A Dog Run For Shep

We love our pets.  They’re part of the family.  Our dog Shep is a great dog, but he got the short end of the stick on this move.  The backyard at the old rental house was big.  The yard here is about half the size.  But there was another problem.  The yard is only partially fenced.  Building a dog run became the #1 priority after moving in.

I grew up on farm, so I understand the basics of building fences.  You sink poles and stretch barbwire, and… wait, wrong kind of fence.

After some deliberation, I decided to build a fence along the north side of the house.  There’s already a fence separating my property from the neighbor’s.  Basically all I’d have to do is close in the ends.  That way Shep wouldn’t constantly pee on the raspberry bush.

But what kind of fence?  I needed to consider Shep.  He’s a mid-sized Border Collie/Aussie Shepherd mix.  He could jump.  But he’s a good dog and I know he won’t.  And I was on a budget.  So I decided to go with a four-foot picket fence.  Simple.  And it was easy to build thanks to pre-made picket panels from Lowe’s Home Improvement and help from Roger, a wonderful family friend.

Roger and I spent two days working on the dog run.  The first day we got all the post-holes dug, posts in place, and all the picket panels clamped and set.  The second day we poured quick-dry cement, secured the picket panels and built a gate.  Simple.

I’m not an expert at describing step-by-step details.  So I’ll leave that to the pros.   For more specific how-to-instructions on building a picket fence, click the following links:

This Old House

DIY Network

Black & Decker

This is the area along the north side of the house that I chose for Shep’s dog run.  It’s not a lot of space, but he gets regular walks and supervised time in the backyard.

Here are the posts and picket panels from Lowe’s.  The patio the materials are sitting on would become part of Shep’s domain, too.  From the patio there’s a door to the mud room.  That way Shep can be let in and out with ease.  Maybe someday I’ll add a doggie door.

The front end of the dog run is a simple, single picket panel screwed into two posts.  It can easily be removed for access if needed.

Here, we built the fence flush to the patio.  The panel farthest away is a gate that can be lifted in and out for easy access.

This was an easy project.  I’d give it a 9 out of 10 for ease.  And now Shep has a little room to run.  Painting the fence will be done in the spring or summer.  Blue.

One thing I’ve discovered since owning a house.  There are many different stores to shop for building materials.  Lowe’s and Home Depot are the biggest and most popular, but does that make them the best?

Next post: Comparing home improvement stores.

And I was just kidding about painting the fence blue.


Dan Erickson

Dan Erikson is the passionate voice behind Hip Diggs, where he explores the art of living simply and intentionally. With a keen eye for minimalism and its profound impact on our lives, Dan delves into topics ranging from decluttering spaces to decluttering the mind. Drawing from personal experiences and a deep appreciation for the minimalist ethos, he offers readers practical insights and actionable steps to embrace a more meaningful, clutter-free life. When he's not penning down his thoughts on Hip Diggs, Dan enjoys the serenity of nature, reading, and exploring the nuances of simple living in a complex world.

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