Building a Dog Kennel

A place to escape the elements is a must for all dogs. Here’s a simple how-to guide for building a dog kennel to protect your pet from the elements and provide enough space and comfort.

Your Tools:

  • Jigsaw
  • Circular saw, or panel saw.
  • Builders trestle
  • Hammer
  • Square tool
  • Tape measure
  • Adhesive cartridge gun
  • Paintbrush

Measuring and Cutting out the Pieces:

Determine the size of your dog by measuring the height, length and width of your dog; consider space for movement and growth. Mark the measurements on the bottom and end patterns and allow generous height and width for the door.

  1. Place the plywood on a workstation with the good side facing upwards.
  2. Next, mark each component with a square tool, ensuring the wood grain runs vertically on the end panels and horizontally on the sides. Make sure the front and rear panels cover the end grain of the side panels.
  3. Pencil a line down the centre to mark the roof angle – see the dotted line on the end panel illustration above. Mark the desired slope or angle on one side. The intersection between this angle and the vertical centre line will provide the angle for the opposite side.
  4. Then mark out and cut one end panel and one side panel. Then use these as patterns for cutting the opposite end and side panels.
  5. Mark out and cut the floor. Ensure it is slightly oversized to be dressed down later using a plane. It is best to fix the sides to the top surface of the floor rather than to its edges to prevent moisture from rising the end grain of the sides.
  6. Alternatively, the sides could overlap the bottom if you can ensure the end grain will be kept dry. Cut the door opening using a jigsaw. Cut the panels to shape with either a fine-toothed circular or panel saw.


  1. Nail the cut sides and end panels to the floor, applying adhesive to the edges before securing. Nails can be partially driven beforehand to allow a free hand for holding the components. Fasten the nails about 100mm apart or apply four galvanised screws to each side.
  2. Measure the roof sections and allow an overhang at each end and side. Using a saw or plane, bevel the roof’s edges to form a mitre joint. Undercut the overhanging edges to help drain water off and avoid excessive moisture on the end grain.
  3. These will need to be rounded off for safety. Then glue and fasten the roof panels to the kennel. Ensure plenty of adhesive is applied to the apex joint.