How Big Should a Dog Run Be?

By Liz Fremont

Consider several factors when designing a dog run.

two labs waiting image by Scott Slattery from

Recommended Size

A run longer than it is wide promotes exercise.

humorous dog running with toy image by Paul Retherford from

A sample ordinance from the Humane Society of the United States indicates a run should be 3 feet wide by 10 feet long and 6 feet high with the width increased by a foot for dogs over 100 lbs. Multiplying a dog's length by five can also be used to figure a run's size.

Minimum Size

Dogs need room to roam to be happy.

Homeless dog in Kennel image by dinahr from

According to the Animal Welfare Act Regulations, enclosures for dogs and cats must, at a minimum, "provide sufficient space to allow each dog and cat to turn about freely, to stand, sit, and lie in a comfortable, normal position, and to walk in a normal manner." While this doesn't give dimensions, it does indicate a fairly small space.

Bottom Line

The size of a run should match your dog's activity level.

fawn pug dog image by Paul Hill from

Give your dog the largest run that your yard and finances will support, as long as it is above the Animal Welfare Act Regulations minimum. Also factor in how many dogs will be in the run and how often, whether or not a dog house will take up some of the room and any safety concerns you may have.