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Discussion Starter #1
I am moving to Michigan at the end of the month and I need to build a large dog house big enough for two 90-100lb dogs. I need it to be able to keep warm inside the house for the dog so he won't freeze, so it will probably have to be an insulated design.

The dog will not be living outside, but I still need the house to be built as if he were because he is going to have to be outside when I go to work and that would be for a few hours so I don't want him to get cold.

Should I just get a good design then blow it up to the size needed for two dogs or something?

Is straw a good idea to lay in there for bedding? I don't want him to eat it though and I know he would rip up a dog bed. Maybe if I made a dog bed out of super tough material like what they use for luggage.

Anyway lol, just looking for some good designs for cold weather dog houses so my dog can be as comfortable as possible while I have to be away from him.

I can not use any electric dog beds because he will tear into them. I am going to build a frame for a heated dog bowl that way he can't get to the actual bowl or the cord.
 

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What's your budget?

From the construction perspective without concern to cost, I'd probably take a small wooden shed like maybe 6 by 6 ft, on concrete block, and put standard house insulation and drywall in. I'd lay floor insulation and sheet vinyl for the floor (could likely buy remnants). Then build an "L" shaped entry to block the wind (basically, take some plywood and put the short part of the L coming out from one edge of the door and the long part of the L parallel with the front of the shed so there is an opening to one size but not directly in front of the door) and put up rubber door flaps (assuming you want your dog to have access to the yard). Probably about $800-1000 to build depending on what you pay for the shed. Much less if you find a shed someone wants to get rid of. Craigslist for getting leftover plywood, vinyl etc.

This suggestion is strictly based on my knowledge of buildings rather than any dog houses I actually have. Not too large since you want their body heat to warm it.
 

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Nothing bought from any larger chain/supply store will serve this purpose well. You will need to build it yourself (as planned). Everything Shell mentioned. I would determine the measurement of how big it needed to be by their crates (if you don't have crates go to a large pet supply chain and "try out" crate sizes to determine the size you need). If they can stand up and turn around without with very little extra space I would use that as the square footage. If the dogs are the same size multiply it by 2. They can exit/enter at will so I would be much less worried about it being on the cramped side and in fact would lean toward having it without any extra room so as to ensure it is more easily warmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can't afford that much right now, but I was thinking of doing that in the future. I may be able to ask around my family (most are farmer types) and see if anyone has any extra things I could use to build something nice. I can pay over time to my friend who is a carpenter so I will be able to build something nice, but I don't want to be paying him for forever since I will have a minimum wage job. I will definitely do that in the future though and I will come back to this thread to see how you said to do it again.

That is a really good idea I don't know why I didn't think of that lol. That is a great idea about using their perspective crate sizes to size the dog house.

I didn't even know there was floor insulation lol. That is a good idea. I want to put vents on the house too so in the summer I can open them and crack the roof (I'm going to make the roof be able to be opened for ventilation in the summer and for easier cleaning) how would I make sure I didn't lose very much heat through them? Cover them with plastic or something and make sure they were closed all the way? I could even sew a little padded thing (pretty much like a miniature seat cushion) and cover it with that and then plastic over that. I don't know lol.

I was thinking maybe like $300 for supplies since labor is free and I will be helping my friend to build it since I like to learn how to do stuff like this.
 

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If you can a deal on the supplies, I think you could build a good dog house with $300.

I'd build one something like this (if you can build up against a house) and instead of 2 doors, have one door that is cut and hinged as a dutch door. Leave the lower half open and covered with a storm flap and the top half latched except for when you want to enter to sweep and clean. Add roll insulation (buy leftover scraps on craigslist) and drywall and put down a rubber horse stall mat. At the top on each side, put in a small window opening with a "door" that covers it, no glass needed, just buy window screen and staple to the interior edges. Door closed in winter, open in summer. In the warm months, you can open the full portion of the dutch door for some wind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not allowed to put it up to the house because I am going to be temporarily living with my parents. That looks really nice though and I think I will use this design when I get my own house.
 

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Doesn't have to go up against a house, you'd just need to make it more square (for stability) if it wasn't against a building. You want someplace with shade and a wind block. Look for someplace that gets morning sun to warm it up in winter but not make it too hot in summer.
Here's an example of what I mean by the L entry (hotlinked so image may disappear)


And here's an example that shows a window vent with screen (hotlinked)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok that sounds good. I'll have to ask my friend how much something like that would cost at the size I need. I was planning on doing that type of entrance so I'm glad to hear it will be good.
 

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Doesn't have to go up against a house, you'd just need to make it more square (for stability) if it wasn't against a building. You want someplace with shade and a wind block. Look for someplace that gets morning sun to warm it up in winter but not make it too hot in summer.
Here's an example of what I mean by the L entry (hotlinked so image may disappear)


And here's an example that shows a window vent with screen (hotlinked)
Like the L-shape entrance as that keeps dogs out of wind but don't like a tall house as the smaller, shorter it is the easier it is for dog's body heat to help with warmth of dogs. As far as straw goes I always liked a mixture of straw and cedar shavings. Which will have to be replaced when they get wet. Best single dog houses I ever had were solid oak whiskey barrels with rubber flaps across opening. These were used in temps as low as 35% below zero. The barrels had a north windbreak and openings faced south. These were used with GSPs (German Shorthair Pointers)
 
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