6 Best Dog Crates for Shih Tzu in 2024

Shih Tzus are adorable dogs that have sat in the laps of emperors. They’re fun-loving lap dogs who want nothing more than to hang out with their favorite people. Their curious personalities and distinctive coats are crowd-pleasers, and they’re one of the most recognizable breeds around.

Chewy Online Dog Supplies

35% Off at Chewy.com

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

Shih Tzus require good exercise, but because of their face shape, they also need plenty of rest. When you’re done with the activities for the day, your Shih Tzu needs a place to rest and recuperate. If you don’t want your Shih Tzu on the furniture or in your bed all the time, you may need an alternative solution.

If you’re going to keep your Shih Tzu happy, you need the right tools. A crate can help keep your Shih Tzu comfortable and prevent accidents in your home while you’re out. The right crate keeps your Shih Tzu contained but allows for easy, comfortable rest while it’s inside.

Choosing the right kennel for your sweet pal is easy when you have a starting list. We’ve picked our top favorite crates for Shih Tzus in 2024. They’re durable and secure. Plus, we’ve answered questions you might have about how to crate train your Shih Tzus and what to expect while choosing the right crate. Let’s take a look.

What is a Good Crate Size for Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus are small dogs so typically small to medium crates are appropriate. You’ll need to measure your dog correctly to make sure the crate is the right size. Start with the shoulder to the paw to find out the height and the nose to the tip of the tail for length.

Once you’ve got your measurements, follow the recommended sizing for the crate you’ve chosen to get the right one. Your Shih Tzu should be able to stand and sit up straight comfortably. You should also be able to turn around easily and lay down to stretch out. If those things can’t happen, your Shih Tzu may never want to go inside.

What to Look for in a Good Crate for Shih Tzu

Good crates are durable and safe. You should look for materials that won’t crack or tear and potentially injure your Shih Tzu. Metal cages should have small spaces between the wires and be rust-resistant for long life. Plastic should be durable and not easy to crack.

Make sure the interior has rounded edges to make things more comfortable and a flat, removable tray on the inside for easy cleaning. A flat tray also makes it easier to add a pad for comfort. Doors should close securely, preferably with at least two locks to keep the ends secure.

Crates need proper ventilation, so the sides and top should help air flow freely. Since the ventilation also helps with visibility, the right kind might help your Shih Tzu feel more secure. Make sure you don’t cover too much of the crate, so you don’t prevent ventilation.

Different Types of Dog Crates for Shih Tzu

You have a few different options for the right dog crate. Let’s go over the common types that might be appropriate for your little buddy.

Wire Crates

The most traditional style crate is a wire one. It’s typically used in the home or sometimes in the car but provides maximum breathability and visibility for your Shih Tzu. These types use heavy wire bars to provide both security and to keep your Shih Tzu in place. Many can be folded and unfolded for storage or temporary use.

Plastic Crates

Plastic options are excellent for transport and are the only types available for plane trips. They use two pieces of plastic plus a wire gauge door. They feature side and top ventilation, and some styles also have a door on top to make top-loading easier. They’re easy to clean and lighter to carry, but can be harder to store.

Soft Crates

Soft crates are temporary shelters or for docile Shih Tzus. They’re great for car transport and for providing shade when your pet is outside with you. Many use a metal frame with waterproof material on the outside to provide security. Zipper doors are easy to use, and they’re lightweight and breathable.

SUV Crates

If you have more than one dog, these crates are designed narrower on the sides so that more can fit in a car side by side. With several Shih Tzus in the family, this might offer you more options for safer transport for you and your dogs.

Furniture Style Crates

If you have a specific decor and you don’t want a kennel to interrupt it, this could be a good option. It uses a mix of wood and wire to create a piece of furniture like a kennel. Many of them resemble side tables and are great as an integral part of your living room or bedroom. They can be a more significant investment, however.

Overall Best Dog Crates for Shih Tzu

Keeping your Shih Tzu safe is a priority, and this option is a great all-purpose choice. Let’s see what our top pick has to offer you and your Shih Tzu:

Frisco Fold and Carry Double Door Dog Crate

This all-purpose dog crate is designed for easy assembly and easy storage. It’s a fold and go design with close wire gauge to prevent injury. It’s coated in order to avoid rust and features a dual lock on the doors so your Shih Tzu can’t slip out.
It has a removable plastic pan for easy cleaning and adjustable handles to travel. It’s safe and uses rounded edges to prevent injury. It comes in several sizes, but we recommend the 24-inch or larger to make sure your Shih Tzu has plenty of space.

5 More Highly Rated Dog Crates for Shih Tzu

Not all Shih Tzus have the same needs. Our other picks could be more appropriate depending on your Shih Tzu’s circumstances. The option for you to have different types of crates could be really helpful. Let’s take a look.

PetMate Two Door Top Loading Kennel

The Petmate is a plastic kennel with a top-loading panel that allows you to get your Shih Tzu in and out quickly. The wire gauge door is a secure pinch style lock closure with plenty of ventilation through the top and sides. It’s easy to clean and is available in two different sizes.

