Instructables

How to Build an Open Air Doghouse:The Doggy Retreat

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trellis dog house rear.jpg
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Welcome,

First a note, if you like this instructable please give me a + plus and let me know by leaving a comment and don't forget to vote for me in the Pets Month contest. Thanks, now on to the fun stuff.

In this Instructable I will show you how I made a custom "Doggy Retreat" out of 2 x 4 studs which I milled to smaller sizes. I am betting you have never seen anything like it. I will provide instructions and a lot of pics so you can make one for your pets as well. I used Google Sketchup to plan it out. Pretty darn good software for free! You can see my concept cad work in the pics below.

We all need our own space sometimes, even pets, it sounds weird but it's true. When you look at the pics below you may think this is a dog house, but it is not, you may say this is lattice work but it is not, or you may call it a trellis, which it is not. What it is though, is a combination of all three of those with a twist. The idea is to create an open air retreat that I can get vines to grow on to help the dogs feel like they are in there own element.

You may be wondering "Why an open air retreat?" Well here in Arizona it gets hot in the summer and the air need to circulate and flow. The plants that will grown on the "retreat" will also help to keep it cool inside. The dirt floor is another way to help the dogs keep cool and gives them a place to dig and scratch with out tearing up anything else.

You should know that this particular corner of my yard NEVER sees the sun, it is always shaded. Plus the dogs have a doggy door to get in whenever they want, so I don't keep them locked out in the heat.

My biggest dog is an Australian cattle dog and German Sheppard mix. If you know a lot about dogs then you may know that Australian cattle dogs have Dingo DNA. My dog looks a Dingo she even has the high back claws on her back legs. Sorry I don't know what they are called I just know other dogs don't have them.

Dingos like to burrow and my dog is a digger like I have never seen before. She destroyed my tomato garden The Mator Patch. So I let her have her way with the rest of it this winter, but now winter is over, at least here in AZ. However, I love my dogs and I decided they needed a space, so I gave up some of my garden area to them.

So to sum it up I made a Doggy Retreat for both dogs that I love.

Both dogs come from the county pound. My small dog is a Jack Russell Beagle mix.

The video is set to music, the song playing in the background is called Set You Free . i think the song really goes with the theme of this contest?


