The 6 Best Dog Runs Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Sometimes (quite often, actually) dogs need an outdoor space of their own. Being for training purposes, safety reasons, or simply sectioning off a piece of your yard, a dog run can be just what you need to complete your canine companion’s living arrangements.
Today’s guide takes you to the best dog enclosures and dog runs in Australia. To discover the best options out there, we joined forces with veterinarians, canine behaviourists and dog parents to form an independent team of experts. We then spent months researching the top dog runs and enclosures, testing them out with our own doggos, before finally agreeing on the contents of this guide.
Without further ado, let's get started with our dog run guide before moving on to our favourite products list.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
vidaXL Outdoor Dog Kennel with Canopy Top
- Perfect for dogs of any size
- Quality construction
- Includes door with a locking system
- Canopy included
Runner Up -
vidaXL Galvanized Steel Outdoor Dog Kennel
- Stable and durable
- Suitable for outdoor use
- Large surface area
- Includes a lockable hinged door
Third Choice -
riin Large Walk-in Metal Pen
- Stable structure
- Pvc-coated wire mesh walls
- Comes with a wire mesh roof, partially covered with a canopy
Australia's Best Dog Runs & Enclosures Reviewed
Ready to shop for dog enclosures? Our team of independent experts could all agree that these are the best options available online in Australia. These are the runs that kept our dogs safe and happy, and that were worth the price. Let's check them out.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
This option from vidaXL is more like a doggie mansion than simply an enclosure. This spacious dog run features a tough skeleton made of galvanised steel with chain-link mesh sidewalls and a canopy to protect the area from the weather.
When it comes to the construction of the enclosure, everyone on our panel of independent experts really liked the fact that they used galvanised steel since this material can withstand the weather well. The chain-link mesh wire sidewalls are strong enough for the purpose. The wire is not very thick, but that also ensures good airflow and visibility inside the enclosure.
Another positive we loved about this enclosure are the dimensions. It’s available in a variety of sizes, the largest ones being either the 383 x 383 cm version or the 760 x 102 cm version. Both options will give you a bit over 14 m2 of space for your dog, which is plenty even for the largest canines. In addition, the walls on this enclosure are also high - almost 2 meters which is something owners of big dogs like me will surely appreciate.
What might make this dog run especially interesting for some pet parents is the fact that it comes with a canopy. The canopy is made from polyethylene which is fire-resistant and can withstand all sorts of weather. Dog enclosures with a roof in Australia can be hard to find, but this one is a great option. If, for whatever reason, you do not need a roof for your dog's enclosure, then we suggest you check out our number two choice next.
This outdoor enclosure for dogs from vidaXL is perfect if you are looking for something that will allow you to create a dog-only area in your yard.
This is a square-shaped enclosure with each side measuring 4 meters. Unlike some other options, this created ample space for my dog to walk around and play while keeping him restrained to a safe area.
The walls of this dog run are made of galvanised steel. This is the preferred material for all sorts of outdoor objects, so we don’t see why it wouldn’t work for a dog run too. The sides of the run are made from chain-link wire mesh that is stretched over a strong steel frame.
Overall, it’s a good construction that does have one downside: the walls are not very high. This enclosure is only 1 meter high. Don’t get us wrong - this is surely high enough for small to medium-sized dogs and if your dog is on the smaller side this type of enclosure will look nicer than a 2-meter fence. If so inclined, larger dogs will easily jump over this fence. Our number three choice next takes care of that issue, however.
Large dog enclosures for outdoor use can be hard to find, but this one from riin is a decent option. Truth be told, this enclosure was not designed with dogs in mind, but our team of independent experts found it can work quite well.
This is basically an enclosure with wire mesh sidewalls in the shape of a house. It is 6 meters long and 3 meters wide which creates quite a bit of space for your dog to move around. Moreover, this enclosure is completely closed off from all sides. It has a door at the front that can be locked with a bolt lock.
The enclosure is also closed off from the top with a roof-shaped structure (also covered by wire mesh). When you buy this enclosure, you’ll also get a canopy for the roof, but the fabric only covers a part of the area. This might be an acceptable solution as the protected area could be enough for your dog to hide from the rain, and perhaps the kennel could be placed in there. However, if you’d like the dog run to be completely covered from above, it’s easy to install an additional cover.
The wire used for the sidewalls is 1 mm thick and covered with PVC coating for a softer feel. The frame that holds the structure is made from galvanised metal poles with snap-in joints. The whole structure is easy to put together, although it will take a bit of time.
Once I had this setup, there was no moving it about. However, if a portable option is what you need, be sure to check out our next option in spot number four.
This wire playpen from i.Pet is not a full-fledged dog run, but we’ve found it can perform the function quite well for puppies and smaller dogs. This portable playpen costs a fraction of the price of a proper dog enclosure.
The i.Pet Portable Playpen consists of 8 panels which I was able to arrange in any way I liked. This means you could create an enclosure in the shape of a square, a rectangle, or even an octagon - it all depends on the space you have available. Since you can connect and separate the panels on this enclosure in any way you like, it’s also possible to purchase 2 and combine them to create a larger enclosure.
Each of these panels is 61 cm wide and 91 cm high. As we mentioned, 91 cm is high enough to prevent most puppies from leaving the enclosure, but it is not enough for larger dogs.
In any case, if you need a quick and/or temporary solution that is easy to install, unlike our number one choice, for example. It can be moved as needed, so this portable playpen from i.Pet is a good choice for dog parents on the go.
