Clancy Aussie Doodles

We are a Family Breeder of Multi-Generation Authentic Australian Labradoodles

Building a Gated Dog Run

on November 5, 2012

How to Build a Gated Dog Run thumbnail
A gated run offers a dog some security while he plays outside.

Your dog loves to be outside. It is natural and healthy for a dog to release his pent-up energy with outdoor exercise, stretching its muscles and tiring itself out through play. However, a responsible dog owner will build a run to permit her dog to get his exercise, rather than allowing him to roam the neighborhood unfettered. In addition, a run will keep a dog safe from such dangers as speeding cars or aggressive animals, not to mention preventing unplanned canine pregnancy. These instructions will result in a gated run measuring 30 feet long and 15 feet wide with one gate.

Things You’ll Need

  •  Lawn mower (optional)
  •  Rake
  •  Mallet or post setter
  •  4 Surveyor’s markers
  •  17 4-foot Metal fence posts
  •  Measuring tape
  •  1 Ball of twine
  •  Scissors
  •  Carpenter’s square
  • 1 100-foot roll Wire pet fencing
  • 1 package 6-inch zip ties, 100 count
  • Post hole digger or shovel
  • 2 6-foot Wooden posts, 4 inches by 4 inches
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Metal staple
  • 4 Metal “L” brackets (optional)
  • 1 Bag quick-setting concrete (optional)
  • Bucket (optional)
  • 2 8-foot pieces of lumber, 2 x 4 inches
  • Decorative fence boards, to cover width of gate
  • 2 Metal hinges

Prepare the Space

1. Remove any branches and large debris from the area.

2. Mow any tall grass, if needed. Rake away any cut grass or small debris, including rocks.

3. Mark one long side of the dog run. Set the first surveyor’s marker, indicating one of the front corners of the pen, using the mallet to drive it into the ground. Walk 30 feet toward what will be the rear of the run. Drive the second marker into the ground.

4. Mark the front and rear sides of the dog run. Starting at one of the corner markers, walk 15 feet in a direction perpendicular to the long side that has been set. Drive the third stake into the ground. Repeat this process, walking parallel to the first short side, to set the fourth marker.

5. String the twine between the markers to frame the outline of the pen. Use the carpenter’s square to determine if all corners are at 90-degree angles. Adjust the orientation of the posts as needed.

Build the Gate

6.Measure and cut the lumber. You will need two pieces of lumber 3 1/2 feet long and two pieces of lumber 3 feet long.

7. Frame the gate. Place the 3 1/2-foot long pieces of lumber on a flat surface. Rest the narrow edge of the lumber on the flat surface. Place the 3-foot-long pieces of lumber at each end of the long piece, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the long piece. Place the second long side, narrow edge resting on the flat surface, against the ends of the shorter sides. The four pieces of lumber should form a rectangle, wide edges meeting each other, with the shorter pieces of lumber sandwiched between the longer pieces.

8. Nail all four sides together, bracing them on one side with the “L” brackets.

9. Attach the fence boards to the gate. Flip the gate frame onto its opposite side. Place the fence boards on the side opposite the “L” brackets. Space the boards evenly and ensure that the top edges are level before nailing them in place. Attach the hinges to the top and the bottom of one long side of the gate.

Set the Posts

10. Drive the fence posts into the ground along the line marked by the string, starting at one corner of the run. Space the metal posts at 5-foot intervals along both long sides and one narrow side of the run. Including the corner posts, there should be seven poles on each wide side with two poles between them.

11. Drive one fence post into the ground at the open end of the run.

12. Dig a hole for one wooden post. This hole should be about 2 feet deep, so that 4 feet of post remain above the surface of the ground.

13. Use the constructed gate as a guide to determine where the second post hole should be dug. Remember that the gate door must swing freely. A gate opening that is slightly wide can be narrowed with spacers, as needed.

14. Drive the remaining posts into the ground, maintaining the 5-foot interval until all posts have been used.

15. Put the wooden posts in place. Prepare the concrete by mixing it with water, using the bucket as a container. Fill the post holes with concrete. Make certain the post is standing up straight before filling the second hole. Allow the concrete to set overnight.

Finishing the Run

16. Attach the metal fencing. Begin at one wooden post, securing the end of the metal wire to the post with metal staples. Unroll the metal wire along the frame of the run, pulling it as tight as possible. Secure the wire to each post using a minimum of three zip ties. Use additional ties at the corners of the run, as needed.

17. Secure the fencing to the second post using metal staples. Cut the metal fencing with the wire cutters.

18. Attach the hardware. Secure the gate hinges to the wooden poles, so that the bottom of the gate is an inch or less above the ground. Attach the latch to the opposite side of the gate.

Tips & Tricks


  •  Make sure that the wire rests against the ground on all four sides of the pen. For a slightly more secure fence, bury the fence wire a few inches below the surface of the ground.
  •  Bury chicken wire along the edges of the run to prevent a digging dog from escaping.
  •  A long, narrow rectangle is better than a short, wide square. The longer space will let even a larger dog stretch its legs in a run.

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