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Old 12-10-2011, 09:51 PM
*blackrose's Avatar
*blackrose *blackrose is offline
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Default Dog House design

Rose and Cora are primarily outdoor dogs, and now that the weather has gotten colder I'd like to build them/purchase them a dog house that will keep them comfortable this winter. The dog houses they are currently using are both over a decade old and need to be replaced regardless, I'm just trying to figure out the best way to do so.

I have one of two options as far as I can see.
1.) Build this dog house:

If I do that, I'd like to convert it to have two sleeping areas attached to the one hallway (sleeping area on each side) so the dogs can either sleep together or separate. Or, the dog houses are located that is blocked from the wind...there is a wall blocking west winds, and a double tarp blocking north winds. Is the hallway really necessary if the wind/rain/snow is being blocked by other things? If so, would it just be easier to build two square(ish) block dog houses (just the sleeping quarters) instead of one big elaborate set up with the hallway?

What I'm having problems with is figuring out the sizing. Rose is about 18" at the shoulder, 65 pounds, and not very flexible. Cora is about 16" at the shoulder (roughly) and is about 30 pounds (although still growing) and she is very flexible. I don't want either one of them to be cramped, but I also don't want to give them too much space. 36"x22"x28" per sleep area was the dimension I came up with after toying around with a measuring tape, but depending on how I look at it, it almost seems like too much room.

Has anyone built a similar dog house before? My uncle used a similar design for our outdoor cat house (only instead of a hallway he closed it off and used that area for a heat lamp to heat the two adjacent rooms) and it has worked very well for the kitties the past two winters.

2.) Second option would be to purchase a new igloo dog house like one of the doghouses we have currently and then just figure out a way to insulate it better for the winter. But I'm drawing a blank concerning how to do that. We never had a problem with just the igloo doghouses in the past, but the dogs also had a higher cold tolerance than they do now and I'm worried it won't be enough to keep them comfortable when the temps dip down.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:07 AM
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Snark Snark is offline
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Sis and I built something similar a few years ago. The house sits off the ground (sank 4x4s and put in floor joists for a level platform). We don't have a hallway but we did put on a 'covered porch', same size as the house (basically split the base piece of 4x8ft plywood in half) so there was some protection.

The house was for my chow mix, Holly, after we had to keep her separated from Abbey (also portioned off some of the yard). Holly really liked the covered porch - it gave her a sheltered, shaded place to hang out. We should have hinged the roof on the house but didn't think about it when we were building, and it was a major pain in the neck to change out the bedding.

I'd probably go with the dimensions you listed, it might be a bit big but you'll have some sort of bedding in there for the winter, and that will take some space. As far as one elaborate setup versus 2 houses, I'd probably go with the elaborate set up.

Unless the houses are right up against the walls, some weather is going to swoop over - the hallway or some sort of covered porch/awning over the door openings seems like a good idea.

Never did like those igloo houses - my mom picked up one at a garage sale and gave to me. The dogs wouldn't go in it and even the barn cats steered clear. Other than wrapping blankets and a tarp around the outside, I can't think of a good way to insulate it.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:12 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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I'd advise against a single hallway, too much potential for dog fights and "misunderstandings" in a tight space neither of them can get out of quickly.

I would suggest instead doing individual double doorways. One of the easier to use/move large houses I've made was out of pallets so cheap materials, easy to replace and a natural gap for "insulation and another wall. It stayed warm and dry with the only extra materials needed was straw, mudflaps for doors, and metal to cover edges so your dog doesn't chew the house.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:25 AM
Pops2 Pops2 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UT
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check industrial & military facilities for large wooden boxes on skids (for forklifts to move them). i got two from the local national guard that they were going to throw away. one even had a hinged lid. i hinged the other. i used a cordless saw to cut 12X12 holes offset to one side. most people will be amazed to find my 29" greyhound & my 33" dane fit inside those little holes. so w/ your smaller dogs you could go w/ smaller boxes & smaller holes. if you really want to you could finish the inside of the boxes and insulate between the walls, caulk the cracks and but a flap in the door hole. i will be doing this later as time permits. also if you really need to you could use a narrow half pallet and some plywood to build the hall between them & some 2X4 studs to hold the whole thing together. if you plan to do this make sure the hole & hinges are positioned properly so you can still access the inside for straw/hay & cleaning.
ETA make sure and use an elevated door hole. if the door goes to the inner floor they may drag all the straw/hay out leaving themselves w/ a cold empty box.
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