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I am looking at outdoor shelters--dog houses and igloos etc and wondered if anyone had recommendations. I have a 5 year old GSD, whose previous life was usually in a large kennel, but she is now a house dog. I'm in Southern California so it doesn't get real cold, but summers can be hot. I have been crating her if I'm gone for a few hours, but I need to be able to leave her outside for longer sometimes and I think she would do better with a 'place' to be. The kennels had large igloo type houses, but I don't know what brand. She isn't much a chewer and uses a karanda bed in the house.
 

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My dad just makes all his outdoor houses, kennels, coops, sheds. It's pretty easy, and you can make it the way you want, but it does take time. Anyway, that's just an idea. I'm sure it's cheaper just to buy one.
 

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In your climate I would be more concerned with providing a cool shady spot that has protection from rain and keep water drained away.We use a garden shed for an outdoor kennel for our three.Take a look at the smaller patio sized storage units as an alternative to a dog house.
 

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Great suggestions--thank you! The little kennel enclosure would also keep her safe from eating/chewing stuff the back yard. The shade aspect will become important as whether heats up.
 

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Tractor Supply Kennel. build a base from a weather resistant lumber (look for something that isn't soaked in poison). Most kennel can have a top installed and reflective tarps to block the sun.
 

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An igloo or dog house will be uncomfortable in heat, even on a rainy day, the problem is they won't go in them if it is too hot, and it is raining. I made caves for my dogs, by using treated 4x4s and 4x8 sheets of marine plywood. I made them 8 foot long, by 4' wide by about 40 inches high. And I used 3 2x4 by eights to put the first board of marine plywood on. And in my neighborhood there is snow and stuff, so I put a dog house or two in them. They could go on top of them or in them.

Another thing I do in the summer is to put a sun screen over a section of the kennel. Rain will come through, but it will also give so much difference in temperature when hot. That and a swimming pool in there keeps them very happy in the summer Our winters can be very cold, and our summers very hot. The last picture shows sun screens on the fencing providing shade, but I also run it across the top of some areas.
puppy kennel 2019_IMG_5267.jpg

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An igloo or dog house will be uncomfortable in heat, even on a rainy day, the problem is they won't go in them if it is too hot, and it is raining. I made caves for my dogs, by using treated 4x4s and 4x8 sheets of marine plywood. I made them 8 foot long, by 4' wide by about 40 inches high. And I used 3 2x4 by eights to put the first board of marine plywood on. And in my neighborhood there is snow and stuff, so I put a dog house or two in them. They could go on top of them or in them.

Another thing I do in the summer is to put a sun screen over a section of the kennel. Rain will come through, but it will also give so much difference in temperature when hot. That and a swimming pool in there keeps them very happy in the summer Our winters can be very cold, and our summers very hot. The last picture shows sun screens on the fencing providing shade, but I also run it across the top of some areas.
Wow. you must have a lot of dogs according to the pics!
 

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Wow. you must have a lot of dogs according to the pics!
I have had as many as 28 -- 22 regulars, and some puppies. Now I have just 11, 12 if you add Vera, and a few puppies. Odie is 12, Joy 10.5 and Bear will be 10 in March. Hepsi is almost 9, and then Cujo2 and Karma are going to be 7 at the end of the month. So half of my dozen are pretty much trained and do not need a ton of exercise. The rest of them are youngsters though. Ramona is almost 4, Kojak, 3, Tinny not quite 2, Uzzi and Kaiah are both 1, and Vera is 4 months old. It's only a lot of dogs on toe-nail day.
 

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I have had as many as 28 -- 22 regulars, and some puppies. Now I have just 11, 12 if you add Vera, and a few puppies. Odie is 12, Joy 10.5 and Bear will be 10 in March. Hepsi is almost 9, and then Cujo2 and Karma are going to be 7 at the end of the month. So half of my dozen are pretty much trained and do not need a ton of exercise. The rest of them are youngsters though. Ramona is almost 4, Kojak, 3, Tinny not quite 2, Uzzi and Kaiah are both 1, and Vera is 4 months old. It's only a lot of dogs on toe-nail day.
For sure! Wow, I can't even imagine having so many dogs!
 

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For sure! Wow, I can't even imagine having so many dogs!
Yeah, some folks with one or two kids can't imagine having 4 or 6 or more kids. I was one of six kids. And being an only child might mean parents are running you here and there, and helping with school, and going to parent/teacher conferences until you are out of high school. And being the fourth of sixth means, as much as you see of your mom is when she spits on her finger and cleans the dirt off of your face with it, really the experience of having a bunch of siblings is not so bad in itself. Parents can love six kids as much as other parents love one.

