Dog Kennels?
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Thread: Dog Kennels?

  1. #1
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Dog Kennels?

    Once I get back to NC, the dogs will need kennels for outside. We do have a fenced yard, but it wonít hold the dogs. Building a new fence isnít an option.

    The pups could be spending up to 24 hours in the kennel, but realistically more like 6-8 hours and probably spaced out over the day. Iíd rather have them outside kenneled then inside crated. Theyíll be brought inside if itís too hot or too cold. Theyíll probably be rotated in and out throughout the day since they cannot be together. The kennels will not be there to take the place of walks.

    I was thinking two 10x20ft kennels. One 10ft section would be a joining wall; that will need to be a solid wall so they cannot interact through the fence. Iíll be putting wire or chain link down beneath pea gravel so they canít dig out and the top will be covered so they cannot climb or jump out. Iím completely against chain-link as a fence, love welded wire fencing.


    Would it be cheaper to purchase or build kennels? What is an adequate size for one 60-70lb dog? How hard would it be to build a gate? What are some good brands of dog kennels? Any pictures of your dog runs/kennels? Cost is a limitation, so a good quality but affordable option is a must!

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    This is my 12x18 foot kennel in my yard. We've made some interior changes since this photo was taken, but the structure remains the same.



    I bought the sections used. I may have spent too much at about $300, but it had the gate, the 10-6-ft sections (including the gate) and was in good shape.

    There is a dog house in there and the whole thing is parked under a couple of mature spruces for shade.

    I added a stock tank a while back for Esther, who seems to think she is a dolphin.





    I keep fresh straw in there, which is cheap and readily available around here.

    I can't actually remember the last time my girls were in there, but spring is here and it's time to clean out the stock tank for my dolphin-dog.

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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Ron- your outside enclosure is the nicest I've ever seen.

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    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    I really like the stock tank. Are they easy to drain? Gunner loves swimming and I wanted to do something like that in his kennel. I tried a kiddie pool, but dumping them often is going to kill me. I also worry about their collars getting caught, but I'd probably remove all collars when in the kennel anyway.

    How do you like the chain link? Does it hold up well? Oh! And I'm completely jealous of your shade trees!

    Sorry! Lot's of questions, but if I'm going to do build/spend a lot of money on kennels - I want to do this right the first time.

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    The stock tank has a drain plug and I installed a shut-off valve and a drain hose so that the water can be diverted to our garden. I wondered how my dogs would get in and out but Esther has no trouble and Molly has no interest.

    The chain link is fine and durable. If the girls are in there unattended, their collars are off. They have shown no inclination to dig out, though they spend a lot of time rearranging the straw to make nests. There is no top and my girls are jumpers but not climbers.

    I had an Irish setter that would have climbed that chain link like a ladder, just to show me she could.

  7. #6
    Senior Member a7dk's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    RonE - your kennel is awesome! I always think of outside kennels as horrible places where dogs go to bark their way to an early death of starvation, but that one looks really nice!

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    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Yikes a7dk! Well my dogs wonít be left in their kennels to bark themselves into starvation! Our yard just isnít fenced properly to hold the pups in and away from causing neighborhood destruction and the death of many a kitty cat. Removing the old fence and fencing the entire yard again is a waste of money since the dogs canít be out there together and weíre moving in a year & a half. Alone, they are very unlikely to even use the entire yard. They used to be tethered, but I want something more that I feel comfortable with for extended periods of time.

    Thanks RonE! I really like your set up. I think Iíll probably go for welded wire since itís more pleasing to the eye to me. I love the idea of a drain hose. I would have never thought of that, but no reason why the water should go to waste!

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    you seem to like welded wire, but the big benefit of the chain link kennels is that they tend to be readily available second hand on craigslist. And I have both welded wire and chain link fencing at my place, and honestly, the chain link seems more durable and I like that the holes are smaller (harder for dog paws or kids hands to get through).

    RonE- how's the stock tank do with mosquitoes? I'd think any standing water like that would breed them. the horse stock tanks get drank down quickly enough (and are smaller than that too) but I can't see 1-2 dogs drinking the water like a half dozen horses.

