How to Build a Dog Run

Every dog requires a good exercise in order to stay healthy and maintain muscle tone. Whether you raise a small dog or a large one, you need to give your pet an ample amount of exercise from time to time. Each dog should move around and avoid a sedentary lifestyle in order to stay fit and healthy. Dog lovers and experts have their own way of making sure that their fur buddies get the best exercise.

A dog run, or also known as a kennel run, is considered as a good exercise area for your dog. Basically, pet owners who are too busy to take their dog(s) out for a walk can benefit from building one. Kennel runs are also perfect for families who have more than one dog. A dog run will keep your pets moving, so that they will stay healthy. It is the best alternative if you don’t have time to take them out for a good, traditional walk in the park.

Any individual can make a dog run for his fur friends. In case you don’t have money to hire a professional or just like doing things yourself, then perhaps a guide below will help you on how to build a dog run for your pet. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can make yours at home.


The materials you’ll need for your dog run will actually depend on your preferences. In case you opt for a sturdier kennel run, then investing on steel frames would be a better choice. However, if you are working on a smaller budget, good lumber is enough to keep your pet(s) inside for a good exercise during the day.

If you are planning on building a dog run out of steel, then you’ll need the following materials and equipment.

  • Welding Machine
  • Steel (Angle Bars, Round Bars, or anything you prefer as substitute)
  • Welding Rods
  • Cyclone Wire
  • Hinges, Padlocks

In case you are going with a cheaper dog run, you will need at least 2×2 lumbers (in lieu of the steel) for your frame as well as some 3″ nails. You’ll also need cyclone wire to keep your dog(s) inside the run. A hammer will help you to keep the nails in place.

Building the Frame

Measure the desired length of your frame before you cut the materials to avoid wasting money. A measuring tape will give you the exact measurements you need for your dog run. Make sure that your dog run is long enough, so that your pet can have a good space to run around. The area of the dog run would basically depend on your preference or your need. In case you have a small breed, then a 2ft x 6ft is already a decent area for your dog to run around. However, this can be quite small for larger breeds. If you are raising larger breeds, you need to build at least a 4ft x 20ft dog run, so that the animal can enjoy moving around.

Cut the materials based on the planned length. Connect each corner by using a welding machine (for steel dog runs). If you are using good lumber though, a 3” or 4” nail would be enough to build your frame. Make sure that you provide some braces for extra support. In case you are not good with carpentry, it is highly advised that you put braces on your frame.

Cover with Cyclone Wire

When the frame is finished, you can attach the cyclone wire to the frame. Before doing so, make sure that the wire has been rolled and stretched out. Such process will allow you to estimate how many rolls of cyclone wire you need for your dog run. The stretched out cyclone wire will be welded or nailed to the frame. For steel frames, you can directly weld the tip of the cyclone wire to the frame. Some people use flat bars to reinforce and secure the wire to the frame. They will cover the tip of the wire with the flat bars and weld it on the steel frame. In doing so, you’ll have a sturdy and visually attractive dog run at the same time.

Dog owners who are building a wooden run can stick the cyclone wire to the wooden frame by using nails. Carefully pound the nail with the hammer to fasten the tip of the wire to the wooden frame. Fasten each side properly by using nails on areas that require support. Doing so will prevent the dog from sneaking out through open areas. Longer nail length is preferable to keep the cyclone wire intact. Make it sure that the sharp ends of nails are not protruding to avoid hurting your dogs.

Install Door

Weld the hinges connecting to the door to the steel frame. You can use braces to support the door while you are welding the hinges. In case you are doing a wooden dog run, all you need to do is nail the hinges to the wooden frame and you got yourself a cheaper kennel run. The door should always be kept closed to avoid accidents and injuries both to your dog and to the people around the area. It’s important that you pay attention to the door of your dog run, since this is a space where you enter and exit the structure. Double check the hinges after you install the door to make sure that dog(s) as well as people are safe from possible danger. Once you are sure, your dog run is almost ready for use. The size of the door may vary depending on your plan. Always remember that the door should allow you to enter and exit without difficulty.


Lastly, you can add a shade to your dog run to make it look better. Colors can add more life to your kennel run while making its look more attractive. You can use any color that you want. Paint the dog run at least a day before you put the dog inside to avoid chemical poisoning as well as stains on their coat. Although it can be removed, blemishes on your dog’s coat can be quite challenging to get rid of, especially on long coated dogs.

Dog runs can either be done with a roof or without one. After all, you won’t keep your dog inside the run for the whole day. The main purpose of such structure is to encourage movement and exercise on days where you fail to give them a walk outside. Although they don’t get the socialization they need, a dog run is actually a good place to start with if you want to give them a good exercise.

A DIY or do-it-yourself dog run can be done by any owner as long as he knows what he needs. Follow the simple steps above to create your own dog run. A dog run is a good area for your pet to run around and get needed exercises. Always remember that a good exercise doesn’t only keep your dog in top shape but stimulates the mind of your pet as well.

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