Build A Dog Run In Your Backyard
Gain peace of mind when you build a dog run.
Reasons you may want to build a dog pen include:
– Keeping your dog confined to one section of your property without putting him on a chain
– Allowing your dog to be unsupervised while getting fresh air
– Keeping your dog from digging up plants or chewing on them
– Keeping your dog away from outside equipment or electrical gear
– Providing an outdoor area for an incontinent dog or one that is not housebroken that can be easily cleaned
Important to note: A dog run is not supposed to be a substitute for bathroom walks and exercise sessions with your dog.
Some things to consider before you build a dog run include:
– Where should you put the run,
– Will you need a building permit,
– Will it provide shelter from environmental extremes,
– Will your dog bark excessively and disturb the neighbors,
– How many hours a day will the dog be using the run,
– Will it be near enough to a water faucet so you can hose it down,
FLOOR OF THE DOG RUN
You can build a dog run yourself using a variety of materials. Many runs have a sealed concrete floor about 4 inches thick. The most desirable type of concrete is smooth but not too slippery. It is best to have a slight slope built in for drainage, between Â¼ and Â½ inch per foot, for those occasions when your dog has to go potty before you can take him out.
Dog runs attached to large-scale kennels are at least 50 square feet, either 4 x 12 or 5 x 10 feet. For a single dog run in a backyard, a greater width and length is desirable, such as 6 x 20 feet, especially if your dog is active.
If you want a dog run that can be moved from place to place, and your dog is not inclined to dig his way out, you can use the ground as your base. You can purchase modular chain link units for this purpose. Note that it may be more difficult to clean if your dog poops in the run and may also become muddy in rainy areas.
SIDES OF THE PEN
Steel chain link fence (9 gauge) is used for the sides and roof in many cases, since this is very durable and the most difficult for a dog to chew through. A concrete block base filled with sand and topped with concrete makes for a good start for the first couple of feet. The height you build it is up to you – 6 or 8 feet should be sufficient.
If chicken wire or another type of wire fencing is all you have at hand, by all means use it. It may be best to reinforce the bottom couple of feet of the run with thick boards, then staple the wire mesh over the boards. To prevent a dog from digging under the boards, consider extending the wire mesh about a foot or so into the ground.
Wood lattice is another possibility, but is best suited for a small dog that will be using the dog run infrequently for short periods of time and is not inclined to chew wood.
ROOF OF THE RUN
Since some dogs are climbers, it may be best to cover the overhead area with fencing as well. In places where the dog pen is exposed, put a roof over at least part of the run to provide shade and shelter, unless you have a large doghouse inside the pen that will serve the same purpose. Make sure this roof slopes down to drain off rain or snow, preferably off to one side rather than onto the floor of the ru