Dog Houses

Premium quality dog houses are constructed of western red cedar. Western red cedar resists insects and decay and does not require maintenance and last for years. Cedar's cellular structure is reported to have an insulation value higher than most woods, and tends to stay cooler in summer and warmer in the winter. Wood is naturally a good insulator. A wood roof helps reduce the sun's heat in warmer months. Avoid plastic dog houses.

Consider building your own doghouse. Tongue and grove cedar can be found at many hardware stores and is easy to work with. Search the internet for ideas and guidance on how to construct a doghouse.

If you have an escape artist, don't place the doghouse next to a fence or wall where it might assist in an escape.

Basic Guidelines

  • Raise the doghouse off the ground by placing it on pavers or blocks to prevent moisture problems.
  • An off-center door will help your dog to avoid direct exposure to the sun, wind, and rain.
  • Extend the roof over the door opening for extra shade and protection from severe weather.
  • Don't use asphalt shingles unless there is an adequate insulation barrier between the shingles and the wood.
  • Do not use towels, blankets, carpet, etc... for bedding. These will attract fleas, ticks and moisture. Use a closed cell form or other moisture proof pad that fleas cannot penetrate.
  • Do not apply a stain or water sealer to the interior of a cedar doghouse.

Cold climates

If your dog will be outside in colder climates it is important that the house is not too big since they will not be able to warm it with just their body heat. They should have enough room to enter and turn around without touching the walls. Install a door for use during cold months.

Hot Climates

Remove the door for better ventilation

Backyard Dogs

One of the worst punishments you can inflict on a person or dog is solitary confinement. Some believe that dogs are meant to live outside. This is true for a livestock guarding dog like an Akbash that lives with and protects sheep from predators. But for generations, these breeds have been acclimated to the climates that they are asked to live and work. Humans have used artificial selection to develop every domestic breed of dogs we have today, and many of these dogs were never developed to live in the climates that we have placed them in. Dogs, like any other animal, will seek out a place that provides security and protection from the rain, sun, heat, cold, wind, etc… and some level of comfort.

It’s highly unlikely that given a choice a dog would seek out and choose your backyard. This can be verified with a simple test: “the gates test” as proposed by Bill Bennett to judge a country.[1] His is a simple test that we can also apply to dogs. Simply stated, which direction do people or dogs run when there are gates? Do they strive to get in, or risk life and limb to get out?

[1] America The Last Best Hope   by William J. Bennett