A Guide To Finding The Best Dog Houses For Large Dogs

Best Dog Houses For Large Dogs

The problem of finding the best dog houses for large dogs is one that many dog owners have to deal with.

There are many dog houses, both indoor and outdoor models, that claim to be ideal for all kinds of pets. They talk about the spacious, comfortable interiors and the great protection from the elements. Yet, some will find that they just aren’t quite right for their dog’s needs. Large breeds need a secure space to call their own too, it can just take a little time to find the best options on the market.

The good news is that there are plenty of options out there for these dogs, with a range of different styles, materials and feature to keep them happy all year round.

On that note, we cannot overlook the importance of finding the best dog house for winter as well as summer months. These houses need to be a place of refuge that animals can turn to whenever they need to get away from people, have a rest or play in their little den. This should be available to them all year round, with adequate heating, ventilation and other comfort features to suit the season. This means somewhere that is warm in the winter, cool in the summer and protected from wind, rain and snow.

In this guide to finding the best dog house ever we will look at some of the main considerations that buyers need to make when choosing the best dog house for larger breeds.

This means looking at some of the basic ideas on the capacity and shape of the kennel, home or cage. How big should these homes be?

We will also look at the benefits of different styles of home, such as basic homes versus igloos and cages. We will also take some time to look at the different materials that brands use for their home and their pros and cons. This means wood, resin, metal and other clever composites.

Along the way, these factors will be illustrated with examples of models that use the style or material mentioned, or have some other interesting selling point.

By the end, you should have a clearer idea of which model you think is best for your dog.

Indoor dog house or outdoor dog house?

There are many owners that will question the worth of a large outdoor dog house if they can have an indoor one within the family home instead.

There are many pet carriers that double up as indoor kennels and homes. They tend to have a strong frame and fabric all around with mesh for a view and ventilation. Some have sides that roll up completely to change the shape of the den during the day.

As with all of these homes, suitability for a dog depends on the capacity. There are many dog crates and carriers of this type that are suitable for smaller and medium sized breeds, but less that are built for large dogs. Therefore this is one of the best dog houses for smaller, indoor dogs, but not for larger animals.

One type of indoor dog house for large dogs that many will look is the portable carrier. One such option is the Petnation Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home. These options are appealing because they are a lightweight, transportable solution that should work in many homes.

PetNation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for Pets, Collapsible and...
5,961 Reviews
PetNation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for Pets, Collapsible and...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: Great for transportation and short outings
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Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buyers like this version because it is tough, with the strong mesh panels and extra-strong steel frame, but it also folds down for transportation without the need for tool.

The problem, however, is simple for large pet owners. This measures 20 x 13 x 13 inches and is only for pets up to 15 pounds.

Metal crates for indoor pets

On the other side of the coin is the Extra Large Dog Breed Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate.

This metal crate is definitely big enough at 54L x 37W x 45H inches and is built to house any large dog over 90 pounds.

There is a double door for easy access, a removable leak-proof pan and a slide-bolt latches on each door to make sure that it is secure.

There is no doubt that this is a large crate for large dogs, and this is clear in the heavy weight and need for two people to lift it. Yet, this style just isn’t right for everyone.

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  • Unlike our smaller sized dog crates, the 54-inch crate utilizes drop pin construction for maximum durability; this requires two people for assembly,...
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Metal crates like this are often the only option for large dogs that are to sleep inside. There are no fabric carriers for dogs above a certain weight limit and some heavier breeds just wont cope with the more modern indoor kennel. Yet they still need a place to sleep and create a den.

The problem is that metal crates are hard, cold areas that are just too much like cages for some dog owners. 

Why are outdoor dog houses for large dogs preferable?

Some large dogs prefer to be outside and there is simply more room for them to have a home that truly reflects their needs.

Why have a small indoor cage to sleep in when they can have somewhere more spacious and cosy outside that is a den all of their own.

Remember that many dogs still have that primal instinct to be in a den outside. It is why many of us put blankets over the top of indoor crates.

