How To Build a Dog House

Are you set on building a new home for your dogs? Read on for some of the basic guidelines for building a dog house:

  • Measure your dog. To ensure that his house will be as comfortable as possible for him, you should take the time to measure your dog with a tape measure, particularly for his height (from the floor up to his front shoulder), his width (from the tip of his nose to his rump, not including his tail) and the distance from his shoulder down to the bottom of his chest. This will help you find out the best measurements of the materials that you will use (see next tip, below).
  • Make a sketch of the dog house you will build. It’s best that you opt for a simple box home if this is your first time to build a project like this; later on as you gain more experience you may want to build fancier house styles for your dog. Get a sketchpad and plan out the appearance of the dog house – you don’t have to draw perfectly, it’s just important that you draw the basic parts and their corresponding measurements. One example of dog house style that’s relatively easy to build is the one-room dog house with the roof going up in the shape of an A.

    When allotting the measurements, the basic guide is as follows: add one foot (12 inches) to the length of your dog to get the smallest width of the house; add 9 inches to your dog’s height to get the minimum height of the house; and add 1.5 feet to your dog’s length to come up with the minimum length of the house. You should add three inches to the distance between your dog’s shoulders down to the bottom of his chest, to get the minimum height of the dog house door.

  • Prepare the location and consider the needs of your dog depending on your particular location. First, clear away the space where you intend to place the dog house. It should be in even ground with short grass (or none at all). It’s best that you position the dog house at an area that has a sort of wind-block, to keep away the bitter chill of the winter seasons from going to your dog’s house. If you live in an area that experiences extreme cold or heat, consider installing air conditioning or insulation specially if your dog will stay inside his dog house at night.
  • Prepare the materials. For a typical, basic dog house, you will need the following materials: treated 2x4 or 2x6 lumber; plywood; 2x2 lumber; roof material (such as shingles); trim boards; L brackets; nails, screws; paint, roof cement and bricks. To make your project much easier, you may opt instead to buy specially-made dog house kits that you’d just have to assemble. You can buy dog house kits at big pet supply stores or at websites such as
  • Create the foundation. If you’re intent on doing the entire house from scratch, you should start with the foundations. Consider the measurements of the entire dog house, and this should be the basis for how big your foundations will be.
  • Create the template for the walls and the roof. Get your plywood and trace the template for the four walls and the roof of the dog house. Again, how big you make these parts will depend on the size of your dog. Saw off these parts and assemble them using screws.

These are some of the important things to remember if you want to build a dog house. Good luck!


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