Guest Post By Sam Medlock

When choosing a kennel for your working dog, it can feel like walking through a minefield.  There are many materials to choose from, styles, add-on’s and upgrades as well as size! 

Here are our helpful tips for selecting a wooden dog kennel which will provide your dog with a safe and secure outdoor home.

Helpful Tips For Choosing A Working Dog Kennel

1. Size of Kennel

Consider the space you have available – a modest back garden would benefit from a smaller, single kennel.  If you are lucky enough to own a small-holding or farm, consider a larger enclosure or block for multiple housing.  Make sure that you look at your dog’s size as a giant breed will need more space for stretching and walking around.  Measure a dog bed or crate that is already being used by your dog.  Or, while they are sleeping, measure the area that they are snuggled in – this will help when deciding on a kennel size.  Bear in mind that a sleeping area doesn’t always need to be bigger – a smaller kennel will retain heat and stay warm during cold spells.

2. Style of Kennel

Again, the location of the kennel and how often you use it will determine your choice.  An apex roof style has a traditional, classic appearance, while a pent roof style offers a more subtle and modern design. Despite these two differences, both options have their advantages and disadvantages.  An apex roof has the classic angled /\ design where the roof slopes down on either side. This provides the building with additional height in the centre of the structure, giving you a full height kennel and run.  The pent roof is higher at the front and lower at the back.  They usually are lower in height overall compared to the apex so can be chosen for a less intrusive design. All of our products are available with an apex or pent roof. 

Pent Roof

Apex Roof

3. Type of Kennel

Single kennel , double kennel or More? here are many potential options available on the market. Dogs that get along can be housed in kennels together.  Depending on how many dogs you have as well as their breed and size, there are many ways of making single, double or triple kennels work for you.  You could choose a single enclosure, or you could look at a range of double dog pens that allow your dogs to see each other, as well as ones with solid divides.  Another benefit of separate sections is that you can keep your dogs and bitches apart when required.

Single Kennel

Multi Kennels

4. Kennel Insulation

Insulating your new dog kennel can sometimes appear pricey.  But in the long run, it can be very cost effective.  Adding insulation to the interior of your dog’s sleep will provide warmth in winter, and also keep it cooler in summer.  We have had many customers in the past choose the insulation for their kennel blocks with no need for further heat lamps or heaters.  Choose a PVC lining to cover the insulation, and you have a wipe-clean surface allowing easier maintenance for you.  The covering will also remove access to any exposed framework, which is useful if your dog is a chewer.

5. Purchasing A Kennel

When looking at manufacturers, try to make a comparison of a few different companies with varying prices.  Can you spot why some cost more than others?  Some companies like ours use tongue and groove cladding for our entire kennel structure. However other companies use chipboard for the roof and floors.  Also, look out for joins in the timber, clad fixed facing different ways and how the roof size compares with the kennel itself.  These factors won’t necessarily impair the functionality of the enclosure, but they can affect the overall look of the finished build.  And when you are paying good money for a product, you want it to look right. 


There are plenty of working dog owners out there to provide advice and tips on your new dog kennel. In the Ladies Working Dog Group – Free Community there are now over 2000 ladies to help you, just ask. 

We are also happy to help with any questions at Garden and Animal Structures, and as a family run business, we have a friendly and none-pushy approach.

Contacting Sam

Sam Medlock can be contacted at

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  • I never thought to measure my dog’s sleeping space in order to make sure he has enough in his kennel. I have a dog and I want to get him a kennel but I had never taken into consideration to see how much space he takes up while he sleeps so that his kennel is comfortable for him. Thank you for this great advice, I will be sure to keep it in mind as I shop around for a boarding kennel.

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