The suitability of an outdoor dog home will depend on the breed. This is why larger dogs are better off outside than smaller ones. Small toy dogs don’t have the metabolism or temperature control to sleep outside, especially in colder weather.

Working dogs with more primal linages, such as the husky, malamute and some shepherd breeds are tough enough to cope and won’t notice a chill with those coats.

Take the time to consider whether your large dog would be happier outside. If so, it is time to start looking at different types of large dog kennels.

Extra large outdoor dog kennel considerations and styles

One of the biggest issues with any dog house is the capacity. It can be difficult to understand precisely how much space is offered with models when they list external dimensions rather than internal ones.

There are also those that claim to be fine for breeds of a certain length, with no thought to weight allowance for stockier, heavier breeds.

Similarly, just because a model is fine for anything 70 pounds or under, that doesn’t guarantee that it will suit your dog. This is why all owners need to have a clear idea of the space that their pets require before buying any home or kennel.

First of all, you need to know the length, height and weight of your dog to see if they will fit through the dogs and be able to stand on the floor. You then need to increase these dimensions in order to understand the appropriate space for the animal. They need room to sit, stand, lie down and turn around without feeling constricted.

At the same time, you don’t want to go too big and offer something that is no longer cosy. If the area is too big, they may not feel comfortable sleeping there.

The benefits of an igloo dog house

Igloo dog houses can seem like a bit of a novelty for some dog owners because they are an unusual shape and look a little strange compared to some of the houses you will see below.

So why are igloos such a good idea? The simple answer is that they act a lot like real igloos.

The Inuit igloo is designed to keep inhabitants warm and cosy and protected from the worst elements with that domed shape and protective nature. They allow snow to run off while providing a warm insulated den beneath the ice. Snow may not be a big problem is some garden, but the principles are the same and they can be a great aid in colder climates.

Also, there is nothing cuter for husky or malamute owners than providing a little dog-friendly igloo for them in the yard.

The Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban is a great example an an extra large igloo dog house.

Petmate Indigo Dog House (Igloo Dog House, Made in USA with 90% Recycled...
3,086 Reviews
Petmate Indigo Dog House (Igloo Dog House, Made in USA with 90% Recycled...
  • ALL SEASON PROTECTION INSULATED IGLOO DOG HOUSE: Patented dome design provides protection from rain, wind, sleet and snow. The offset. low and narrow...
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Last update on 2024-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This model works to the brief well with brilliant wind and rain protection with that domed shape. There is insulation but also ventilation in the roof for climate control. It is one for the rough elements as it is designed to let snow fall off and reflect warmth back into the igloo – just like the real thing.

There is also a raised floor with a moat and a snap assembly design. The added benefit here is the use of the protective, antimicrobial Microban surface, which also helps to protect pets.

Again, there are limitations on the size of the dog. This options is recommended for dogs no more than 17 inches tall and 26 inches in length. It is also difficult to move around so really needs a permanent home outside somewhere.

A tough igloo versus a wooden home

For many, this igloo is all about the tougher use of materials for protection against the elements and a tough, long-lasting home. There is no doubt that these homes are great place to stay warm and hide from the rain, provided they offer enough space inside for the dog.

This is where many dog owners have a problem with wood.

Wooden dog houses for outdoor dogs are preferable for many because of the look. There is something cute about these miniature houses and the structures often fit in with other elements of the garden.

The problem is that wood needs to be treated well to prevent it from rotting and deteriorating. Some of the best houses offer this inside and out, but some may cut corners and leave areas a little vulnerable.

There are also those that point out that wooden options are not good for chewers. Dogs that like to chew on wood and branches may like the idea of chewing on the sides and décor of these wooden house, potentially splitting the wood, running the risk of splinters and eventually destroying the home entirely.

Wooden dog houses for large dogs, like the Precision Pet Extreme Log Cabin, are preferable for many.

