Need ideas for Dog Run
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Thread: Need ideas for Dog Run

  1. #1
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Need ideas for Dog Run

    Well, as some of you might remember, the dogs destroyed my back yard over the winter. Its recovering...slowly. There are definitely areas that are not coming back. So the last month or two they've been pretty limited to their potty area. Well, naturally, its pretty much just mud now...which was to be expected. We would like to turn that area (about 15x15) into a more perminant dog run that would be more sanitary and less likely to track in mud...

    We saw some of those artifical turf people at the Chicago expo and we were considering that, until we realized the price....yikes!

    Should we just pave it? would stones work? some other artificial material? What have you seen/used and what works or doesn't work?
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    I just haul the free shredded bark from the city. Lots of work the first year to lay down a carpet of 4" thick mulch (1/4" acre - trails, potty area, etc.) but, less work as the years go by as I just have to top it off.

  4. #3
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Believe me, I SYMPATHIZE! My fenced dog yard became a huge mud pit last fall, and never recovered. So I did exactly what you're doing - I put in a bank of dog runs just along the fenceline. We are just now replanting grass, and hope to have the yard usable again in 2 - 3 weeks.

    Besides the new bank of runs, I also have a large one built onto my back deck. Size is very important. For two dogs, the size sounds just about right; 15 x 15. I wouldn't go any less than that, and if you're thinking of adding a 3rd dog anytime in the future, I'd go up to 20 x 20. I routinely have 3 dogs in my 16 x 16 deck kennel during the day, but I think it's really a little cramped. The new bank of runs are all 8 x 16 and are designed to house just one dog at a time. I use them as a large crate alternative.

    Here are the substrates I've used...

    -Waterproofed, treated deck planks, spaced wide apart to allow for really good drainage. Built just like a regular deck above your native soil about 6" up. Scoop the poop daily (or twice a day, depending on use), then rinse the deck to remove any residue and urine. I like to add an enzyme cleaner to the deck before rinsing to really get it clean. Four times a year, disinfect with bleach or Nolvasan.

    Pros: Looks really nice, not dusty, keeps the dogs very clean, doesn't absorb and release heat in the summer

    Cons: Expensive, can sometimes be difficult to thoroughly rinse, slippery when wet, very hard to clean in the winter when temps are below freezing (have to lay bedding down on top of deck in winter, or poop and urine freezes to the deck)

    -Pea gravel. About 4" - 6" deep, laid down above a base of hardware cloth. The hardware cloth keeps the pea gravel in place (i.e., it doesn't get worked down into the soil), and discourages digging. Scoop poop daily (or twice a day, depending on use), rinse with a water/enzyme solution once a week to cut any urine odor. Four times a year, disinfect with bleach or Nolvasan.

    Pros: Less expensive than decking, easier to scoop poop, easy to keep clean in all weather, according to some mushers I know, promotes tight paw formation

    Cons: Requires more frequent deodorizing, can be dusty in dry weather, and a little dirty in wet weather, is hotter on paws and creates more ambient heat in the summer

    For fencing, I use cattle panel from TSC. It's inexpensive, and completely husky-proof. Bury 8' posts 2' into the ground to make a 6' tall enclosure - make sure to cement the posts. Staple the cattle panels to the posts.

    All of my kennel runs have roofs and are anywhere from 6' - 8' tall.

    I have a total of 5 kennel runs on my acreage - overkill, but I like having the flexibility to separate dogs, board others' dogs if need be, and take in fosters... I never worry about not having enough space!

    Edited to add, I would HIGHLY recommend that you cover your dog run somehow. Anything from a full timber roof, to a Suntuf fiberglass roof... it is SO MUCH EASIER to keep a dog run clean when you don't have the elements working against you.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Some photos...

    My deck kennel. The spacing between the planks really isn't ideal, so we're ripping wider spaces with a circular saw right now...







    Here's a pic of the newer dog runs, this was taken last fall during construction. They are still not completely done, but they're functional Note muddy yard

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Thanks for the ideas...its not going to be for them to stay in all day, mostly just as a potty place. Sometimes on nice days I leave the door open so they can sit out and watch the birds, but its not really enough room for them to wrestle. I don't feel confident enough to leave them outside in this area (too many huskies stollen from back yards in the last year). Do you know if the dogs eat the gravel at all? I was worried that mine would...

    As for a wood deck, we don't really have the space to put it, plus our back door is flat on the ground (no steps) so it would be a little strange to make a deck for the dogs)

    eta: ahhh, i see about the wood deck...hm... i still think that might be too pricey, but I'll show it to my husband, thanks!
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  7. #6
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Yeah, my guys spend a lot more time out there because I like to have them out with me while I do farm work. I'm rarely away from home so it works out great for us.

