How to Build a Cable Dog Run

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Things You'll Need

  • Two 4-by-4 posts, 9 feet in length

  • Two 40-pound bags of quick-set concrete

  • Stirring stick

  • Level

  • Small stones to add to post hole

  • Shovel

  • 5-gallon bucket

  • Water

  • Tape measure

  • Step ladder

  • Pliers

  • Turnbuckle

  • Strong cable

  • Eye hooks

  • Dog tether

  • Wire rope clips

  • Stops


Keep tools away from children. Make sure your dog's collar fits properly. Check your dog often. Do not leave your dog outside in inclement weather or excessive heat.


If you purchase a trolley system from a pet or home improvement store, you can be certain you're getting all the right parts for your system to work efficiently.

A dog cable run gives your dog the freedom to stretch his legs while keeping him safe.
Image Credit: hd1photography/iStock/Getty Images

Dogs are companion animals, and while they love a good snuggle on the couch, they need to have the opportunity to stretch their legs. Keeping them safe while outdoors is a high priority for dog owners. The ideal setup is a fence enclosure, but a dog cable, installed property, can give them room to move and protect them from the dangers of traffic.

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Step 1

Determine the location of your dog run. You may be able to use a tree, or two trees, to avoid sinking posts, but don't use this as a shortcut if the trees aren't positioned properly. Make sure the location of the run keeps your dog away from roads, potential dangers and from encroaching on neighboring properties.

Step 2

Dig your post hole or holes. You need to sink your post 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep for maximum stability.


Step 3

Set your post into the hole.

Step 4

Measure to make certain the post is sunk deep enough.

Step 5

Add stones to the hole so your post will stay upright while you mix your cement.

Step 6

Prepare your quick-set cement according to the directions. Fill your bucket approximately half full with cement. Set the bucket close to your post hole so you won't have to move it once it's full. Add water slowly, stirring as you go. The typical ratio for quick-set is one part water for each five parts of cement, or a 20 percent water ratio. The consistency when ready should be similar to mashed potatoes.


Step 7

Fill the hole with concrete, slowly. It's helpful to have a second set of hands for this step to hold the post as you fill the hole.

Step 8

Use the level to make sure the post is set properly.

Step 9

Allow to dry. Most quick-set concrete products set in a few hours or less, some in as little as 20 minutes. For best results, allow to set overnight.

Step 10

Install a steel hook into each post at least 6 inches down from the top of the post. Install it on the inside of the post. You should be able to sink it into the wood by turning and applying pressure. Finish the job with the pliers.


Step 11

Thread the cable through the first steel hook.

Step 12

Thread the cable through the rope clamp and close the clamp.

Step 13

Install the turnbuckle on the cable.

Step 14

Repeat steps 12 and 13 at the other post. The cable should not sag, but should not be completely taught.

Step 15

Test the cable and clamps. If they will hold your weight, they should hold your dog's weight. Make sure the cable does not pull free from the rope clamps.


Step 16

Install the dog tether. When you purchase the tether, make certain it is the right weight for your dog by checking the packaging. Make sure it isn't too long or too short. Your dog should be able to move freely and lie down, but should be kept from any dangers where he could become entangled.