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16 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 first need to decide what kind of dog house you’ll be getting him.

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 that Snoopy used to sleep on. In the guide below, we’ll show you some of the most popular styles out there right now, so you can find the perfect one for your pup.

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The 16 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 set 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 roof
  • Tend to let lots of 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 just 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.

  • Water more likely to collect on roof

3. Loft Roof Doghouses

House - Dog
Image Credit: warpmike, Pixabay

These often look like miniature barns, and some of the higher-end ones might be nicer than your actual house. In fact, some 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 — it’s because they look like igloos. Oh, that’s what you guessed? Anyway, these houses give your dog a separate chamber to curl up in that’s offset from the door, which keeps cold air out nicely.

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

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 these houses look like traditional barns, and the roofs provide lots of space inside the houses themselves — which may or may not be a good thing, depending on 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 simply look like big boxes. They’re either square or rectangular, with flat roofs. Some have staircases leading to the roof to give your dog the option of sleeping on top or inside the house.

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

7. Barrel Doghouses

These are the ultimate DIY houses, and they’re a great way to show the neighborhood (or at least your dog) just how resourceful you are. They’re simply empty barrels (usually old wooden wine barrels) that are lined with some sort of insulation.

  • Good for DIY types
  • Can emulate dog’s preferred den style

8. Fiberglass Cave

If you really want your dog to get back to nature, consider a fiberglass cave. These are natural-looking caves that you plop down in 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 necessarily like sharing — you can get them their very own duplex. These are simply 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 lay on the roof, these have a separate flat area next to the house itself. This gives your pup the option of catching some rays or going inside and being antisocial.

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

11. Heated

Doghouse with Heater-ASL Solutions-Amazon

If your pooch is especially lucky, he’ll get to live in a heated house. These models have built-in floor heaters that keep the whole unit warm and cozy in the winter months; in fact, you may just be tempted to climb in yourself.

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

Also see: Dog Carrier Purses!

12. Cooling

Giantex Plastic Dog House with Air Vents

You had to know there would be a counterpart to the heated house, didn’t you? These models use some sort of cooling mechanism — like a cooling bed, exhaust fan, or even an air conditioner — to cool your dog off during the summer. If you really want to spoil your dog, you can get him one of these to go along with a heated house so he’s covered year-round.

  • Good for dogs that are prone to overheating
  • Can prevent dehydration
  • Extremely 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 of his own inside your house. They come in a variety of adorable designs to boot.

  • Easily portable

14. Tents

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

If you like to take your dog camping with you, or if you just need him to spend a night or two outside, tents make great temporary shelters. Some are quite elaborate, and can be even fancier than most permanent houses.

  • Great for travel
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Not suitable for diggers or chewers
  • Don’t offer much protection

15. Inflatable

If you’re ever stuck out in the wild and need a dog house in a hurry, an inflatable model might be just what the doctor ordered. Made of thick plastic, they’re surprisingly durable, and offer a decent amount of protection from the elements.

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

16. Bath Combo

Some houses can be closed up when you need to give your stinky pooch a bath. They then become waterproof, allowing you to scrub your dog in the spot he’s most comfortable in.

  • Very convenient
  • Incredibly expensive
  • May cause dog to fear house
  • Not as comfortable as other models

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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.

Luckily, most dogs are satisfied with simple, inexpensive shelters. Then again, once a pup has gotten a taste for air conditioning, he’s likely ruined for life…

See also: 

Featured Image Credit: Mimzy, Pixabay

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