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A Guide to Selecting the Right Large Dog Kennel

A Guide to Selecting the Right Large Dog Kennel

A secure kennel is like a safe house. No worries about your furry friend accidentally bolting away. It also acts like a little weatherproof shelter, keeping your dog dry and safe from extreme weather elements. It's your furry friend's personal den where it can unwind, feel secure, and catch some Zzz after a play session.

However, choosing the right kennel for a giant dog is challenging. There are so many options out there, from materials like wood, metal, and plastic to all sorts of designs and sizes. Fortunately, here is a simplified guide to selecting the right large dog kennel.

A Guide to Selecting the Right Large Dog Kennel

For a big dog, something sturdy is key. Imagine a Great Dane trying to escape from a flimsy plastic kennel – it's easy! Metal kennels, on the other hand, are super strong and easy to clean, but they can get hot in the sun.

Wood can also be a good option, but it needs to be weather-treated to withstand the elements. So, what is the best kennel design, size, and material? It boils down to your dog's size, personality, energy level, and climate. Here are the things to consider to make sure the kennel meets your dog's needs.

Type of the Kennel

Choosing a dog kennel is like picking out a tiny house for your furry friend, and just like with our own homes, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It depends on the environment, the dog's personality, and, of course, your preferences. Here are some of the dog kennel types to consider.

Indoor vs Outdoor

As the name suggests, indoor kennels keep your pup safe and secure inside the house. These kennels come in handy when you can't supervise your dog. There will be no worries about destructive things like chewing furniture. It's like putting the dog in a temporary doggy daycare while you're away.

It's great for dogs to spend time in and enjoy the fresh air. For instance, large breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs need plenty of room to roam. Outdoor kennels are designed to withstand the elements and provide a safe space for your dog outside. They work like vacation homes for your dog!

A well-sized outdoor kennel provides the dog with space to move around and expend some energy. It also allows the dog to survey the property and deter potential intruders with barks—it's like giving the dog a little guard tower.

This watching and barking satisfies the dog's natural territorial instincts. It reduces boredom and destructive behaviors. But that is not where the dog should live full-time or spend nights. It depends on the weather.

For instance, an outdoor kennel is not the best for Saint Benard with his thick double coat during the scorching summer heat. He would be much happier with some air conditioning indoors.

Portable vs Permanent

Portable dog kennels are a versatile option for your furry friend. They're lightweight and easy to fold or disassemble, making them perfect for taking your dog on trips or to the vet. If you are on a budget, portable kennels are the best option because you can use them indoors and outdoors.

On the other hand, permanent kennels are built structures designed specifically for your dog. Unlike portable kennels, they're fixed in one location and become a permanent part of your yard. They are built to last, often using wood, brick, or chain-link fencing.

They can be as basic as a sheltered enclosure or as elaborate as a mini-mansion for your furry friend, complete with insulation, electricity, and running water. These kennels are usually designed for larger dogs who need plenty of space.

Insulated vs Uninsulated

Extreme temperatures can be dangerous to dogs. For instance, extreme winter colds can cause hypothermia, while the scorching summer sun can cause sunburns and skin cancer. Insulated dog kennels are like tiny climate-controlled condos for your furry friend.

They're designed to protect your pup from Mother Nature's harsh realities, such as scorching sun and bone-chilling cold. If your furry friend is playing outdoors, an insulated kennel provides a safe haven to escape the heat or cold when the weather changes.

The uninsulated versions prioritize security and functionality over comfort. These kennels are built to be sturdy and escape-proof. They are more affordable than insulated ones, making them a good option if you live in a climate with moderate temperatures or if your dog spends most of their time indoors.

Modular Dog Kennels

When you have multiple dogs, individual kennels can become a logistical nightmare. Multiple kennels are expensive and will take up a lot of space. Remember, it's not advisable to put dogs in a single kennel. Some dogs don't do well together and might experience anxiety when forced to share a space.

That's where modular dog kennels come in as a lifesaver! These kennels are like building blocks for dog spaces. They come in various panels, gates, and sections, allowing you to create a multi-dog kennel system that perfectly fits the available space.

For example, you create separate compartments for each dog, giving them their own space while still keeping them close to each other. This allows your dogs to socialize and interact with each other in a controlled environment. If your dog's family grows, you simply add more sections to accommodate the new furry additions.

