Yes, a dog kennel can be too big for a dog. If a crate or kennel is too big, it can cause the dog to designate one area for going potty, which can then interfere with proper housebreaking.
Crating your pooch – providing it with a kennel – can produce a number of great benefits for your dog. For puppies, crating is really important when it comes to housebreaking them. It’s also really important in helping all dogs feel safe.
One common misconception amongst dog owners is that the best kennel is always the biggest. However, a crate that is too big may actually increase your dog’s discomfort and sense of security, as well as disrupt their training.
What happens if a dog kennel is too big?
When dogs were in the wild thousands of years ago, they made their dens inside of small compact spaces that allowed them to sit and nestle comfortably and not be exposed to the elements. This cozy foxhole gave them just enough room to lie down and sleep comfortably.
You want to create that same feeling with your dog kennel. When a dog crate is too big, the dog doesn’t experience that feeling of den-like coziness. He ends up feeling anxious.
Another issue that can come about with a kennel that’s too big is that it will make it difficult to housetrain a puppy. Puppies – and dogs in general – don’t like to go to the bathroom where they sleep. When you put them inside of a kennel, you’re instinctively showing them that that is not the place to go to the bathroom but instead a place to relax and sleep.
When the kennel is too big, the puppy ends up feeling much too anxious, and it may take them hours before they settle down. Also, since the kennel is so big, the puppy may also decide to use one end of the crate to sleep in and the other end of the crate to do their business in. This results in a major housetraining fail!
How do you choose the right sized kennel?
When choosing professional dog kennels, the first thing you need to do is measure your dog in the kennel. When he stands up inside of it, his backside and his nose should not be touching either end of it.
When he’s standing or sitting inside of the kennel, he shouldn’t have to hunch over or lower his head down past his shoulder blades. It should be big enough for him to fully stand and turn around. He should also be able to lie down without being cramped. In order to get the perfect measurements, make your dog stand, and measures him from the base of his tail to the tip of his nose.
Next, make your dog sit and measure him from the floor to the very top of his ears. This measurement is critical because some dogs are actually taller when they’re sitting versus when they’re standing. Once you have these measurements, take those numbers and add four or 5 inches to each to find the crate size that you should be picking for your dog. This final measurement will allow you to find a kennel that your dog can sit, stand, and turn around in comfortably.
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