Dogs have a natural tendency to den, so your dog deserves a well-made and perfectly suited dog house.
First, a word about planning.
Success in any project is 9 times out of 10 directly due to the quality and the detail of the planning, so you need to PLAN first and ACT second. Racing out into the yard with a hammer and a piece of wood will not get a good job done.
You want a dog house that your dog loves and that you can be proud of, so let’s do it right.
Five Necessary Steps to Build a DIY Dog House
Step 1. Plan the Location and Orientation of Your DIY Dog House
Your loyal dog sees themselves as a protector of your household, so it’s important for them to be able to see as much of the yard as possible from their kennel. They need to see the back door or any gates where people will come and go. Otherwise, your dog will be leaving his lovely new home constantly to find out what’s going on.
A dog needs to see what’s going on!
Dogs also spend more than half their time sleeping or lazing about, so the perfect situation is one where they can do it all from their dog kennel. Your dog can having a snooze and on hearing a noise just briefly blink their eyes open to see what’s going on and go happily back to sleep. All in the comfort of their own home.
So what does this mean for the orientation of the kennel?
First you need to think about your dog’s line of sight if he was lying just within the dog house and looking out. It will be a wedge shape like in the diagram below.
Next look at where in the yard you can place the dog house, and in what direction it should be pointing.
Every yard is different, so you’ll need to work it out for your own home. Here are a few simple examples to show the type of things you need to think about.
Good view of the yard and the back door, but can’t see the side gate.
The raised garden bed will obscure too much of the yard.
This would give a good line of sight for most of the yard. Consider whether having the dog house on an angle will make it work best for your dog.
Try to come up with a few good alternatives for your yard.
Note: When your dog hears something but can’t see it, that’s often a trigger for barking, but there’s much more to it. Learn more with our Dog Barking article.
Step 2. Sun, Wind and Rain
Unfortunately, line of sight isn’t your only challenge. You also need to think about the elements.
- What’s the prevailing direction of rainfall? You don’t want it raining straight into the dog house, which would defeat the purpose of having it in the first place.
- If you’re in a hot climate, is there shade available somewhere in the yard for the heat of the afternoon.
- Will the sun shine right into the opening of the doghouse?
- What other weather might affect the comfort of your dog? You may need to consider whether the kennel needs some insulation or ventilation.
Now look at your DIY dog house location options considering both a line of sight and the weather. One option should be coming out as your favorite.
Step 3. The Lay of the Land
Your final check is the lay of the land. If heavy rain would create a little stream in your yard leading straight into the dog house door, you have a problem to overcome.
Is the spot where you want to build the dog house flat and level? If not, there may be another spot nearby that’s nearly as good as the ideal one but easier to build on.
Otherwise, you may need to do a little site preparation before you build.
Step 4. Get Properly Detailed Plans for Your DIY Dog House
OK, finally you get to the dog house itself, but you are still in the planning stage for this project. Again, the detail is the key and our researchers have found that many of the plans on the internet are simply not good enough. Maybe you’ve tried one of those free plans and that’s why you’re now here looking for something that will work properly.
You’ve heard the old carpenter’s saying of, “Measure twice, cut once.” That’s not of much value if the measurements in the plans aren’t accurate enough!
Remember: Success in any project is 9 times out of 10 directly due to the quality and the detail of the planning, so it’s essential that you get plans that are up to the job. You need all the details and measurements, and also the step by step instructions that will help you do it once and do it right.
Don’t cut corners here.
Make sure you get the size right. If it’s too big, and your dog won’t get the comfort of a den. Make it too small and the DIY Dog House can become humid which can lead to disease.
Step 5. Follow The Plans to the Letter!
NOW you can pick up that hammer! The planning is finally over – it’s doing time!
Please take your time, be sure to check and recheck the instructions regularly. To be safe while you work, we suitable hand and eye protection.
Finished Already? Well Done!
Has your dog moved happily into their new DIY Dog Kennel? Make sure you put in a proper bed for your dog; read all about the importance of dog beds. Please avoid using straw and wood chips on the floor. (If you do, you’ll create a dog house that’s a better home for the nasties than it is for your dog).
Is your dog calm and relaxed in their DIY dog kennel like they should be? Is that true even when you are away, or are the neighbors complaining? Some dogs can create a ruckus when they’re left alone, but that too can be fixed with our Barking Dog Solutions.