What is a Dog Run?

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  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2019
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A dog run is either a private or public fenced off area in which a dog can be kept confined and get exercise. Since most dogs will get into just about anything, a private area keeps them safe from potential hazards such as poisonous plants, chemicals, or the street. A public dog run, on the other hand, is a social place for dogs, usually located within city parks. Dogs can run and play off leash while being contained and away from other people enjoying the park. As leash laws have become more restrictive, more places offer dog parks so dogs can have the occasional or frequent freedom they need.

The private run may be located on one side of a house or yard, or may be placed at the back of the yard. Most are fenced in with chain link fencing, though wood fencing is a viable option if the dog won’t tear at it. Some private dog runs are part of a kennel and include sleeping quarters or a doghouse for the dog. In this case, the person who plans the run may want to put it near a water source so that there is easily accessible water for the dog. The dog should have fresh water available at all times and a shade area where it can rest on hot days.


If the yard is small, it might be better for the owner to fence the items he or she doesn’t want the dog to get at, leaving full access to the rest of the yard. Alternately, many homes have side yards, which make for perfect places for a run. The owner should make sure these yards are clear of any hazards to the animal. In some cases, a gate between the house and the fence on the side yard may be all that's needed to establish a dog run. Alternately, a portable run can keep an animal out of trouble while it is still learning how to behave.

People with a relatively small dog, with the exception of most terriers, may only need a small run. Some larger dogs are not known exercisers either. Working dogs, especially herding dogs, usually require a larger space — they can feel confined in a run that is too small. Unless the owner plans to offer the dog other forms of exercise on a daily basis, a longer run will be needed for dogs with lots of energy, since keeping them active often helps keep undesirable behaviors in check.

Using a dog park or public dog run is a matter of some debate among pet owners and animal behaviorists. Since anyone may bring a dog to a public park, pet owners can occasionally find their dogs in company with aggressive animals. Though most dog parks ask that owners remove animals that are acting in aggressive fashion, this request is not always honored. The best way to handle this is to thoroughly check the behavior of the animals before entering the run with your dog.


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Post 6

All too often people will get dogs without really considering their needs. A dog run and kennel isn't ideal, but it can do if your dog is going to be walked and have a lot of attention. Otherwise, it's basically a slightly larger cage for the dog.

I've seen some horrible cases of dogs being kept in wire runs for days without any real care and it's just not fair or humane. Some people should not be allowed to have dogs.

Post 5

@anon133307 - An alternative is to put her on a leash that is strung from a high wire along your yard, clear of anything she might tangle herself in. We did this with one of our dogs who liked to run, but could be too frisky with people passing on the street. He could run around the yard as much as he liked, but only to the limit of the wire.

If you do that, make sure the collar is very well fitted so that she won't be able to struggle out of it. Good on you for trying to make sure your dog will be safe and comfortable.

Post 4

am looking into dog kennels and runs for my corgi, and though I'd really rather she have a dog run than cage, I'm afraid that if I build her an outdoor one she'll somehow get out and run away.

Post 3

This is something that should be obvious, but for those building a wooden dog run, remember not to use any kind of paint or stain that could poison the dog. A lot of times the dogs will lick or chew on the walls of the run, and you don't want to accidentally harm them.

Post 2

Which is better, an indoor or outdoor dog run? I am looking into dog kennels and runs for my corgi, and though I'd really rather she have a dog run than cage, I'm afraid that if I build her an outdoor one she'll somehow get out and run away.

Is it OK to stick with an indoor dog run for a dog of her size, or should I still consider outdoor dog runs as well? All the advertisements I see for dog runs for sale seem to talk about how important outdoor freedom is to a dog; is this true?

Post 1

My mom raises Boston Terriers, and she just built them an outdoor dog kennel/run complex so they can run around while she's working in the house.

They have everything you could possibly think of in there, from water dishes to modular dog run "agility" additions -- and of course lots of toys.

The only problem was she had also planted hostas along her dog run fencing. Well, I can tell you, that lasted about two minutes after the dogs were in the run -- those things were razed to the ground, and she had a bunch of doggies with upset stomachs on her hands!

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