Does your German Shepherd spend a lot of time outside in your yard? For him to do so in safety and comfort throughout the year, he will need a suitable dog house.
In this handy guide, we'll break down everything you need to know when choosing the perfect dog house for your German Shepherd. We also will introduce you to some top products to consider. But first, let's talk about why it is important to get the right dog house for your German Shepherd.
Why Your German Shepherd Needs the Right Dog House
There are two key benefits to choosing a suitable dog house for your German Shepherd:
And those are just the benefits for your dog. There are also benefits for you if you pick a portable house, easy to clean and maintain and complements your outdoor space.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a German Shepherd Dog House
Before you can choose the right product, you need to assess your requirements. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:
Once you have answered these questions, you will be able to work through the buying considerations below to figure out exactly what you need to look for in a dog house for your German Shepherd.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Dog House for Your German Shepherd
You know why choosing the right German Shepherd dog house is important now—but what do you need to know about size, materials, and features? Let’s take a detailed look at buying considerations.
Before choosing a dog house with a suitable size for your German Shepherd, you need to measure your pet. Here is the average size for a German Shepherd according to the American Kennel Club:
Male German Shepherds
Female German Shepherds
With these measurements, German Shepherds are categorized as medium to large dogs.
Your pet doghouse needs to be neither too large nor too small. If the house is too small, clearly it will not provide enough space for your pet to rest comfortably. But if it is too large, it will not be as effective at holding in heat during the winter. It also will not feel as “den-like.”
Although the averages above give you a starting point at figuring out what size dog house you need, we recommend measuring your pet for more precision.
Here are the measurements you need:
Do not forget to account for other items that will stay inside the dog house. For example, your pooch will probably have bowls for food and water and might also have a bed and some toys.
German Shepherds can be very well-behaved, but some of these dogs may possess a destructive streak, especially when bored or anxious. If your dog does a lot of scratching and chewing, take that into account when choosing the material for your dog house.
Here are some of your options:
A classic material for dog houses, wood is durable and attractive to the eye. It also insulates well. The biggest drawback is its weight in comparison to plastic. Sometimes wood also has toxic treatments, so check for these before you buy a wood dog house. While thick wood should stand up to destructive chewing and scratching, your dog may still damage the surface. Also, if you live in a place with a lot of precipitation, watch out for wood rot.
If you live in a temperate climate and do not require much insulation, a metal dog house may be a good choice. If you purchase one, check over it for sharp edges before letting your pet move in. If you find any, get rid of them.
Looking for lightweight material for a portable doghouse? Plastic is a good option. As a bonus, it is waterproof, making it an excellent choice for climates that receive a lot of rainfall. But if your pet is very destructive, a plastic dog house may not last as long as one made of wood, metal, or concrete. Also, swings in temperature can cause warping and cracking. If you have sweltering summers, be aware that a plastic dog house can overheat inside if it is not very well ventilated. Also, as with metal, sometimes sharp edges are left behind from manufacturing, so check for them and sand them down if you find them.
One of the most durable materials for a dog house is concrete. Its weight might be a nice feature too, if you get powerful winds. But it does make it very hard to move after you place it.
Heating and Insulation
Although German shepherds are relatively adapted to the cold, like any other animal, they do have their limits.
German Shepherd Rescue of New England writes, “Though we believe your dog should be inside and part of your family, if he does live outdoors or spend long periods of time there, he needs a dry, elevated doghouse with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out.”
So, if your climate is cold during the winter, consider looking for a doghouse that is elevated and has the suggested door flap. Also, look for material that provides adequate insulation.
You may even find some dog houses for sale that feature heated floors.
Cooling and Ventilation
While your doghouse needs to keep your German Shepherd warm in the winter, it is just as crucial that it keeps your pet cool during the summer.
The AKC says, “The German Shepherd Dog has a medium-length, double coat consisting of a dense, harsh, and close-lying outer coat with a softer undercoat.”
This coat can lock in heat on summer days. The shade from a doghouse will help, but not if the house is poorly ventilated and traps heat inside.
As we mentioned earlier, plastic, in particular, tends to trap heat, so it may not be a suitable material for a hot climate.
A dog house with windows and a flap that can be removed from the door can help to facilitate open airflow, producing a cross breeze.
Another thing to think about when picking out a dog house for your German Shepherd is how lightweight and maneuverable the house is. Portability is extra essential if you think you will be moving it around your yard now and again. It also matters if you will be setting up the dog house all by yourself without assistance.
How Easy is Assembling the Dog House?
Closely related to the matter of portability is ease-of-assembly. On average, you can expect to take about an hour to put together a doghouse. Some products take longer to assemble, however, and some take a much shorter amount of time.
Along with the time investment required for assembly, you should also consider the difficulty level. Do you need specialized tools or skills, or can a novice use common household tools to assemble the dog house?
How Easy is Maintaining the Dog House?
Just as you want a German Shepherd dog house that is easy to assemble, you want one that is easy to maintain.
One helpful feature is microbe-resistant materials. A doghouse built out of these materials is not as susceptible to stains or odors. That means that cleaning requirements are not as significant.
However, when you need to clean your doghouse, you want it to be as easy as possible. Reaching inside can be facilitated with features such as a removable floor or a clean-out door.
German Shepherd Dog House Style
You are ready to choose a German Shepherd dog house now that offers great practical value—but let’s not forget about style!
A doghouse that is large enough to accommodate a German Shepherd is going to stand out in your yard. So, choose an aesthetic that is compatible with your grounds.
