How to build a whelping box for a Bull Terrier
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a handy man/woman then you should have no problem building your own whelping box. This design is very simple to make, inexpensive and does the job perfectly. The dimensions are specific for Bull Terrier and other medium size breeds so if you have found this page by searching for plans for building whelping box then you will need to make the width of the side panels to suit your particular breed. As a guide my father made this whelping box for a bull terrier and made the box 2m x 1.5m to give plenty of room as the pups grew.
First the tools and materials you will need; a power drill, a 26mm hole cutter, a small drill bit to suit the size of the screws (around 4mm should do) 12 x 45mm long 4mm diameter screws, 8 x 25mm long 4mm diameter, 4 pieces of 20mm thick plywood 1.2 meters long by 500mm wide and 4 lengths of 25mm diameter dowel 1.4 meters long. You can source all of these from your local hardware store and they will happily cut the plywood or melamine to size for you on their panel saw.
Take two of your side panels and on one of them mark two centre points at opposing ends along one edge, 125mm from the side and 125mm from the bottom. Place the two panels on top of each other lining up the edges and if possible on top of some scrap wood directly behind where you will be drilling. This will limit the break through and splinters from the hole cutter. With the 26mm hole cutters drill two holes as shown in figure 1 below through both panels.
Take your remaining two side panels and mark two centre points on opposing ends along one edge, 125mm from the side and 100mm from the bottom as shown in figure 2. Repeat step 1.
Take a matching pair of side panels and on one board mark a line along the full length of the short sides 10mm from the edge (or half the thickness of the material you are using). Now mark 3 centre points along each line 25mm from the top and bottom and one central at 250mm as shown in figure 2.
Place the two panels on top of each other lining up the edges and with your 4mm drill bit drill all twelve holes.
Take one of the side panels with the screw holes and place it on its edge. Butt up the end of one of the un-drilled side panels and line up the edges as shown in figure 3 below. Carefully drive in the screws keeping them straight and true along the centre line of the un-drilled panel. If you are using a power screw driver take care when the screw is tightening as you could easily strip away the wood making the joint loose. Repeat the process for all four corners.
Cut the four dowels to 1.4 meters in length and place them through the holes in each side until equal amounts are protruding from each side. Take the small screws and drive them into the dowels about half way approximately 10mm from the side panel to secure the dowels in place as shown in figure 3.
That's it done!
If you choose you can make a base but we have found it more practical not too. We always use old sheets to line the bed as it gives the pups something to grip whilst pushing in to nurse. If the sheet is larger than the base the whelping box can sit over the edges holding it down which stops the sheet from gathering reducing the chance of a pup getting ravelled up and being laid on by an unsuspecting bitch. Its a lot easier to get the pups out too and is more hygienic.