 
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Well that is too cute, my dog has to have one great job, great designand BTW I'm new here,how do I vote.
Mr. Rig It (author)  dammitgetmecoffee6 years ago
Thank you! The contest is over so the voting is over, I won a patch! However you can always click on the + plus sign if you like it. You will find the plus in the box to the right of the instructable. The box is labled -Info - They like it - Stats Then just click the plus sign. Thank you very much for the comments and the plus!
AZApple Mr. Rig It10 months ago
I'm sorry, I couldn't find it. Is there additional info you can give me to help me give you a +? As a fellow Arizonan, I LOVE this idea. I am designing a glorified dog house/play gym (do you know of any inspirational links) and this idea will be incorporated for certain.
Also, is there a way to follow the comments for individual inlets?
AZApple AZApple10 months ago
I found the follow button.
gibsonlp966 years ago
I love the instructable, but HOW COULD YOU LET THOSE DOGS SLEEP ON DIRT?!?!?! Unless you gave them a pillow.....then, im sorry
AZApple gibsonlp9610 months ago
Some apartment dogs who don't have a yard and are only walked on leash to exercise and potty never discover the natural pleasure of digging in a shady spot to find the cool soil under the surface. But digging is natural, smart and so common that owners often contact behaviorists to learn how to curb the behavior because the dog is killing plants and drip systems, LOL! I recommend making a sand box for the dog so they have a "legal" place to exercise their inborn, instinctive behavior which, IMHO, I believe shouldn't be stifled. Thanks for reading. :-)
Dogs naturally sleep on dirt. I give my dogs (A yellow lab and a chow) an orange tree to shelter them from the elements. I have tried giving them blankets, but they just end up ripping them up. They seem the happiest when they just dig a small depression and curl up in it.
Here are some pics of them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freshpinesent/sets/72157605403232562/
Mine are the same. They have comfy beds inside but on a hot day their favourite spot is digging in the dirt under the landing. Once it is rearranged to their liking, it is three turns round, lie down and off to sleep. The dirt is always cool.
Heehee...three turn arounds. I love it. Dogs are awesome.
our ones like to stay in the sun,lie there like dead and bite each other when they want,its their game
My dogs do that too. The first time I saw it, I thought they were actually fighting.
thats what i first thought that too,now they are bored and bite me(lightly so no ow) and i fgive them thick sticks when they bite me
I don't care how lightly it it, your dogs have some serious balls to bite they're owner.
meh,they are naughty
Mr. Rig It (author)  FreshPineSent6 years ago
Your dogs are beautiful. Inside the house they love their beds or any thing I lay on the floor, outside they love their open air dog house.
Thanks bro. My yellow lab (Oscar) is about 8 years old, and will probably have to become a permanent inside dog in a few years.
Mr. Rig It (author)  FreshPineSent6 years ago
Labs are great dogs, fun and loving.
sorry about my last comment, but my dog(black and white german short-hair pointer/ lab mix) and my old dog(pure-bred cocker spaniel(sadly died in '04:-[)) is and was always the queen of the house, but that's the way we love 'em. And I agree, labs are definitely(my opinion) the best dog.
Why did you link to my comment tracker? And sorry? Really? I honestly don't believe that you are sorry.
i have no idea why that is linked to something, what it's supposed to say is "...(sadly died in '04) is and was always the queen of the house..." and i was apologising to Mr.Rig It for the comment on the pillow/bed, oh, and btw, your dogs are the most adorable dogs i've seen in a while
My friend had a dog that loves to sleep on dirt. Once he tried giving it a kennel but he said the dog just walked out and dug a hole in the lawn to sleep in.
Jim M6 years ago
This idea, on it's own, gets my vote! It's a good way to manage your dog away from fence line digging and laying in the contaminated dirt (pesticides, vermin trails that have excrement along fences, fertilizers, etc.); so, it's healthy if you make sure the dirt in the retreat shelter isn't contaminated from years of chemical usage. Maybe, I worry too much about that. Thank you!
AZApple Jim M10 months ago
For those concerned about contaminants in the floor, you may want to dig out the floor and refill it with play sand. If you sprinkle it a bit it makes a thin "crust" on the surface which is fun to dig through and makes a cool area which doesn't leave the dogs too "dirty". If it's at the back of the yard, most sand will fall off before the dog reaches the back door, LOL!
Mr. Rig It (author)  Jim M6 years ago
Jim Thank you for the comments and clicking the vote button for me. I have only had the garden for a year and didn't use any chemicals so the dirt should be clean. If you can call dirt clean that is. That is a good thought you had about the chemicals I never considered contaminated dirt before. I will have to find a spot to add that as a note. The dogs really like their retreat so far. Thanks again.
ratnairma2 years ago
~~ hi, i am from indonesia, and i think you have a great dog house - here we dont have people designing dog-houses.. i am starting a shelter for stray-dogs, and browsing for ideas..
~~ thanks a lot for the idea..
CJSudduth2 years ago
This could be used inside as well ... giving dog/cats a place to hide out ...or even extra storage...
shantaram5 years ago
Amazing its great that you think of your dogs needs we need more people like you and the vine idea fantastic i love animals..
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Becs5 years ago
very nice... =) i like it,..
i might make a small one for my cat
Be right there by way of Colorado..ha ha. As far as the dogs, not to worry about Sammy and Spot, they own their masters! Great dogs, even that crazy Spot. They are extemely well taken care of and loved. Wonderful watch dogs, I might add.
I think he already ate my share of tomatoes! His mom.
Mr. Rig It (author)  desertskyblue6 years ago
Two little ones left come and get'em
Well, son, you did a great job! I didn't realize this was your creation until I started reading the article..instantly I knew it had to be yours! You're always inventing something. Congratulations! Now Sammy and Spot have their own desert oasis! And, maybe I'll have fresh tomatoes when I come to visit! Mom
Or maybe fresh peppers, it looks like. ;-)
scoutlady6 years ago
Love it. What a great idea!
lil jon1686 years ago
grade out the dirt flat then get a piece of plywood and nail it to the bottom then but carpet or towel blanket etc.
Mr. Rig It (author)  lil jon1686 years ago
Why? They like the dirt, it is what they prefer. They get to go out and dig a bed in the dirt and curl up in it. it's their nature. They can come in the house when ever they want and curl up on their nice soft bed.
cvxdes6 years ago
Great instructable! Beer can shingles would complete that nicely.
Mr. Rig It (author)  cvxdes6 years ago
That had crossed my mind, but it wouldn't work to well in this climate. Still a good suggestion though. Thanks for the idea for next time.
ArmChairQB6 years ago
Awesome, a super-sized one would make a neat play house for the biped kids. Filter a little sun off of them and give the parents a good view of what's going on in and about the playhouse. Dog's Rock!
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