When it comes to purchasing items such as a travel crate or a dog bed, the one concern that most owners have is whether it will fit their best friend.  Picking the right size the first time is important because most pet stores, whether online or retail, won’t let your pet try out their products first and won’t accept returns if there are signs that it has already been used.

Sizing up Shelties can be especially tricky, as they can fall between small and medium depending on their size and the measurements of the product.  In this article, we’ll explain some good guidelines to consider when determining the proper size for your Sheltie friend.

Dog Houses
Doghouse04Whether buying a dog house or building one yourself, it can be a big investment, so you want to make sure that your dog can fit comfortably.  Although most Shelties would prefer to be indoor dogs, lounging on your couch or bed, sometimes a dog house is a nice addition to the back yard.

Since Shelties aren’t that tall, the door frame itself shouldn’t pose much of a problem so long as you leave at least 10 inches for the height.  But to ensure that the confines are spacious enough make sure that the width and depth of the house are at least 5 inches longer than the length of your Sheltie(excluding the tail) and that the overall height of the house is at least 25 inches (or at least 5-7 inches more than the standing height of your dog). 

Travel Crates
CrateIf you ever find the need to travel with your Sheltie, a crate is a must, especially when it comes to flying.  The two most important considerations when it comes to creates is a.) whether it is travel approved and b.) whether it will fit your Sheltie properly.  While any product description should list clearly whether the crate is approved for domestic and/or international airline traveling, finding the right size can be a bit trickier.  

The important thing to remember is that crates do not need to provide the same amount of room as a dog house, but it does need to be big enough for your dog to at least stand up and turn around.  Most importantly, it needs to be long enough for your Sheltie to lie down in it, since dogs tend to spend most of their time sleeping while travelling. 

The best rule of thumb is to measure your dog from head to tail bone and add 12 inches to this total to determine the proper length.  And also make sure to measure your dog’s height from the ground to the top of their heads and 6 inches to that total to figure the amount of standing space needed.  Generally, the proper width should be three-quarters of what the length should be.  For most brands of crates, this should put most Shelties in the medium sizing range, although some of the bulkier pooches might need a large crate instead.

Dog BedsDsc01669sml

Shelties are active and intelligent dogs, so there really is no such thing as buying a pet bedthat is too large.  They usually tend to like more space then comparably sized dogs and unlike some breeds of toy dogs, they won’t be overwhelmed or intimidated by a large dog bed.  On the other hand, a dog bed that is too small can hinder his/her ability to sleep comfortably so it is really important to go bigger if you think it might be necessary.  The bottom line is you want to pick a bed that has a measurement of at least 9-12 inches longer and wider than your Sheltie when he or she is lying down.

While these tips should hopefully help, it is important to note that the right size can vary depending on the size of your Sheltie, so make absolutely sure to measure your pet first before making a purchase. And if you find yourself caught between two sizes, always opt for the larger one.  Even if it costs a little more, it is a safer bet than opting for the smaller size and gambling that your dog will find it comfortable.

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8 Responses to “Sizing up Shelties: Finding the Right Furniture”

  1. Theresa

    Love my two shelties, but they enjoy the outdoors some as well as inside when I am home. The two of them have 2 big beds and 2 little ones. I find that the bigger sheltie (Champ) sleeps curled up in the small bed, & the smaller dog ( Rylie) sleeps on the bigger bed, but however, Rylie seems to find her way into our room at night lying on her back with feet up in the air.

  2. abagale

    We have just added your latest post “Sizing up Shelties: Finding the Right Furniture” to our Directory of Pets . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory and get a huge base of visitors to your website.
    Warm Regards
    Petgarden.info Team

  3. Jacynthe

    I love the picture of the slumber ball bed….it looks so comfy! I will be ordering 2, 1 for each of my sheltie babies! Thanks for the info, and thanks for this great site. It is a wonderful pick-me-up each day when I come to see the new picture.

  4. Shannon

    I have purchased big and small dog beds for my shelties and I find that the two shelties I have owned rather take naps curled up in the small dog beds and then sleep in my bed at night. Go figure.
    I also found when I got my sheltie Holly that she rather have a crate that what just her hight and size than one that was bigger (ie one with more hight and longer than she was.) Thankfully the pet store I got it from let me exchange it out, but it took me forever to figure out that she wanted a smaller crate. I figured it out when she started stealing my mom’s poodle’s crate when given the choice. (Her dog is smaller than mine). What is good for the many is not always good for the odd! Though she is almost never in her crate since she sleeps on my bed at night and is with me durning the day.
    I am glad that Sheltie Nation has this up. It is great advice for pet owners.

  5. Nancy

    Dog house? Dog bed? Ha! Such things are below my sheltie’s standards. He has his spot on each sofa for sleeping and owns the whole house. Thankfully, he lets us live there too.

  6. Richard

    While I would have a hard time asking my shelties to sleep outdoors and do take them everywhere we vacation by car, I can see the potential need to purchase a travel crate or new pet bed (we need two new ones for the floor of our van).
    Kelly incurs substantial costs in hosting this website and never asks for a dime. If you don’t need the products of this particular advertiser, then purchase a Sheltie Nation decal or t-shirt.
    Everything costs money. If we all pitched in a few pennies, then this site that so many people enjoy could be a pure labor of love and not a financial burden and she wouldn’t have to take any advertising at all.

  7. bob

    dog house: why? I do not live outside and a sheltie, at least my guys, go where I go. If I go outside, they are there, if I am inside, there are here – at my feet.
    dog bed: more like dog steps to get into my bed or when I am not sitting in the Lazyboy, they are!
    dog crate: their dog crate is a 36′ long motor home.
    Must love the sheltie!

  8. Jen

    My shelties prefer:
    Instead of a doghouse – a big split level that they also let their human live in.
    Instead of a crate – a versatile SUV with windows for lots of scenery.
    Instead of a doggie bed – they love the Sleep Number at level 20.
    Everyone must love the Shelties!


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