Dog House Plans

Free Plans for Building a Dog House

If you're handy with woodworking tools, here is a selection of free dog house plans that are worth a gander.

All About Dog Houses Sparky1 - our very own DIY entry! An insulated medium-sized dog house with a removable roof for ease of cleaning, a cedar deck with roof, an optional inner wall, and solid construction throughout. Lots of photos and detailed construction instructions.

Asheville Humane Society Dog House - A simple but functional dog house with a gently sloped roof, an offset doorway, interior wind break, and a 2x4 raised floor. One of the nice features with this plan is that all the measurements are given in terms of your dog's size so you can easily custom build the house to fit your dog. Example: dimension X is dog's length plus 12". [ PDF format].

DIY Doghouse - A spacious and heavy duty structure painted gray with white trim. This beast has 2X4 stud walls, a base frame made from 2x6 lumber, bona fide roof rafters, and an asphalt shingle roof. One thing missing though are dimensions: the directions just say "To determine the size of the doghouse, first assess the dog's size, and decide how much space he or she will need." The suggestion to put  a light bulb in the ceiling for heat also makes me a bit nervous. Otherwise, a nice pooch house. From the DIY Network.

Double Dog Dog House - One person's adventure in building a new dog house for his two "enormous dogs".  Lots of pictures, descriptions, and ruminations about the subject of building a dog house from scratch. The author says the roof was the trickiest part  but he figured it out with the help of a steel 30-60-90 triangle and his " jughead buddy, Pendejo".  Good job Jug Head!  These plans are perhaps the most comprehensive dog house plans on the Internet but note that the author says he is not a dog or woodworking expert. And true, some of the construction practices are a bit questionable. For example, the doorway was sized to accommodate the largest dog's standing height -- of course, we all know that a doorway should be just slightly larger than a dog's chest depth in order to better retain body heat during the winter.

Dog Kennel from Down Under - A basic plywood dog house for Lizzie from Burke's Backyard in Australia.  This is a warm-weather house that can be put together in less than a day. The main distinguishing features are a rectangular doorway and a Fire Engine Red roof. I like this tip: "pop your dog onto the base to make sure you're happy with the size".

4-H Dog House - This dog house plan is part of a publication titled: "The care of dogs and puppies", which is a worthwhile (and free) reference source for dog owners. According to the authors, the house is designed to meet these basic requirements: It should be warm in winter, cool in summer, draft free, dry at all times, easy to clean, have a sun deck, provide shade and encourage exercise. It is a conventional pitched roof design with a twist: the pitch is not very steep, making it suitable for the dog to lounge on top of the roof. Inside the house is a removable partition that can be kept in during the winter to provide a snug sleeping compartment or taken out during the summer to make the house cooler and provide more sleeping space. The house has a removable side flap and roof for easier cleaning. I like the design of this house except that it is not insulated; also it is almost impossible to discern the dimensions in the drawing.

Georgia-Pacific Dog House - Plans for a medium-sized dog house that can be easily built by a moderately experienced carpenter over the course of a weekend.  The design features a conventional pitched roof with a matching pitched entrance. The structure is made from 2"x4" studs and plywood (Georgia-Pacific's brand of course) with pressure-treated lumber for the raised base (make sure you cover that material so the dog can't chew on it). All in all, a simple but functional dog house.

Junkyard Dog House - A one-of-a-kind doghouse made from recycled car parts. The frame is made from 2x2 lumber secured with glue and wood screws. Exterior walls are made from old car body panels (yes, you heard right!) To round out the junkyard effect, the roof is made from corrugated tin. This doggy domice was built for Odie the dog who had to relocate from his home in New Jersey to a junk yard. Sucks to be Odie...

Lowes Dog House Plans - A "cedar-like" dog house that is actually made from 5/8" exterior siding that is finished to look like cedar. The house is designed to make the most use of a single sheet of plywood. Other design elements include a double-panel floor for extra rigidity, wood edging, and a wood roof. The design accommodates an average sized dog.

