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Have you been thinking to get a playpen or exercise pen for your puppy or dog? You can find commercial products and think of interesting DIY projects based on their models.

I’d suggest you to think of a DIY dog pen project if it’s possible. You can involve your family members to construct a creative and personally designed dog-pen. It will help your family have lots of fun together.

How to Build a Dog Pen:

Start off with a blueprint that charts out the space dog pen will cover. Decide on what kind of dog-pen you’d like to have: portable or non-portable. The former is commercially available. The blueprint should highlight the following things:

  1. Size of the Dog Pen: Define it based on the dog’s breed and size as well as exercise needs. As a general rule of thumb, an active medium-sized dog requires 120-130 square feet of space.
  2. The Height of the Boundaries: Large breeds can be safer in pens with high walls and vice versa for small breeds.
  3. Roofing or Not: It depends on the weather conditions in your area. You can select between flat or pitched roofs.
  4. Flooring Based on Grooming Needs: Short-fur dogs can easily get rid of dirt and grassy patches, but long-fur dogs attract lots of dirt, fleas, and ticks, so it’s best to select the flooring accordingly.
  5. Material Used for Boundaries: Wooden, plastic, fabric, and metallic boundaries are the four varieties. Your dog’s size, age, aggression level, etc. will assist you in making a wise choice.
  6. Exercise Needs of the Dog: Bulldogs and other small breeds require less exercise while Labrador and Siberian Husky require more exercise to stay happy and healthy. So, the size of play or exercise pen depends on hyperactivity of the dog.
  7. Play or Exercise Equipment: Exercise equipment for dogs include ramps, benches, obstacles for jumping over and going under, pipe tunnels, etc. However, such equipment wouldn’t be suitable for dog’s having joint pain, arthritis, etc. Find more on: The best joint supplement for dogs.
  8. A Dog House: A dog house within the playpen can make the dog feel comfortable. The dog eats drinks and feels safe on a hot summer day within the kennel.

Top Ten Creative Dog Pen Ideas:

Here are some of the best dog pen ideas, both commercially available and DIYs, which you can look up to:

#1 PVC Pipes for Indoor/Outdoor Playpen

It’s the simplest and portable DIY playpen for pups and small dogs who enjoy spending their time with chew toys, interactive toys, or treat-dispensing toys. All you need is PVC pipes and corners according to the height and length you want to maintain of the playpen. If it’s meant to be fixed outdoors in the yard, fix the legs firmly into the mud. If you prefer a portable playpen that can be moved in and out of the house, then make a wooden flooring using planks to fix the legs. You can change places of the playpen. For details, check here.

#2 Indoor Fenced Playpen Area:

This can be available commercially, and you can prepare it at home. Simply cut the wooden planks in a desired shape and fix them to one another in a row. Make a small door opening at one end. You will have to adjust the three-sided fence into the wall. Paint the fence with color that best compliments the interiors of your house. This separate indoor playpen can be stuffed with chew toys, treat toys, etc. They are best suited for more than one puppies or small dogs to play with one another in a safe zone in your absence. The indoor fenced area can be utilized in creative ways.

Soft Side Play Pen Indoor/Outdoor:

It’s a commercially available playpen for little dogs that are foldable. It is waterproof and highly-ventilated playpen design that’s best for travelers. Various sizes are available, and its ground stakes help you to fix it in the ground. The best part is it can be washed easily. If you often have to travel or want to take your dog to the office, carry this along and let him have fun safely while you are busy at work.

#4 Outdoor Single Dog Kennel with Run:

These exercise pens are perfect for large dogs. Various designs are available commercially with flat or pitched roofs. You can make a DIY project out of the ideas too. Before buying, you have to consider the kind of roofing, flooring, and material of fencing, either wire or rods, that should be used. If there’s enough space, you can add ramps, benches, etc. to make the dog exhaust his energies.

#5 Double or Triple Dog Kennel with Run:

Most of the large breed dogs cannot live comfortably with other pet dogs. So, it’s best to set up a double or triple dog kennel with separate run areas. The DIY of such dog kennel may exhaust you but it’s worth a try. If you have enough yard space, and it’s affordable for you, it will be a great idea to bring these exercise pens at home.

  #6 Metal Foldable Exercise Pen

The metallic exercise pens come in various shapes, sizes, and heights. You can select any of the best-suited one for your dog. Its affordable than wooden ‘kennels with runs.’ It requires small backyard space and is foldable, which cancels the question of ‘reconstructing it’ when you bring it home. You simply have to select a feasible spot and set it up by grounding its legs deeply in the grass.

#7 Grassless Dog Exercise Pen Idea:

If your dog is hyperactive, and is short-haired, you can think to build this roofless and grassless yard space. This one is the simplest. You simply need to fence the particular exercise and play area, and place all the obstacles, benches, slides, etc. you want. More than two dogs can play in this area, and even you can be a part of the dog fun by training him tricks in a fun way.

#8 Backyard Non-folding Metallic Dog Run

Metallic fences can be bought to cover a particular yard area. The height can be adjusted according to dog’s size, age, and personality. They are attached to walls on a particular side of the yard and cannot be folded. More than one dog or puppy can play in the play area if it’s a huge space. You can place obstacles, ramps, benches, pipes, and drums for the dogs to have fun with each other. It will fulfill their energy needs as well.

#9 Dog Indoor Weaning Pens: 

You can either construct them or buy them. It consists of two small fenced playpens that are connected via a door. Two pups can be kept separately or may be allowed to play together under your supervision, if they are not getting along with each other initially. It’s an elegant design that’s easy to clean. Find more details here. You can use PVC pipes to DIY this idea.

#10 Chain-linked Box Kennel:

These are commercially available dog exercise pens that can be assembled easily. They are well-suited for large breed dogs that are aggressive, dominating or hyperactive. You can choose from the different available sizes and start assembling the dog run. You can get the details for assembling the dog run here: How to assemble chain-linked box kennel? (P.S. hyperlinked can be changed in 10)