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John Williams Dog Pen
Posted in  Dogs, Coondogs   on  January 28, 2020 by  Josh Brown0

About the author

After getting my Masters of Business Science I decided to share my experience online about country living and teaching my son about the things I did when I was his age. Join me as we take this dirt road together!

Do you have a dog or dogs that are housed outside the home or dogs that would rather stay and sleep outdoors? Maybe, you have working K9's such as  Coonhounds, Cattle Dogs, or some other breed of sporting and or working K9's, that must be housed outside the majority of time, based on their job! If you do in fact have a dog that lives outdoors the majority of the time. Then you know the work, care, and intuition that is needed to properly house a dog that is exposed to temperature changes, parasites, and a host of other problems. It could be that you have a new 4-legged friend that you would preferrer to stay outdoors while you are away from home all day and are just curious on how to keep your pup safe in their dog pen while your gone . What ever the case might be on how you keep your Coonhounds safe, healthy, and happy in their dog pens. This blog post is sure to give you some new information you might not have been aware of on housing coonhounds outdoors. Hopefully, the information in this blog post can be applied to many of you that are just dog owners and lovers of other breeds, besides Coonhounds. So sit right back for a good read, that is sure to keep it safe for anyone to walk downwind, from your dog pens on the hottest of summer days...  

John William's Dog Pen

A Good Dog Kennel

 Not All Dog Pens And Dog Kennels Are Created With Your Dogs Health In Mind

Expensive wooden dog kennels are not for everyone. For people that have 4-legged friends that must stay outside, there are options to consider before purchasing any dog pen or kennel, especially wooden ones!!! Quality, cost, safety, and health are major factors when your are in the market for an outdoor structure to house your dogs. In the above picture, there's a clear example of problems and cheaper construction techniques to look for in wooden dog kennels that could harm your hounds. In the above picture it would appear that the kennel has no flaws and would house any dog WITHOUT problem.  I must admit the kennel above is not the old Cooner's here  but, a close personal friends. I also have to admit overall, it is a really a nice kennel which anyone that is serious about having a safe space for your dog would love to have. The kennel appears to be visually attractive, with plenty of space. In reality the kennel actually has 5 individual outside runs and 5 individual bays inside to keep your hounds separated. The kennel also has access to each individual bay from the rear with full sized doors, much like doors found on outside pre-made sheds used to house things like lawnmowers, garden equipment, and tools. There is also access to each individual outside run in the front of the cain link portion of the pens and you have the ability to close off each dogs entrance to the housing bays. Another visual and useful part of the kennel are the windows on the ends of the kennel. When it comes to hotter months the two functioning windows at each end of the kennel are sure to let heat, bad odors, and moister escape when need be. Now, this kennel was purchased in used condition by my friend a short time ago. I might add he purchased the kennel used, at a great price for about $7,500.00. This kennel new, was on the market for around $12,000.00. Since the kennel was first constructed it was purchased by the first owner, then returned to the company that constructed it and, put back on the market for sale as "pre-owned." This is when my friend purchased it and had it installed at his home.

Within a 24- hour period my friend started to recognize smaller problems, problems with the kennel he did not notice when he was first shopping for a dog kennel. First was the termite damage that was throughout the wooden doors.  Apparently, the first owner washed down the inside of the kennel with water which caused some rot in the pine wood and termites invaded the structure. Next was the height of the wire/chain link panels on the sides of the pens, that did not touch the roof line. It would appear that there is only a small gap from the roof line to the top of the chain link fencing. A more accurate number would be around 18 inches, plenty wide enough for a medium sized dog to squeeze through, if the dog so decided to jump and climb out. The height of the wire not touching the roof line is a major problem for dog owners that have dogs that like to escape, which we all know could be potential dangerous for any dog left unattended. But, other problems that come from panels that are not tall enough are accidental breedings between male and female dogs and fighting between aggressive dogs. Not to mention for owners that leash their dogs inside the pens, short wire panels can become a hanging hazard for dogs that try to jump over while with-strained by a leash, chain, or cable.  Then comes the welds on the pipes that form the squares that the wire chain link attaches too. Well, using the word weld is NOT accurate, more like tack welds or dabs of weld which are not going to stand the test of time especially, when you have a hound that likes to stand or push against the wire. These cheap welds can result in dogs that can form openings and escape and dogs that can become scratched, lacerated, or impelled on sharp metal that was not secured correctly!!!

