Big Kennel for a Big Dog
Searching for the Perfect Pen
Moving Badger, my livestock guardian dog, into town presented some problems. An outdoor kennel would help solve these problems, but finding the best one for our needs took some research.
Until I found an acceptable kennel, I had to take Badger with me when the house was empty, which could be quite inconvenient!
Though he was accustomed to spend time indoors, Badger had never been left alone inside a house. He is used to outdoor air and being able to see everything that happens. I did not want to experiment with leaving a large, anxious dog alone inside my parents' house. There is no room for the kind of crate he would need, and I didn't want to crate a dog used to freedom.
The back yard is fenced, but he could easily leap the gate if he were excited (for instance, by that raccoon that comes onto the deck!) And even if he learned to stay inside the fence, he would quickly reduce the yard to dirt and craters. Tying a dog for long periods isn't safe, and he would need a shelter, anyway.
Badger had been trained to spend up to several hours in a 10 by 10 foot chain link kennel, but one that shape would take up an unsightly chunk of the small yard, besides making an obstacle right in the middle.
Luckily, we found one brand that fulfilled all our requirements...
[Photos by Valerie Proctor Davis]
The PetSafe Kennel can be set up either as a square 10 feet by 10 feet, or as a long rectangle of 5 feet by 15 feet. We had an unused niche in the yard that would exactly hold the 5 by 15 foot configuration. It was sheltered on two sides by the house, and partially paved.
Having the choice of configuration let us make the best use of our space. Now Badger has a safe, comfy place to stay when I can't be with him. He enjoys lying outside and watching the world, until it's time for our next walk!
AssemblyClick thumbnail to view full-size
First you assemble the bottom of the framework in the configuration you want, then add the uprights. Put the top framework together. Clamp the door into place and stretch the chain link around the sides, tying off at the top and bottom.
I stretched a tarp over part of the side and top, to give protection from the midday sun and shelter from the rain. The shady part is noticeably cooler than the rest of the yard.
A pitched cover lets snow and rain slide right off your square pen, especially useful if you have heavy snow loads. Fits the Petsafe Kennel in the 10 x 10 foot configuration.
Add a windscreen that wraps around three sides of a 10 x 10 kennel, and you just about have a very large doghouse.
© 2013 Valerie Proctor Davis