Building a dog kennel doesn't have to be either difficult or expensive.
Dogs need room to run and play, exercise and relax. Many dogs utilize the entire back yard for all of these activities. However, (to put it bluntly) there is little more disturbing than trying to bar-b-que amidst dog mess or running through a dog pile while catching a football.
It is not necessary to give up the entire square footage of your yard for the exclusive use of the dog if he will have a reasonable amount of time to play fetch or exercise outside of his run. In fact, if you have room for a longer kennel, he doesn't even need regular running outside of the dog run.
For exercise, it is often more important to have length than width. If you have a choice between a 10' x 10' run or a 5' x 20' run, the 20' run is better for the dog. It give him considerably more getting-up-to-speed room. It also allows him to eliminate in an end far away from his housing and feeding station.
Because dogs like to eliminate in the end of the run furthest away from his sleeping quarters, that usually means the end where the gate is located. Nothing is more disgusting than going out to feed or water or talk to him and having him bounce excitedly through his doggie duties and then jump on you.
Putting the gate on the dog house end makes it hard to clean the kennel and also makes it hard to get past the house to make your entry and exit.
If you want to confine him to the dog house end while you clean the far end, the middle gate should be able to swing all of the way open to the inside to fasten ACROSS the run, cutting off escape AND separating him from your cleaning efforts.
You can't have too many doors. Two is minimum. Put one on the end where you will have to scoop the poop and the other in the middle of the side run of panels. Come and go, feed, and fetch him through the nice clean side gate. Scoop and clean the run through the end gate.
Hint: Consider a Doggie Dooley Dog Septic system. Install it in the end of the run or just outside the end door. Scoop the run and deposit the "deposits" directly into the in-ground septic container and never think about it again.
Hint: Most dogs will run the grass down over time and you will find your dog kennelled in dirt or mud. Your run will be easier to clean if it is set on a concrete pad or floored with pea gravel throughout. (Concrete is not good for young dog's feet. While dogs boarding on a temporary basis or dogs that leave the run for hunting or training can be housed on concrete very nicely, puppies should not be raised on concrete, which can cause splayed feet or dropped pasterns.)
If a concrete pad is a necessity for a professional boarding kennel. However, if concrete is undesirable or impractical for your backyard kennel and solid pea gravel is not desirable for some reason, put pea gravel in the last 4 feet of the elimination end. Dig the soil out about 8 inches deep. Put a layer of lime on top of the dirt (to neutralize the odor of urine), then spread a deep layer of pea gravel on top. It will be good for your dog's feet. Keeps them tough and strong. It is easy to clean.
For optimum hosing of a concrete run, dig a moat around the run for water to wash into. Dig it 6-8" deep and about 6" wide, line with lime, top with pea gravel. When the water washes the urine off of the concrete, it will flow into the lime-lined pit to be neutralized and absorbed.
Dogs don't sweat!
All of our modular kennels either come with shade tops or can have them added. Dogs quickly overheat. Their cooling mechanism is not as efficient as a human. If you expect the dog house to be the only shelter from the sun, it must have a LARGE bottom air gap through which air can pass freely, and very few dog houses have such a ventilation system.
We highly recommend a shade top.
Professional boarding kennels have some unique needs that we can satisfy.
Dogs will remain quieter if they cannot see the dog in the adjoining kennel. They will also do less running back and forth (sometimes creating a mess if the run is not perfectly clean when they sail down the fence line). For that purpose, we sell panels with solid bottoms so the dogs are visually separated from each other. The visual barrier also acts as a physical barrier to keep male dogs from urinating into the adjoining run. That keeps the "target" dog and his run cleaner.
Outdoor boarding kennels should be built on concrete pads with an outer perimeter of gravel (discussed above) for catching water run-off. Gravel runs cannot be adequately disinfected between visitors to ensure that dogs don't pass parasites or viruses. Concrete is much easier to disinfect with a bleach solution or other disinfecting product.
There are several options for feeding and watering the dogs in the kennel. For backyard kennels, it is easiest to use an automatic waterer. Attach it near the house where the dog can go directly to it to get his drink. Food bowls should also be placed near the house end.
Modular kennels have optional food and water bowl inserts that let you raise the bowls off of the ground - a good idea to deter ants. Some even let you service the bowls from the outside of the run for convenience. This is an especially attractive option when you are dressed for work and need to make sure the dog is well-fed before you leave.
If the kennels will be placed in an un-enclosed space, we strongly urge you to put a perimeter fence around the kennels. That way you can enter the perimeter area, close the door, and then open and work with individual runs. The dogs are never exposed to actual unfenced areas.
To order for the perimeter: after you have ordered the number of runs needed, measure the linear feet of the perimeter. divide by the width of each panel to find how many panels are represented in that measurement. Purchase enough extra panels and a couple of gates to line the perimeter. Up to 30 units on a pallet to figure the additional shipping costs. (We can help with sizing the pallets for large needs such as these. Call 1-512-282-3003)
Backyard kennels should be topped over the dog house if the house has a flat roof that can serve as a stair-step to heavenly freedom over the top of the run. Professional kennels such as boarding kennels or SPCA kennels should always be topped. Even the smallest dogs who are confirmed and skilled climbers can escape an un-topped run. Purchase "predator panels" for the tops.
Puppies present problems at the gate. A litter can escape - one pup at a time - through your legs or while you are trying to hold one or the other back, the rest make it to freedom. We highly recommend at least one run in your series of runs have a puppy gate that prevents escapes.
Puppies also need more room to exercise, romp, and play. If you configure your runs so that one of them is twice as wide (10' wide instead of 5' wide), you will give puppies a special place to grow strong.
Gravel is also very important for puppies. A fully-gravel run is ideal for the development of their feet. Concrete can cause splaying of the developing toes and loss of knuckle development leading to flat feet. Neither a performance dog nor a show dog can compete with splayed, flat feet.
Our Professional Modular Kennels are sized to meet almost any size need. However, you can order additional panels or gates, keeping in mind that 30 combined panels and gates is the limit for each pallet.