How to Build a Dog Run

A fenced-in yard is ideal for your dog but isn't always possible. Build a dog run to give your pet a place for exercise, fresh air and exploration. A dog run can be a simple rope arrangement or a free-standing enclosure, depending on space and budget.

Measure your dog. The results guide the size and length of dog run you build.

Examine the space available for the dog run. This helps determine the kind of run to build. You can use a portion of the yard and still have lots of room left over for non-dog space.

Construct a simple run by stringing a cable between two endpoints such as a tree or post that allows your dog to get a good fast run in between them. Place a pulley on the cable, and attach the tether.

Use fencing to make an enclosure for another kind of run. There are dog run kits to fit any size dog that come with the right chain-link and posts. You can dismantle the enclosures, if necessary.

Build your own permanent enclosure by sinking posts firmly into the ground and stretching chain-link fence between them. Build a space that is at least twice as wide as the dog and five times longer than the dog.

Create a shady spot. Use an old awning, tarpaulin or old beach umbrella so your dog can lie out of the sun. A doghouse also provides shade.


Use trolley stops on a cable run to keep the dog away from hazards. For instance, you don't want the dog to get caught wrapping the tether around a tree; use a trolley trop to keep him from coming too close. Don't forget water for inside the run. Make sure fencing is high enough that your dog cannot jump out. Many canines can actually climb fences. Choose chain link that is small enough so paws don't get caught, but large enough to give your dog a nice view of the outside. Always make sure the space is big enough for your dog to exercise. The goal is to make this a great place for your pet.


A dog run is not a substitute for attention, walks or the other pet care basics.

Things You'll Need

  • For enclosed run: chain-link fence sections or fencing with posts
  • Cable (for cable run)
  • Pulley (for cable run)
  • Tether (for cable run)
  • Trolley stop (for cable run)
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