Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Share Ideas, Plans and what ever else about kennels and dog Boxes.
dcschoenwolf
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Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby dcschoenwolf » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:06 pm

We have two Walker pups we need to build outdoor kennels for, one male one female (littermates) and could use some guidance. We had planned to use blue barrels as houses and chain out as others in our area do but we are within city limits, although not directly in town, and we have learned our city recently passed city ordinances making it essentially illegal to do so. These pups come from escape artist parents so we are a bit concerned about having future runaways. So our questions....

1. We plan to spay/neuter both pups as soon as they are old enough. Is it okay to build one kennel and place one or two doghouses in it or should be build two and just keep them separated?

2. With escaping/climbing/digging being a concern would it just be in our best interest to build an off the ground kennel? We were thinking probably a wood platform with 2x4s spaced evenly maybe 6-12 inches off the ground with pea gravel underneath for drainage when sprayed out.

3. For the sides would chainlink suffice or should we go for something like the welded wire?

4. What should we do for the roof so they have some protection from the sun and rain/snow but also can’t climb out?

5. What size would be appropriate for the kennel(s)?

6. Will the blue 55 gal plastic barrels suffice for housing filled with straw of cedar pine shavings when it gets really cold out?

We live in Wyoming and routinely get 6+ months of snow. Currently the highs have been ranging 30-40 and lows 15-20 degrees so it gets cold. Right now they are too young to be out at night so they are crated inside but spend some of the day out running the yard while we try to figure out our kennel situation.

Any and all other suggestions are welcome.

We have also considered just building the wood platform and buy the kennels you can purchase and C clamping those to the wood instead of building the wood platform with the wood frame and putting the fencing up around it.


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david
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby david » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:44 pm

Here is a thread on the blue barrels:
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=45060
david
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby david » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:47 pm

Here is my favorite thread on designing a kennel. Maybe you will find a useful idea or two here:

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=19765
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby Henefer-hound-hunter » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:59 pm

My kennels are two 30’x10’ rectangles I keep five males in one and three females in the other. Mine are 60” welded wire and 4”x 8’ treated posts. As for shade i use 6’ staked down window wells which work awesome! I have three dogs that are escape artists also so I have a hot wire around the top, and one 12” off the ground on the bottom. Works well for me. As for the 50 gallon plastic drums i live in northern Utah and we are in the single digits most the winter and drop into negatives frequently. I used them for years and if they are buried they work well, if they weren’t my dogs were getting to cold. If u use them cut the hole high and keep it as small as possible this will keep their bedding in the barrel. I switched over to igloos two years ago and modified them my own way and they have worked better in my opinion. I would keep them on the ground if you put them on wood or concrete it makes their feet weak mine are on rocky dirt keeps mines feet tough! Hope that helps

Cameron Adams
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby david » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:31 pm

Edit to say that was a great post by Cameron. I wish I would have seen it as he covered nearly everything very well.

1.Q: We plan to spay/neuter both pups as soon as they are old enough. Is it okay to build one kennel and place one or two doghouses in it or should be build two and just keep them separated?

A: there have been some well known dog men who keep all their dogs in one pen. I have done it and like it for many reasons. My biggest problem with this is it takes extra work and time to see that each dog gets the correct amount of food for them. Dogs food needs vary greatly at times.

2.Q: With escaping/climbing/digging being a concern would it just be in our best interest to build an off the ground kennel? We were thinking probably a wood platform with 2x4s spaced evenly maybe 6-12 inches off the ground with pea gravel underneath for drainage when sprayed out.

A:
high percentage of dogs are prone to dig.
Sure fire solution: make a smooth place for the kennel, and lay down hog panel or cattle panel and especially the welded rod panel such as the 2”x4” welded rectangles. I have used this in 5’x10’ pieces. So two pieces fit perfect for a 10x10 kennel floor. They CAN NOT dig at all. You can put gravel or whatever over the top of it. I secured a border of brick around to hold in the small gravel last time I did it. You can try putting plastic down befor laying the hog panel down as a weed barrier. But it will need a slope to drain if you do.

A small percentage of dogs learn to climb out. I plan on them not doing it, and then deal with it if they do. The only problem with hat philosophy is that once they experience escape, they can become relentlessly persistant. It really is better to never let them experience escape.