Now to counter act the termite problem the company that built the kennel has had the kennel sprayed by a local termite company, before my friend purchased the kennel. Which, I might add could be extremely hazardous to a dogs health, especially for dogs that lick or chew on everything. Most termite sprays on the market today contain organophosphates which is extremely poisonous to animals and humans. As far as the metal fencing on the sides of the kennel my friend contacted a local company that could rebuild and expand the panels to touch the roof line. In which case, the contractor from the fence company explained, that the cost for the fence company to build new panels or expand the original panels would be too expensive to even consider, as an option to fix the problem.  So, for everyone that is considering purchasing a pre-constructed wooden dog kennel below is a quick list of points to remember when you buy a new or pre-owned wooden dog kennel. This quick reference list will keep you from making a costly mistake and buying a kennel that want stand the test of time and could injure your dogs...

Points To Know And Look For Before Buying A New Or Pre-Owned Wooden Dog Kennel Or Dog Run

  • Look closely at the construction of the kennel and the wood that the kennel is constructed from, look for large gaps between joints in the lumber and incests damage. (Large gaps can hold moister causing wood to rot quicker, large gaps in wooden joints can also create drafts allowing your dog to get to cold also, look for damage to the wood from termites and other wood boring insects.)((Especially if the kennel is pre-owned the company or previous owners may have sprayed hazardous chemicals to correct the problem. Also, look for damage from previous dogs that liked to chew or scratch, it will weaken the structure of the kennel))
  • Pay attention to the smell and visual stains if the pen is used. (A good indicator of how well the pen has been taken care of, if pre-owned is the lingering smell of urine and feces. Also, look for the smell of chemicals used to treat wood for bugs and rot, all of which can be hazardous if ingested by a dog. Left over urine and feces in cracks can also hold such parasites as ringworm, parvovirus, round and hook worms .)
  • Look at the welds and quality of the metal dividers .(Remember lighter gauged metals and spot welds will not withstand the environmental elements and dogs that like to chew, scratch, and bite on the panels. A dog can fall through lighter gauge metal onto sharp objects, caused from the metal breaking from dogs that push on the wire panels.) 
  • Think safety first.( Look for obvious gaps that dogs could escape the kennel from,  get hung in, or hang themselves on, if the dog has a collar or some form of leash on.)
  • Look at the overall design of the kennel, look inside the kennels take notice of how much unused dead space is above the individual kennels inside and outside of the kennels bays. (More space above the kennel bays inside can mean more area to heat and cool if need be. Also, more area outside in each individual kennel can give more space for insects to invade such as wasps and hornets, which some dogs are allergic too.)
Mixed Wood Chips

Mixed Wood Chips For Dog Pen Floor Covering

Dog Pen Floor Coverings And The Health Of Your Hound

Dog pen floor cleanliness is a major concern when it comes to housing your dog outdoors. One point that every dog owner needs to look into is the dogs feet and health concerns of your dogs. When it comes to defecation from your dogs lets just face facts, depending on what food, how much food, and how often you feed your dogs  has a direct impact on how clean your pens will be and the amount of work it takes to clean your pens. The living conditions of your dogs always is a major concern, especially for dogs that stay in a dog pen the majority of time and is especially important for dogs that stand directly on dirt floor pens. Mixed wood chips, cedar wood shavings, and pine chips are all great ideas to not only keep your pets warm in cooler weather but, to keep your hounds dry, smelling better, and in an over all healthy environment. 

Now for many people that might not be aware Cedar shavings have a natural chemical called  Thuja that repeals insects such as fleas, ticks, and bed bugs. Also Cedar and mixed wood shaving will and can help keep your dogs stay warm in the cooler months by adding insulation, to help your dog maintain their body heat. Another issue people with earth floor dog pens face is, having to constantly be aware of  mud and weeds. Wood chips do help with removing weeds from your dog pens that can irritate dogs with allergies and wood chips rid dog pens of weeds that when ingested by dogs, can be harmful. Also, with enough wood chips any wetness caused by precipitation can be dried and keep the mud issue to a minimum. Wood chips are also great to absorb urine and make it quiet easier to spot feces from your dogs which makes it easier to be remove. The bad points to wood chips  on the dog pen floors are that some dogs can NOT stand the dust or smell the wood gives off, upsetting many dogs allergies. In the summer months wood chips can also make a dog overheat by retaining to much heat!!! 

