What’s the scoop on dog boxes? These are special enclosures that fit on the back of a pickup or flatbed truck for transporting dogs.
They are also known as a hunting dog or dog truck boxes. The number of dogs transported in this manner can range from one to a couple of dozen or more.
Why Build a Dog Truck Box?
People who have teams of sled or hunting dogs want to transport their dogs safely.
Letting them loose in a vehicle can be a definite hazard, let alone a cleanup challenge!
Another use for dog truck boxes is that they can serve as temporary kennels when the dogs spend periods of time away from home.
Some are small and portable enough that they can easily be removed and set on the ground, especially useful if the vehicle is used for other purposes in between events. Others are so large and heavy they may require a hoist and winch for removal from the vehicle.
Most also have built-in storage compartments for all the paraphernalia that needs to be taken along to dog events. Often the dog owner finds that more storage is needed than was planned for!
Since the needs of dog owners and sizes of their trucks vary, these boxes are either often custom made or DIY projects.
Planning Your Build
Planning helps you design dog boxes for dog comfort, safety and convenience. An important thing to remember is to avoid obscuring visibility from the driver’s rear view mirror(s).
First measure out how much space your vehicle will accommodate.
Also figure out how much room each of your dogs will need.
Things to consider:
- How many boxes will you need?
- How big does each dog’s space need to be?
- How do you want to align the boxes? (For example, along the sides or across the width?)
- Where do you want to place the doors?
- How high does the door threshold need to be?
What will you use for the exteriors of the boxes – metal, wood, plastic or a combination? Be sure to consider your area’s weather conditions.How heavy are the materials?What will you use to fasten the doors?
How will the boxes be ventilated?How will the boxes offer protection from rain, wind and snow?What kind of padding and/or insulating materials will you use?
How will you fasten the dog boxes to the vehicle to prevent them sliding around – bolts, latches or strapping?Do you want to be able to remove the boxes to serve double duty as doghouses or to be able to use your vehicle for other purposes?
Once you’ve found the answers to the above questions, you’ll be ready to find a set of truck box plans to adapt to your situation or contact someone to custom build them for you.
Sam’s Travel Dog Box
We were very impressed by John’s design of the truck box he built for his dog Sam. Here is how he describes it:
Made Sam a new cage:
- This one has removable shade cloth panels (75% on rear and sides, 95% on top).
- Side panels slide up and out for easy access to doggies.
- Whole assembly is a sequential, slip-fit design.
- Easily installed/removed by one person in less than ten minutes.
- Stores against a wall in about eight inches of space, or when no dogs on board, just slide out removable gate for full use of truck bed.
- Fully welded and powder coated with all hardware electroplated.
If you’d like to contact John, you can reach him at 559-351-4078 or Jack_nomoore@comcast.net. You can also find him on Facebook.
How to Build Dog Boxes: Truck Box Plans
For a detailed set with photos, here are plans for Miller Outdoors Beagle Dog Box.
We hope that this information on how to build dog boxes was useful to you.
Our Guide to Custom Made Dog Boxes
For information on designing and building your own, see How To Build Dog Boxes
Below are links to Flickr photos of custom made designs. Obviously, the projects are as individual as their owners! (Note that, due to copyright issues, we are unable to post them, but the links should take you directly to the photos.)
Cold Weather Dog Boxes
Individual old dog boxes with wire front. Homemade out of wood with tops removed.
Four dogs, two per enclosure. Wooden with metal bars and latches.
Three or six dog trailer. Multi-dog wooden affair on a utility trailer. (We’d only recommend this for slow-speed hauling and short trips)
Double-decker multi-dog. Wooden design with portholes for 10 or 20 sled dogs.
Very basic but it works. Four wooden boxes, two high, on a utility trailer.
Homemade but serviceable!. Plywood with round holes for two dogs. Not sure what the bread represents…
Warm Weather Dog Boxes
Rounded metal design, single box. Another huge contraption so perhaps designed for multiple dogs that would need to be secured.
Two dog, large size. Metal bars, wood doors, two sections. Would recommend dogs be tied up via a harness for travel since there is so much room.
Two dog pen. Chain link metal pen on a pickup bed.
Painted dog head design. Unique door openings.
Pawprint design. Creative ventilation hole.
Decorated aluminum box. Wallpapered? box attached to rear of SUV.
We hope that the information and links will provide all you need to develop your own dog box project or plans.