value for the price
- Metal hardware is a surprising perk at the price point
- Some owners reported components broke easily
- Gutter-style floor may reduce your canine’s comfort a bit
5. MidWest Homes for Pets XXL/Giant Dog Crate
About: While there are a number of 48-inch crates available, larger crates are often difficult to find. But the Midwest Homes for Pets XXL/Giant Dog Crate is one of the biggest crates on the market and provides plenty of space for most extra-large dogs.
MidWest Homes for Pets XXL/Giant Dog Crate
A cavernous crate that’s actually large enough for Great Danes and other giants.
- Gigantic crate measures a whopping 54 inches long (big enough for most Great Danes)
- Uses special L-bars to prevent the sides from bowing out
- Features 2 doors (1 on the front and 1 on the side)
- Doors feature 3 heavy-duty latches
- Comes equipped with a removable litter pan
- Not technically “collapsible,” but you can take it apart by removing the 4 drop pins
- Backed by manufacturer’s 1-year warranty
- One of the few crates large enough for gigantic dogs
- Extra reinforcement provided for structural integrity
- Affordable given the size
- Extra latches are a nice touch
- Require 2 people for assembly
- Skittish doggos may require a crate cover
- A tray this large will be unwieldy
6. Midwest Homes for Pets Ultima Pro
About: The Midwest Homes for Pets Ultima Pro is the most durable model in Midwest’s lineup. It is secure enough to keep escape-artist dogs contained and comes in sizes sufficient for many large and extra-large dogs.
Midwest Homes for Pets Ultima Pro
A good value choice, this crate provides a great combination of features and price.
- Constructed from the strongest and thickest wire Midwest Homes for Pets uses for any crate
- Equipped with 2 doors and slide-bolt latches
- Collapses and features a strong carrying handle
- Comes with a large plastic tray and removable divider
- Includes 4 rubber feet to protect your floors
- B and the crate is backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Provides a nice cost-to-quality ratio
- Strong and durable wire used in the construction
- We love that it comes with 2 doors for convenience
- Rubber feet are a nice bonus
- A few pet owners complained about the hinges
- Slightly heavier than some similar models
7. Revol Dog Crate
About: Manufacturers occasionally re-envision existing products, thereby bringing something new to the marketplace and giving dog owners a different option. And that’s exactly what has happened with Revol’s Dog Crate. Inspired by products designed for human babies, this collapsible, aluminum-and-plastic crate may be the perfect choice for your pooch.
Revol Dog Crate
A new take on the classic dog crate, complete with several interesting features.
- Aluminum frame with plastic components
- Collapsible design to make storage easy
- Available in 4 colors and sizes, with the largest being 44 inches
- Features front and top doors
- Dual-lock handle for extra security
- Comes with removable divider
- Comes with a ton of nifty features
- Dual-lock handle is great for escape artists
- Neat aesthetics that differ from traditional crates
- Multiple access points provides convenience
- Not the best “collapsible” design we’ve seen
Why Do You Need a Crate, Anyway?
A lot of owners consider crates optional, and if you put me in The Room of Absolute TruthTM, I’d probably agree that they aren’t strictly imperative.
But they are incredibly valuable and *this close* to being mandatory.
For starters, crates do five important things:
- They give you a place to confine your dog when you aren’t home. Many dogs become destructive when left at home alone. Others may raid the garbage can, which can be dangerous (or unpleasant, depending on the garbage can he prefers). But he’ll cause relatively little trouble while sequestered in a secure dog crate with a good chew toy.
- They give your pup a safe and secure place to hang out. Nervous dogs often like the cozy confines of a cave-like crate — it often serves as a “safe space” for them. Crates are also great for helping dogs afraid of fireworks and thunderstorms feel safe. If you have an anxious pupperino, try putting a crate cover over the crate’s frame for a cozier atmosphere.
- They are helpful when company comes over. Visitors may find exuberant dogs a little hard to take, and even the best-behaved dogs can get in the way when you’re entertaining. But crates give you a safe and comfortable place to tuck your dog away when you have people over for dinner.
- They provide a space-efficient place for their bed. Most dogs appreciate having a good bed and a good crate, and it is often helpful to place the bed inside the crate to minimize the amount of extra space taken up by her stuff (see our top picks for the best dog crate beds to find good options that work with the dimensions of large-sized crates).
- They are helpful for house-breaking. Dogs don’t want to poop or pee where they sleep. Accordingly, they’ll rarely go in a crate of the proper size (read: not too large). This makes crates great tools for teaching them proper poop protocols for your home (hence the term “crate training”).
But that’s only the half of it. Crates offer a number of other benefits too, even for dogs that may not need a crate for some of the traditional reasons mentioned above.
For example, none of the criteria above apply to my Rottie.
- Only away from me for a few hours a week and isn’t destructive during these times.
- She feels perfectly safe anywhere she is, thank you very much.
- Not an issue.
- She prefers sleeping on the couch beside my computer.