    Since you want a solid wall between the kennels, why not just put them on opposite sides of the yard? I think a 10 x 12 kennel is enough since you are not expecting the dogs to exercise themselves or anything like that. 10 x 12 gives enough leg stretching room and room to have a shaded portion (or all of it) but stays at the standard size so if you buy second hand, it'll be relatively cheap.

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    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    you seem to like welded wire, but the big benefit of the chain link kennels is that they tend to be readily available second hand on craigslist. And I have both welded wire and chain link fencing at my place, and honestly, the chain link seems more durable and I like that the holes are smaller (harder for dog paws or kids hands to get through).

    .
    Just a word about chain link. Not kennel, but my dog apparently slipped his leg through the chain link fence up high. This was in November. About $6000 in surgery later, we're still trying to heal the broken humerus. If I'd the choice, I'd probably go with welded wire.

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    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    I have tons of great info for you, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Kennel design is one of my favorite topics!
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawzk9 View Post
    Just a word about chain link. Not kennel, but my dog apparently slipped his leg through the chain link fence up high. This was in November. About $6000 in surgery later, we're still trying to heal the broken humerus. If I'd the choice, I'd probably go with welded wire.
    How would the welded wire prevent a leg slipping through and getting caught? If the paw can fit through, its seems like any of the wire type fencing would have the same risk.

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    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    How would the welded wire prevent a leg slipping through and getting caught? If the paw can fit through, its seems like any of the wire type fencing would have the same risk.
    Welded wire is not diamond shaped (at least none that I've seen)

  14. #13
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Hereís a horrible paint drawing of my yard and where I want to put the kennels. Iíll probably end up moving the shed or scraping it and buying a new one and putting it on the side of the house near the neighbors with animals.



    There are a few reasons for keeping the kennels together on one side of the property. One is to keep the dogs away from the neighbors with dogs and cats. The dogs will bark endlessly at each other. My dogs want to kill cats and seeing the neighborís cats will constantly get them riled up. Having both kennels together is easier for me Ė scooping poop, watering, washing the kennels out. For resale on the house, Iím laying down pea gravel and keeping it where the RV gate is makes sense then scattered around the yard.

    I really like welded wire because it is pleasing to my eye. If Iím going to have to see something for an extended period of time, I want to like it. I like the discussion on it though. I never considered the dogs putting their paws through the kennel and injuring themselves. Scary! Iíd rather pay extra now then pay a lot more down the line on an injured dog. Iím very sorry about your dog Pawzk9.

    Nekomi, I canít wait to hear your info! Iím so impatient and love seeing/reading about kennels. Some of them can be absolutely gorgeous, I wouldnít mind living in them!

    Is pea gravel a good option for the flooring? It rains too often to leave it as grass or itíll be mud. Cement is too hard/expensive for my liking. Are there any other options? I heard of kennel decking, but that is expensive!

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
    The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Just an idea but what about laying down those rubber stall mats that are for horses and then using straw over it for bedding? The mats are fairly cheap, durable and provide good cushion. Plus they can be hosed off easily. The two barn dogs seem quite comfortable in a stall with the mats and then a layer of sawdust bedding (same as the horses have in their stalls). They have old couch cushions as dog beds, but they aren't exposed to the elements there.

    You could put down a layer of sand for drainage and then lay the mats on it. Straw would be super easy to pitchfork off to clean up when it gets wet or soiled.

    Oh, edit to add: I have heard that pea gravel works well but from the real estate /re-sale side of things, I hate the stuff. It is a pain in the butt to remove completely and it gets worked into the soil and spread around the yard. If you already have rocky soil in your area, it might not be too annoying but if you've got good topsoil or clay/soil, then gravel gets in the way of future gardening and landscaping. At least sand can be tilled into the existing soil, some topsoil added and grass seed laid when the house goes on the market.
    Last edited by Shell; 05-22-2011 at 11:06 AM.

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    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    Would straw be constantly getting soaked though from the rain and sometimes snow? I liked the pea gravel because it would be a one time cost, straw wouldnít be. The idea of straw is a good one though. I bet the dogs would love digging in it. Does straw attract bugs?

