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15 Types of Dog Houses & Their Differences (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Dog tied to dog house with high fence in background

If you’re thinking about buying or building a house for your best friend, you need to decide what kind of dog house your dog needs. What’s that you say? You didn’t realize there were different kinds of dog houses?

Believe it or not, dog houses have come a long way from the basic pointy-roof models Snoopy used to sleep on. In the guide below, we’ll show you some of the most popular styles right now so you can find the perfect one for your pup.

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The 15 Types of Dog Houses

1. A-Frame Dog Houses

dog house
Image Credit: Kichigin, Shutterstock

Ok, so we’ll start with the classic “Snoopy” model. These houses have a peaked roof where two panels meet over a basic rectangular box frame. They’re often made of wood, but you’ll also find them in metal and plastic.

  • Classic design
  • Easy to build
  • Water runs off the roof
  • Lets cold air in

2. Single-Panel Flat Roof Dog Houses

siberian husky outside doghouse
Image Credit: Bkatei, Shutterstock

These are similar to A-frames, except they have a single panel running at a slight angle. If the roof is low enough, don’t be surprised if your dog enjoys sleeping on top of it as much as inside it.

  • Extremely easy to build
  • Require little in the way of materials
  • Water more likely to collect on the roof

3. Loft Roof Doghouses

House - Dog
Image Credit: warpmike, Pixabay

These often look like miniature barns; some higher-end models might be nicer than your house. In fact, they have separate decks or lounging areas attached, which is a great way to show your neighbors how spoiled your dog is.

  • Very luxurious
  • Give your dog plenty of room
  • Tend to be expensive
  • May be too cavernous for skittish pups
  • Take up a lot of space

4. Igloo Dog House

Igloo Shaped Dog House-IRIS-Amazon

You’ll never guess why these are called “igloo” dog houses. They give your dog a separate chamber to curl up in that’s offset from the door, which keeps cold air out.

  • Good for windy climates
  • Often inexpensive
  • Very cozy
  • Difficult for old or arthritic dogs to get into
  • Fairly unattractive

5. Gambrel Roof Dog Houses

barn doghouse
Image Credit: Molotok289, Shutterstock

The Gambrel roof is like a curvier version of the A-frame. This makes the houses look like traditional barns, and the roofs provide lots of space inside them, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the size of your dog.

  • Classic appearance
  • Good for hot climates
  • Fairly complicated to build

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6. Box Dog-House

Siberian Husky sitting above doghouse
Image Credit: Andrey_Nikitin, Shutterstock

As the name suggests, these houses look like big boxes. They’re either square or rectangular, with flat roofs. Some have staircases leading to the roof to allow your dog to sleep on top or inside the house.

  • Very easy to build
  • Good for warm, dry climates
  • Water will pool on the roof

7. Barrel Doghouses

These are the ultimate DIY houses, and they’ll show the neighborhood (or at least your dog) just how resourceful you are. They’re empty barrels (usually old wooden wine barrels) lined with insulation.

  • Good for DIY types
  • Can emulate dog’s preferred den style
  • Not terribly comfortable

8. Fiberglass Cave

If you want your dog to get back to nature, consider a fiberglass cave. They are natural-looking caves that blend into your backyard. They have a hole cut out for your dog to enter, and some have floors while others simply lay on top of the ground.

  • Won’t leak or decay
  • Extremely low-maintenance
  • Large and ugly

9. Double Dog Houses

two dogs inside doghouse
Image Credit: Inna Astakhova, Shutterstock

If you have two dogs and they don’t like sharing, you can get them a duplex. They are large houses with a divider down the middle, which gives each pup their own dedicated space.

  • Good for multi-dog households
  • Can reduce risk of fighting over space
  • Very large
  • Tend to be expensive

10. Side Porch Dog House

diy dog house
Image Credit: pryzmat, Shutterstock

While some box-style houses have a place for your dog to lie on the roof, these have a separate flat area next to the house. This allows your pup to catch some rays or go inside and be antisocial.

  • Provides dogs with sleeping options
  • Porch is a good place to put food and water
  • Porch may not offer many advantages on bare ground

11. Heated

Doghouse with Heater-ASL Solutions-Amazon

If your pup is especially lucky, they can live in a heated house. These models have built-in floor heaters that keep the unit warm and cozy in winter; you may be tempted to climb in!

  • Very comfortable
  • Good for frigid climates
  • Extremely expensive
  • May get too hot for some dogs

12. Cooling

Giantex Plastic Dog House with Air Vents

You had to know there would be a counterpart to the heated house, right? These models use a cooling mechanism like a cooling bed, exhaust fan, or air conditioner to cool your dog off during the summer. If you really want to spoil your dog, you can get one to go along with a heated house so they’re covered year-round.

  • Good for dogs that are prone to overheating
  • Can prevent dehydration
  • Very expensive

13. Soft-Sided House

dog inside soft sided doghouse
Image Credit: Iryna Kalamurza, Shutterstock

While not suited for outdoor use, these flexible houses are great for travel or simply for giving your pup a space inside your house. They come in a variety of adorable designs.

  • Easily portable

14. Tents

white Chihuahua in grey teepee tent
Image Credit: Phuttharak, Shutterstock

Tents make great temporary shelters if you like to take your dog camping with you or need them to spend a night or two outside. Some are pretty elaborate and can be even fancier than most permanent houses.

  • Great for travel
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Unsuitable for diggers or chewers
  • Don’t provide much protection

15. Inflatable

An inflatable model is ideal if you’re ever stuck out in the wild and need a dog house in a hurry. Since they’re made of thick plastic, they’re surprisingly durable and provide decent protection from the elements.

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can just be hosed off for cleaning

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Decisions, Decisions

As you’ve seen, building or buying a dog house might be the easy part; it’s deciding on one that could take forever. However, the designs we discussed are the most popular, and you’re sure to find one your dog will love. Luckily, most dogs are satisfied with simple, inexpensive shelters. Then again, once a pup has enjoyed a house with air conditioning, they’re likely ruined for life.

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Featured Image Credit: Mimzy, Pixabay

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