How to Measure Your Dog’s Height: Why, Equipment Need, Where and Average Heights Of Dogs According to Breeds

Do you want to buy a crate for your dog? Are you trying to enter your dog in a competition? Do you want to install a door for your dog? Then you need to know your dog’s height.

It’s easy to take the weight of your dog You just have to make a weighing scale of her move. Or you can take your weight, then retake your weight while carrying your dog, and do the calculation. But it’s a bit more complicated to measure the height of your dog and needs more equipment.

Why do you need to measure your dog’s height?

Before you learn how to measure your dog’s height, you need to understand why it is important to get her height. Below are some of the most important reasons:

1. Doors for your dog

A crate or kennel is one of the most important items you need for your dog. If she’s already at home, you may want to add a gate for your pet. You’ll need to know her height.

She has to be able to get in and out of the crate or window easily. Without getting hurt, she should be able to slide in. The door shouldn’t hurt her even when she’s feeling frisky and running around. Having the crate door or doggy door is recommended to be about 2 inches higher than the height of your dog.

Also, the crate should be high enough so that your dog can stretch up easily. When you buy your puppy a cage, you should be able to predict the height of your dog when she is an adult. Depending on their breed, you can use the standard average height. If you don’t take her adult height into account, once she grows bigger, you’ll need to buy a new crate.

2. Competitions and dog shows

If you are thinking of entering your dog into agility competitions or show dog competitions you should know that you need to measure her height properly.

For the agility competitions, she will be jumping over hurdles. The hurdle must be set properly or your dog could be injured while trying to jump over it.

If you want her to be a show dog, then you will also need to know her measurements. Show dogs have strict requirements for height, weight, coat, etc.

Take note of the requirements of the club or association so that you will know in advance if your dog is eligible to compete. However, if she does not meet the standards, the pet may be disqualified.

Also, you should get your dog used to people taking her measurements because the judges perform this during the shows. If she is used to measurement then during the shows she won’t be nervous.

3. Medical records

As your dog grows, her medical records should properly contain information about her height, weight, length, etc. This will help you and your vet keep track of your dog’s growth and health.

For particular, a dog’s height has no impact on whether or not she’s going to develop issues with the legs Poor hind legs, dysplasia, and wounds or diseases cause other disorders of the leg not from the size of the body of your dog. Your dog might be able to develop any of them whatever height it might have.

4. Adoption

If you are a breeder, seller, or owner, then you are required to fill out the bill of sale form. The form needs information like height, weight, age, etc. of a puppy you will be selling or giving up for adoption.

The details will assist the purchaser to prepare the equipment and gear of the puppy. It will also help buyers assess the suitability of the puppy for their homes as it will confirm the puppy’s breed. After all, if that person lives in a tiny apartment, a buyer wouldn’t want a puppy that could grow into a very big dog.

5. Accessories

Having the right measurements for your dog will help you buy her the best and most suitable leash and other accessories. If you love putting clothes on your dog, her measurements will also help make sure you don’t buy her too big or too tight clothes.

One important accessory that is affected by your dog’s height is an elevated dog food bowl (also known as raised dog food bowl).

You must place her food and water bowls at the proper height to help your dog during her meal. The top of the feeder should reach your dog’s chest. Your dog doesn’t have to strain her head and neck far down to the ground in order to reach her food. Make sure the altitude is also not too high. If with the height she is uncomfortable, she may not eat at all.

A good elevation of the feeder bowl could improve your dog’s posture and her eating habits. This is especially important for dogs with arthritis or senior dogs who might have a hard time bending their heads down each time they eat.

Whiner & Diner has wooden crates that are perfect for small to giant breeds. The crates come in six different designs and colors. Each crate set comes with stainless steel bowls.

Pawfect Pets also offers stainless steel food and water bowls of wooden raisers. The company guarantees that the stands are sturdy so that even big dogs can’t knock it over. They have three types for small, medium, and large breeds. 

What equipment do you need to measure your dog’s height?

You will need tools that are reliable and calibrated to have an accurate reading of your dog’s height. You will also need other spaces for this project. The basic things you will need are:

  • Tape measures – make sure the device has the appropriate units, from feet to inches from meters to millimeters. You need to be very specific in order to make these units effective. It’s also better to have multiple unit points because you might have a customer using different measurement points. American people use feet to inches, for example, while British use meters to millimeters.
  • Level – you can use a carpenter’s level or any type of level; ask your vet where you can buy one; use this on your dog’s shoulder for an accurate reading, but make sure that it does not reach her neck.
  • Yardstick – an alternative in case you don’t have a carpenter’s level.
  • Door frame or wall – a door frame or wall allows you to make an accurate reading of your dog’s height with a fixed point; the frame can help keep your dog in place if it is skittish during the measuring.
  • Pencil – use this to mark your dog’s height on the frame or wall (you can erase it later) and to jot down all the data you will get.

Where do you measure your dog’s height?

You need to measure your dog’s withers. This is from the highest point of your dog’s shoulders to her paws. The highest point is the part where the neck and shoulder blades intersect.

If you take her height, you don’t have to measure your dog’s head or neck (these are included when measuring her length, though). Make sure that when you measure her your dog stands straight and true

This is obvious but do not include her hair when you do measurements. You are measuring her body not the length of her hair.

How to measure your dog’s height at home?

Although there are different ways to go about measuring your dog’s height, the general steps you can use at home are as follows:

1. Prepare all of your tools, equipment, and measuring area. If you’re using a wall, make sure that there are no pieces of furniture or other things that might stand in your dog’s way or distract her. Also, make sure that the surface of the measuring area is flat.

2. Have your dog stand up straight to the measurement area. Stop it from shrinking and bending sideways or downwards. She must stand upright with her arms equally spread out on all four legs. She should have her head in a normal neutral position. She’s not supposed to look up or down.

If your dog is too frisky or too young to stand still, put her on a leash and have someone hold her in place while you take the measurements. Your partner could also tempt your dog to stand straight with a treat.

3. Make sure where her withers are. Try to feel your dog’s body so you can familiarize yourself where the withers begin. Locate the point on the shoulder that is bony.

4. Place the carpenter’s level on the withers. Let one end of the level touch the wall or frame you are using. Check if it is leveled by looking at the position of the bubbles inside the tool. These should stay within their markings.

Using the bottom of the level as your point, make a thin mark on the frame or the wall. If you don’t want to make a mark, then use a small piece of tape to mark the spot or place your finger as a mark.

5. If you don’t have the scale of a carpenter, use a yardstick. Place the stick on the wall or frame and stand beside it with your pet. Change the yardstick leg until it lies on the withers of your dog.

6. Give your dog a treat and let her go.

7. Use the measuring tape if you used the level to measure the height from the mark you made down to the floor on the frame or wall. You just have to go to the next level if you used a measuring stick.

8. Make a record.

Professionals use a wicket to measure the height of a dog. This is a measurement device with a stand shaped like an inverted U and a ruler that can be modified to measure a dog’s height. If the legs of the wicket touch the ground, the dog will be considered within the height permitted. If you want your pet to be a show dog, make sure you train her to be comfortable with a wicket.

What are the average heights of dogs according to breeds?

To help you further in predicting your dog’s adult height, here are the standard average heights of some breeds that are popular in the USA based on information from the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance (NCRAOA):


It can be an enjoyable bonding experience for both you and your pet to measure the height of your dog. The information you gain at each measurement will help you keep track of the growth of your dog. If you think the average height of your dog for her breed is not reached, consult your vet.

Don’t forget the treats and the praises for your pooch after you’ve completed all your measurements.

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