This dog kennel from Royal Pets is another option that works quite well. This is a wire enclosure that measures 2.3 metres on each side.
The structure consists of a strong frame and chain link mesh wire walls (both galvanised). We’ve found that the frame is very strong and able to withstand all sorts of weather. The mesh wire is of high quality, with one downside - the gaps between the wires are large (6x6 cm) which could lead to a paw getting stuck if your dog likes to jump on the walls.
Similar in style to our number one choice, the Royal Pets enclosure also includes a roof cover for weather protection. The only issue with this kennel could be the height. It is only 1.2 metres high, so this could be a problem for larger dogs, and it also makes it difficult for you to walk inside the kennel.
So far, we’ve covered proper outdoor dog enclosure and wire dog runs that you can place in your backyard. However, sometimes you need something that you can take with you wherever you go. If that’s what you are looking for, then this pop-up playpen from PaWz might be the right choice.
If you have a small dog, that is. Otherwise, your dog will be able to sleep inside this enclosure, but not really play. The enclosure measures 130 cm in diameter and it’s around 80 cm tall. Similar to our other portable enclosure in spot number four, this provides plenty of space to hang out, but is not for larger canines.
This playpen looks just like a tent and pops open just like one. The walls are made of polyester that’s surprisingly durable and also included mesh windows to ensure proper airflow. Everyone on our team of independent experts loved how this playpen folds down easily and even comes with a bag for extra portability.
What I Look For When Buying A Dog Run
A dog enclosure, a dog run, dog fencing, what exactly are any of these things? If you are not sure, don’t worry, neither are we. The thing is, there are no rules when it comes to dog runs.
How one should look greatly depends on what it is used for and what kind of space you are working with. In any case, our panel of independent experts recommend you go through the questions below to form a clear picture of what you want from your new dog enclosure.
What Size do I Need?
How big should a dog run be? You guessed it, it depends. There are multiple factors to consider. Perhaps most important of all is the question of how much time would your dog spend there? Is it just a temporary space where they will spend a couple of hours, or do you expect your dog to chill there for most of the day?
If you are leaning more towards the second case, you’ll need a bigger run. Of course, you should not keep your dog alone in an enclosure for most of the day, but sometimes dogs do need a separate space. If, for example, the rest of your yard is not dog-safe, a large enclosure might be the best solution.
The second factor to consider is, of course, the size of your dog. Even in the smallest enclosures, a dog should be able to move around and stretch comfortably. Moreover, if the dog is spending any longer than an hour in the enclosure, you’ll want to allow them enough space to have separate areas for sleeping and play.
In the end, how big? Well, even for smaller dogs, we still recommend at least roughly 4 m2, although smaller enclosures are okay if used only occasionally. For larger dogs, you’ll most likely want something bigger, perhaps around 4 - 6 metres in length.
What About the Height?
Again, this is a very personal answer. First, it depends on whether your enclosure has a roof or some other type of covering at the top. If it does, the chances of your canine companion jumping out are far lower.
If there is no roof and the dog can potentially jump over, then you want the dog run walls to be high enough to make that impossible. You’ll often hear that a fence should be at least 3 times the height of your dog, but this is not a rule either. Some dogs can jump insanely high, and others are so well trained that they will never jump the fence even if they can. Which one is yours? Only you can know.
Roof or No Roof?
Should you get a dog enclosure with or without a roof? Again, it will depend a lot on what the dog is doing inside the enclosure. If your dog’s house is in there, or if they spend a lot of time there, you’ll probably want the dog to be protected from the weather. A roof can provide shade in the summer and protection from the rain, so it’s a good idea.
Once you know the dimensions and characteristics of the dog run you want, it’s also important to consider the material your enclosure will be made from. Pretty much every outdoor dog enclosure will have a metal skeleton. Stainless or galvanised steel is your best bet when it comes to those, as these metals can withstand all sorts of weather without corroding.
By far the most common material used for the walls of dog runs is chain mesh. In general, this is a good option and one that is usually cheaper. Chain mesh will usually be able to keep the dog safely inside. The main downside I noticed is that it was a bit difficult for me to install, and once I did, there was no changing shape of my dog's enclosure.
The other main option is having an enclosure made of panels with welded wire grids. This kind of construction is tougher, but again, if your dog does not weigh 50 kg and is not trying desperately to escape (we hope they aren’t), even the mesh chain wall would have been enough. The upside of dog runs with welded wire panels is that they are often modular, so you can separate and move panels as needed.
My Final Verdict
What is the best dog run you can buy in Australia according to our panel of independent experts? Our favourites are the ones made by vidaXL. They make a very good and spacious dog enclosure that even includes a roof, but there is also a version without the roof available.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something that you can set up and remove as needed, the i.Pet Portable Playpen might be what you are looking for.
A dog enclosure should be at least big enough for a dog to stretch out and move around freely. In general, the bigger the better.
Well, it depends. What kind of cage are we talking about? There are crates, kennels, and dog run that all look like cages. The key is actually how your dog spends their time in the ‘cage’. If the dog is getting enough exercise, social contact, and all their other needs are met then it shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, constantly keeping a dog inside a cage-like enclosure is cruel.
Ideally, not more than a couple of hours except in exceptional circumstances. Even though they can move around, play, sleep, drink, and eat inside the enclosure, many dogs don’t like going potty where they sleep. And besides, dogs need social contact just like humans do.