- She’s a good girl who makes poops and peeps outside.
But she has a crate, and it’s come in handy many, many times. For example:
It gives her a place to go during dinner. I don’t really have trouble setting boundaries for my little lady, but the begging eyes are powerful. So, she has to go in her crate during dinner time.
It is very helpful when the cable guy (etc.) visits. It’s just better for all parties involved if she’s placed in her crate when these types of visitors come over.
It’s helpful when bringing in groceries. Just to be sure she doesn’t trip me or run out the door in pursuit of a passing cat, I’ll put her in the crate while dragging in groceries or anything that requires the door to be open for a while.
Travel-friendly crates are great on vacation. Vacations entail plenty of unusual activities and it’s just convenient to have a portable crate that serves safe place to put her when I can’t give her my undivided attention. It also ensures she won’t do anything that would cause me to lose a deposit when I’m not looking.
It’s helpful when I’m doing anything delicate or involved. My dog is very eager to “help” fold the laundry or change the strings on my guitar, so she must often go into the crate during these times. And then there’s the vacuum cleaner…
These aren’t especially common circumstances, but you’ll undoubtedly find similar situations in your own life, during which a crate would be helpful. You’ll also find that they provide convenience in a number of ways that you’d never have predicted.
And because there is an array of affordable, collapsible options on the market, there’s little downside to getting a crate for your pooch.
Important Criteria You Should Seek in Any Dog Crate
No matter how big or small your pup is, you’ll want to look for a number of important criteria when making your choice. And this goes for owners considering wire crates, plastic crates, or anything in between.
Keep the following things in mind when trying to pick a high-quality crate:
The Door Must Close Securely
Crates that don’t close securely are pretty worthless, so you’ll want to make sure that any crate you select has high-quality latches. But beware of crates with exceptionally large latching mechanisms, as some dogs will learn how to open the door themselves.
If you have an especially escape-prone pooch, you’ll probably need a crate especially designed for Houdini dogs with double latches or more advanced locking mechanisms.
The Crate Must Not Have Any Sharp Edges
Some poor-quality crates have rough or sharp edges, often near the welded spots where two wires meet.
You can smooth minor rough spots with a bit of sandpaper or steel wool, but crates with significant hazards should be avoided entirely.
Two Doors Are Better than One
While crates with a single door will certainly work, double-door crates are much more convenient. They not only give your dog two ways to get in or out, they give you more flexibility with regard to placement.
For example, you’ll be able to place the crate against a wall without blocking the only entrance.
Removable Pans Make Accident-Cleanup Easier
Accidents – whether of the tinkling or water-dish-spilling variety – will occur. But crates with a removable plastic tray are much easier to clean afterward. You won’t even have to remove your pet from the crate to do so.
Typically, removable trays are most common in metal or wire dog crates, but you may encounter a plastic model with one too.
Size-Specific Concerns: Things You Need in a Large Dog Crate
In addition to the generic criteria, you’d want to seek when selecting any crate, large dogs present a few unique challenges. Be sure to select a crate that provides as many of the following features as possible:
Wheels Are Important
Large crates are bulky and heavy, which means they’re difficult to move. Therefore, you’ll want to give special consideration to models with wheels, as they’ll be easier to slide around the house when necessary.
Rigid Models Are Strongly Preferred
While a soft dog crate can work well for a small or medium-sized doggo, large and extra-large dogs should usually be provided with a rigid crate.
You may be able to get away with a soft crate for brief periods of time (and when you’re monitoring the situation), but most large dogs will be capable of busting loose in fabric crates.
Collapsible Crates Are Convenient
Whether you want a plastic dog crate, a wooden dog crate, or a metal model, you’ll want to stick to collapsible models if you plan on taking your crate anywhere or storing it when it isn’t needed.
Also, because you’ll likely be having the crate shipped to your home, you’ll save some money on shipping by selecting one that can be collapsed and shipped in a relatively flat box.
Dividers Are Important for Puppies
It is always wisest to purchase a crate that will last for your dog’s entire life, rather than buying a small one when she’s a puppy and a larger crate once she becomes an adult dog. Instead, go ahead and buy a crate that is suitable for her adult size and use dividers to temporarily shrink the size of the interior. As she grows, you can remove a divider panel to provide access to the entire crate.
Large Crates Require Thicker Wire
The wires used for small crates may not be sturdy or rigid enough to retain their structural integrity when used in big crates. Additionally, large dogs have stronger jaws and teeth than smaller dogs do. Accordingly, you’ll always want to look for crates that feature thick, strong wire (if you opt for a wire dog crate).
Large Crates Require Sturdier Hardware
The hardware used to keep the crate together will also need to be pretty heavy-duty to prevent your pooch from busting out of her crate. This not only includes the corner connectors but the latches and hinges too.
Do you have a big or extra-big four-footer? What type of crate do you use? What size dog crate do you use for your floof? Would you buy it again if you had the chance? Let us know all about your experience in the comments below.