Learn how to build a dog house from the ground up. We will help you with your doghouse plans, giving you all the tips on how to make the perfect dog house for your pet. Follow along step-by-step and make the ultimate den for man's best friend.

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How to Measure Your Dog for a Dog House

Dogs come in many different sizes, so it is important to measure your dog before you gather your materials.  

  • Dog House Door: Most dogs duck their head when they enter a doghouse, so you need to measure shoulder to ground and multiply it by 0.75. 
  • Dog House Height: Measure head to ground and multiply by two. 
  • Dog House Width and Depth: Measure nose to flank (do not include the tail) and multiply it by three.  
  • Dog House Base: Subtract 2 inches from the width of the bottom, and keep the length the same as the length of the whole dog house.  
  • Dog House Roof: The roof of the doghouse should be the same as the height of the house, with 4 in. overhang.  


   Weight Shoulder to Ground Head to Ground Nose to Flank 
Extra Small Dogs   10 lbs or fewer  10 in.  12 in.  16 in.
Small Dogs  11 - 25 lbs  15 in.  16 in.  24 in.
Medium Dogs  26 - 75 lbs  20 in.  24 in.  30 in.
Large Dogs  76 lbs - 100 lbs  25 in.  30 in.  35 in.
Extra Large Dogs  100 lbs or more  30 in.  38 in.  40 in.  

What You Need for This Project

Cutting Out the Pieces

Step One

Lay Out the Panels

Follow the illustration on the left to measure and draw out the back, front, sides, and platform panels on the sheet of exterior safe siding. The dimensions in the drawing are for an average sized dog, but they can be modified to fit the dimensions of your pet. 

Note: The drawing has two floor panels. This is so you can double the thickness of the floor for comfort and warmth.  

Cut Out the Panels

Use the circular saw to cut carefully along the lines drawn on the siding. Then cut the entry hole in the front panel.  

Cut Your Platform

Cut one of your 2x4 boards into the following: 

  •  Platform sides: Two piece that are 3 in. shorter than the width of the sides of your dog house. 
  • Platform front and back: Two pieces that are 2 in. shorter than the width of the front and back of your dog house. 
  • Platform legs: Four pieces that are 6 in. long.  



Cut Your Doghouse Frame

  • Rip one of your 2x4 boards into 2x2 stock for the frame.  
  • From these, cut four pieces that are 4 in. smaller than the short end of the side panels, and four pieces that are 4 in. smaller than the roof line of the front and the back panels of the doghouse. 
  • Cut one piece the same size as the short side of the roof.  


Assemble the Dog House Platform


Round the Platform Legs

Using the circular saw, round out the bottom of the platform legs. Make sure they are even for a sturdy base for your dog house.  

Align the Platform to the Legs

Align the tops of the legs with the sides and back and front pieces of the platform. The legs will be flush against the inside edges of the long side of the platform. The front and back pieces with overlap the ends of the side pieces.  

Assemble the Platform Frame

Nail the front, back, and side pieces to the leg, with three nails connecting each side to each platform leg. (You'll be using a total of 24 nails for this step).  

Assemble the Dog House


Attach the Frame to the Dog House Panels

Side Panels: Nail two pieces of the frame flush against the short ends of each side panel. One frame piece should start at the top of each corner, leaving a 3 ½ in. space at the bottom to allow for the side panel to overhand the platform.  

Front and Back Panels: Nail the frame pieces to the roof line of the front and back panels. They should meet at the top and extend along the roof line to approximately 2 ½ in. from the sides.   

Roof Panels: Nail a frame piece flush against the top inside edge of one of the roof panels. It should be centred 5 in. from the edges of the panel.  

Nail the Side Panels to the Platform

Put one of the sides in place by lining up the edges of the side panel with the front and back of the platform. Nail it to the platform at the bottom. Repeat this step on the other side of the platform with the other side panel.  

Nail the Front & Back Panels to the Platform

Attach the back of the doghouse by aligning it with the sides, and nail it into the platform and the 2x2 frames that are attached to the side panel. Repeat this step with the front panel.  

Check for Exposed Nails

Before you attach the roof, it is very important for the safety of your dog to check if there are any exposed nails. Cut and file down edges of the any exposed nails that could injure your pet.  

Attach the Roof Panels

Nail the roof panel, with the frame piece attached to it, to the top of the front and back of the dog house. Make sure to get the nails into the frame pieces on the back and front panels. Nail the remaining roof panel to the frame piece on the roof panel, and the frame pieces on the back and front panels.  

Finishing Touches


Install the Shingles

A great way to prevent your dog house from leaking, shingles are easy to install, and you can shingle the dog house to match your own.  

  • Run the first row of shingles upside down (split tabs up), along the bottom of the roof edges.  
  • Using short roofing nails, nail the shingles in place, row-by-row, in the pattern that you desire.  
  • Cap the ridge with cut shingle tabs to prevent any leakage from inclement weather.  


Get creative and paint the outside of your dog house! Make sure you use exterior paint that is resistant to moisture, fading, mould, blistering, mildew, and algae.  

How To Terms

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.

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