Dogs Head Touches Top of Crate: What Does It Mean?

One tell-tale sign that the crate size may be inappropriate is if your dog's head is touching the top of the crate. This could indicate that the crate is too short, especially if you expect your furry companion to grow taller in the future.

How Should My Dog Fit in Her Crate?

When it comes to fitting your dog in her crate, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, your dog should be able to stand up comfortably inside the crate. This means that there should be enough vertical space for your dog to fully extend her legs and stand upright without bumping her head on the top of the crate. If your dogs head is touching the top of the crate and you expect them to grow taller, the crate size is likely too short.

This is important for their overall comfort and well-being. A crate that’s too small will prevent your dog from being able to move freely and can be quite uncomfortable.

Ideally, there shouldnt be too much additional space inside the crate. While it’s important for your dog to have enough room to move around comfortably, excessive space can give them the opportunity to have accidents or create a disorganized sleeping area.

When sizing your dog crate, it’s important to consider both the current size of your dog as well as their potential adult size. If you’ve a puppy, youll need to choose a crate that’s large enough to accommodate their growth. Many crates have dividers that can be adjusted as your puppy grows, allowing you to gradually give them more space while still keeping the area appropriately sized.

How to Properly Measure Your Dog for a Crate

  • First, measure the length of your dog from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
  • Next, measure the height of your dog from the floor to the tallest point of their shoulders.
  • Then, measure the width of your dog by starting at the widest point of their shoulders and ending at the widest point of their hips.
  • Once you’ve these measurements, add a few inches to each one to ensure your dog will have enough space inside the crate.
  • Consider the weight of your dog as well, as crates often have weight restrictions.
  • Remember to choose a crate that’s appropriate for your dog’s size and breed.
  • Lastly, make sure the crate has proper ventilation and room for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

When a dog is confined to a kennel or crate that’s too small, it can lead to a range of negative consequences. The dog may become anxious and exhibit destructive behavior, including whining, barking, scratching the door, or chewing on the sides of the kennel. These signs indicate that the crate is too confining for the dog and adjustments should be made to provide a more suitable living space.

What Happens if Dog Crate Is Too Small?

If your dog feels overly confined in a kennel or crate that isn’t big enough, he or she may develop anxious or destructive behavior such as whining, barking, scratching the door, or chewing the sides of the kennel. Dogs naturally have a denning instinct, and they seek a safe and secure space where they can rest and relax. However, if the crate is too small, it can make them feel trapped and uncomfortable.

A cramped space can lead to physical discomfort for your dog, causing them to become restless and agitated. They may struggle to find a comfortable position to lie down or stretch out, leading to muscle stiffness and soreness. Additionally, a small crate may restrict their ability to move freely, preventing them from engaging in natural behaviors like turning around or shifting positions.

It’s important to note that crate training should be a positive experience for your dog, promoting their well-being and providing a safe space for them. To avoid these issues, make sure to choose a crate that allows your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. This won’t only keep them physically and mentally healthy but also prevent any potential accidents or injuries.

How to Address Anxiety and Stress in Dogs During Crate Training.

  • Provide a cozy and comfortable crate environment
  • Gradually introduce your dog to the crate
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques during crate training
  • Make the crate a positive and rewarding space for your dog
  • Provide mental and physical stimulation outside of the crate
  • Establish a consistent and structured routine
  • Avoid leaving your dog in the crate for extended periods
  • Offer plenty of exercise and playtime
  • Implement calming aids or techniques, such as pheromone diffusers or music
  • Seek professional help if necessary

However, it’s important to note that not all dogs who enjoy their crates are experiencing negative emotions. Some dogs genuinely find comfort and security in their crates, which can be seen as their den-like space. It’s crucial for dog owners to understand their pet’s individual needs and provide a safe and positive crate experience tailored to their dog’s personality and preferences.

Why Does My Dog Like Her Crate So Much?

According to experts in the book “Understanding Dog Behavior” by renowned dog trainer Dr. Patricia McConnell, dogs who display a strong preference for their crate may not necessarily “love” it in the traditional sense. Instead, their attachment to the crate can be indicative of deeper emotions such as fear or lack of self-confidence. This behavior can be traced back to the long periods of extreme confinement and isolation that crates often impose on dogs.

While some dog owners see the crate as a cozy den, it’s important to recognize that not all dogs have the same perspective. For some dogs, especially those who’ve spent excessive time confined in a crate, the crate becomes a symbol of safety and security. It can serve as a refuge from the outside world, which they may view as overwhelming or intimidating.

Dogs who repeatedly retreat to their crate, even when offered the freedom of exploration, may be exhibiting signs of fearfulness or anxiety. This behavior stems from a lack of confidence in their ability to navigate and cope with new or unfamiliar environments. The predictability and familiarity of the crate help provide a sense of control and comfort that they may not feel outside of it.


Ensuring the crate is spacious enough for your dog to comfortably stand, turn around, and lie down will aid in their successful house-training journey.

Scroll to Top