Every household dog is different. While some dogs are content to live a sedate and laid-back life with their owners, others have a very strong need to run around constantly, whether or not there is a person or even other dogs to run around with them. If you have a big yard and an incredibly energetic dog, often the best thing you can do for both the yard and the canine is to build a dog run.
What is a Dog Run?
A dog run is a special fenced area designated specifically for your dog’s use. Ideally, it will give them plenty of outdoor space to play, run around, and smell the neighborhood while also protecting the rest of your nicely landscaped yard and the clothing of your guests from enthusiastic muddy paws. A dog run can give you more freedom with how you use the rest of your yard, up to and including an open fence plan, while still keeping your animal companion happy, healthy, and in-sight of the action.
Dog runs traditionally have several square yards of open space surrounded by a chain-link that can’t be slipped through by smaller visiting dog friends. Dog runs can either be completely separate from the house with a gate into the main yard, connected via a doggy door, or have their own dog house or kennel connected so a dog left in the run can easily take shelter.
Designing the Size of Your Dog Run
Where to put your dog run and how big it can be will depend on your current yard. You may even want to think about relandscaping entirely to accommodate your plan. The dog run should be on relatively flat land with, at minimum, 3×10 feet of space. However, we recommend a lot more room for running if possible and another standard is a minimum of five dog-lengths in each direction. Finally, be sure that your dog run leaves plenty of room for backyard activities and hosting while still in-sight of the action so your dog doesn’t feel too left out of the fun.
The Shape of Your Dog Run
Another option to think about is the fact that dog runs don’t have to be perfectly square. You can design a round one if you like or an L-shaped dog run that conforms to the current design of your backyard. As long as there’s plenty of room to run around, your dog may even appreciate a track that rings the outside of your yard so they can visit all over without leaving the safety and containment of the chain-link fence dog run.
Doggy Door or Kennel?
The next question is where your dog will go if it starts to rain, gets cold, or they get hungry. Dog runs are often used as all-day solutions to canine exercise and containment and the more options your dog has, the less you have to worry about them. If your pet is mostly an outside-dog, consider building them a cozy kennel or spacious dog house inside the run or at the edge of the run so that your dog can seek shelter and have a dry place to keep their food, water, bed, and toys.
Of course, if the dog run is your solution to keeping a mostly indoor-dog exercised, then connecting it to the back doggy door is a natural solution to a number of problems. No more having to let them out at night or worrying that they’ll get cold and wet if you leave them outside.
Installing the Chain-Link Fence
Finally, when you know exactly how you want your dog run designed, it’s time to install the single key factor, a sturdy chain-link fence. Talk to your fence contractors about a fence tall enough to prevent ambitious jump-escapes and low enough into the ground to thwart dig-out attempts as well as how to secure the dog run to your current outer fence and the home for your doggy-door solution. Don’t forget to set the position of at least one gate so you can jump in and join your dog in fetch and tug-of-war in the dog zone.
With the right design and chain-link fence for the job, you and your dog can soon share the backyard in harmony with their area free to bury bones and roll in dust piles while you enjoy a nice tidy barbecue and relaxation space with family and guests. For more fencing project tips or a consultation on your dog run plans, contact us today!