Additional Features for German Shepherd Dog Houses
While shopping for dog houses for German Shepherds, you might also consider whether you would like additional features such as:
Top Dog Houses for German Shepherds
With what you have just learned about German Shepherd dog house features, materials, sizing, and more, you are ready to find the ideal house for your pet. Let's get down to business and check out the top products on the market.
Petsfit Wooden Dog House
Best Overall Dog House for German Shepherds
Our pick for the best overall dog house for German Shepherds is this product from Petsfit, available in three different sizes (small, medium and large). It is the large 45.6” L x30.9” W x 32.1” H size that we recommend for German Shepherds.
What makes this product our top choice for German Shepherds? We love the high-quality Finnish spruce, which is both strong and aesthetically pleasing.
There are three colors to choose from: gray, red, and natural wood, each with contrasting trim. Petsfit used water-based paint to protect the health of pets.
The overall design is a smart one; it features a large door off-center. During the winter, your pet can move away from the door to the more sheltered section of the house. The raised floor helps maintain a comfortable interior temperature in all seasons.
There have been some issues customers have reported with the flooring. Thankfully, the company that offers this product does provide reliable customer service should there be any issues. We also think Petsfit is aware of this problem and may have corrected it since the description now mentions "ADDITIONAL SUPPORT RAILS" for the floor in all caps.
Petmate Aspen Pet Outdoor Dog House
Best for German Shepherds 80 Pounds and Below
The Petmate Aspen Pet Outdoor Dog House is a sturdy plastic dog house featuring a design we love, making it our top recommendation for German Shepherds 80 pounds and under.
We emphasize this because very large German Shepherds probably will not fit. The product name mentions “50 to 90” pounds, but in our opinion, 80 pounds is really the cut-off (maybe even 75 pounds).
While the outer floor of the doghouse rests directly on the ground, it features a raised interior floor. This, together with the angled awning over the entrance and the rear ventilation, ensures a comfortable interior throughout the year.
The other feature that makes the Petmate Aspen Pet Outdoor Dog House a worthy purchase is its ease of assembly. You do not need any tools to set up the dog house; it just snaps together. That means one person can handle the task in a matter of minutes.
MidWest Homes for Pets Eillo Folding Outdoor House
Best Wooden Dog House for German Shepherds
Looking for a beautiful wooden dog house that is high in quality? Our top recommendation is the MidWest Homes for Pets Eillo Folding Outdoor House.
We suggest purchasing the large version measuring 28. 94L x 45. 16W x 33. 12H – inches, which should be suitable for German Shepherds up to 80 pounds. The dog house is also available in medium and small. For every size, there is also the option to purchase an insulation kit.
The house features an eye-catching design with a sun motif in the upper left corner, the rays directing the eye to the offset door. The elevated base ensures your pet stays dry, while an adjustable foot helps you get the installation level.
And guess what else? You can assemble the dog house without the aid of tools.
Anything else you should know about the MidWest Homes for Pets Eillo Folding Outdoor House? We do want to mention that the floorboards have pretty significant cracks between them.
This boosts summertime ventilation but may make the house a bit chilly during the winter. So, we would suggest this doghouse primarily for warmer locales.
ASL Solutions Insulated Dog Palace
Best Insulated Dog House for German Shepherds
If you live in an area where climate control is a top concern, the doghouse to consider for your German Shepherd is the ASL Solutions Insulated Dog Palace.
The dimensions listed for this product are 47.5 x 31.5 x 38.5 inches. What we love about this dog house is that it is ideal during summer and winter alike, thanks to its intelligent features and versatile design.
The 4" Styro/EPS foam insulation is built-in, so you do not need to add any insulation yourself. It helps to maintain a warm interior during the winter and a cool interior during the summer.
Windows allow for cross-ventilation during the warmer months of the year, but you can close them during the winter so that heat will not escape from inside.
Along with these great features, the doghouse also includes a raised floor and a drain hole, further increasing its comfort in any climate.
Petmate Indigo All-Weather Protection Dog House
Best Igloo-Style Dog House for German Shepherds
Looking for an igloo-style dog house made of sturdy plastic for your German Shepherd? Consider the Petmate Indigo All-Weather Protection Dog House measuring 43.8" x 34" x 25.8".
This dog house makes a particularly suitable choice if you live in a climate subject to a lot of precipitation.
The floor is raised off the ground, while side modes help to drain any water that your dog tracks in. The door is offset, and the shelter's shape helps keep it warm and dry in the back.
At the same time, you do not need to worry about this German Shepherd outdoor shelter overheating in the summer, thanks to the conveniently placed roof vent.
Confidence Pet XL Waterproof Plastic Dog House
Best Plastic Dog House for German Shepherds
One more high-quality plastic dog house worth considering for your German Shepherd is the Confidence Pet XL Waterproof Plastic Dog Kennel Outdoor House.
This product features 41 x 38 x 39 inches external dimensions and an entrance measuring 14 x 24.5 inches. At 29.5 pounds, it is also ultra-lightweight, making it portable and easy to place.
Note that this is the extra-large version of the product, which is also available in medium, large, and 2XL.
Assembling this product is simple. When complete, you will love how stylish this dog house is with its plastic pattern to look like traditional house siding and roof shingles. You can pick grey, brown, or green for the roof.
This house features a pair of air vents to ensure your German Shepherd does not overheat in the summer.
That wraps up our list of recommended dog houses for German Shepherds. No matter your climate or your needs concerning portability, maintenance, assembly, and style, there is a dog house out there that is perfect for your pet. To get your German Shepherd the ideal outdoor shelter, click on any of the links in this post.