Orignally posted by ZenCat 03-25-2008 05:44 PM

These excellent step-by-step instructions for building your own dog containment system reprinted with permission of the original author, gundogpa:

First deciding where to put the kennel is important. Draw out a spot on the ground on a day you'll be home all day, watch what the sun does throughout the day......there has to be shade somewhere in the kennel at all times......and it's best if the sun hits all spots at some point. More on that later.

Dig down 8 inches into the soil as big as you want the kennel to be. Then lay 8x8 pressure treated beams around the perimeter. (you could use railroad ties if you could get them cheaper.)

Buy some heavy welded wire fence and lay it on the ground "inside" the opening and attach it with fencing nails to the timbers by bending up the ends. Nail it tight and a lot.

Next buy a bunch of plastic tent stakes at wal-mart and stake the fencing to the ground. This is a very important step........If you do not do this the fencing will "come up" through the gravel and you will never get it back down and you'll have to dig up the whole thing again. Use more than you think you will need.

Now fill it flush to the top with some good draining gravel. I love gravel as opposed to concrete. I guarantee the dogs like it better too. They can work their toes. They can dig a nest to get cool in the summer. With the fence in the ground they can not get out and they can't dig a hole to China. Every couple weeks I go out with a rake and smooth it out again. It is cooler than concrete in the summer and warmer than concrete in the winter.

After several years you dig out the gravel and replace it.

Now install your kennel wire. I have bought the ready made ones you buy.....I have bought the panels and built a custom size and I have built it with Pressure treated posts (4x4) and stretched "hog wire". .......but if you go this route you have to make a gate which is always the weak link. Make it at least 6 foot tall......so you can walk in it without hunching over too much.

So lets say you buy a kit and then you screw it to the timbers......say it's 10 x 10 which is a common size. (You could buy two and put them together or whatever)

Now you have a secure kennel.....except for the roof. You can do a couple things there. Just fence the top with the same 4x2 welded wire you used in the ground......build a real roof from wood and roof it. Yes dogs can and will climb a chain link fence.....I've had two.

The problem with a roof is it does not let in the disinfecting properties of the sun. I like to roof part of it and leave the rest open to the sun. You can buy a sun screen to adjust the shade portions acordingly. Do not use a sun screen as an escape proof roof.......it will not work.

Put in a small dog house. Line it with straw and cedar chips.

Now you have a secure, escape proof kennel, that drains well and doesn't hold water. The sun hits every corner to help disinfect and there is always shade. No other dogs can get to your dog. He can be safe and happy in any weather.....if he's out for a couple hours or for the entire day if you are gone.

The other options are concrete and not a DIY option for some.

I have seen folks use the concrete pavers that you buy at home depot. You know like one foot square and lay them in there.

Some folks build their whole kennel off the ground with lumber.......sort of a platform like your back deck. If their dogs are "kennel clean" than thats probably a fine way to go.....but I can't imagine that if the are going potty on the wood all the time that they can keep it very clean. I know some folks are using that new kind of decking that is not wood......I don't know how that is working.

Here is some plastic flooring........I think the same problems with keeping it clean are there.

There is this flooring......it sure seems like dogs would rip that up in a heart beat.
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10 x 10 kennel fence kit at tractor supply ====$260.00

They also sell this roof (if you want to go that way) = $86.00 If you are a DIY you could buy the metal roof panels at home deopt and make your own, it would probably put up with the snow better.......for a similar price.

8x8x10' Pressure treated limber are probably 20-25.00 each......so $100.00 there.

I don't know how much gravel costs where you are......I got a load for a $100 here that was too much for a 14 x 16 kennel area.

4X2 welded wire for the ground maybe $30-40.00.

tent stakes......$20.00

So thats around $600.00.

You still need a dog house. I usually build them square and simple with a flat removable roof, so I can clean them easily and the dogs can sit on top......in fact they usually spend most of their time sitting on their dog house.

f you can see a kennel that dog have spent any time in the path is next to the fence.

A 5 x 20 pen makes your dog run more than a 10 x 10 even though it's the same square footage.

Making it too big just adds to the area they don't use.

But either way.......just make it escape proof.