My Answer: No need to send any crates in advance, we have so many crates it would boggle your mind. Literally, we have a stack of them consuming a corner of our basement. We will begin acclimatizing the pups to crates shortly after they get under their own power. Primarily we will use plastic airline kennels to get the pups started. They will be more likely to chew wire crates, and this isn’t a behavior we want to get ingrained at the start.
That Orvis crate looks to be a nice one, but with a pup, and a boy Drent at that...I couldn't recommend it as an initial investment. He could get lucky and It could be just right, or it could end up being a bit small, or maybe even a bit small for an at home sleeping crate… All on our adult dogs have quite large wire crates so they can lay comfortably when we are away, but when they are pups, they aren’t given such luxury. I did recommend recommend looking on Facebook marketplace, or any other comparable source, for used crates, in particular "life-stages" crates which have a movable panel which will help with potty training. You can make the puppies space smaller when they are tiny and move it to make their space larger as their needs evolve and their bladders strengthen. Then you can either fold it up or sell it once you are done with it.
As I have mentioned in my book, Drents will be really close to full size at around 11-13 months of age. Boys, in particular, will still be filling out: gaining bone and muscle mass up until possibly 3 years of age, and his coat will continue to develop pretty much his whole life, but his adult coat could take until he is 3 or 4 years of age. Females will be done much closer to 18 months but will also likely see some coat development as they age, but to a much smaller extent than the boys. With Drents, it is important to realize Sexual Dimorphism is common in the breed, with the boys being larger. Also, boys can take longer to mature physically (mostly the "finishing out" phase).
With the Powder X Joeri litter my best guess would be most of the litter will be close to the size of the parents as I have posted. But with the Drent, there is a lot of variety, and some bloodlines have more than others and in this case on the father's side of the family, there is a greater amount of uniformity in size 23"-24" at the shoulder. On the mother’s side there are some really big boys. So, while it is unlikely, it may be possible we could see a 25" boy.
So for the home, in short, I think buying an adjustable kennel, or a series of the plastic bodied kennels is your best option for his first year. Clean, used, but well-maintained kennels are the best way to go until you know for sure how big he is going to be.
In writing this, I see where I totally failed John. I didn’t even touch on the travel part of kenneling your dog. When it comes to airlines, really, these requirements have become a moving target, and so checking with your airline of choice several months in advance is critical. What I will touch upon is crating for overland/highway travel. I am a huge fan of having my dogs crated while rolling down the road, it just solves so many problems before they even have a chance to rear their heads to become one! For travel with Drents I am not in favor of wire, or folding wire crates. I have a friend and mentor who uses them, his dogs are small, so he has never had a problem. I used them and stopped after having the crates collapse at the least opportune time. I use Intermediate Ruff Tough kennels, now called Ruff Land, kennels. They are a bit small for our larger boys, and about right-ish for the girls and they are strapped down to the “Hell for Stout” Carty Vault with 2,500# cargo straps. You can buy tougher kennels these days, but I’ve never had a problem or heard of a problem with a “Ruff Tough” – they are tough as wood pecker lips. The small size isn’t great for long road trips but does keep the dogs from being tossed around in the back country. Everything is a compromise, and I went a bit towards safety over comfort.
Paxson will soon be thirteen years old. He is surprisingly healthy, but his rear-end just isn't really with the program so much. So we took Paxson Double Barrel Ranch so he could get some action, and Booker was brought along for back up - as we were pretty much counting on the fact Paxson couldn't make the whole hunt. Also, we brought young Robert, my four and a half year old son, for his first pheasant hunt. All in all, a good time was had.
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some odd years later this is what you get.