Fab Doghouses

Doghouse Design

"Frank Lloyd Bite" doghouse from the 1999 Barkitecture exhibit at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, OH. Photo: brightandspacious.com

We dog owners are a strange breed. We obsess about the day-to-day comfort, happiness, and health of our pets. We own multiple pet beds so Fido always has a soft place to relax; we’re always trying to find him the perfect toy; and some of us even make sure Fido adheres to a doggy diet not unlike a human being’s gluten-free regimen. But since dogs are purportedly man’s best friend, shouldn’t we treat them as we ourselves would like to be treated?

It’s no wonder that our mania extends to creating standalone shelters devoted to our canines. I myself constructed an indoor doggie teepee with fallen tree branches connected by sisal twine. Cotton muslin fabric forms the ‘walls’, while a couple of burlap coffee bags stuffed with pillows (and topped by a flokati rug) make up the interior bed. Though a bit wary at first, my dog has succumbed to the comfort of the teepee and sleeps inside each night.

Slideshow: 10 Luxurious Homes for Your Pampered Pet

Outdoors, a doghouse shelters a beloved pet from inclement weather, but it can also be a style statement. Building a puppy dream house in the backyard may sound excessive, but there is a longstanding tradition of upholding a doghouse’s aesthetic relationship with its companion, human-occupied home just paces away. Author Fred Albert points to two historical examples of this practice in his book Barkitecture (Abbeville Press, 1999):

“Slightly less ambitious was the early-nineteenth-century French doghouse that now resides at Washington Irving’s landmark home in upstate New York. Although the author of Rip Van Winkle never used this piece, it’s still quite charming, with decorative barge boards and a trefoil-shaped cresting along the top that mimics the Gothic Revival style then in vogue. Another Gothic Revival doghouse survives in Bangor, Maine, where it was built in 1880 to mimic the look of the main house (a practice still common today).”

Doghouse Design - Mansion

Photo: mymodernmet.com

It’s nice to see doghouse offerings are available in a multitude of architectural styles—your house and theirs can seamlessly mesh! To browse homes-in-miniature for your pooch, don’t miss 10 Luxurious Doghouses for Your Pampered Pet.

Related:
Bob Vila Radio: In the Doghouse
How To: Create a Pet-Friendly Home
Bob Vila Radio: Dog Fences