This guide is aimed at making it easier and simpler to pick a dog crate for a Shih Tzu.
The good news is we’ve listed some of the top crate models and brands across several common crate types.
We’ve also provided some dog crate sizing and measurement considerations to help you in picking the best size dog crate for your Shih Tzu.
Let’s jump into it!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
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Best Dog Crate For Shih Tzu Dogs & Puppies
Our top picks for the best dog crates for Shih Tzus are:
Best Value Metal Wire Dog Crate
- MidWest iCrate (on Chewy) (up to 48 Inch available)
- MidWest iCrate (on Amazon)
- Frisco Dog Crate (on Chewy) (up to 48 Inch available)
* Metal wire crates fit most tiny to large sizes dogs – refer to the sizing charts available from manufacturers.
Other affordable metal wire crate options include:
Best Soft Dog Crate
- EliteField 3-Door Collapsible Soft-Sided Dog Crate (on Chewy)
- EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate (on Amazon)
Soft dog crates mostly use some fabric and mesh in their construction – so keep this in mind for durability concerns, and more heavy duty applications
Foldable Metal Exercise Pen
Some people may prefer an exercise pen with an open top instead of a completely enclosed dog crate with a door. Exercise pens can provide more square area inside the enclosure panels too. Some of exercise pen options include:
- Frisco Wire Dog Exercise Pen (on Chewy)
- MidWest Wire Dog Exercise Pen (on Chewy)
- MidWest Foldable Metal Exercise Pen (on Amazon)
Read more about some of the best dog exercise pens here.
*Note – a dog crate should be able to safely and comfortably fit your dog when it is standing, sitting and laying down.
Make sure you measure your dog, and read the product sizing details, and product description prior to purchasing to make sure a dog crate is suitable for your dog.
Dog Crate Buyer’s Guide
Firstly, How Big Are Shih Tzus? – Weight, Height and Length
Shih Tzus can range in size, but are generally a toy to small sized breed, and an average weight and height for a Shih Tzu might be:
Weight – 9 to 16 lbs
Height – 9 to 10 inches
It’s best to measure your own Shih Tzu and get their weight, height and length.
For height, you want to measure from the ground/paws to the top of the head.
For length, you want to measure from the base of the tail to the tip of the nose.
Weight is pretty self explanatory.
Best Size Dog Crate For A Shih Tzu – What Size To Get? – Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large Crates
Most of the good crate manufacturers give you really quick and simple information for measuring your dog for a crate.
They sometimes even make a general suggestion of the size of their crate you might get for a certain dog breed, or for a size of dog breed.
For example, with the Midwest iCrate, the 18 Inch Crate is suggested for small breeds. Shih Tzus in general fit into this range.
Don’t take this suggestion as exact though – make sure you compare the L x W x H measurements they give in the crate product description against the dimensions of your own dog/s.
For most crates, your Shih Tzu should have enough room inside the crate (which is why the interior dimensions of the crate are so important to know) to:
Stand up & Sit – find out the overall interior height, length and width of the crate
Turn around – find out the length and width of the walls
And, lay down – find out the length and width of the base of the crate
Ideally, you want to have 2 to 4 inches of space available each way to increase the likelihood your dog feels comfortable and like there is enough room inside the crate.
They should also be able to go in and out of the crate easily – so check the height and width of the doors in relation to your dog’s height.
If the crate has a weight capacity i.e. a maximum weight it can support, you also want to know that and make sure your dog comes in under that max capacity.
What Size Dog Crate Do I Get For A Shih Tzu Puppy?
Some people get the dog crates with panel dividers, but to be honest, in the popular dog crate, these crate panel dividers don’t do much usually.
Most owners simple choose to pick a dog crate based on how big they think their dog will be when full grown, or what the average size is for a full grown adult in their dog’s breed.
So, for example, with an average Shih Tzu puppy you may simply choose to get an 18 inch crate and let them grow into the crate as they develop physically.
How To Choose A Dog Crate Type For Your Shih Tzu – Type, Price and Uses
The metal wire dog crates are the most popular.
They have decent strength, fold up, can be stored away, can be transported in a car, can be set up easily, can be cleaned easily and are affordable.
Apart from the metal wire dog crates, you may get the following types of crates for the following main features and uses:
Soft Dog Crate
Biggest strength of soft crates is how lightweight they are and how portable they are.
Great for indoors and outdoors, and for trips around town, as well as for vacations and camping trips.
Are affordable, easy to clean, fold up and down.
Made of a soft fabric, and a metal frame.
Plastic Dog Crate
Most people get plastic crates as travel carriers to and from the vets, and get airline approved plastic crates for checked baggage/cargo pet crate transport.
Plastic crates are lightweight.
As they get bigger, they do get weaker though, and have a few design flaws with how they can align up and their design.
Wooden Dog Crate
Wooden crates look similar to furniture.
They are purely indoor crates, and are good for matching with your interior furniture and decor.
Wood end tables are the most common wooden dog crates.
Heavy Duty Plastic Dog Crates
A great plastic crate for large dogs.
We are talking about crates like the Rough Tough Kennel and Gunner G1 Kennel.
They are lightweight, VERY heavy duty, great for outdoors, travel, truck beds and hunting.
Good for destructive dogs, dogs that chew, dogs that scratch and escape artists.
Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate
Made of a heavier thicker steel than the metal wire crates.
Designed for chewers, scratchers and escape artist dogs.
Heavy Duty Aluminium Dog Crate
Strong crates that are lighter than steel crates.
For chewers, scratchers and escape artist dogs. Can also be used for airline travel with airline kits.
As you can see, it depends on your dog and the intended uses of the crate as to the type of crate you might get.
This is a helpful guide outlining some of the different types of dog crates:
Also, refer to the set of guides and resources at the bottom of this guide if you are looking for more information on a specific crate for a specific use.
Dog Crates For Shih Tzus If I Live In The UK, Australia, Canada, Europe or India
If you order through Amazon, they usually have the capacity to ship to most countries, but you can check if they ship to your country on the product page.
Different crate manufacturers ship to different countries.
When ordering directly from the crate manufacturer, check what countries they ship to on the product or check out page.
Further Resources For Helping You Pick A Dog Crate For Your Shih Tzu
Here are some more highly helpful guides for finding the right dog crate:
Best Overall Dog Crates (this guide contains other useful resources, and a list of the best dog crates across all dog crate categories)
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