Other Dog Pen Floor Coverings-When buying dog pen chain or wire panels from one of the local box stores that are premade and set directly on the ground. You do have other options  than dirt, when assembling pre-made pins. Different surfaces other than directly on the dirt include stone/gravel, concert, wood decking, plastic floor covering, and rubber floor covering. Now pre-made panels can be a big benefit for dog owners that are in need of a dog pen quickly. On the other hand, if you have checked into the cost of covering the floor of a  10'x 10' dog pen with materials such as concert, wood, or plastic floor coverings the prices can range from  $4.25 to $6.25 per square foot for just concert. For wood a single board that measures 5/4inch x 6inch x 8foot is usually about $6.78. So to cover a 8'x 8' dog pen you would need 16 boards that cost roughly $108.48 before tax. Not to mention if you want to elevate the wood decking you would also need 4"x 4" boards to suspend the decking  and sub- structure frame off the ground. Plus 2" x 8" or  2" x 6" which ever you chose to use,  for the floor joist and sub frame structure that the decking screws too, which is going incur much more cost !!! Lastly, when you get into plastic decking as your  floor covering. Expect to spend lots more for composite decking board  compared to wood. A 15/16 inch x 5 1/4 inch x 8 foot of composite decking in walnut style cost $17.98 for just one board. So you can only imagine what it cost to cover an entire 10'x10' dog pen. Now I have to say that with wood or composite decking as your dog pen floor covering it is much easier to clean compared to wood chips. Also, in the warm weather months solid wood and composite flooring can cut down on parasite and problems such as snake bite, when the pen floor is elevated. But, the down fall of wood decking is that it holds many odors and in windy conditions allows air flow under your dog pen structure keeping your dogs cooler than dogs that are in contact with the direct earth.

Now when it comes to concrete or gravel floor covering in a dog pen the pros and cons are this. The Cons to concrete, gravel, and stone is, all of these coverings have been known to bruise a dogs feet. On the pro side of the argument when you compare how much easier it is to clean concrete compared to wood or composite decking and how concrete can withstand liquids better and longer than wood you see why concrete or stone covered by concrete is the way to go. Also, concrete usually sets directly on the ground which is very safe for your hounds. Comparing that to wood decking, especially wood decking that is elevated, under wood animals such a snakes, mice, and rats can hide, which can cause severe health problems for a dog. Lastly, concrete compared to composite decking, concrete will always be the more long term choice. Composite has it's own set of problems, depending on the quality and age of the composite.  Over time the composite boards will scratch and dry in the changing weather conditions. Which will many times cause small sand like particles of composite that can get in dogs food and water and know one wants their dogs to ingest something like that!!!  

Now that you have a better understanding of what it cost to buy different styles of dog pen floor coverings and you understand the health problems that could be associated with different dog pen floor coverings.  We now need to shed some light on the entire dog pen subject when you go into the market place actually shopping for a dog pen. Below, I've inserted a quick condensed ordered list of check points to follow for those of you that are on the go, phone in hand and are actually shopping for a dog pen. So, check it out below "How To Buy A Dog Pen And Get The Pen That Fits Your Needs And Keeps Your Hound Safe"

How To Buy A Dog Pen And Get The Pen That Fits Your Needs And Keeps Your Hound Safe

  1. Do Your Homework Know Your Dog : Do your homework before buying your new dog pen. Measure what area you have available to set up your new pen. Compare the size of the pen to the needs of your personal dogs. Make sure to remember such points as could your dogs breed while in the pen, it could be you need a pen that offers different bays. Keep in mind outside hazards that your pen will protect your dog from. Check with such groups as your HOA if you can have a dog pen in your neighborhood or have to have a certain type and style of pen.  If looking at wire panel options know if your dog chews. Paint on paint coated wire, can be chewed off by a dog with sharp teeth
  2.  Shop For Best Price: Remember not all dog pens cost the same price. Keep in mind, just because a pen is cheaper compared to others, does not mean it's necessarily is cheaper in quality. Remember when shopping for pens online really read the fine print and check into what materials the pen is constructed from and what options you might have in those areas.
  3. Look Closely When You Go To Buy A Pen In Person, Use Your Senses: If your in person looking at dog pen options, notice the points written of  earlier in this post. Look at the quality of construction in wooden pens such as gaps in wood joints, cheap materials being used in construction of the pen, bad welds in the metal. Look especially for pens that have gaps in wire panels where your dog can escape the pen and look at the gauge of the wire. If the wire is to light it will not withstand the elements and dogs that like to chew, lick, and push on the wire. Special Note: If looking into buying a used dog pen, dog run, or kennel look for and smell for stains from urine and feces and chemicals spray for insects.  