Harry and Sal's Dog House - Very cool looking A-frame dog house where the roof extends almost all the way to the ground.  This design could be fairly easily adapted for any size dog. The roof is made from Scandinavian pine cladding with a metal ridge cover and a weatherproof "sarking" underlay. You'll have the dogs barking under the sarking with this beauty! Note that dimensions for this house are all metric. (The only thing missing here is a description of who Harry and Sal are although I'm guessing they're the occupants of the dog house based on the picture.)

How to Build a DogHouse - Nice looking doghouse with a rustic look thanks to the rough sawn pine boards used on the roof.  The author provides some helpful safety tips about using pressure-treated lumber and offers suggestions for sealing and finishing the wood if you opt not to use pressure-treated material.  The plans provide a decent set of drawings with dimensions although novice woodworkers may find the instructions a bit lacking compared to some of the other plans listed here.

Green Roof Dog House - Now, this is something you don't see every day. This eco-friendly doghouse from Sustainable Pet Design has a number of advantages: it spruces up the yard, it smells good, it attracts butterflies, filters water, insulates the pooch, and repels fleas naturally. Each home is custom-built using non-toxic materials such as untreated red Cedar, zero-VOC paint, and beeswax waterproofing. Vegetation for the roof is native to the particular region where you live. Hopefully your dog will appreciate this groovy greenhouse.

Industrial Strength Dog House - Here's a massive house that could withstand a hurricane. The interior framing is very beefy, featuring 2X4 studs and trusses with a ridge pole.  It sports an attractive front porch, composite barn sheathing painted red, and an asphalt roof.  I like this comment by the owner: By the time all was said and done it was no longer "the dog house" it was the "chateau de dogue" and the resulting structure weighs about 900-lbs and is the size of your average college dorm room. Now, that's a dog house!

K-W Humane Society Insulated Dog House - A cold weather house made from a frame of 2"x2"s, with a 1/2" or 3/4" weatherproof plywood exterior. For better protection from the cold and wind, it has an entrance and hallway that are separated from the sleeping area. The walls, floors and ceiling of the sleeping area are insulated with 1 1/2" Styrofoam sheets. Interestingly, these folks suggest that the height of the dog house should be just 1-2" higher than the dog's height while in a sitting position. This makes for a rather low ceiling compared to most other plans out there but obviously the intent here was to keep things snug for heat retention. The plans include some helpful tables that list dog house dimensions for various dog breeds. Very well done.

Ranch-style Dog House - A mini pooch ranch made from three sheets of plywood and big enough for a large dog. Redwood lattice battens and a shed roof create the rustic ranch-house look. A little arbor of 2-by-2s above the door adds interest and provides shade, and a removable asphalt-shingle roof makes cleaning inside easy. Ideal for a beginner to intermediate woodworker.

Removable Partition Dog House - A double cavity house with a removable partition panel between. Includes a lift-off roof held in place by hook fasteners and a swing-up back door to facilitate cleaning. PDF plans provide dimensions and plywood cutting layouts but no assembly instructions. Free plan from North Dakota State University.

Saltbox Roof Dog House - From This is very possibly my favorite dog house plan of all the ones showcased here.  It begins with a fairly basic box with a standard pitched roof but what makes it unique is that the roof is extended on one side to create a covered porch. There's a certain economy of design to it that is appealing. Another twist: the doorway is located on what is normally considered the side of a dog house. It's also offset from the center of the wall which makes for a more sheltered interior. The drawings and instructions for this plan are also top notch.

Simple Insulated Dog House - A basic sloped roof design with 1-1/2" foam insulation. It is designed to provide a warm, dry, comfortable dog house for your dog. Includes a lift-off roof that makes for easy cleaning.

Two Room Dog House - From the Ron Hazelton do-it-yourself TV show, here is a two-room insulated dog house with a hinged slanted roof. The first room allows the dog to see outside through the doorway while the second room allows him to be sheltered from the elements. There are lots of photos that depict things like how to install insulation with a plywood facing to keep the dog from chewing on the it.  The hand drawn plans are kind of crude but certainly adequate. If I were building this house, I would extend the roof a bit further and put some ventilation holes in the upper wall of the inner room to improve the air flow during the hot summer months.


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