A dog run is an area where your dog can run free without a leash or restraint. It is a safe area where your dog will not need constant supervision. Most dogs naturally feel secure in an enclosed environment, and your dog can get exercise without the worry of running into traffic or wandering off. Building a good dog run can be a large undertaking.
Determine the length and width of the dog run. Do this by measuring the area where the run will be placed and then rope it off or put down stakes. Decide how high the sides need to be. A rule of thumb is: For small dogs, you'll need at least a 4-foot high fence; for medium to large dogs you'll need it to be least 6 to 8 feet high for the sides. Ideally, a dog run should be 10 feet wide.
Make a foundation by removing the dirt in the chosen area to about 4 inches deep and then even out the ground so it is smooth. Next make the concrete formation (outline) by cutting the plywood to the predetermined dimensions. Keep the form together with the grabber screws.
Fence in the dog run. Determine which side the door will be placed. Use posts to set the width. Dig 8-inch-deep holes 3 inches away from the border and 3 feet apart. Place the metal posts in each hole. Attach the fence to the posts section by section on the inside of the dog run, using the metal ties and pliers. Make sure you leave the door section open. Install the door 1 inch above the concrete floor.
Pour concrete. Mix the concrete according to directions on the package and pour it in the form. Spread it evenly using a level or bull float. Use the edging trowel to square off the concrete and the rectangular trowel to create a soft texture on the surface. When the concrete is firm, take away the form with the edging trowels and pack dirt around the dog run, making it even. You may also consider using gravel, wood chips or sand as the floor of the run but only if your dog will not try to chew the materials.
Make the roof (optional). Cut the plywood, sheet metal and insulation to the dimensions of the dog run. Layer them in this order: sheet metal, insulation, plywood then clamps each side. Drill a hole through the materials every 8 inches. Remove the clamps and place the materials on top of the dog run while lining up the holes. Place the zip tie in each hole and wrap it around the chain link to secure it. Then place the roof shingles and nail them down. Another simpler option is to use a mesh covering for the roof and secure it with the zip ties.
Two things to think about before you buy your supplies and begin to build the dog run. Keep in mind the height and length of your dog and make sure your yard has enough space for a decent-sized dog run. The run needs to be high enough for your dog to stand up in without having to lower his head, and it needs to be long enough for the dog to walk and play inside the run. Make sure, too, that the floor of the kennel is comfortable.
Be sure to clean the dog run inside and out at least one time per week. This will keep bacteria from forming and keep the run clear of debris. Also, if you have a small dog, make sure the kennel walls are high enough to keep predators out as well as the dog in.