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How to choose a kennel set-up for your gundog

Jeremy Hunt offers some experienced advice

outside kennels for gundogs

A walk-in kennel is a popular and versatile option

Outside kennels for gundogs

Q: I am about to buy a new outside kennel set-up for my two cocker spaniels. Some systems that I have looked at have a kennel at the end of the run that is tall enough for me to walk into. The dogs would have access via a pop-hole and there would be a dog bed inside. Alternatively, some kennels have a dogbox at the end of the run which is only big enough for the dogs to sleep in, but that’s all. Any advice on which to choose? Which are the best outside kennels for gundogs? 

A: It is very much up to the individual. Personally, I prefer the walk-in type of kennel, but I know many set-ups that work well with outside sleeping boxes — and there are now some on the market that can be heated. The sleeping-box system probably works best in runs that are under cover, for example in a building, or where the runs have roof cover to protect dogs from the rain. This will reduce the amount of moisture the dogs tread into their bed when the weather is wet. It’s important to buy a sleeping box from a reputable supplier, so you can be sure the design, size, insulation and weatherproofing are correct. There are some cheaper versions, but you should avoid them. They may look suitable in a photograph, but cost-cutting comes at a price and you do not want dogs that are cold and chilled because the sleeping box has not been correctly made or isn’t insulated.

Kennels for gundogs that allow the owner access have the benefit of providing something in which the dogs can be contained for whatever reason, if that is necessary, as well as providing somewhere in which any required dog care or attention can be undertaken under cover by the owner. When thinking about outside kennels for gundogs consider dog security carefully.  Today, there are both timber and non-chewable materials being used by manufacturers, so be mindful of the potential durability of a sleeping box and its construction.