May I use an exercise pen or soft playpen?

We have limited space for exercise pens.

  • Metal exercise pens at may be used ONLY in the concrete kennel area and may only be used for a Giant Breed dog, 2 large dogs (labs, goldens etc), or 3 or more smaller dogs (shelties).
  • The soft fabric play pens that many people are using are classified as an “exercise pens” due to their size.  They must house 2 or more dogs depending on size.  The depth of fabric play pens (the distance from front to back as you place them on the kennel runners, dictates whether they may be placed in the 3 ft area or the 4 ft area.  Larger play pens should be avoided.
  • Due to damage that has occurred to the runners and the matting, soft play pens MUST have the bottom zipped or permanently attached.  Bedding of any type or size  is not a replacement for a zipped or permanently attached bottom.  If you must use a soft play pens with no bottom or a velcro bottom, then it  MUST be placed in the concrete areas.
  • If you are looking for a rule of thumb; when I planned the layout kennel layout for trials at TNC, I used 24 -26 inches as an average width for medium kennels. Large dogs kennels may be 30—36 inch while smaller kennels are in the 18-20 inch range.  The fabric play pens significantly exceed those dimensions and therefore are classified as an xpen and must house 2 or more dogs.