This model has a large entrance, adjustable feet to keep the cabin off the wet ground, weather resistance coating on the wood and a slanted roof. It is simple but relatively effective. The cabin measures in at 45.5″ x 33″x 32.8″ and is built for dogs up to 90 lbs.

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Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The alternative wooden option is the more familiar shape of the Premium Plus A-Frame Dog House with the peak-roof design.

This is designed to be a waterproof as possible with the non-toxic sealant and shingle roof. It is isn’t quite as spacious this time, at 2’’ x 32.5’’ x 31, but there is more appeal for owners and a better entrance.

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What about plastic or resin?

If these wooden options aren’t quite right for your pet, you may want to look into the potential of an extra large plastic dog house or a resin option instead.

Plastic and resin may not be as attractive as wood in the short-term, but they do offer greater longevity and durability than some wooden dog homes.

The Suncast DH350 is a resin dog house that promises to be an “attractive, safe, easy-to-assemble dwelling for your dog to call home”.

While some may dispute the attractive part compared to those wooden homes, the durable resin is definitely safe and buyers do appreciate that snap-together assembly process.

This model measures at 33’’ x 38.5 x 30’’ so may not be ideal for dogs that may be considered extra large.

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There is also the Suncast DH250 Dog House available for smaller dogs that weight 61-75 pounds.

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A company that has tried something completely different in the way of materials is ASL Solutions.

This dog house provider has created a patent-pending PanelAbode™ system of laminated, engineered panels. They take the best of both world with tough synthetic materials and a rough-sawn cedar finish. The result is what some believe is one of the best insulated dog houses for large dogs.

This ASL Solutions Climate Master Plus Insulated Dog House looks like a little house with and a front door and a sloped roof.

The panels work to make sure the home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, well as resistant to the elements. Furthermore, it can be assembled in 10 minutes with the added benefit of a removable roof for access and cleaning.

It is sold as extra large for dogs up to 220lbs and measure 36.5’’ x 38″ x 43.25’’.

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  • Insulated dog house that is both beautiful and durable
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Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We cannot overlook the importance of insulated dog houses for winter.

The model above raises an interesting point when it comes to finding the best outdoor dog houses. Our pets need to be as warm, as possible and this can be difficult in outdoor homes with open windows and doors, or areas with poor insulation. There has to be that fine line between ventilation and heating to keep animals comfortable.

You will have a hard job finding a heated large dog house with any form of mechanical heating, as this could be expensive and potentially dangerous. However, good insulation with double walled wood panels, thick laminates and other details can help.

With the materials out of the way, we need to go back to that important issue of space. How about an extra large dog house with a porch?

Whichever material you choose, the space provided for the animal is essential. This can be achieved through more than a spacious interior.

There is also the chance to give your dog a porch area where they can sun themselves and be more comfortable. This really can work in turning the dog house into more than just a shelter. This is their space to enjoy as they see fit.

Again wooden options with incorporated decking can work wonders and look great in a garden, if your dog won’t destroy it.

Those that fancy a dog house with a little extra space should look at the Boomer and George Large Dog House Lodge with Porch.

This is proudly sold as a model with a “spacious deck for sunny naps”, with insulation and protection from the elements. There are some good materials in use here, a good look and it is easy to put together. Although, it would be better without the permanently open window. The concern for some owners is that it measures 67w X 31d X 38h – so it not for the largest breeds – and anything under 70lbs, but it is still a great idea of what can be achieved with a well designed dog house.

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  • Made of solid fir wood with a dark trim accents
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Size is also important when looking for homes for exceptionally large animals or a dog house for 2 large dogs.

Size is vital when choosing a dog house and some are so spacious that they can be used for very large dogs or two medium sized animals.

There are sure to be many households that have two adult dogs that are such good friends that they like to do everything together, even sleep. Perhaps they are siblings. In this case, there really is no point having two separate kennels if they would prefer to be together in one larger option.

Then there are owners that breed their animals and would like to provide a safe den for them to give birth in, something large enough for the whole litter.