Dogs are a whole lot easier than kids. A dog alone in a back yard is likely to whine, cry, dig holes, chew everything, even hurt itself. A dog with even a cat or bird in the vicinity is not as alone. I'm a breeder. So I am going to have more dogs than average. If you are good, you want to develop a line, this means, having young dogs that you let grow out, but may not be used for breeding. It means taking a dog back and either rehoming it, or keeping it, if it does not work out in its first home. It means, for some of us, hanging on to your breeding stock until death, so that we know how they aged, what problems they developed, how long they lived, and because we love the. It means sometimes taking a dog back, or keeping a dog because of a health issue that we do not want on our buyers.

In 14 years I raised 36 GSDs to at least a year. I currently have 11. Babs, Jenna, Heidi, Milla, Ninja, Quinn, Gretta, Mufasa, Dubya, Arwen, Whitney, Tori, and Izzy, have passed. So I have homed a bunch, Lola(Beansie), Dolly, Hannah, Hermione, Nicki, Nina, Nder, Oscar, Ingrid, Lassie, Sacha and Sherry. There were a couple I've rehomed Gennavive and Ringo that I did not have a day, I transported them from their first owner to a trainer and then they went to their new homes. But mostly, whether I let them grow out, or if they came back to me, I had them for an extended period, and some I took to classes, and all have built a relationship with.

Currently, Odie, my oldest was imported at almost 4 years, I have her because she was the dam of Mufasa and I have Ramona out of him and Kaiah is his granddaughter, so I do want to see how she fares. Joy was the one I kept out of Jenna's first litter. I trained her in rally and agility and conformation, but at two she came back with terrible hips. No surgeries were necessary. She'll be 11 in July, and they are starting to hurt her now. Bear was out of Jenna's second litter and she has had 5 litters for me, (I,O,Q,S and T) She is in with her last baby, Tinuviel, who is almost 2, who I am letting grow up before I make a decision on. But I kept Bear to watch her age and because she is just a spectacular bitch. Confident, healthy, good and a pleasure to have, good momma bear.

Hepsi is next and I never bred or homed her because of her hips. I just kept her, loved her. Took her with me to watch my sister's kids. Now she is in with Kaiah, and doing fine. Didn't need surgery. She probably would have made a nice pet for someone, like Joy. But, you don't know if they do have a problem, generally I'd rather take care of them myself, but it means I have more dogs. Cujo2 was returned to me at 18 months. The guy who had him was in his 80s and he and his wife had to move in with his sister. She said he could bring the little dogs, but not the big one who sheds. So I went and got him. He's seven now. They neutered him, so he was never bred. Just a pet, and in with Uzzi a pup out of Karma's litter last year that I am letting grow out.

Karma is Cujo2s littermate, a Jenna/Gispo puppy. She has had 4 litters for me. P,R, U,V. I have Ramona out of the R litter with Mufasa, and am hoping she will be a good breeding bitch for me. She is in with Kojak. (Uzzi is out of Karma and Kojak, so a half-sister, and Kojak is not closely related and brings a lot of different dogs to the table). And I have a Karma/Mufasa bitch-pup/Kojak puppy -- Kaiah. She is a little over one and has all the great dogs in her. Karma brings Jenna and Gispo, Jenna -- Arwen and Dubya, Gispo -- 2xVA1 Vegas and VA1 Xara, and Mufasa who is out of Odessa (my import out of Vegas) and Herko -- Mufasa was 3-3 on VA1 Pakros. Kojak is out of Panzer and Tavetti and he brings in Quenn von Loer Weg (sp?) and Zamp vom Thermodos, and some dogs that are good dogs back their with my dogs like Whiskey and Elsa and some others. Kaiah is like my masterpiece, inside and out, like her grandsire, and if I breed Ramona to Kojak, that should be a nice uniform litter very similar.

I know what each of them likes. Uzzi and Tinnie are water-dogs, they have swimming pools. I know how to tell them what I want. I get what I want from them. They are all special in their own way. And each will stab my heart when they go. Like Odessa, and Joy, time is not on their side. No year can be as bad as last though.
 

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Some folks rehome a bitch at six whether they have bred them or not. It provides people with a nice pet that should have several good years, and the breeder will have fewer dogs. I rehomed Lassie at six, but she did not have a litter for me. For now, I like to keep the dam if I have used them for breeding. Just a personal preference.
 

