How to Choose a Small Dog Crate for Your Dachshund

You’ve just brought home a new Dachshund. Perhaps a puppy, a senior dog, or an adult. On your must-buy list is a crate.

You’ve heard everyone talk about the importance of crate training, but where do you even start when it comes to choosing the right crate for your Dachshund?

Cute, Mini Dachshund sitting peacefully in her crate

Ask yourself these questions, and follow these tips, to help ensure you pick the right crate for your pup.

Should I Get a Plastic or Wire Dog Crate?

The first big decision you need to make when purchasing a crate for your Dachshund is whether you should choose a plastic or wire one. While some pet parents prefer plastic crates, there are several benefits to choosing one that is made of wire.

  • Wire crates allow for a more open experience for your dog. Instead of feeling closed in, your dog will have ultimate visibility. However, you can also cover a wired crate with a sheet or blanket if your dog needs some quiet time and privacy.
  • Wire crates typically have two doors; one on the front and one on the side. Having two options allows you to place the crate in the perfect spot in your home.
  • Wire crates are generally chew proof. If you have a small dog with anxiety, or one that is a heavy chewer, they could easily chew or break through a plastic crate.
  • Wire crates require much less maintenance than plastic crates. Since plastic is a porous material, it can easily harbor bacteria and host undesirable smells.
  • Plastic crates aren’t the best for ventilation. Air flow is extremely important for your dog, especially in warm and humid climates.
  • While plastic crates can be big and bulky, most wire crates are easily collapsible, making them easy to store and travel with.

Dachshund in a small sized wire dog crate


What Size Dog Crate Do I Need?

Your Dachshund’s crate needs to be big enough for them to sit, stand, lay down, and turn around comfortably. If your dog is still growing, be sure to purchase a size that will accommodate them as they get bigger.

But beware if you’re potty training your dog: because of the larger crate, they will have the ability to do their business toward the back of the crate and still have room to lay down without sitting in their mess.

To help avoid improper elimination, you can block of a part of the crate. This way your pup can’t retreat to one area of the crate to go #1 or #2.

Another thing that can discourage a dog peeing in their crate, even if it’s bigger than recommended, is to fill the entire crate with a dog bed.

Which Dog Crate Do I Recommend?

I didn’t exactly choose Gretel’s crate. She chose it for me.

We use the small double door wire dog crate from Carlson Pet Products.

Carlson Pet Small Double Door Dog Crate

Gretel had terrible crate anxiety when I adopted her, despite being told she was crate trained.

I asked the rescue what kind of crate they used and they said, “just one of those hard-sided plastic ones” so that’s what I got.

However, she totally freaked out inside, howling and scratching at the sides. She destroyed it (two, actually) and broke a nail once.

As a last-ditch effort, I bought Gretel the same type of crate I’d used for Chester with no issues – and open-wire crate twice the size of what is typically recommended for her – from Carlson Pet Products.

That, in conjunction with a filled Waggle treat toy and a little crate training, did the trick! She had no more issues being in the crate.

I actually have a second crate to use for dogs that we dog sit in our home (with permission from the owner of course).

A couple of reasons I like the small wire crate from Carlson Pet Products are:

  • It’s versatile so I can leave it uncovered if a dog likes to see out or I can cover it up if they want their own private den.
  • It has two doors – one on the side and one on the end – so I have a lot of options for placing it around the house.
  • It folds flat, and latches closed, so I can easily store it when I’m not using it (or need to take it traveling with us like we did when she had her IVDD-related back injury).

Wire dog crate folded for travel

  • It’s quick and easy to set up.
  • The bottom pan is removable and easy to clean in case there are any messes.
  • Carlson would have let me return the crate within 30-days, with proof of purchase of course, if I hadn’t liked it or it hadn’t worked for Gretel (important: this applies only if the crate is purchased directly from Carlson Pet Products).

Crating Caution

Please remember that your Dachshund’s crate should be treated as a safe, happy place. Positive reinforcement training for your pup will be the most effective way to go about getting your dog comfortable with their crate.

There are also a few factors that you’ll want to take into consideration:

  • Never use the crate as punishment. Offer the crate as a place where your dog can seek safety. If you use it as a negative tool, your dog will come to fear it and won’t want to go inside.
  • Puppies shouldn’t stay in the crate for more than a couple of hours. Puppies can’t control their bladders for much longer than that. The same goes for adult dogs who are being housetrained.
  • Don’t leave your dog crated for too long. Dogs who are crated all day are not receiving enough exercise or human interaction. Crating for an extended period of time can lead to depression and anxiety.

