Dog kennels can be broken down into several different types:
Outdoor Dog Kennels, Indoor Dog Kennels, Portable Kennels, Multiple Kennel Runs.
Outdoor Dog Kennels: This type of kennel is used outdoors to protect the dog and keep them within a certain area. Many people do not consider the danger a predator animal can present to your dog and a poorly made dog kennel will not stop a large wild animal from getting into the kennel. A quality made dog kennel is designed both to keep the dog in as well as predators out! Outdoor kennels come in 3 major types: Chain Link, welded wire and steel rod kennels.
Chain link kennels normally come in 2 types: Pre-fabricated panels and frame and stretch types. Pre-fabricated chain link kennels come with the chain link already installed in the panels. All you have to do is bolt the panels together and your kennel is ready to use. The frame and stretch kennels are much more labor intensive as the frame has to be assembled and the chain link is stretched and wired to the frame.
Welded Wire dog kennels are prefabricated panels with the frame already built and the wire attached in the panels. All you do is bolt the panels together in the size you need for your dog kennel. These types of kennels are rated by the gauge of the wire, the lower the number, the heavier the wire is. For instance, 11 gauge wire is much thinner than 8 gauge wire and is much weaker. A 90 lb dog may be able to actually break through a 12 or 11 gauge wire mesh, where a 40 lb dog cannot.
Steel Rod dog kennels are prefabricated panels in normally 5 ft or 6 ft wide panels and are the strongest kennels currently available. These types of kennels are needed for large or aggressive breeds of dogs. The steel rods are 1/4 - 3/8 inches thick and should be powdercoated for corrosion resistance.
On any kennel used outdoors, the finish of the metal is important. Many companies claim powder coat finish, but be sure to check on the quality of this as a powder coat finish is only as good as the company who applies the coating. A poorly done powder coat finish will rust faster than a painted finish. Many dog kennel companies have been applying a spray-on galvanizing to cut costs and it shows rust in only a few weeks. Ask the company about the galvanized finish, if it is spray-on or hot dipped and how long is the warranty on the finish of the kennel. In most cases, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is true on dog kennels.
Indoor Dog Kennels: This type of dog kennel are very much like the outdoor dog kennels currently available, but they do come in smaller panels to be able to be setup and moved easily. The type of corrosion resistant coating in not as critical unless the indoor area has high humidity. A secure latch is a must with an indoor dog kennel as the purpose of having an indoor dog kennel is to keep your dog within a certain area inside. A kennel with a poorly designed latch is defeating the purpose of having the kennel inside.
Portable Dog Kennels: This type of kennel is often referred to as a dog cage or dog pen and used by people who travel with their dogs. People who own RV's and others who travel to dog shows use this type of kennel for short-term use. The panels are usually 3 or 4 ft and can be setup and taken down very quickly.
Multiple Kennel Runs: This type of kennel system can house many dogs, and keep some dogs separated if they are prone to "fence fighting". To stop this behavior, an isolation panel can be used between the kennel runs so the dogs in the adjoining kennel cannot see each other. A multiple kennel run is normally a large kennel 20 ft x 10 ft and separated into 5 ft x 10ft runs.
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