It’s airline approved with the right accessories and features an easy to carry shape that allows your pet to get comfortable inside. The ergonomic carry handle is easy to carry and has reinforced hinges to make it safe and secure for your pet.

Frisco Indoor Outdoor Soft Pet Crate

The Frisco soft pet crate is a temporary crate for travel or other situations. It uses a steel frame wrapped in a water-resistant material to provide a secure spot for your Shih Tzu. It uses zippered doors for visibility and has plenty of ventilation to keep your pet comfortable.

The carry handle is convenient for when you’re moving from place to place, and you’ve got the option of front, side, and top loading for your pet. You can roll the windows up or down, and the material is hand-washable to keep it fresh.

Merry Products 2 In 1 Crate

Merry Products makes crates that look like furniture. It uses a wood and metal blend for a crate that resembles a side table. It has close metal wire to prevent injury, and you can use the top of the kennel as a flat surface in your bedroom or living room. It’s easy to wipe clean and features a sliding tray underneath.

The crate can also be disassembled for a different purpose. It comes apart to use as a barrier for rooms your Shih Tzu shouldn’t be in or as a play area if you’re outside. It’s easy to reconfigure and gives you a few different options for how you want to use it.

Four Paws Single Deluxe Crate

This single door crate is another excellent kennel. It uses a wire gage with a single door to keep your pet safe. Double locks prevent your Shih Tzu from escaping, and it has plenty of room for your Shih Tzu to lay down and turn around. A removable composite plastic crate is easy to clean and keeps your dog comfortable.

The wire is smooth and rust-resistant. It doesn’t need any tools for assembly, and it folds down for secure storage. It comes in multiple sizes, but we recommend the small or extra small for easy use and functional space without taking up too much room on your floor.

Petmate Vari Dog and Cat Kennel

Our last kennel is another plastic travel kennel that offers durability and security. It features a single front door with wire gauging and ventilation across the back and sides for easier breathability and temperature control. The crate is a durable plastic and has an internal moat to ensure your pet stays dry.

The squeeze latch door ensures your pet is secure, and it has a seat belt latch to keep your pet safe in the car. The top handle is secure and allows you to carry your pet from place to place without worrying.

Tips for Crate Training Shih Tzu

Crate training can be an excellent way to teach your Shih Tzu manners and ensure that your dog has a safe and secure place to go. When pets get nervous, it can be beneficial for them to have a “home” spot, or a place where they can calm down. Plus, it’s easier to teach your dog to do something than it is not to do something. Here are some ways you can get started.

  1. Begin slow. Allow your Shih Tzu to approach the crate and explore but don’t try to close the door. Provide plenty of treats so that your pet begins to associate the crate with something positive.
  2. Focus on the positive. Avoid punishing your pet for not going into the crate or not allowing you to close the door. You don’t want your Shih Tzu to have any ill feelings towards the crate, so it’s best to stick to praising behavior you want to see.
  3. Once your pet seems comfortable, try closing the door for a few seconds at a time. Increase the time to a few minutes. Allow your Shih Tzu to guide you with what’s ok and what might be too much.
  4. Make sure your Shih Tzu is comfortable and begin increasing the time spent with the door closed until your Shih Tzu is following directions. You can also add in commands such as “Kennel up” to tell your Shih Tzu to go to the kennel in the first place. Again, focus on the positive behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can my Shih Tzu be in the crate?

You never want your dog to spend hours in the crate without plenty of exercise and time spent with you — ideally, no more than a few hours here and there. If you go to work, it’s best to come home during lunch or hire someone who can give your Shih Tzu a break.

At night, Shih Tzus can learn to sleep in a crate as long as it’s in your bedroom and you can hear if something is amiss. The crate should never be a punishment tool and should never be used to keep your dog out of your hair. It’s a safe place.

Is it cruel to crate train a pet?

Your dog wants to be with you, so too much time in the crate could be bad for its mental health. Ensure your dog has plenty of activity and is never in the kennel for more than a few hours. Preferably two hours or less, but always offset any crate time with exercise and lots of love.

Why should I crate train my Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus are lap dogs, but sometimes you don’t want them to be on your furniture or your guests. Crate training helps teach better manners and also helps establish a secure place for your Shih Tzu to be in a time of high stress.

Crate training can also help make housebreaking a lot easier. It’s good for your dog to understand the schedule and your puppy is far less likely to go in the crate than it is somewhere in your house.

What size crate does my puppy need?

Puppies can go into adult-sized crates. If you decide to purchase a crate for your puppy to grow into, make sure you check with your vet about sizing recommendations so that you don’t have to upgrade later. Typically, adult Shih Tzus need a crate that’s at least 24 inches in length, though you can always size up for more room.


Your Shih Tzu is a sweet lap dog that deserves the best. A good kennel can help your Shih Tzu feel safe and ensure that everything is in order as you’re training. Crates are excellent tools for teaching manners and keeping your Shih Tzu feeling comfortable.

The crates on our list are durable and helpful. They’re safe to use and fit a variety of budgets. You may find that your Shih Tzu loves the crate as a comforting place to go when everything seems out of whack. A happy Shih Tzu means years of enjoyable companionship, so start it with the right tools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *