How to Choose the Right Size Crate for a Border Collie?

As a dog owner, you might at times feel puzzled while picking out the perfect crate for your beloved pet. Crate selection becomes particularly challenging when you own a dog breed that’s as active and agile as a Border Collie. It’s important to remember that a crate is not just a cage, it can be a safe haven, a personal space, and a training tool for your dog. The right crate is one that provides comfort and security without compromising on the much-needed space for movement. This article will guide you in determining the apt crate size for a Border Collie, whether it’s still a puppy or a full-grown dog.

Understanding the Importance of Crating

Before diving into the specifics of crate size, we need to understand why crating is important. Crates provide a sense of security and quiet to dogs, offering them their own space to relax. A properly sized crate can also be an effective house-training tool for a puppy and a means of curtailing destructive behavior in adult dogs.

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While some might view crates as doggy jail, if used responsibly, they can be beneficial for both you and your dog. On one hand, they provide your dog with a safe, cozy space to retreat to when they’re tired or scared. On the other hand, crates can help you manage your dog’s behavior, especially when you’re not at home.

Factors that Determine the Size of a Crate

When you’re considering crate size, there are a number of factors that will influence your choice. These factors include your dog’s size, weight (lbs), and breed. For instance, a small terrier will require a much smaller crate as compared to a large Border Collie. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommended crate size varies for different dog breeds.

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It’s also crucial to account for the dog’s age and physical condition. If your Border Collie is still a puppy, you’ll need to consider its future growth. An overly large crate for a puppy can be intimidating, and it may also encourage the pup to soil its crate. An aging or physically challenged dog, on the other hand, may require a crate with different features for ease of access and comfort.

Using Measurements to Select the Ideal Crate Size

The key to selecting the perfect crate is to measure your Border Collie accurately. The crate should be just tall enough for your dog to stand without hitting its head and wide enough to turn around comfortably.

To get the correct size, measure your dog from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail, then add 2-4 inches. This will be the ideal crate length. For the height, make your dog sit and measure from the floor to the top of its head, then add 2-4 inches. This measurement will give you the crate’s ideal height.

For a fully grown Border Collie, this typically translates into a crate size of 42 inches (XXL), according to AKC guidelines. However, you should always base your final choice on your dog’s unique measurements and comfort.

Training Your Border Collie to Love Their Crate

Once you’ve chosen an ideally sized crate, the next challenge is to make your dog love their new space. Start by making the crate inviting. Add a comfortable blanket, a favorite toy, or a piece of clothing that smells like you.

Encourage your dog to explore the crate on their own by leaving the door open and placing treats inside. Use positive reinforcement to associate the crate with good experiences. When they go inside willingly, start using a command like "crate" or "kennel".

Remain patient and consistent in your training approach. Remember, the goal is to make your dog see the crate as a safe and quiet space, not a form of punishment.

Remember, it’s essential to choose the right sized crate to ensure the comfort and safety of your Border Collie. Take your time, measure your dog accurately and consider all the factors listed above before making a decision. With patience and persistence, you’ll find a crate that’s the perfect fit for your furry friend.

Evaluating Different Types of Crates for Border Collies

When it comes to purchasing a dog crate, the market is flooded with a multitude of options. There are different types of crates available, made from varying materials such as wire, plastic, fabric, and wood. Each of these materials has its pros and cons and your selection should depend on your Border Collie’s specific needs.

Wire crates are the most popular type owing to their durability and ventilation. They also provide your dog with a clear view of its surroundings, reducing feelings of isolation. However, they may not be the best choice for a dog that likes to chew on things as it could hurt itself on the metal bars.

Plastic crates are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for travel. They are also more enclosed, providing a den-like feel that some dogs may prefer. However, their ventilation is not as good as wire crates and they may not be as durable.

Fabric crates are the lightest of all and are easy to carry around. They are ideal for dogs who are already crate-trained and do not chew or scratch excessively. However, they are not very durable and can be difficult to clean.

Wooden crates are the most aesthetically pleasing and can blend well with your home decor. They are sturdy but not suitable for chewers or puppies in the process of teething.

In terms of size, for a large lbs Border Collie, a 42-inch crate would typically be recommended. However, a small lbs Border Collie or a puppy might do well in a slightly smaller crate. Always remember, it’s not about the type of dog crates, it’s more about the size dog feels comfortable in.

Innovative Crate Options for Active Breeds Like Border Collies

Border Collies are known for their agility and involvement in dog sports. If your Border Collie is active and you often find it difficult to keep it confined, you might want to consider some innovative crate options. These include playpens and exercise pens that provide more room for movement while still keeping your dog secure.

Playpens are essentially larger crates that provide your dog with more space to move around. They are perfect for active breeds like Border Collies and are particularly useful if you have more than one dog.

Exercise pens, on the other hand, are more open and give your dog a bit of play space while still being confined. These pens are ideal if you have to leave your dog alone for long periods as they allow your dog to play and still be safe.

Remember, the best crate for your Border Collie is one that caters to its unique needs and lifestyle. It’s not just about the lbs recommended or whether it’s a crate for a large lbs or small lbs dog, but also about their behavior, activity level, and comfort.


Choosing a dog crate for your Border Collie doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the advice shared in this article and paying attention to factors such as your dog’s size, breed, age, and activity level, you can make an informed decision.

Remember, a crate should never be a prison for your dog; instead, it should be a safe, comfortable space where your Border Collie can relax and feel secure. A properly sized crate, coupled with effective crate training, is an investment in the wellbeing of your dog.

Whether you’re considering a bull terrier, a fox terrier, a cattle dog, a mountain dog, or a Border Collie, it all comes down to understanding your dog’s specific needs and preferences. With patience and effort, you will be able to find the perfect crate for your furry companion that serves as a happy retreat. So, keep the tips in mind, measure your dog accurately, and embark on the journey of finding the perfect crate for your beloved Border Collie.

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