Time to build kennels: you need to think about functionality! We cannot think only about the comfort of dogs, ideal is also to idealize how to facilitate handling. One of the main points to give a good follow to the breeding of dogs, mainly if we have dogs that fight with others and, even, for separation in the heat season is the construction of kennels. An important structure to give more convenience to dogs and facilitate the handling of breeders.
With this in mind, the first edition of Best Breeders brings an interview with the kennel technician and breeder Fabrício Sabatini, owner of the Konda Bulls kennel, on the subject.
Best Breeders: What is fundamental and priorities when building a kennel?
Fabrício Sabatini: When thinking about building a commercial or residential kennel, we have to keep in mind two priorities: convenience and functionality. The facilities must be comfortable for dogs, offering comfort, safety and protection against the weather, allied to it, it must be functional, facilitating maintenance and allowing greater agility and wasting time in daily routines.
Best Breeders: Why is it necessary to have a kennel?
Fabrício Sabatini: The kennel should be a resting place for the animal, the ideal is to stay a few hours a day, providing regular physical activities for the total development of the dog. The environment should be peaceful, free from visual and auditory stimuli that cause unnecessary barking and stress.
Best Breeders: Is there a standard for building kennels?
Fabrício Sabatini: There is no standard rule regarding the measures used in kennels, since dogs, as descendants of wolves, are burrowing animals, and do not need large spaces to accommodate themselves, as long as they are constantly exercised.
Best Breeders: What would an ideal accommodation for dogs be like?
Fabrício Sabatini: Regardless of the measures used, the kennel must have two rooms, the bedroom and the solarium, knowing all this, we can start our project, taking into account the breed and the number of dogs we want to house. The room is a covered area, offering protection from the sun and rain, where the bed, water and food will be, based on a medium-sized dog, the minimum size for this room is 1.5 mx 1, 5 m, totaling 2.25 m², if the intention is to put two dogs in the same kennel, an increase of 0.50 cm in width is enough to keep them comfortable. The room must have a passage that will give access to the solarium, remembering that we will also move between the rooms, and must be tall enough to pass without hitting our heads, a width of 0.50 cm allows the dog to have access to the solarium quietly.
The solarium, as its name says, allows the dog to sunbathe. Analyzing canine behaviors, it avoids making its needs where it sleeps and feeds, making the solarium also the bathroom, being ideal that the solarium is built in the direction in which the sun rises, as this is in short, for the development of the dog acting directly on the synthesis of vitamin “D”, directly interfering in the development of bones and teeth. The sun’s rays also have the function of sterilizing the environment, helping to eliminate the bacteria present in the feces. In this way, the solarium must accompany the width of the room, and allow the dog to do its needs and be able to enjoy the sun’s rays, considering all this, I came to the conclusion that the solarium must measure 1.5 mx 3 m. Stressing that, in the case of two dogs, 2m x 3m.
When analyzing several kennels, I commonly observe that access to kennels is done through the solarium, which I consider wrong (my opinion). As explained above, the solarium also works as a bathroom, making the entrance of the kennel in this area, you are inducing the dog to stay there, because you learn that this is where you come to provide food, to release it from the kennel, as a result, the animal will be in contact with your waste and you run the risk of a “dirty coconut leg” on your clothes. Therefore, I advise that the access to the kennel is done through the room, which is protected by a balcony of approximately 02 meters wide, accompanied by the entire length of the kennel. Done in this way, in addition to reducing the contact of dogs with their waste, it will add other advantages in their management, for example, on rainy days, in this way the rain will not hinder or even make it impossible to do their jobs, being able to feed the dogs and clean the kennels without getting wet. Knowing all of this, when checking your terrain, direct the solarium to the most peaceful place, which transmits calmness to the dog, free of visual stimuli and the kennel entrance facing the place of greatest flow, this will make it always waiting for us in the covered kennel area.
At the back of the solariums a ditch must be made in its entire length, responsible for conducting the waste to a pit or sewage system, and there must be a slight slope that goes from the room towards the ditch to facilitate the flow.
I do not recommend that kennels be separated by screens, this can generate friction between dogs, which can cause fights over the screen spans, injuries and disputes, which will be resolved when the fighters are loose, in addition to excessive noise by barking. Divisions must be made by walls.
The walls must be resistant, it is up to you to decide the material that best fits your budget, clay bricks, concrete blocks, work as thermal insulators, maintaining the temperature. The installation of tiles or floors on the walls is advisable, with an approximate height of 0.80 cm facilitates their cleaning.
For the ceiling there are a multitude of materials that can be used, the owner needs to analyze the climatic conditions to choose the material that best fits his climate. With fiber cement tiles the budget decreases in the use of wood, however, they are warmer, and the use of these can be complemented with the application of the thermal blanket, clay tiles are cooler, but the cost with wood will be higher, it remains you decide.
After building the kennel, your dogs will need a bed, which will protect them from the icy floor. The bed has to be manufactured with a height of approximately 10 cm, with a hard and resistant wood, which is strong enough to withstand the bites and which can be washed, the most used is the ipe. Wanting to give your bed a longer life, you can ask a locksmith to make a structure in the rectangular or square format, built with iron angles and then installing the wood under that structure.
You will also need a pantry, used to pack your stock of feed, guides, collars, cleaning supplies, medicines, etc. The size of this room depends on what will be stored, and several shelves must be installed for greater organization.
Best Breeders: Are there other constructions to assist in management?
Fabrício Sabatini: As said at the beginning, the dog should stay the smallest part of the day trapped in the kennel, to be able to fulfill this routine more easily, the construction of “rapids” can be an interesting option. Rapids are places where animals can be released part of the day, providing them with moments of leisure, exercise, socializing and while they have fun, cleaning kennels can be done without anyone to disturb. A rapid must have at least an area of 50 m², summarizing a space that measures 10 mx 05 m, to allow two dogs to move freely, of course this measure is minimal, if you have a wide terrain there is nothing to prevent to provide them with a larger area.
The rapids can be made with fences, railings or screens, with the floor you want, grass, cement and sand or even one with each type of floor, which will stimulate the muscles of the dogs in different ways, which can be loosened in rotation system if the kennel has a very large breeding stock. Now that you have everything you need for your kennel to work perfectly, you can include a bath room, a mini clinic with a veterinary table for consultations, medication application, an office to receive your friends and customers, a practice of exercises and what else to imagine.