Laying a triangle of hog panel over the corner would stop a lot of Climbers. If the dog is jumping/hooking pulling over, you can fix hog panel along every edge: or cover the entire kennel with it. Once you have covered the kennel with a wire or rod barrier; making shade is a very simple thing with a good peice of canvas or a couple pieces of corrugated roofing. Make sure water can run off if it is canvas.

A lot of heat happens in late afternoon, and can be shaded by privacy fencing outside the kennel on the west side.

I am not a big fan of the elevated cages. I have seen them come and then go in the lives of some hounding friends.

There may be situations where they are the ONLY answer. That would be the only time I myself would use them.





3. Q: For the sides would chainlink suffice or should we go for something like the welded wire?

A:
Some dogs cannot be held by chain link. They will work it and work it until it is wrecked and once that happens, they will never again be held by it. This is not a high percentage problem, but it seems like every kennel has a dog who sees chain link as an enemy to destroy.

If you can possibly afford it, go with the welded/painted rod on a piping frame. I have never yet seen a dog destroy this stuff. And it is a lot more attractive. There are pictures of it in the hound dog hotel thread above.

If you buy that, set it on top of hog panel, and cover the top edges with hog panel, or electric wire, and you can rest easy.

4. Q: What should we do for the roof so they have some protection from the sun and rain/snow but also can’t climb out?

A: they need shade. They have their house when it snows or rains; just like you. Plant trees, transplant trees, or ideas listed above, and hopefully supplied by others on here.

Some put the house up on blocks so the hound can crawl under. If there is open ground at that spot it is something near 100% certain they will dig a basement there under the house and the earth will help cool them.
The elevated house could potentially add to the problem of jumping out. But for some reason most just never seem to think of or try this strategy.

John wick used to lean a 4x8’ sheet of plywood up against each dog house so they could get under it for shade.

5. What size would be appropriate for the kennel(s)?

Those welded rod panels come in 10 foot lengths. 10x10 per dog is enough if you are getting them out to run.

I once kept 3 dogs in a tiny kennel I made under the porch of an apartment. But I ran them every day and was hunting them hard a few days each week. That thing was no bigger than 8x6’ and three feet high up to the deck of the porch. Probably smaller than that. They were healthy, ripped, and in demand for puppies. And if they pooped, they never had to stare at it for more than a few hours because I was hyper careful not to let them become a problem for others living there. Never had a single complaint.

So it really depends on how much you can exercise them and care for them.

6. Will the blue 55 gal plastic barrels suffice for housing filled with straw of cedar pine shavings when it gets really cold out?

I have used them in Northern climates with a swinging door. Make sure you leave enough space for their tail because the door will close on it. My bedding of choice was hay, and lots of it. When first stuffed in there they would have to tunnel in to get in there. They loved fresh hay day. Hay lasts much longer than straw. If you push the door open when one has been in there, you can feel the heat and warm up your hands. You might have to resist the urge to crawl in there on a windy day. I tried to keep working doors on them, so can’t speak to their effectiveness without a door in winter.
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby Irish Jack » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:19 am

One thing I would add to David's comment on climbing is that if you use hog/cattle panel on top is to fasten it securely every 12".
My dogs climb like monkeys, stick their feet in the chain link and climb like they are on a peg board in gym class.
I gave a young dog to a friend of mine and the first night he had his head caught....like a Chinese finger trap. Squeezed between top rail of kennel, where the ends of the chain link and panel came together. His ties were about 4' apart. Lucky he heard the dog squalling, dog collar was hooked on chain-link and his head was wedged. Just lucky he was outside to hear him.

Jack
david
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby david » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:25 am

I should also add another escape to be aware of. The kennel had seven runs in a row.

This happened with two different escape-prone dogs.

One would be moved from his solo kennel in the middle to the kennel on the outside edge. Hmmmm.
Did someone move him? If so who was doing this? Etc. etc.
I would put him back and find the same confusion the next day.

He had been out before in the exercise pen so I figured now he was breaking out and then breaking in.
By the time I put him in another kennel and another dog did it, I figured it out

Felt like an idiot.

The second third and fourth kennels had been covered with wire goat fencing.
It was not something I thought about any more.

A branch had fallen on it pushing it down toward the dog house which was up on blocks.
He had got up on the house and worked a hole in the goat fencing directly above the house, and tight roped it Over to his buddies kennel on the end where he ran out of tight rope and plunged in.

Lucky the last one was not covered, as he was a pup and would have been out in the big wide
world of a very busy highway there.