    Do you think having the fencing below the pea gravel help keep it stabilized? Iíll have to ask our realtor about pea gravel and resale. I thought by keeping it towards the gate, it would be better since well who would want to garden there? Most people out here park their cars/rvs in the back. I have no clue though!

    Thanks Shell! Youíre giving me lots to think about!

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
    The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
    -Ralph W. Sockman


  17. #16
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    You could put down weed barrier fabric under the pea gravel and use some garden edging to keep it contained. The fabric will also keep weeds from growing up into the gravel (duh, that's what it is made for..)
    If it is used where someone is likely to park a car later, it might not be too bad. I had a gravel driveway once and it got tracked all over- stuck in the soles of my shoes and into the house, you can't shovel snow on it, and when it freezes, it is very slick.

    Yeah, straw would get wet but I figured you'd do a cover something like Ron's got that would keep it drier. It dries alright in the sun so long as it gets tossed around. And its cheap.

    I'm just a fan of the horse mats because if you set the kennel on a very slight slope, the rain runs right off and you can spray them with a hose so easily. The dog cannot dig through them and they are comfortable to lay on. They do get hot in the sun (being black rubber) but when shaded are fine.

    I see what Pawzk9 is saying about the chain link, my dog's paw doesn't fit through it so I never really worried about him getting a paw caught (he's also not an escape artist either). There is some welded wire fencing that has narrower openings (like 2 inches wide compared to the usual 4 inches) but still avoids the danger of the diamond shape.

  18. #17
    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    OK, sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread!

    Straw is a no-go as a permanent bedding, IMO. I've tried it. It gets soaked with urine, mats together and reeks horribly! When it gets rained on, it's useless as bedding. And yes, IMO it attracts bugs. The quality also varies considerably from batch to batch, and I have a dog with an allergy to certain plants so that can be a problem.

    I use pea gravel in my four front yard kennels. They are each 16' x 8' and house a pair of dogs, each, for about 4 - 6 hours daily. What I did was lay down hardware cloth, then lay down 4" of pea gravel on top. It's stayed in place very well thanks to a 6" board running along the ground, defining the kennel perimeter and holding the material in. It's SUPER easy to clean, doesn't leave a lingering odor, and allows urine to drain right through into the soil. The only con is that some dogs may eat it. Additionally, giving them Kongs or other messy treats on it can be troublesome because it coats the pea gravel and makes it look tasty.

    If your dogs would be inclined to eat pea gravel, you could try crushed limestone. The texture is lighter than pea gravel, but coarser than sand. Limestone also has some nice antimicrobial properties that can come in handy against odor. I visited a really nice kennel complex once that used crushed limestone and REALLY liked it.

    Sand is an option, but has a tendency to get packed down and VERY hard over time, making it impossible to scoop easily. I used sand in our 10' x 10' chicken coop/run and I like it, but it doesn't drain quickly like pea gravel does. It packed down into a very hard, tight base after just one season of use, and to rake it up you have to literally chop it up into sections!

    OK, onto the construction of the kennels themselves... what I've found is that the cheapest material to use is cattle panel, if your dogs are large enough that they can't go through the holes. A 16' long x 4' tall panel will run you about $20 at Tractor Supply Co., and you can easily stack two on top of one another to make a secure 6' or even 8' tall kennel. They are very easy to handle, but SUPER strong, made of 6 gauge metal that's impossible to chew through. The only downside is that a dog can easily fit their head through the holes, so topping off the panel with a thinner-gauge wire (such as field fence) is strongly recommended. Even with two layers of fencing, you can build an escape-proof, very strong kennel for much less than the commercial ones, and you'll be way ahead of the game on quality. All you'd need is the cattle panel, welded wire (if needed) and wooden posts. To block the two kennels from one another, you can put a $20 panel of wooden privacy fencing in-between.

    If you don't want to double up the layers of fencing, there is a more expensive version of cattle panel (roughly $40 per 16' x 4' panel), also sold at TSC, called "hog panel". It has all the benefits of cattle panel, including the high strength, but with a smaller hole size that doesn't allow whole heads to fit through. Instead, my huskies can just barely poke the tips of their muzzles through the holes, to give you an idea. I used hog panel on the front gates of all my kennels to prevent fence fighting, since my kennels are directly adjacent to my dogs' main play area.

