Dog runs (multiple)- ideal configurations - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Dog runs (multiple)- ideal configurations

There are about as many schools of thought on dog runs as there are folks out there having them built. I wanted to get some opinions from folks in our breed specifically on what works best for them and their dogs.

I have the opportunity to design my own kennel system as I move to more land. All my dogs are house dogs but I work 'suicide' shifts (14 hours 3 consecutive days a week, sometimes overnights) and I'd like to be able to have a setup that allows me to leave the dogs at home and not worry about making it back in time to let them out or having someone come to do it. An indoor/outdoor kennel situation for those days seems like a great plan! Especially moving out farther to the country I won't have the ability to run home on my lunch break and get potty breaks in.

I'm definitely not interested in the 'boarding kennel' style with the 4x4 indoor area and a straight run, to me it seems boring and confining even though it's only three days of the week. I like group-play style with multiple comparable dogs in a larger play space but I live in the PNW where it's often raining and muddy and I also don't much fancy coming home from a shift, bathing everybody to come inside for dinner and bed, and repeating again the next day.

I've worked at a kennel with large play yards with shade but no rain cover and an indoor dog room where everybody slept at night. That was awesome, but my kids are spoiled and sleep in bed with me and I worry about mud. I've seen individual dog play yards with small covered buildings for kennels who do not share fences (space between runs) . I've seen them with shared fence lines. One one hand I can see a shared fence encouraging activity, but I've seen that escalate to fence fighting.

So to members that have 4+ dogs, what setup works for you? Photos or plans would be awesome! Substrates, recommendations, points to consider are welcome. Ideas for exceptional puppy yards also welcome, although I'm happy with what I have used thus far it's cool to see other people's designs!


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 02:24 AM
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I have a 10 x 20 dog run(not covered yet, that's next year hopefully) that is connected to the house and I am waiting to hear from someone on installing a dog door. I went with cedar chips and it holds water well. There is no mud and they will eventually be able to come and go as they please. When I'm not home the kennel is locked and they don't have access to the rest of the yard. The kennel is connected to a nice size play area that is separated by a lower fence from the bigger yard(where the pool is) Next year I'm putting up the A frame, tunnel and a couple other things(tire and teeter) in the smaller play yard for them.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 03:52 PM
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I suggest using doggy doors and 15-25' long by 10'x15' wide kennels, with concrete base. I use the doc-bob professional kennels purchased through Tractor Supply kennel for all my newer kennels.

The beauty of the panels is that, if your dogs are good together, then you have the luxury of removing the panels in between and giving them a larger, joint area. If they are not, then your dogs will be safe from each other. But you can always add them back in.

It's nice to protect the siding with fencing. Some GSDs will eat the siding. It is also good to have something solid on the inside. You could use an x-pen -- 4x4 and cover it if dogs are likely to fight. Or, you can use the doc bobs inside. If you turn them on the side, they are 6' long by 5' tall, so you could use a 6x5 or 6x10' area.

Another idea is to have baby gates, and give the dogs a room inside and just baby gate them into that room. The metal extra-tall baby gates with no horizontal bars, keep my dogs in. They respect the baby gates, and while I generally coral them so that they have more than just one baby gate between them, even when that is the case, I have never had issues.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm. I already have a bunch of the doc bob kennels (LOVE them, no idea why anyone would get cyclone fencing!) and have them set up indoors for litters. There are many rooms in my current house with baby gates and the dog room has a Dutch door with plenty of tooth marks, haha!

Keep great ideas coming!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 02:42 AM
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We had a 20x20 6' fencing with about 4" of pea gravel for flooring. They had igloos to avoid the rain, but slept outside all the time.
I had a little waterfall pump to put in there huge galvanized pan, so the water was always running, it had a huge shade tree, and they were free fed. It was great and easy to keep clean. If it was below zero, they slept in the house

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 05:15 PM
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I've seen plans for kennels that include an indoor run that opens into a kitchen/grooming area with an outdoor portion has an individual run floored with pea gravel. The outdoor kennels have gates that open into a larger exercise yard of natural turf.
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