I have never seen one jump to the top edge of the kennel from the top of the house. Doesn’t mean they won’t. But for some reason I have never seen a dog do it. And this includes dogs that can jump up head and shoulders above the top of the kennel, look around, and fall to the ground repeatedly.

These dogs just never realized how easy it would have been for them to hook the top and crawl over.

And that is a major point here. If they don’t know how to do it and never experience it or witness another dog doing it, you will be a whole lot better off.

Dogs sometimes go crazy trying to get out when they see their buddy unfairly free. And the first one may have been extra motivated to break out by game that passed nearby. The secon is motivated by both. This is when I have seen them actually pull chain link apart. As Jack pointed out, the problem can spread like a virus; especially among a litter of big pups.

It’s worth asking about when you add a new dog to the pack.
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby Beebout-it » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:57 am

My kennels are also 30×10 but 8ft of them are a opened faced loafing shed, I keep their houses in there so they are out of the wind and weather. Also they can't stand on top of the boxes and jump out. I always use road gravel in my kennels with a product called geo-grid under for digging. It's a very tough plastic mesh used for building roads, much less expensive than hog panels, I also use it to cover the kennels top because I to have two escape artists. My boys make pup figured out he can just run up the chain link to the top rail and walk around the top rail to any kennel he chooses. Him and his sister can open any gate so I have to keep them bungy corded shut. As far as the blue barrels go I have one in each kennel but they have nice insulated houses that they go to in cold weather. I keep three dogs to each 10×30 , I used to keep them separate but since the switch it seems to cut down on barking.
dcschoenwolf
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Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby dcschoenwolf » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:37 pm

Thanks for all the replies! They were helpful. For on the ground kennels do most people just use dirt or the gravel?

We have this area in the back corner of our yard that’s partially covered by this large pine (the very back portion isn’t). We plan to put in a 6ft privacy fence next spring. Think it could work as a kennel area if we clamped panels to the fence and hooked them around in a half moon shape to the fence on the other side? Then laid down the mesh or panels and covered it. The area is about 25 feet down each side and 30 feet from the corner to the mid point opposite the corner.

IMG_9013.jpg



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david
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby david » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:54 pm

That spot looks awesome. A lot of hounds have lived on dirt. Gravel is helpful to strengthen their feet and keep them (you) clean if you want to invest in it. And some kinds of gravel are very attractive and the kennel can look more like landscaping if you keep it clean. The evergreen tree is awesome. Shade won’t be a problem there.

If you don’t want any digging, yes you will have to cover the ground with panels or fencing. If you don’t care about digging as long as they don’t dig out; you can lay panels or half panels or woven wire all the way around up against the fence and cover it with dirt or gravel. They rarely will try to tunnel under that stuff. They start trying to dig out right at the fence.

Digging holes out in the middle of the pen is actually good for them. It is extreme excersise and it keeps their nails short and can give them a nice nest to hang out in. But it makes a mess, And if I need an area to remain attractive, I cover the ground to prevent digging.

It looks like you will need to invest in a couple bark collars or your neighbors could get very nasty about this.

The privacy fence is a great idea. Ray Mears told me many years ago “out of sight out of mind”. And any time I have lived in town, my dogs are invisible to anyone who is not in my yard. Because the saying goes both ways. The dogs will not be able to see things to bark at, and the neighbors will not see any thing to bark about. Some people who can see the dogs will be waiting for an opportunity to complain about them to you or to the city. I kept a canopy on my truck, and A lot of times people around me didn’t know I had hounds. And I had no complaints.

I have seen people run electric wire top and bottom. I have never done this but it looks like it was very effective, simple, and almost invisible. It was the only dig-out prevention they had and it seemed to work well.
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby Henefer-hound-hunter » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:04 am

Electric fence works great for me! they get shocked once or twice and they avoid the fence like its a plague! Which means their not standing up on it making it loose over time. Plus they get to dig away from the edges which gives them something to do, keeps their nails short, exercise, cool place to lay, and I think it makes their feet a lil tougher, all that good stuff David mentioned. I’ve used rode barrier before too and it worked good too. I personally just like the electric fence I personally just like the electric fence more because it keeps them from standing on the fence loosening it up.
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Re: Building Outdoor Kennels for Walkers

Postby MBess89 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:38 pm

Plastic barrels make good wind proof houses. I wouldn't put them under that tree, the snow will melt n rain all day on them. Full sun is best in WY with some sort of wind block.

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