The Crockett Cooner's New Pens

The Cooner's New Dog Run

 Different Dog Pen Wires In Relation To Your Dogs Health

Cost is always a factor with dog pens but, don't make the mistake of thinking that more expensive is always better or will make it safer or healthier for your dogs! Let's take a close look at my dog pens and what my pens are constructed of. Now if you notice in the above picture my pens are constructed out of reclaimed metal that was originally the back stop of a baseball field. Now lot's of people shy away from products that have been used or are reclaimed materials. But, if you notice the gauge or thickness of the square panels you will notice that it is much heavier than the pens you can buy at your local box store. My particular pens have with stood the elements quiet well and don't even get me started on the hounds that I have owned that have chewed, scratched, licked, and urinated on the panels of my pens. But, the reason these pens have lasted so long was the process in which they where constructed, which is Class 3 construction. I know now your wondering, what is Class 3 construction mean ?So to explain, below are some different types of dog pen wires and wire coatings and how they relate to your dogs health over time.


GBW-  Which is galvanized process before weld or weave.

GAW- Which is galvanized process after weld and weave.

Galvanized Grades and Classes

  1. Commercial galvanized -which is actually the lowest grade zinc coating mix you can get on any dog pen wire and because of its low quality can create metal dust around your dogs pens!!! 
  2. Class 1 galvanized- is dipped in the zinc galvanized coating one time when the wire is being made,  it gives you normal protection and can over "time" produce metal dust.
  3. Class 3 galvanized- is dipped in the zinc galvanized coating two times to add a double layer of protection and takes many years before metal dust appears.
  4. Zinc aluminum galvanized- which is about 95 % zinc and 5 % aluminum, which means in the zinc and aluminum galvanized field. There are two classes, separated into their own individual classes which are, class 20 -which is rated for about 25 years of service and then class 40 -which is rated for about 50 years of service. 
  5. Painted galvanized- which is lower in the mixture of zinc so the paint will adhere to the metal. (I suggest never using painted galvanized because IF!!! the metal the fencing is constructed of is higher in zinc, the paint will flake off quiet quickly and can fall into dogs water buckets and food bowls.) (*paint want adhere to pure galvanized products.)

PVC COATED WELDED WIRE Galvanized- It is true, that the PVC coating does help guard against the elements when it comes to dog pen wire and it is really the way to go for a quality dog pen wire that will last and is durable. 

  1. Hot dipped PVC Coated- after the galvanized wire is weld it travels through that zinc process and is then dipped in a hot bath of PVC which double coats the wire and fills any cracks and rough edges to ensure you have a product that can withstand elements and makes it the safest and the longest lasting in the outdoor elements, for the health of your dogs.

Other Wire Fencing - When it comes to other options in dog pen wire and how that relates to your dogs health you do have the options of using such products as barbed wire, welded mesh wire, razor wire, chicken wire, fencer wire, and different variations of the above wires electrified. I would strongly suggest never using barbed or razor wire in any dog pen setting but, if you had to I would say only use them at the extreme top of the dog pen where no dog could reach them. Chicken wire and fencer wire is usually not strong enough to keep any dog with-strained for too long a period of time, especially dogs that like to chew. Also, with chicken wire the wire is very fine and becomes almost like a hypodermic needle when chewed or cut incorrectly. Welded mesh wire on the other hand, can be considered as a suitable wire for a  dog pen. But!!! only when the gauge of the wire is heavy enough and the panels of the welded mesh are constructed from stainless steal.

Safe Dog Pen Roofing Products

Ideally, having a roof on your dog pen that is constructed from some form of roofing shingles, slates or some type of metal corrugated roofing is the best. But, other options are tarps and when it comes to tarps you have choices such as, high density polyethylene, polyester, or plastic. The importance of a good dog pen cover is key to keeping your dogs shaded in hot weather and warmer in cold weather. Dog pin tarp types of covers also keep out large amounts of rain and snow but, there are concerns anytime you cover your dog pens. Below I'm going to explain a little of the good and bad points when it comes to dog pen covers to keep your dogs healthy in the pens. 

