We've been settled in fairly well now 5 months after our return from Sasebo
Japan, and now are getting 2 pets. The local rescue pet society has a
lovely cat and a perfect for us beagle.
Nothing special needed for the cat except later we might want to build a
perch. For the dog, though we plan to have him indoors almost all the time,
seems a dog house in the back yard would be a good thing. As the beagle
(named 'Cash' BTW) isnt a huge dog, we don't need a huge structure. He's
35-40 lbs. He won't use it 'much' but it should be there for him if we
leave him in the backyard for a short grocery trip when the weather is nice.
I'm looking over some googled plans as well as at simple plastic ones. The
plastic ones look like they might collect rain inside and not drain well.
Also we are in a hurricane area and 2-4 times a year would have to find a
place inside to stow such an item (or dismantle, flip both parts up and
weight with cinderblocks).
Help me out? What pratfalls might I want to avoid here?
Things I am fairly sure of:
- yard doesnt drain fast in heavy rain so needs to be raised 2 inches or any
wood floor may rot
- needs to be able to be tied or bolted down somehow?
- needs to be reasonably watertight but with venting along roof edge as it
can get quite hot here
- have plenty of leftover roofing material (tiles, tar paper etc)
Grin, yard already is fenced. This is to keep a beagle (they chew stuff up
pretty bad untended) in a safe but happy yard when we go grocery shopping.
I am however thinking we might just need to put a pet door in the porch
screen area and let that be his 'dry space' if it rains. Although like all
beagles he will chew a bit, he's not deliberately destructive in the way of
busting out a screen door. More the shoe knarfing type.
As much as I LOVE our doggie door, I must point out that a doggie door has
one, glaring liability: The dog can covertly remove most anything they choose
from the house for leisurely consumption (destruction) out back.
Without a doggie door, if you are standing at the door, letting out the dog,
you can intercept contraband: "No, you cannot take that Nike outside!"
Although I despise dogs, I can be sympathetic enough with the creatures to
suggest that you NOT use treated wood for the floor of the dog house. Use
cedar or redwood, and make the floor easy to unscrew and replace if
Someone will now come along and say treated lumber is perfectly safe to
sleep on. Blow me.
If your experience is like mine, the dog will not use the doghouse. Unless
they are kept outside permanently, they must be TRAINED to use a dog house.
They are dumb enough that they'll stand in the rain waiting for your return.
I bought a new, expensive Dogloo<r> doghouse for my Labrador Retriever when
she was "new". She never used it as she spent most of her time inside the
house with the pack (us). I sold the doghouse.
He won't use it EVER unless trained to do so.
Those conditions are times when a dog doesn't NEED shelter. It's when he's
left outside during inclement weather that a doghouse is necessary.
You should wait until you see what is NEEDED. If there already exists modest
shelter in the back yard (shade from the sun is most important), you may find
you NEED to do nothing else.
If the dog truly becomes a member of your family (good for you), and there is
enough existing shelter in the back yard to escape the direct sun and wind,
you can save your efforts for something else.
Generally speaking, a dog house should be *JUST* big enough for the animal to
stand up and turn around. It does NOT need (added) ventilation beyond the
entry door. This is important if the dog is trying to stay warm.
If the weather is too hot, particularly if the dog house is positioned in the
direct sun (bad place), the dog won't be inside: He'll dig a hole UNDER the
dog house or lay in its shade if nothing better is available.
You may wish to visit more appropriate newsgroups for more information.
I cannot recommend a doggie door enough. I have one and, if we get another
dog after this one is gone, I'll never be without one. Hannah's "dog house"
is our laundry/utility room. More accurately, Hannah has a dog house with a
laundry pair, water heater and furnace! Good luck.
Hehe could be! We were worried as there's very little shade.
The designs I was looking at, all are raised off the floor and have pretty
much open sides with shutters you can close at need, and a roof.
Or heat? Beagles have too thin of a coat to stay outside when it's winter
so thats not ever been in our minds.
Pretty sure there isnt. Also, this is a preliminary check so I appreciate
the 'pratfall avoidance' advice here!
Not enough shade. I should have been clear that this is the real need.
Well vented for heat conditions but a shade roof.
Or well ventillated if trying to stay cool right? One design I wanted to
toy with, was a roof with minimal walls and plastic shutters over a poured
concrete (or cinderblock partly buried base). The coolness of the cement
would be good if totally roofed.
How about if I just dispense with the dog house and put a doggie gate to the
porch? Thats seeming a better idea now that I think about it.
Hehe can do that too if I put one in the porch and the laundry door.
What I'm trying to do here is avoid caging tactics at shopping time yet keep
'Cash' happy. Cash, as much as I do not agree with this sort of training,
has been cage trained and isnt very reliable alone outside a cage.
Something that is easily fixed when young, but will take us a bit since he's
I'd rather not come home to find the stuffings of my sofa all over the house
<g>. Doggie love is more important than my sofa but a few reasonable
precautions arent unwarrented. Besides, I always hated that sofa anyways ;-)
Crate (cage)-training is a well tested and approved method for confining a
dog. It is particularly useful when "house training" a dog.
That, of course, requires a conscientious owner. No dog should be confined to
a crate for longer than 8 hours and even that is probably too long for all but
the most laid-back and mature dogs.
I have a crate for our Lab. The crate resides in her dog house (laundry room)
with the crate door removed. She LOVES her crate and, with a simple voice
command, will enter the crate and lie down. Dogs, in addition to being pack
animals, are DEN dwellers. It is for this reason that occupying a crate is
mostly natural for a dog. Some training is required, though.
Hannah will be 13 in June and she still gets into mischief if not confined to
the laundry room/back yard during our absence.
A valuable alternative to a dog house is a good crate. You can either
purchase or make a cover for the crate for when it is outdoors in
less-than-ideal weather. Since virtually all dog crates are collapsible, it
can be easily moved, taken indoors or on the road based on your needs. Good
Skip the doghouse and go for an indoor kennel. Feed the dog in there,
give him treats for going in, and have him sleep there, next to your bed
if you like. After a few days, the dog will go in on his own, because he
thinks of it as his den. At that point, you'll have no trouble getting
him to stay in for a few hours while you go shopping. Just don't fall
into the trap of leaving him in there all the time.
Google "crate training" for details.
Consider making one with a removable roof so you can clean it out if
Many years ago I built this "2 room" dog house, sized for my (wife's)
He used the front room a lot, but it was never cold enough for him to
use the back room as intended.
Cat will appreciate a perch in front of window. Cat can watch things and nap
in the sun.
7:00a.m - Breakfast! My favorite thing!
7:30 a.m. - Walk around block! My favorite thing!
8:00 a.m. - Nap! My favorite thing.
9:00 a.m. - Go outside! My favorite thing!
11:30 a.m. - Ride to market! My favorite thing!
3:30 p.m. - Play catch with kids! My favorite thing!
6:30 p.m. - Watch TV! My favorite thing!
8:00 p.m. - Supper! My favorite thing!
8:30 p.m. - Walk around block! My favorite thing!
9:30 p.m. - Bedtime! My favorite thing!
7:00 a.m. - So begins day 982 of my captivity...
re: -- Cat diary:
-- 7:00 a.m. - So begins day 982 of my captivity...
Not my cat...
Anywhere between 4:00 AM and 6:00 AM - Annoyed servants until they
woke up to let me out.
Anywhere between 4:01 AM and 6:01 AM - Damn it's cold! - when are they
going to wake up and let me back in?
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