Finally, there are the large dog breeds that are considered extra large or two heavy for the typical “large” dog houses. This is where you have to remember that one persons view of “large” isn’t typical of all dogs.

Some extra large breeds struggle with these weight capacities and dimensions. Breeds of particular issue here are large mastiffs and great danes. It can be difficult to find extra large dog houses for great danes, but the following option might work.

One such model for more than one animal is the Merry Extra Large Solid Wood Dog House.

The standout feature with this model is that it can be used as either a very spacious model for two dogs to share or one large breed, or as two rooms in one house. There is a removable partition in the middle. The house is raised from the ground with a separate dog bed, so animals should stay warm and cosy. This is aided with the solid, weatherproof construction.

The roof is removable too, for easy access and cleaning. There isn’t too much to this house that makes is stand out from the crowd other than this use of space, but this could be the unique selling point that owner of multiple animals are after.

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One example of an extra-large kennel for extra large dogs that doesn’t quite make the grade I another option from Boomer and George, again. Their Extra Large Outdoor Dog House Dog Kennel measures 40w X 44d X 47h, so is definitely bigger inside than most homes.

There is also solid, protective wood to keep dogs warm and dry with the fully enclosed space and gable roof. However, there are some problems with the dimensions and sturdiness of the floor. It is not ideal for large, heavy breeds because while they factored in extra space, they didn’t think about the weight allowance.

There are also some problems with dogs chewing and destroying it within a week.

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we have learned so far about size?

There are clearly plenty of considerations that all large dog owners need to make about the size of the home that they choose for their pet.

Capacity has to be the most important consideration before looking at any of the other features, like the materials used or the general style of the model.

No home is going to be suitable enough for your pet if it doesn’t have the dimensions to allow them to stand up, turn around and get comfortable. All pets need just the right amount of space to find happy and cosy. This is is why we have different types of outdoor dog houses for different types of dog.

When you know the required dimensions you can then look at a suitable model. The same goes for anyone looking to house multiple animals in one area. Understand size restrictions and weight allowances to avoid any nasty surprises when you receive the product.

What we have learned so far about materials?

The materials used are clearly also very important here when choosing the best possible dog house for your pet.

You need to be sure that the house is durable to last through the seasons, and any tough love from the dog. If they become attached to this home, they may want to stay within it for a very long time. Some puppies may even grow up with it. Therefore it has be strong and reliable for all their needs.

The choice of materials clearly goes beyond a decision between plastic and wood.

Different brands have different materials and layers in use for the strongest, safest option. Some lean towards insulation properties and others stick to a more aesthetic approach.

Take the time to understand your dog’s needs in terms of climate control, protection from the weather and indestructibility. Those in colder regions prone to wind and snow are sure to find igloos more practical than a wooden home with a sun porch.

Make sure to do plenty of research when looking for the ideal large dog house for sale

As you can see, there are plenty of different types of dog house, both indoor and outdoor, with different pros and cons for larger animals.

While it is important to read the fine print on the specifications and descriptions, customer feedback is invaluable here. The specifications sell the product based upon the design and purpose. This can overhype certain protective elements and misrepresent the true size of a model.

There are too many cases of large dog owners having to return items because they were too small. Buyer feedback tells it like it is, with real experiences for specific breeds. You can also gain a better idea of the longevity of the product this way. This is all helpful when buying a dog house online where you cannot see the item or put it in context. In an ideal world, there would be a local showroom where dogs could try out different homes until they find the best fit.

Whichever style of large outdoor dog house you choose, it has to be the best option for your animal, not for you. You may like the idea of having an indoor kennel in a cosy living room space. But, if you have a large husky, malamute or great dane that would be more comfortable outside, you have to look at outdoors options.

The best dog houses for large dogs are the ones where they happily walk in, make themselves comfortable and sleep soundly. If they can’t do that – no matter how well-made, insulated, pretty or expensive a model is – it won’t work.


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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