How big of a dog crate do I need for a German shepherd?
I intend to travel with my GSD someday, I am considering buying a large dog crate. Do you think this is a good idea and how big should be the dog crate that I need?
Crate training any dog is not only a great idea it is a sound platform to being training with. (I specifically wrote a hub about it). As for sizing it really depends upon the size and weight of the dog, but an average GSD that is about 75 to 100 lbs will need a crate that is "larger" such as a 42 inch wire kennel, or a larger air crate.
You probably won't need one to fit and it would be too heavy anyway.Shepherds are very obedient dogs.Mine is big and he is very good in the car.He does cast hairs though so if that bothers you,it is a good idea to use a car rug.All the same,if you don't need the room in your car,it is handier to let him have the back seat and just vacuum it when the hairs annoy you it instead of using a rug.Train him in the car first with short journeys-talk to him,he understands what you are saying and likes behaving himself-mine does anyway .I know other German-Shepherds and they are the same.Remember they are very skilled workers so learning how to deal with sitting in a car is no bother to them.They are bright dogs but aren't vandals when they are not working like labradors and spaniels.
see my article "TheGerman Shepherd:King of Working Dogs"
Crate should be big enough for dog to comfortably stand up in it if used for any lengthy time like over one hour - For short trips in car something long enough for him to ly down in is fine. If You let him ride in car on seat you must strap him in (harnesses are available like a seat belt). I have a friend who had to slam the brakes on once to avoid hitting a car running a stop sign and the dog was thrown against the back of the front seat - broke his back - it was a doberman.
I completely disagree with Kate Mc Bride. As a professional agility trainer, I travel every other weekend with my dogs, as do a ton of my friends. Accidents occur, and when they do, uncrated dogs get thrown from the car and usually killed. Not only should your dog be crated when in a car, the crate should be tied down.
Dog seatbelts are an option, if there is not room for a crate. However, not all seat belts are created equal. Champion is considered the best seat belt system, and you can Google it. You're looking for a seat belt with metal attachments, so they will not break in an accident. Be sure to fully understand how to instal and use the seat belt so that your dog is safe.
If I remember right, the Champion harness has been crash tested to 30 mph only. There is a crate that has been extensively crash tested, but it is over $1,000...unfortunately.
This issues has been recently brought to fore in the large National agility community when a very popular, international level handler was in a wreck with her dogs. Only one was crated. Three dogs died.
A few more tips. Do not put the dog in the passenger seat with the air bag activated. This can crunch and kill the dog, even in a low mph wreck. Also, if you have an SUV or wagon, keep the dogs out of the back. That is the crumple zone, and if hit from behind, it will collapse like a pop can. The passenger zone is protected and where all human and furred family should ride.
When traveling, the crate is also extremely useful in hotels or family/friend's homes. Being able to know your dog is safe in the strange environment is a real plus. You can Google the DVD "Crate Games" by Susaln Garrett to learn how to make the crate nothing but a big toy to your dog.
Have fun on your trip and kudos to you for seeking ways to keep your dog safe on your journey!!! Traveling with well-trained dogs is SO MUCH FUN!!!
I can see restraining a dog in a car for safety reasons is sensible, but I'm horrified by dog owners who apparently lock a dog in a crate all day while they go out to work. That is so cruel.
It is not cruel at all, the kennels are large enough so that the dog is comfortable, and dogs are den animals and the closeness actually is soothing to them. That's why most dogs actually like their kennels.
If it likes it, then you don't need to lock it in there! My dog had a kennel but he didn't choose to stay in there all day long! Dogs are also animals which like to move around.
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