Ultimately you want to think of your dog’s crate as a den. Just as you would not spend your whole life in one room of your house, your pup shouldn’t spend all of their time in the crate.

These are the primary points to consider when choosing the best crate for your Dachshund. Every dog and situation is different, so don’t be afraid to weigh your options to decide what’s best for you. If you have a question, leave it in the comments below.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Carlson Pet Products in exchange for my time spent sharing information about their products. I don’t accept stuff “in exchange for a review” unless I am sure I already like it because I won’t try to make something seem better than it is out of obligation. Thanks for trusting me on that.

Choosing the right dog crate is key to making sure your dog is comfortable

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. Nice article! I use wire crates except for a small puppy when it’s in the car and also prefer the wire over hard body crates. I also have a 2 dog soft crate that I like to use in hotels and over night stays with friends. I tell the dogs it’s their tent!

    I did make a mistake with a mid-size crate I bought to use for trips with 2 dachshunds. I’m not sure what I was thinking but I bought one that was made of heavy-duty wire which made it heavy. It had 2 doors, but had a safety feature that required lifting the door up and over a small latch – this was a security measure designed for a dog that liked to escape. I had a hard time with the extra step in working the latch and was frustrated at dog shows where I needed to get the dogs in and out quickly. I finally sold it! Thanks for the good article.

  2. Thank you for your article. We adopted a senior boy. He is about 13. When we are not home, I let him roam the house. He pees on everything and has ruined several pieces of furniture and rugs.
    I was thinking of putting him in a crate while I am at work. He would be in the crate for almost 9 hours. I have a bichon who has never peed in the house. Not sure what to do here. Should I crate them together or just Enzo (the dachshund).
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Nocoletta. I would caution against crating them together unless you are sure they are best friends. One could get mad, nap at the other, and start a fight if not. In regard to the crate issue in general, a crate is an excellent way to keep a dog from doing naughty things around the house while you are gone. However, at 13, if he is not used to being confined to a dog crate, it may be more stress on him and you (to train him) than necessary. Van you just block him into one part of the house with a dog gate while you are gone (like the kitchen)? Also, as far as the duration, 9 hours may not be harmful for a younger dog. At 13 though, he may have trouble holding it that long. At least being in the kitchen would allow him to go potty on the floor but would be easier for you to clean up. Good luck!

  3. I have 2 dachshunds that are sisters and inseparable and I’m trying to purchase a new wire crate. They both are @17-20 lbs. what size crate do you recommend? The one we had previously was very large so I’m looking for something smaller but big enough for them to move around comfortably. What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Tammy. For Dachshunds, length matters more than weight when choosing a crate. However, crates get bigger proportionally. In other words, a 24 inch crate may be long enough for them but not wide enough to hold two. So I guess you really need to figure out how WIDE of a crate you need and buy based on that. If my two dogs were in the same crate, they would probably curl around each other. I’d guess that they would end up being 2 feet wide when they do that. To give them extra room to move and turn around, personally, I would probably go with a 36 inch wire dog crate (which is typically 23 inches wide but they can vary a bit so be sure to double check). There would be extra length in there for sure but I would just fill the whole thing with bedding. I’ve never had one of my dogs pee in their crate when I do that. Good luck finding the perfect crate.

    1. Hi Myrna. I’ve linked to the crate I recommend in the article. It’s right under the heading “Which Dog Crate Do I Recommend?”

  4. Hi. I have a 1 year old dachshund and an 8 year old mixed breed. They both sleep in the kitchen in a crate each but are next to each other so they don’t get lonely. We only lock them in the crate during the night, when we go out during the day the have the run of the kitchen. Our mixed bread is an excellent dog and sleeps until we want to get up in the morning, however our dachshund is always been an early bird and will let us know when it’s time to get up, but this is usually around 8am.. now however over the last 2 weeks she has become very unsettled in her crate during the night and is whining and scratching to get out, this went on all night for 2 nights and has got a little better the last 2 nights but is still waking at 4 and is crying, whining and scratching cage to get out. Our dog trainer has said to infinite the whining and not to go down until she is quiet as this will reward bad behaviour and teach her that if she whines we will come and see her. When we do get up with her and let her out she comes in and snuggles on the sofa until about 10. She is obviously still sleepy so why doesn’t she sleep in her crate until this time? Please help.. I work for the nhs and am extremely tired with work, let alone being woken up through the night with our dog! Please help!

