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How to Build Your Own Exercise Pens for Dogs [2011-01-28]

Consider the size of your dog and how large an exercise pen he might require to move around comfortably. As drsfostersmith.com suggests, "measure your dog's height, especially when he stands on his hind feet". Then, choose a pen slightly taller than your dog. This will deter the dog who wants to jump out. The exercise pen built in this article is for a dog of average size, ranging between 10 inches and 17 inches high at the shoulders.

Using your chosen PVC cutting device, cut 24 identical 36-inch pieces of PVC pipe (or cut the PVC pipe to the desired height) for your exercise pen. Set them aside.

Cut 36 12-inch pieces of PVC pipe. Put them aside. Please note, regardless of your pen's final height these 12-inch sections remain fixed length in order to ensure stability of the panels.

Lay-out and Assembly
You will construct 6 rectangular panels. Lay out your PVC pipe sections to include for each panel: 4 elbow PVC joints, 4 PVC T joints, 6 12-inch pieces, and 4 36-inch pieces.

Assemble each panel one at a time to determine that all the parts fit snugly together. Start by inserting an elbow joint to the top and bottom of two 36-inch sections of PVC pipe. Next put T joints at the top and bottom of the two remaining 36-inch pipes. The T joint must be perpendicular to the 36-inch pipe on both ends. Now  Quick Couplings connect the elbow joints to the T joints using the 12-inch pipe, creating a frame on top and bottom of the rectangle panel. To complete the panel, connect the two T joints together on top and bottom with the 12-inch pipe. If all the parts do not fit snugly you may have to sand or re-cut your ends. Repeat  Quick Couplings  these steps for the remaining 5 panels.

Clean up to 1 inch of each end of every one of the PVC pipes. Also clean the inside surfaces of each T and elbow joint couplings.

Using PVC glue, which dries in approximately 20 seconds, attach the panel pieces together starting with the 36-inch pieces this time. Make sure all elbow and T pieces face the correct way, then attach the 12-inch pieces to complete the panel. Make 5 more panels using this technique.