DIY: Dog Cable Runnerby Katrina Arthurs
Providing dogs with a safe, comfortable area to exercise is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health. If you don't have an enclosed area or want to restrict your dog to a specific space, installing a cable runner will give your pet a safe place to run and play. A dog cable runner will give your pet the freedom to run back and forth at a predetermined distance while keeping it away from specific areas in your yard and preventing it from wrapping his leash around trees, posts and other objects.
Examine the area to determine the best location for your pet. A cable runner is installed between two points, and can be attached to trees, posts and the sides of buildings. The runner can also be attached to the side of a building on one end and a tree or post on the other.
Determine the height you want the runner to be. Cable runners are typically installed high enough for an adult to walk under, but can be installed at a lower distance for smaller dogs. Purchase a cable leash with snap hooks on either end that is at least as long as the height of the cable runner.
Measure the distance between the two points you will install the cable runner to. Use wire cutters to cut the cable 2-feet longer than that length.
Dig two holes that are two feet deep spaced to the distance you want your dog to run.
Fill the bottom of each hole with a thin layer of rocks.
Soak both holes with water. Dry soil will absorb water from wet concrete, preventing it from setting properly.
Mix the concrete and water in a large bucket or wheelbarrow according to the manufacturer’s directions. Use a metal shovel to stir and fold the mixture until the consistency meets the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Stand an 8-foot, 4-by-4 post in the center of one hole. Have someone hold the post steady while you pour the mixed concrete into the hole around the post. Fill the hole to the top. Continue holding the post in place for several minutes to allow the concrete to set. Repeat this step for the second post.
Installing the Runner to Trees and Posts
Wrap the end of the cable around a tree or post and run the end through a steel eye hook. Use pliers to tighten the nuts on the eye hooks.
Slide a turnbuckle onto the free end of the cable.
Wrap the free end of the cable around the second tree or post. Thread the end of the cable through the steel eye hooks and pull the cable tight. Have someone hold the cable while you tighten the nuts on the hook eye.
Attach one end of the cable leash to the hoop on the turnbuckle and the other end to the collar on your dog.
Installing the Runner to the Side of a Building
Thread one end of the runner through a steel eye hook and tighten the nuts with pliers.
Hold the flat side of the threaded eye hook in place against the side of a building. Drill 2-inch wood screws through the prefabricated holes on the base of the eye hook into the side of the building.
Thread the turnbuckle through the free end of the cable.
Wrap the free end of the cable around a tree or post. Thread the end of the cable through the eye hook and pull the cable tight. Have someone hold the cable. Tighten the nuts on the hook eye with pliers.
Attach one end of the cable leash to the turnbuckle and the other end to the collar on your dog.
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- Tape measure
- 75 feet of cable
- Wire cutters
- 2 steel eye hooks
- Cable leash with snap hooks on both ends
- 2 8-foot 4-by-4 wooden posts
- Small bag of rocks
- 40-pound bag of quick-set concrete
- Bucket or wheel barrow
- 4 2-inch wood screws
- Electric drill
- Make sure that the area where the dog will be running is free of debris and anything it can get its leash wrapped around.
- Make sure that the runner is installed far enough away from fences that the dog won't be able to jump the fence.