    1. Hi Emma. I get it. I had an old Dachshund with dementia that used to wake me up all times of the night. I do not do well with sleep deprivation! If this unsettling and whining is a new behavior, I would have her checked at the vet to rule out a urinary tract or bladder infection. When behavior changes suddenly, and especially at that age, it’s a red flag that there may be a health issue. The advice your dog trainer gave you is good if this behavior is not new. Maybe you have been sleeping lighter than before and she has been doing it all along? I would also look at her routine and see if something changed – move, house mates, food, etc. It could be a change that is upsetting her mentally or casing her to not feel well. Good luck. I hope you can get it figured out and corrected.

  5. Our mini dachshund used to HATE her crate. She was into burrowing herself right into the soft and fluffy blankets we gave her for a bed. We put her doggy bed inside an indoor doggy pen in the kitchen, where she regularly met her second favorite pleasure in life — treats!

    Oddly enough, she behaved like an angel if we put her in the crate to take her out in it for a long trip. It was as if the crate needed wings to make it acceptable for use to our fussy Sugar girl. ;-D

    1. We just adopted a 2year old Daschshund/chihuahua mix. He is very sweet and loves being with his people and our older dog. We were told that he was crate trained, but he paces in his crate and barks and whines the whole time. We let our other dog have the run of the house because we’ve had her for 10 years, but our new guy is still getting used to things and we would like to crate him at night and if we leave during the day. The crate seems to be causing major anxiety for the poor guy, so I’ve started putting his food in the crate with the door open to show him that it’s not bad or scary. What else should I be doing? Thank you!

      1. Hi Kristen. Putting his food in the crate is definitely a great start. I might even suggest hand feeding him in his crate. That will help build your bond and train him that the crate is a good place (vs just a passive thing he does when he eats from a bowl). Unfortunately, in my experience, it can be anxiety inducing when one dog is physically separated from another in the same room – when one would prefer freedom but has to watch the other dog wander back and forth and the other can’t follow or make physical contact. If it were me, I would try putting your young Dachshund in his crate in a separate room so he can’t see your other one walking around freely. Good luck.

  6. Hi Jessica! I’m about to adopt a two-month-old wiener puppy. I’m wondering, how should I care for her needs during the nighttime? Taking into consideration that she is a puppy and may not hold her bladder for a long time, should she sleep on my bed? Should I keep her in a crate overnight with an absorbent pad? What do you recommend? Thanks.

    1. Hi Erika. Where your puppy sleeps is a personal decision. Summit and Gretel sleep in my bed and, in my experience, that is more common that not. There are definitely drawbacks to your Dachshund sleeping in your bed though. This article on my other blog may help you make that decision:

      I brought Summit home when she was 8 weeks old. She actually slept from bed time (around 10 pm) through 3 am in the morning before waking me to go out. She was sleeping with me though so probably sleeping soundly since she was happy and warm. If your puppy will be sleeping in a crate, she may be restless and wake up more often and have to go potty. The first thing I recommend, no matter where she is going to sleep, is putting the water dish up 2-3 hours before bedtime to reduce the need to go during the night. If she sleeps in your bed, you will just have to take her outside if she wakes you up to go. If she sleeps in a crate, you can put a potty pad in there but, personally, I don’t like to train my dogs to go inside on a potty pad. It can be confusing because the associate the environment with the potty place more than the surface (so your puppy may think going in the house is ok). It’s not the end of the world to put a potty pad in the crate though if you can’t, or don’t want to, get up to take your puppy out during the night. I definitely do not recommend letting your puppy roam the house overnight unattended – she should be in the bed with you or in a crate. I hope that helps.

  7. Hello, we have just purchased 2 mini short hair def Daschunds. We are wondering whether to crate them together or separately! They are from the same litter and are brothers 9 weeks old. We are collecting them in 2 weeks to bring them home so would love some feedback so we can purchase the crate/a. Thanks in advance Tania

    1. Hi Tania. It’s up to you and what your end-goal is. I generally don’t recommend crating two Dachshunds together but siblings tend to get along and find comfort in snuggling with each other. They may also sleep better at night (less crying and whining in the beginning). BUT, it can cause hyper-attachment to each other. That can make it more likely they will bond with each other than you so they won’t listen as well and be more of a challenge to train (this can happen anyway – called “littermate syndrome” – you can read more about that in this article of mine: This hyper attachment can also cause issues if they have to be separated like if one has to go to the vet alone.

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