Polythylene- Now most polythylene that is UV sprayed is great for lowering the temperatures inside your dog pens. In some recent test it has been shown that a UV treated polythylene cover can lower the temperatures as much as 12 degrees inside you dog kennels. The common name for polythylene dog pen covers is the "shade cloth." The covers usually would remind you of the old sacks that potatoes when purchased came in. The shade cloth is a type of mesh which lets hot air escape and creates shade for your dogs. The down fall to shade cloths is that it is easy for a dog that enjoys climbing onto a dog house to get a good bite of and create holes in the polythylene. Once the hold is created in the polythylene there is not mending it, plus the strands of fibers that are created will cover your dog pen and everything inside of it. The benefits to the mesh shade cloth is that it will allow for some water to pass through the material. This is great for dog pen with low pitched roof liners that like to sag in heavy rail fall.

Polyester- When it comes to a good dog pen topper buying polyester material that is coated with PVC is the way to go. It keeps out most all of the elements that could come from the sky. Also, polyester is a much stronger material when stretched tight compared to polythylene. It is more difficult for a dog to chew a hole in polyester and if your pens are located under tree cover. Polyester is great for keeping out debris from the trees ,that might fall on the dog pen roof. The down fall to polyester is, how easily it will mold especially when its located under trees. Also, if the polyester cover is a solid cover the roof pitch of the pen must be steep enough to shed the water and snow. When polyester is not pitched correctly on the dog pen roof, in heavy fast precipitation falls ,the pools of water, snow, and ice can collect and will add tremendous weight to the roof and chain walls of the pen. With some cheaper dog pens the weight of water on a sagging polyester roof has been known to collapse some dog pens and cause injury to dogs. 

Plastic- Trap types of plastic dog pen roofs are O.K. to use for the short term. For people that just need a cheap cover to keep the suns rays out in warmer months plastic UV treated tarps are fine. But, for a long term solution plastic tarp dog pen covers just want last. Much like a think solid polyester roof plastic will also hold large amounts of precipitation if the roof is not pitched steep enough. But, keep in mind even with the pitch being steep, water can still collect in pools on the plastic roof.  Because, after some exposure to the elements the plastic tarps will stretch and begin to dry rot. One great benefit to plastic is that if the water does pool and the plastic cover was not expensive, you can easily puncture a hole in the roof and allow the water to escape. 

Hopefully with this information on dog pen roofs you can now make the correct decision on how to cover your pens. The main points to remember are that no matter what type of dog pen cover you decide on using. The correct methods to attach you covers to the pen walls and finding the correct pitch of the roof, is key to keeping  your dog pen walls from being damaged and to keep your dogs safe and healthy. 

Loud Dogs

The Cooner's Chewed On Polythylene Shade Cloth

Sadly, this post has come too and end. I hope that you now have a better understanding from the ground up about what dog pen will best fit your needs. Also, I hope you now better understand the pro's and con's to look out for when you purchase a new or used dog pen, to ensure your hounds  are healthy in their pens. If you have enjoyed this post please sign up for our newsletter if you want to keep up with the latest events and post here at the Crockett Coonhound. Make sure to look around the website at the Crockett Coonhound, we have a lot to see here. Also, if you have a second please leave us a review we love to hear from our readers. Lastly, if you are checking out the old inner-webs make sure to look for me, The Crockett Cooner and The Crockett Coonhound website. You can find us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Thank you all again for taking time to read this post, I hope you have a great day and an even better tomorrow. 

  Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Where can you find dog pens made from reclaimed metal?

If your in the market for some really well constructed dog pens made from recycled heavier gauge metal than the pens at your local box stores. Check with local fencing companies in your area and metal welding shops. Many times they will make dog pens from thicker walled and heavier gauge metal that has been repurposed. Also, if your lucky you can find PVC recycled pens at local fencing companies. 

🐞 Is spraying bug spray on a wooden dog pens a common practice?

Many times companies that construct wooden dog kennels will in fact spray the kennels before putting them on the market. Always take notice of the smell inside the kennel before you purchase one. (Your looking for an oder that smells chemical in nature) keep in mind there are safe sprays to spray dog pens with that repel bug, make sure to ask the company directly what type of spray was used, if you believe the kennel has been sprayed.

🔨 Is it cheaper to build your own dog kennel?

Depending on the material you use, it can many times be cheaper to build your own pen. The question is quality, how long will your pen withstand the elements compared to a pre-manufactured dog pen.

🚑 Is it safe for your dogs health to use house hold cleaners to clean your dog pens?

Yes, depending on the type cleaner you use. Some cleaners such as bleach and ammonia do a great job at disinfecting a dog kennel. The main point is to make sure to completely rinse all surfaces and to allow for time for vapors to clear from the space. (I suggest looking into products like, Kennel Sol or Pro Vet Logic which is specially formulated to clean dog pens, kennels, crates, and run.  

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