choosing toller sized items
how do i know what size to buy?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and I have to say, you can figure it out! I had nobody to tell me what size to buy of anything when I got into Tollers. I just managed somehow to work it out, so trust your ability to do the same if you want to buy something and there is no guide. A retail employee selling the product, reviews online, comparison of the recommended breeds to a Toller, google search for dimensions or actually measuring your dog or the item are all good resources.
A baby Toller will need a small collar. Their neck size when they are 9 weeks old is approximately 9 inches. Collars are normally sold in small, medium, large, etc. and often have neck measurements right on the label. Easy peasy, same goes for harnesses. A baby Toller at 9 weeks is approximately 7-10 lbs and growing, quickly.
An adult Toller's neck is going to range from X to X, so you can buy something in a medium or large that will fit, or take your dog in with you or keep your receipt and exchange for a different size if you bring it home and it doesn't fit. Collars should be kept clean and in good repair, and I believe they should be replaced annually particularly if they are worn all the time. I also don't think a collar should be worn all the time.
This matters less than you think. A cat dish is too small and a Great Dane dish is too big. Anything in between is fine. We use 1 quart food dishes and 1 quart water buckets.
OK, the loaded question. What size crate will I need for my Toller for a lifetime? My answer to this is 'you need two' and for size 'it depends.' I definitely recommend a Varikennel or Sky Kennel 100 for the first month. This is one of the only brands that makes a tall enough puppy kennel. Almost everything else I have seen out there is too short, as in made for a cat or a wiener dog. A Toller puppy will not be able to sit comfortably in any other small crate. They're currently about $80, and totally worth it. They are of sturdy manufacture, have great resale value in the used pet supply market, are airline approved, and highly functional/portable. This is the crate you can buckle into your car, lift up with puppy inside and carry into the vet, place on a nightstand or directly on the bed at night. It also provides good protection for the surface it's on in case of accident. Easy to clean, comes apart and stores well, A crate is not the place to cheap out, so thinking one crate can last for the lifetime of your dog is misguided. Get this one, trust me. You will see exactly what I mean within a couple of days of using it. Any larger and it's not as portable or easy to grab and go. Any smaller and your puppy won't be comfortable.
The adult size crate. This is where it really does depend. A full grown Toller can be a shorty like JJ or a giraffe like Allegra or a giant like Sawyer. They each have a different crate size. I am lucky to have a large inventory of crates (mostly acquired from classifieds, dog shows and yard sales.) I just clean them well with bleach after making sure they are in good working order and that all of the parts are there.
JJ's adult crate is 24" high, 19" wide and 27" long.
Allegra's adult crate is 25" high, 20" wide and 30" long.
Sawyer's adult crate is 27" high, 25" wide and 36" long.
You don't need to rush the purchase of an adult crate. You can wait until your pup is 3-4 months old and buy something then. That's about when the baby crate will be too small. Talk to the sales people, ask them what owners of Border Collies and small labs and spaniels buy. They can tell you exactly what size. If you are purchasing online, read the recommended breeds for that size. You won't be likely to see Toller listed but anything that fits an Aussie, Border Collie, Portuguese Water Dog or Brittany will be suitable for a Toller too.
Please don't sweat these decisions. You will get the right size. You will be okay.