Our mostly good dog

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Kennel set up.

We realized fairly quickly that Dalton was not a huge fan of his kennel. It’s sized correctly for his weight/height, but he always looks so cramped in there. Not only that, but he just can’t relax in the kennel. We tried our darndest to make it a happy place, somewhere he wanted to be, but it just didn’t work. This is where my brilliant boyfriend comes in. We had borrowed a doggy “play pen” from our neighbor who didn’t use it much. Generally we would use it to contain him in one room or another, or we would take it to friend’s houses so we could keep him contained there. Eventually though, our neighbor needed it back, so we invested and bought our own. Here is the one we have. It’s Top Paw, wire and about 36” high.  

Since D is not a fan of the kennel, but we didn’t quite trust him to have the whole house, Nate devised a genius plan to hook the play pen to the kennel, and section off part of the living room for Dalton. We have about 12 feet between the kennel and the west facing window in our living room, so we spread out the play pen in such a way that it stands up on its own, loops behind a chair (for support), and sits right underneath the window, holding it in place. It’s fairly escape proof, but  if he wanted to he could easily jump over the gate and have free rein of the house. BUT were pretty sure Dalton hasn’t realized how high he can jump, nor has he really had the opportunity to figure it out. Were crossing our fingers that it stays that way!!

 Anyhow, this is how we set the room up. Unless he starts tearing into the molding or walls, or develops a taste for the radiator, were pretty safe as far as chewing. He always has a bone, toy, kong or all three to occupy his time, and it has worked very well for us so far.
Facing West

Facing East, Attached to the kennel

Luckily our windows are the perfect height to wedge it right underneath.

This is facing south, without the play pen set up.

I wouldn’t recommend something like this if your dog has a propensity to jump, or try chew things just outside the wires. The yellow chair (seen in the first photo) has been safe as of yet, but if he wanted to, I think he could really tear into it. We like this set up, because it gives him a bit more freedom, but he is still confined enough that he can’t get in too much trouble.

The play pen is also great for other things too. As I said, we’ll take it to our friend’s homes and use it to corral him and any other dogs, sometimes we have even used it outside when our friend’s yard isn’t completely fenced. This particular style attaches great to the wire Top Paw kennel that we have. It also comes with stakes so you can use it outside. We haven’t tried that yet, but I imagine that you would still need to watch as I doubt the stakes are super sturdy.

We’ve really loved the play pen, and all the different uses. It’s pricey, but it will last us years, and so far has been totally worth the cost. If your pup is struggling with the kennel too, and I really think that some dogs just aren’t cut out for it, this is a great option. (if you have a safe space where your pup can’t get into anything nearby.) I will reiterate that you should have quite a bit of trust in your dog before doing a set up like this. If your dog is high anxiety, or tends to get really restless and try to escape, it wouldn’t be the best option.


  1. How long have you left him in there? My girlfriend and I just got a husky and I was going to do the same thing. She may get left in there for 8 hours a couple days a week if no one can get home to her during the day. I have read mixed reviews on the subject of leaving the dog alone that long so was just wondering if you have done it before? Thanks.

    1. Generally he is in there for about 7-8 hours about 3 days a week. I agree that leaving a dog alone that long isn't ideal, but there is not always a lot we can do about it! As long as your dog is house trained, trust worthy (won’t try to jump out etc.) and old enough to hold it for that long, I would definitely recommend this set up. I would make sure she has plenty to do while she's alone though. A Frozen Kong with peanut butter is wonderful; also reindeer antlers keep them occupied for hours. If cost isn't an issue, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to look into daycare a few times a week as well. It saves us 3 hours a day trying to tire him out, and he's much more relaxed the rest of the week. I hope that it works out! Let me know if you have any more questions!