Before you start
You will need a ruler, construction paper, and a pen or marker
Measure and Draw
Measure and place dots on the construction paper for the bottom width of the basket. For this example we are using a large Malibu basket which is 10 inches wide.
Place a dot in the middle (at 5 inches for this example).
Place the ruler on the center dot and measure the other bottom width, in this example it is 15 inches.
Draw out the basket shape. The large Malibu is an oval, some of the other baskets are flat on once side like the letter "D". You can do this free hand. Don't worry, you won't be graded on your artwork.
Do the same for the top inside dimensions.
When you're done your drawing should look something like the following:
Fit Your Dog
Place your dog in the center to make sure she will fit in the bottom dimensions. The goal is to see if her butt will fit in the circle. The baskets all open up near the top so don't worry too much if she looks small in the bottom circle you drew. Just make sure her butt will fit. In this example Jersey fits in the bottom shaded area very well.
Next ask your dog to sit and measure her with a ruler up to the shoulder. For the best fit make sure your dogs shoulder is within a couple inches of the inside basket wall. If you are using a pillow your dog will sit up another inch. If your dog is too short you can add a small blanket to let her sit up a bit more. In this example Jersey's shoulder is at 11.5 inches (yes, she's not happy about being measured). The large Malibu's inner wall is 13 inches tall. So she will be a bit short without a pillow. This is actually perfect for keeping her in as you can see in the next picture.
Jersey looks great in this basket. This is without a pillow, with a pillow inside she will sit up even higher. She could actually sit very well in a medium Malibu. Jersey weighs about 20 pounds in this picture.
The next example is for the Cape May rear mount basket, which is a "D" shaped basket. It is flat in the front (toward the seat), so when you draw it you will make the front flat. This also applies for the Laguna front mount, and the Myrtle Beach rear mount. Your drawing should look like this after you have measured the inside and outside diameters:
I've placed Jersey in this new template and as you can see she is a little bit big. Not because of her weight, but more of her size. She is very long. She would be more comfortable in a Myrtle Beach, which is an extra 4 inches in length at the bottom.
As you can see, Leo fits much better in this basket. Leo currently weighs 14 pounds and is much shorter in length.
As you can see, Leo fits very well in this rear basket. The front basket wall is right at his shoulder. It's not very important to keep the shoulder at the exact height, but it does encourage skittish dogs from trying to jump out. Very mellow dogs are not bothered by sitting up a bit higher. As always, use a couple of basket leashes to keep them centered in the basket and secure.
Using this method ensures your dog will be secure and comfortable in the basket and you will both have a great time when you ride. Enjoy your basket and get out there and ride!