Know what makes up the materials before you purchase dog kennels made of chain link.
Chain link fencing is sturdy and long lasting. Just like any other product there is a wide range of types, sizes and colors. Investing in a dog kennel for the yard is a substantial investment and should be researched properly before you buy.
Four components make up chain link fencing. They are; gates, frame, fabric and fittings. Each is available in different protective coatings and gauges. The coating is for protection against corrosion or rust and is usually galvanized or zinc but can be polyester or vinyl color coatings as well. Purchasing chain link on low price only is not a good idea as these tend to be lighter gauge which a large dog could easily bend or break.
The fabric makes up the fence part of dog kennels. There are three things to consider on the fabric; gauge of the wire, type of protective coating and mesh size. The gauge is the diameter of the wire in conjunction with how much steel is actually in the wire. Going light to heavy the most frequently seen gauges are 13, 12 1/2, 11 1/2, 11, 9 and 6. Gauges including and in between 11 1/2 and 9 are recommended for dog kennels. Lighter gauges are for temporary fences (indoor dog crates) and 6 are used for heavy construction needs.
The mesh refers to the distance between the wires in the fabric and again steel content. The fabric is constructed by intertwining parallel wires to form diamond shapes in the mesh. The smaller the diamond the more steel is in the wire. Common mesh sizes are, in inches, 2, 2 1/4 and 2 3/8. Smaller mesh sizes are used for security, like pool fencing, the smallest being used for high-security, as in prisons.
Protective coatings are used to, well, protect the steel wire. The most common is zinc which will cause a self healing to occur if the wire is cut by forming a white oxidation instead of allowing red rust to form. The amount of zinc used is usually around 1.2 ounce per square foot. The longevity of the fencing is related to how much zinc is used. The most common process to coat the steel wire is to galvanize after the fabric is weaved.
Other coatings are aluminum which coats the wire and does not provide additional protection if the wire is cut. If you need some color other than grey there are vinyl coatings that can be used and come in many different colors. The coatings are put on in one of three ways; a covering of polyvinyl is put over the wire, an adhesive can be used to bond the coating or heat can be used to fuse the coating to the core wire.
The frame is measured in gauge as well and is related to how strong the framework will be. Moving light to heavy the most common gauges are 20, 19, 18, 17, 16 and 15. Tensile strength is used to measure the strength of the framing. Residential fencing has tensile strength of 45,000 pounds per square inch. The combination of gauge and tensil strength is the true measure of how strong the framing is. The construction of the frame should include rounded corners.
The fittings should be all galvanized and matched with the coating that is used in the rest of the kennel. The gate hardware is the most important of the fittings and should be properly manufactured. Nothing should be exposed to the inside of the kennel to protect your dog.
Most dog kennel advertisements do not include the specifications on the chain link. Go out to the local hardware store or to a dog supplier that has dog kennels and ask questions as well as seeing and feeling the product. Dog kennels are not extremely expensive but they are expensive enough to warrant some research before buying both to save you money and, more importantly, protect your dog.