Ideal Crate for Shih Tzu – Recommended Size and Features! (2024)

A brown-and-white Shih Tzu with a full coat lying on a red blanket inside a crate.

If you’re bringing a Shih Tzu puppy home for the first time, crate training your pooch should definitely be a priority.

In order to crate train your dog properly, it’s necessary to select the ideal crate for a Shih Tzu in terms of size.

What size crate is best for a Shih Tzu? The recommended crate size for Shih Tzus is 24 inches long by 18 inches wide with a height of approximately 19 inches. For puppies you can purchase one with a divider to create a smaller space until the dog is large enough for the divider to be removed. 

Let’s go over how to select the perfect crate for your Shih Tzu. We’ll not only cover crate size, but we’ll also review several other factors to consider before making purchase. 

Shih Tzu Crate Size & Considerations

Ensuring the right size – not too small, not too big – is very important in making sure that your Shih Tzu is comfortable and safe while inside the crate.

However, crates can be very basic or come with extra features to make your dog more comfortable and life easier for you.

Knowing what to look for and what features are important to you will help you make a wise decision when it comes time to purchase.

Recommended Crate Size

The recommended crate size for Shih Tzu dogs is a 24-inch crate with the following dimensions: 24 inches x 18 inches x 19 inches (L x W x H).

To ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting the ideal crate size, measure the dog for length, width, and height. 

Your Shih Tzu should be able to stand up inside the crate and still have enough room above the head, lie down completely and comfortably, and turn around fully.

Considerations Before Purchasing

Choosing the ideal Shih Tzu crate isn’t all about the size. You need to consider other aspects and features when selecting the best crate option for your pup. 

  • Material: Crates are available in many different materials such as plastic, metal, and wood. Stainless steel would be ideal. Wire and metal crates are the most common, while plastic crates are suitable for traveling.  
  • Double Doors: This feature will allow you to place the crate in different settings – perfect if the available space for the crate is tight. Ideally, the crate has one door at the front and another door at the side.
  • Adjustable Divider Panel: Having an adjustable divider panel means you can buy just one crate for the entire lifetime of your dog as this allows you to adjust the crate size as needed. 
  • Portability: If you’re using the crate for transportation or for easy storage, choose one that’s collapsible. It will pack flat when not in use and will be very handy when moving the crate around. 
  • Mounted on Wheels or Rollers: If you don’t want to scratch your floors or drag a heavy around, consider getting one mounted on soft rubber wheels or rollers. 
  • Top Can Be Opened: This feature comes in handy when you need to lift your dog up or access areas of the crate for cleaning.
  • No Sharp Edges: Inexpensive crates may be poorly constructed and contain sharp edges that could injure you or your Shih Tzu. 
  • Slide-Out Tray: This is a great feature to have, especially for the inevitable event of an upset stomach or potty accident. The bottom tray slides out easily so that you don’t have to crawl inside for cleaning.

Best Crate for a Shih Tzu – MidWest Homes

MidWest Homes for Pets Newly Enhanced Double Door...
  • Newly enhanced with added security features to keep your pet safe | Slide-bolt door latch now...
  • iCrate double door dog crate measures 24.77 L x 17.92 W x 19.49 H inches and is suitable for small...

Not all Shih Tzus have the same crate needs, but the MidWest Homes iCrate is an all-inclusive crate with every feature your dog needs for his natural “den.”

  • Divider panel
  • Single/double door option
  • Bottom tray with pan stop
  • Four roller feet
  • Slide-bolt latches for safety
  • Rounded side clips
  • No sharp and painful edges

Overall, this 24x18x19 inch metal crate is a durable, secure, and safe home for your Shih Tzu. 

Crate Placement for a Shih Tzu

Crate placement for your Shih Tzu really depends on the dog’s personality and your family dynamics. You have two general options.

In the Center of Family Life

Some pet owners prefer to keep their Shih Tzus in the midst of family activity. This could be in the kitchen or living room – wherever your family gathers the most.

Your presence will be a comfort to the dog, and it will keep them from feeling abandoned while allowing them to still have their own personal space.

Others prefer to keep their Shih Tzu in the bedroom or to have a second crate in the bedroom for nighttime use.

However, puppies may cry or scratch at their crates through the night, making it impossible for humans to get a good night’s rest. 

Somewhere Quiet

Another option, usually ideal, is to place the crate in a quiet corner that doesn’t get a lot of noise or traffic.

The downside is it can get a bit lonely for the dog, so if you choose this route, remember to give your dog something that can enhance their comfort. 

Whichever route you choose, remember to ensure that you place the crate away from locations that are either extremely hot or cold. 

A small tan-and-white shih tzu puppy outside on green grass.

Shih Tzu Crating Guidelines & Tips

These guidelines and tips will help get your Shih Tzu familiar and feeling safe inside their crate. 

  • Put your Shih Tzu in the crate after exercise when he’s tired. If he is tired enough, your pooch will hopefully fall right asleep. 
  • Try luring your Shih Tzu into the crate with a treat as most puppies will not be able to resist a tasty treat. 
  • Provide entertainment inside the crate. Safe chew toys, like a Kong stuffed with peanut butter, can help keep them happy and content while inside the crate and will also make them feel safe and comforted. 
  • Never use the crate as punishment. When crate training, you want it to serve as a safe place for the dog, not something that is to be feared. 

Related Questions:

At What Age Does a Shih Tzu Sleep Through the Night?

With a consistent nighttime routine and a proper environment to get a good night’s sleep, most Shih Tzu puppies will sleep through the night as early as four months old. 

How Long Does It Take for a Shih Tzu to Get Used to a Crate?

Crate training a Shih Tzu will take a week to several months before they feel comfortable staying inside the crate.

Usually, you start with shorter crate stays in the beginning, but it will ultimately depend on the dog’s age, temperament, and how consistent you are with the training.  


A good way to get the correct size Shih Tzu crate is to measure your dog, but a 24-inch dog crate with a divider panel is a safe option suitable for both puppies and adult Shih Tzus.

Carefully think about what features will best for your needs before purchasing, and remember to take things slowly when first introducing your Shih Tzu to the crate. 

With a little effort and patience on your part, your Shih Tzu will come to think of the crate as a safe haven – his own personal retreat.

Last update on 2024-06-25 at 11:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API