Posted on November 18, 2011
By Joe Shown, President of K-9 Kondo
When dog owners build a dog kennel, a great deal of planning is usually given to what type of panel to use, how big the pad should be, and if the dog kennel should have some type of cover. However, one of the most important factors to consider is generally overlooked: Where should you place the doghouse?
Most of the dog runs I see have the doghouse placed near the back, usually in a corner inside the dog kennel. Most dog owners would tell you that such placement gives the dog the maximum use of available space to stretch, move around, and discharge their waste. And discharge they do, usually at the farthest point from their doghouse—conveniently placed in front of the entry for the dog owner to step in. So how can the dog owner avoid all of this? By placing the doghouse on the outside of the dog kennel with an entry point through the wall panel, the dog owner can access the doghouse without negotiating mounds of kennel waste. The dog is also less likely to damage its doghouse through chewing.
When placing the doghouse outside the dog kennel, the temptation to only make a hole in the panel large enough for the dog to enter and exit the doghouse is common. This requires attaching the chain link or panel to the doghouse. However, the best method is to frame an opening large enough for the entire front of the doghouse to be either flush with the kennel wall or extend into the dog kennel by an inch or two. The framed opening gives a clean, professional look to the dog kennel rather than a hodgepodge arrangement.
Finally, we must decide where to place the doghouse in relation to the dog kennel gate or entry. Well-known author and dog trainer Bill Tarrant wrote in one of his books about this subject and was the inspiration for this missive. He pointed out that the dog shelter should be placed adjacent to the gate so that the owner can step inside without dodging waste and not force the dog to track through its mess when coming to the dog owner or leaving for a run. In most cases this also allows the dog owner to concentrate water and power sources (if installed) near the entry and the doghouse—a very handy arrangement when temperatures are cold and winds are strong.
So keep some of these tips in mind when designing your new dog kennel and add your own ideas to give your pal, and you, a kennel that you can both enjoy.