    If you opt against cattle panel or hog panel, the welded wire is MUCH more attractive and safer than chain link, IMO. It's very hard for dogs to climb and comes in several different gauges. However, you need to know that there's a difference between WELDED wire and WOVEN wire. The woven wire is MUCH, MUCH stronger than the welded. I would never recommend welded wire for a large dog, as they can "pop" the welds and easily create holes in the fence. Woven wire has each joint held together with a little knot, making it impossible to come undone. I used 12 gauge on my deck kennel, and it's very strong despite the thinner gauge, and I've never had a dog chew through it (over the years, it has successfully contained a total of 6 husky mixes and 5 wolfdogs!).

    Gates are very easy to make - just take your time and think your design through, and you'll be fine. If you live in a snowy area, building your gate 1' off the ground, with a stationary panel of fencing underneath, can save your back from having to constantly dig the gate out from snow during the winter. You'll have to hop over the little partition to enter and exit, but I've not found this to be a problem with my kennels at all.

    I would highly recommend building your kennels with a double gate. It will make it SO much easier for you to service your kennels, i.e., when you're carrying a heavy water bucket, poop scoop/rake, or whatever.

    Here are some photos of the kennels we have for our huskies.

    This is our deck kennel - attached to our garage. The covered deck was already there when we bought the house, so we just framed it in with 2"x4" woven wire fencing. It's 16' x 16' with the wood deck as flooring, covered with wood chips that are scooped daily and replaced weekly (a lot of maintenance, and I don't recommend this method, but we don't want to rip out our deck).



    In the back of this photo you can see our double gate entering into the dog yard. It makes the area virtually escape-proof, and I absolutely LOVE the ease that I can enter and exit even with an armful of supplies. Also, this fence is made of cattle panel, so you can see how attractive and non-intrusive it is to the view of the yard.



    This is one of our "front yard" kennels made of hog panel. This is before we renovated the gates to make them easier to handle in the winter.



    I'm finding more photos to post in a minute...

    This is a photo of our chicken coop in-progress, but it gives you an idea of how to properly frame a kennel to make it square and sturdy. Start with 4" x 4" pressure-treated posts. Dig a trench in the ground to mark the perimeter of your kennel area. Lay the 4" x 4" posts horizontally into the trench, checking with a bubble level as you go along to make sure they are straight. After you have these foundation posts laid, you can add 2" x 6" boards on top to contain your desired substrate or bedding. (They are connected with metal "L" brackets that you screw into the 2" x 6" and the foundation posts.) Then you start framing in the 2" x 4" or 4" x 4" studs that will form the walls of your kennel.

    It sounds complicated, but it's actually simple once you get started on the project. It makes more sense as you go along. And since you haven't cemented anything into the ground, the whole structure can be disassembled and removed if you have to move.





    Looking for more info and photos to post...
    Last edited by nekomi; 05-22-2011 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  19. #18
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Kennels?

    I was planning to cover it with a shade cover, so it wouldnít hold rain out of the kennels, but would give them shade inside the kennels and keep them from going out the top. They haven't shown to be complete escape artists, but I'd rather be safe then sorry later!

    Thank you Nekomi! You are a wealth of knowledge!

    Luckily the dogs donít eat any sort of gravel or rocks and besides antlers, wonít be getting any treats in their kennels. Yummy, messy treats are saved for their crates. About how much pea gravel is needed for 4in deep, 16x8í kennel?

    We have a tractor supply nearby and will look at both the cattle panels and hog panels. If I were to stack them, would I need a post in between to staple them to? What is used to staple them to the wood?

    Weíve gotten snow the last few years, but I heard it was rare for our area. Even then, it might stay for a 24-48 hours at most. Plus I still trip over the baby gate we have 3Ē off the ground! I had to put bright orange duct tape on it so I could remember to step up. I like the idea of a double gate. It would make things a bit easier on me.



    Now I love your deck kennel! That is extremely cool! And the other pictures were very helpful. I defiantly needed visuals! Thank you! Iíll have to post pictures when I get everything built for them. I head back to NC in June, and the dog kennels are the first priority, then tiling the house!

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
    The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
    -Ralph W. Sockman


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