Build a Dog Run in 5 Steps

A dog run is an enclosed area where your dog can run freely without needing constant supervision. Building a dog run can be a large undertaking, these steps will show you how to build a standard enclosed square dug run with concrete floor, chain link sides, and a roof.

Materials and Tools

  • Concrete; 85 lb. per 3 foot by 3 foot by 4-inch thick area

  • Water as needed

  • Plywood

  • 3-inch thick foam insulation

  • 1/2-inch thick by 4-inch wide poplar

  • Sheet Metal

  • Shingles

  • Grabber Screws

  • Electric Screwdriver

  • Shovel

  • Stamper

  • Rectangular Trowel

  • Edging Trowel

  • Chain-link fence; 9 gauge that is 4-foot to 6-foot high

  • Round metal posts; 1-inch diameter and 4-foot to 6-foot high

  • Pliers

  • Metal ties

  • Chain-link door

  • Measuring tape

  • Hammer

  • Nails

  • Saw

  • Vaseline

  • Bull Float

  • Zip Ties

  • Clamps

Step 1 - Size

First, determine the length and width of the dog run by measuring your chosen area then staking it out and roping it off if you need to. Next, determine how high you want the sides. For small dogs a 4-foot height is sufficient but medium and large dogs should have at least 6 to 8-foot high sides.

Step 2 - Preparing for the Foundation

With your dog run staked out you can now begin the dirty jobs of framing and pouring concrete. First, remove the dirt from the staked area to a 4-inch depth then stamp the ground so it is even. Next, create your concrete form by cutting the poplar to the dimensions of the dog run and use the grabber screws to assemble the form. Finally, apply Vaseline to the form inside and out and place the form inside the hole.

Step 3 - Installing the Fence

With your form in place it's time to fence in the dog run. First, determine which side the door will be placed and use the width of the door to determine post placement on that side. Next, dig 8-inch deep holes 3-inches away from the border and 3-feet apart then place your metal posts in each hole covering them with dirt and stamping even to hold them in place. Now, attach the fence to the posts section by section on the inside of the dog using the metal ties and pliers making sure the door section remains open. Finally, install the door being sure it sits roughly an inch above the concrete floor.

Step 4 - Pouring Concrete

Creating the concrete floor at this step seals the posts and sides in concrete. First, mix the concrete according to directions and pour it in the form, spreading it to an even level using the bull float. Now, use the edging trowel to square off the concrete and the rectangular trowel to create a soft texture on the surface. When the concrete has cured remove the form with the edging trowel then pack dirt around the dog run to even it out.

Step 5 - Optional Roof

A roof not only protects the floor of the dog run but shields your dog from the elements. First, cut the plywood, sheet metal, and insulation to the dimensions of the dog run then layer them in this order: sheet metal, insulation, plywood then clamp each side. Next, drill a hole through the materials every 8-inches. Now, remove the clamps and reassemble the roof on top of the dog run making sure the holes line up then place a zip tie in each hole wrapping it around a chain-link and securing it and continue until the roof is secure. Finally, place the roof shingles and nail them in place.