Furniture Dog Kennels

Furniture dog kennels are not just about practicality; they're about creating a stylish space for your pup that complements your home decor. These kennels prioritize looking good over the traditional kennel look of chain link or wire mesh.

Furniture kennels are often disguised as cabinets, end tables, or sideboards, seamlessly blending into existing furniture. As you can tell, they are primarily designed for indoor use.


A kennel that works for small dog breeds like Yorkshire Terriers won't work for giant dogs like Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands. Here is a sizing guideline that can help you choose a kennel that suits your dog's size.

  • Extra small breeds (under 15 lbs): Tiny pups like Chihuahuas need small enough kennels to feel secure but large enough to move around comfortably. Think cozy, not cramped! Look for kennels in the 18" to 22" range in length.
  • Small breeds (15-30 lbs): Small dogs still need a secure, relaxing space. Kennels in the 22" to 30" range provide enough room for them to stretch out and turn around.
  • Medium breeds (30-50 lbs): Medium breeds have more energy and need space to move. Kennels in the 30" to 36" range are a good starting point.
  • Large breeds (50-75 lbs): Large dogs are about spacious comfort. Look for kennels in the 36" to 42" range.
  • Extra large breeds (75-100 lbs): These gentle giants need plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Kennels exceeding 42" in length are ideal for extra-large breeds.
  • Giant breeds (Over 100 lbs): Giant breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs require king-sized kennels! Look for custom-built options or kennels exceeding 48" in length.


The choice of material depends on weather, location, and the dog's temperament. For instance, some materials can be chewed by heavy chewers, others might not offer enough protection from weather elements, and others are easy to break. Here are some of the materials to consider depending on your dog's behavior.


Metal kennels are incredibly tough, especially those made from galvanized steel or wrought iron. They can withstand roughhousing, playful pups, and harsh weather conditions. Metal's sturdiness makes it a great choice for dogs that chew materials like wood and plastic.

Also, metal surfaces are generally easy to clean and disinfect. A quick hose-down or wipe-down with a disinfectant solution keeps things tidy. However, the kennels are heavy and cumbersome. Metal is a good option for permanent kennels, not portable ones.

Remember, metal conducts heat and cold readily. The kennels become uncomfortably hot in summer and quite chilly in winter. So, consider adding insulation panels to the kennel walls and roof for improved temperature control.

Another thing is that metal can be quite noisy, especially if your dog barks a lot. The clanging and echoing can be bothersome for both you and your pup. So, if your dog barks a lot, consider wooden kennels.


Plastic kennels are lighter than metal kennels, making them much easier to move around in your yard, or to use them for both indoors and outdoors. Similar to metal, plastic surfaces are generally easy to wipe down and disinfect.

Also, plastic kennels are typically more affordable than other materials like wood or wrought iron. The issue is that plastic is less durable than metal, especially for strong dogs who might chew or scratch at the walls. Determined escape artists can even break through weaker plastic kennels.


Wooden kennels blend beautifully with natural surroundings and can be a stylish addition to your backyard. You can stain or paint them to match your outdoor decor. Remember, wood is a natural insulator. These kennels keep your dog comfortable in both hot and cold weather.

For chew-happy pups, wood is a less harmful option compared to plastic, which is a synthetic material. However, the wood itself can still be chewed through by determined dogs. Also, wooden kennels require regular maintenance, like painting or staining, to protect them from the elements.

Safety and Comfort Features

The same way you want your home to be safe and comfortable, kennels need to be safe and comfortable for your furry friends. Ensure the kennel is sturdy to prevent it from collapsing or the walls bending.

Choose a kennel with secure, heavy-duty locks and latches that can withstand the pulling or pushing force of a large dog. Avoid kennels with sharp edges, protruding nails, or exposed wires. Large dogs can easily bump into these things and get hurt.

Look for smooth, rounded corners and a well-finished interior. Make sure the kennel has adequate ventilation on multiple sides. Also, concrete is hard on a dog's joints, while slick surfaces are slippery. Choose a kennel with a comfortable, non-slip flooring material like rubber mats.

Final Thoughts

The first thing to do when selecting a kennel for a large dog is to understand the dog's behavior, such as chewing, barking, and trying to escape. That way, you'll know the suitable material. Then determine the dog's weight to know the best kennel size. Remember to consider additional features like portability, safety, and comfort.