I’ve been trying to decide what type of whelping box I will use. I wanted something simple and easy to store when I’m done (well when Riva is done). I thought about using my ex-pen and rigging some type of pig rail but the problem with that is no easy access to the puppies. Then I tossed around the idea of  a kiddie pool but couldn’t figure out how to add pig rails. I could build one from scratch but frankly that just seems like so much work. Then I happened upon this design by Sixteen Cedars Australian Shepherds in Arkansas.


  • 4 Pre-cut Melamine boards 4′ x 12″ x 5/8″
  • 8 Corner Braces with corresponding 1/2″ long flathead screws
  • 4 Flat Corner Braces with 3/4″ long flathead screws
  • 1/8″ thick Hardboard for the floor and a box of 3/4″ long flathead screws (a 4′ x 8′ sheet of hardboard costs about $5.00.  I had H/D cut one in half to fit in my mini-van)
  • 16 12″ x12″ self-stick vinyl tiles (a few extras won’t hurt)


  • 20′ of 1 1/4″ PVC (it comes in 10′ lengths)
  • 4 corresponding size Elbows
  • 12 corresponding size Ts
  • PVC glue (optional)

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I haven’t decided if I will put the floor in; if I do I will use a piece of linoleum so it is a solid piece. I sure like her idea of using the melamine boards (shelving) to serve as sides, very easy clean up. I guess I will be heading to Home Depot tomorrow to price things out and make sure they have all the supplies I need. If anyone would like to check it out for complete directions here is the link http://sixteencedarsaussies.webs.com/whelpingbox.htm

9 thoughts on “Whelping Box

  1. It looks very nice. I really don’t know anything about building a whelping box. Will it be big enough for Riva and pups? Is 4 feet the normal size or do you change it up for bigger/smaller dogs?

    I guess you will be busy the next few months. 🙂


    1. Well I wondered if that would be large enough also, so I did some checking and it says to measure your dog laying down, stretched out and add a few inches. So I will do that and I had planned on seeing if the melamine came just a bit longer and taller.

      Quite a few of the sites I checked that sell whelping boxes had the large size (retrievers) at just about 4ft. I guess it seems small in my mind until you actually put it together.

      Yes you would use different sizes for different breeds.

      It is quite amazing all the planning, work and supplies that go into breeding and whelping! If she has a very happy healthy litter and no complications it will all be worth it 🙂


  2. What is the clearance you’re using between the ground and the bottom of the PVC? It doesn’t look like a lot in the pictures…some of these other whelping boxes show 5″ (but that was for much bigger dogs). It would be easy to add parts of the PVC to raise it up, just wanted to get your opinion. It’s a very smart design. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t take credit for the design as I found it on another site. I actually ended up using a friends whelping box. Yes the clearance in the photo is rather low. The pig rails in my friends box were about 5″. The pups had just enough room to be under them. Although I had some as they grew who liked laying on top of them 😉 I think for a small breed you might want them closer to the ground.


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