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Designer Doghouses - Jessie T. Wolf
January 13th, 2010
12:01 pm


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Designer Doghouses
I got Jango a doghouse last night, since I'm going to be doing a bit of outdoor training with him once the weather starts getting a bit nicer. Ideally I'd like him to get used to being an indoor-outdoor dog, like Mojo is, so it'll be a gradual training process with him.

When I got Mo a doghouse for his outdoor run, Tor was convinced that he'd never use it because he thought is was too small. On the contrary, Mo uses it just fine on the rare occassion he actually sleeps outside, and being a retired sled dog he's used to sleeping in a doghouse anyway. People think that doghouses are supposed to be huge for their dogs, when the whole point is that if they curl up they're supposed to preserve body heat, which gets lost if the doghouse is too big for them. So I got lucky finding just the right size for Mo on Craigslist (best resource ever!).

Yesterday I got lucky again and was able to find a bigger one on CL for Jango, for $40! It was advertized as only $30, but I had two $20's on me, and the guy didn't have change, so I let him keep the extra $10 since he originally spent about $140 on it, for his Black Lab mix who never used it, and then it just sat in his yard for two years. Jango went in it on his own too, when we went to go see it, which is a good start anyway.

In searching for doghouse designs online, I came across this collection of Designer Doghouse models.

My goodness, what dog owners will buy to spoil their dogs!! I mean, as far as art design goes, these are brilliant pieces of work, and the artists who made them should be very proud! But as a dog trainer, first of all I kind of have to shake my head at people with loads of money who spoil their dogs rotten like this, since too much love and affection and no rules or leadership is what creates bad behavioral problems in the first place. Secondly, if someone's goig to spend thousands of dollars to create an intricately detailed miniature version of their own fancy home for their dog... then they might as well just keep their dog in their home with them in the first place!

I agree with some of the comments on that website - those doghouses aren't for the dogs, they're for their rich owners to show off. Dogs don't care what their doghouse looks like, as long as it works as a safe, dry place to stay. The two that I have are plain and simple.

Mojo's looks similar to this:

5 Dollar Doghouse

Jango's looks pretty much exactly like this:


I'd feel bad for any dog that had to stay out all of the time anyway. What's the point of having a dog? It's amazing how many people call me for training advice for an outdoor dog, which is considerably harder to manage than having a dog that lives inside with it's owner. Jango's brother for instance, Kobe, is chewing everything in their yard, including the back wood stairs, which they say they'll need to replace soon. He asked me for advice, and I told him that unless he's there to supervise and manage Kobe's behavior at every moment, you can't really do much to stop unwanted chewing of your property, other than restrict his access to the things he chews, or make sure he's got a lot of his own stuff to chew on! Outdoor dogs get bored. Your stuff becomes their entertainment.

I wonder if Jango will ever start chewing on his doghouse...? Hmmm. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Current Mood: mellowmellow

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:January 13th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Chewing's natural. Don't try to discourage it: rather, connect with a suitable butcher/slaughterhouse who can provide you with traditional bones to chew on.

Cow shoulder-blade bones are great for this. One end is like a classic marrow-bone; the other end fans out into a thinner blade of between six and nine inches. A dog can choose which end to chew on. It's a great time-consumer and also helps keep their teeth clearof scale/tartar.

It's actually good for a dog's gut: when they've been eating bones their poop will often be pretty much a white chalky powder !
[User Picture]
Date:January 13th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
I personally don't try to discourage it - I just make sure that Jango's got his own toys and bones to chew on. We've never, ever had a problem with him chewing on any of our stuff, because he knows what's his. His brother, on the other hand, chews everything because he's outside all of the time, he's bored, and his owners haven't established with him what's his to chew and what's not his to chew. It's harder to manage an outdoor dog's behavior, when he spends less time interacting with the family.

I'm starting Jango with bones slowly... I've been testing him with more and more high value treats over time. Some dogs will be fine with a milkbone, and horribly possessive with a pig's ear. Thankfully, Jango's been very good with me giving and taking away higher value treats. Just a precaution I'm taking, as I wouldn't want one of my roommates to come home one day, and run into Jango protecting a bone out in the yard (their lower suite entrance is through the backyard).

I'm a strong advocate of the raw diet and bones - I just don't have the budget for it right now. :-P
[User Picture]
Date:January 15th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
mojo's doghouse is so indie.
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