    I know what you mean about the concern of stolen dogs... we live on a large acreage that is completely secluded and gated, so no one even knows we're here. In a more suburban setting, I would never attempt it. Also, I've designed all my kennels so none of them open directly to the open; my deck kennel is attached to my garage, and like you I often leave the door open so they can come into the house as they please. The backyard kennels open into the fenced yard, which is padlocked. Any theif would have to scale the 8' fence, get to the dog, then somehow find a way to get the dog back over the fence

    My guys don't eat the gravel, but I know some huskies do... so that's definitely a valid concern. Maybe you could try it one small corner and see if they're tempted to eat it?
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Well, with the arrival of our foster, the area now smells 10 times more awful (and it was bad before), even picking it up everyday (he barely eats, yet he's had 10 giant stinky nasty kibble poos in 3 days). So we are just going to take the plunge and try out the pea gravel. I honestly think the dogs will be fine with it since they don't really spend that much time in the area anyway. So we're spending about $250 on pea gravel and I want to look into a better little fence/gate...the one we have makes me nervous (they put their head through the decorative holes, I just see someone getting seriously hurt trying to go through it). But first thing first, getting that area a little more sanitary...

    I should take "before" and "after" pictures....its not really an uber exciting project, but still...lol
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  9. #8
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Just make sure that you put down hardware cloth (wire roll with 1/2" spacing) before laying down the gravel - it will keep it from disappearing into the soil, and help make the run more dig-proof too.

    For picking up the run with the pea gravel, I use a horse mucking rake you can buy at any tack shop or farm store. You can shake the gravel out and it'll leave the poo in the rake. Nice and easy

    If for some reason, one of your dogs is sorely tempted by the gravel, you can always add deck planks over top, so it wouldn't be a total waste. The gravel would still be great for drainage and sanitation under that kind of footing too.

    Good luck! I would LOVE to see before-and-afters!
    Hoof & Howl Farm Sleddogs
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    We are going to make a trip to the store later today, will the 1/2 be small enough to keep the pea gravel from sinking? I thought that pea gravel was smaller than that...or is it better to have the extra space for drainage? I saw that they have 1/4 available. Would this be better?

    Also, you mentioned a water/enzyme solution...not exactly sure what you mean by this, do you have a link to a product?

    Thank you so much!
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Inuit_Luv View Post
    Also, you mentioned a water/enzyme solution...not exactly sure what you mean by this, do you have a link to a product?
    Shamelessly bumping the question Do you mean something like Quat?

    And here are some of the pictures...we are still trying to decide what we want to do for the fence. Originally, it was like that so we could take it up if we ever needed to, but now that the poo area is more perminant, we are trying to think of what we could do. I would like to get some sort of fence that could go around the patio, too...but most of the idea's we had are expensive.

    Before:





    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    During:
    (with my wonderful husband not realizing I was taking a picture) lol


    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  13. #12
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    After:


    As you can see, they still spot up the yard, but at least is a little less than it would be without the potty area...
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  14. #13
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Wow! It looks amazing!!! You guys did an incredible job. It really looks awesome!

    Sorry I didn't see your questions sooner! For some reason I didn't get an email notification that you had replied. Anyway, in the past I've used Simple Solution or Nature's Miracle, the BIG size with the sprayer attachment, but it gets expensive really fast.

    I just ordered this stuff:

    http://spalding-labs.com/ByeByeOdor/Default.aspx

    Since it's a concentrate, it should be much cheaper in the long haul. I'm still waiting for it to arrive, though, so I don't have any firsthand experience. HOWEVER, I have used Spalding Labs' Fly Predators and it was a GREAT product, so I have faith that anything they put out is going to work as advertised.
    Hoof & Howl Farm Sleddogs
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  15. #14
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    YIKES! I dunno about that just yet...I did buy some quat, which is the cleaner they typically use for cleaning kennels at the vets...I don't know if it will work as well as that stuff, but I'm going to give that a go first...if it doesn't work out, then maybe I can swing for that other stuff....we'll see. Thanks for the info!
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  16. #15
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Give it a shot and let me know how it works!

    I figure the 4 oz concentrate bottle, for $19.99, should last me about 2 months... that would be with spraying the deck kennel and the dog runs daily. So $10 a month I can totally swing in the summer months when things tend to get stinky.
    Hoof & Howl Farm Sleddogs
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  17. #16
    Senior Member Northern_Inuit_Luv's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    I see what your saying, I was thinking that would last about 2 weeks, maybe I'll need to do my math a bit more. I bought a gallon of the quat, and they say to dilute it and make sure to rinse it down really well. So we'll see...

    Anything is better than it was before, lol
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

  18. #17
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Need ideas for Dog Run

    Yeah, I think even just the gravel without any spray will make a HUGE difference. I don't really notice if I happen to miss a "spray day" on the dog runs. But, we're not at the heat of the summer yet, and it's been rainy, so it's been washing away a lot on its own.

    The website says that the 4 oz bottle would last 5 horse stalls for one month, if sprayed daily. I have two dog areas in use right now - the deck kennel (16' x 16'), and Jasper's run (8' x 10'), so I figure that's about the same as 2 1/2 horse stalls. That's how I got my 2 month estimate.
    Hoof & Howl Farm Sleddogs
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