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It sounds like you are quite competent! 36 is a lot of dogs...
But it is over 14 - 18 years. As Arwen was 4 years old when she had her first litter, my first litter. Some of them I had for just a year or so, some 2-3 years, before I let them go to new homes, and Lassie was 6 and dolly almost 7. Thought Dolly was a special case. She came back to me after her family did serious physical damage to her, and the kids were habitual at teasing her which was what the lady told me that had her. I had to let her heal. She wouldn't even look at me when I got her back. I gave her time, and I let her body heal. I was heart broken by what happened to her. I gave her space.

A year later Dolly was a different dog. She loved me. I was able to take her to training. She was a great dog. I had her litter sister Bear, and she had a home with me for life. No problem. When she was almost seven a friend of mine had a relative looking for a dog. They had an aging Labrador and a three year old little girl. They wanted a shepherd that was related to her dog who was another litter sister of Dolly. I agreed to take her to my friend's house about two hours away, and they came up from the southern part of the state, about 3 hours away.

Dolly started following the little girl and was really careful and good with her. She had been around my nieces, so I wasn't worried about her. They strapped the girl into the car seat, and put the dog in the back seat with her and drove 3 hours home. She has been awesome with the girl from that moment. It was interesting with the Lab, but it seems the managed that ok.

Some of them stay with me, and are trained, I had a CGC on Dolly, but hadn't gone for titles with her. Others like Oscar and Nder went home before I got them trained. I titled a bunch of the dogs. That's tapered off the last few years. My trainer retired, and getting the pups up to Painesville to classes, when they are young and barfing in the car, well. It's funny, Kojak gets car sick. Moofie never did. Quinnie didn't. I can't remember if Tinny did or not. Most have had at least one set of classes though. You'd think I would be obedient by now.

12 years ago, I titled Babs and finished Arwen and Rushie's titles and started Jenna's, in July. By the end if the summer I finished Jenna's. And titles Heidi and Whitney's in December. The following year I titled Tori and put a CD on Arwen, and the following August I titled Ninja and Milla in August and watched Rally advanced. I thought I could do that, and in December titled Babsy in RA and Joy in an RN. Then I started working Joy in Agility, and conformation and got her her CGC. I think I put CGCs on 12 dogs during this time. And then I got out of it. Working. Driving my life away. Working weekends, and no money. I managed to put CGCs on Bear and Dolly, and then Mufasa and did his RN. But he died at 2.5, and that really put me in a tail spin.

I started working with Quinnie she was awesome. Out of Bear and Mufasa. I took her to the biggest show in the area and she was spectacular. Normally I qualify there, but the B-class is competitive and I am not. I'm fat and slow, and sometimes I make stupid mistakes. The dogs are great. I had a judge tell me that -- "the dogs are wonderful, I want to get them a new handler." But Quinnie placed on all three days. She was my best buddy. Ok, so was Babsy and Jenna. But Quinnie was my baby dog. Quinnie was just 3 years old when they gave me her death sentence. Oral cancer. I haven't been back to classes since I lost her. Kojak needs to go back, Tinny does. I haven't taken Uzzi to classes. Ramona who is just a little younger than Quinnie, had gone to a class, and it was a rally class, and I put her through a run when I had not even taught her to sit or down or anything. It was just a class, but I went through the course, teaching her each sign as I went, and when we went back through, she would have qualified. Such promise. And I haven't done anything with her.

It wasn't just Quinnie that was a little less than a year ago, last March. But I lost Jenna at almost 13 the previous July, and that wasn't all that long after Mufasa, and the Ninja and Milla in August, and Quinnie in March -- that was 5 months of the Fiery Pit, Babsy in May (almost 14), and Heidi in September at over 13. Babsy was titled 12 years ago when she was just under 2. And then I got an RA on her and then her CD. I took her to work with me. She and Quinnie slept in my bed. Jenna was Super-Mom, and more of an agility dog than an obedience dog. I used to take her for walks and play at play grounds, the skate park, I found things that were like dog walks, a-frames. I took her with me to watch my nieces, she or Babs or Hepsi, and they would let the little girls read ot them, or we would go to the park with them, or ride bikes with them.

Heidi was awesome too. I titled her one day with a first place, and almost every time she was in the ring she placed. That day that she titled in RA with a first, I moved her up to RE and she took first there too. And that was after a three year break. I had so much fun with them. And then started losing them bam bam bam. Moofy bloated and Quinnie had oral cancer, and the rest of them it was all old age. You can't blame the for dying. And certainly you can't complain when they are 13 or 14 years old. Even the two at ten, the Babs/Rushie littermates. They say don't get littermates because if you are lucky they are geriatric together and then pass around the same time, and it is twice the heartache.

I did not expect this to be a dead dog thread. But I am still trying to recover. Heck, I still think about Arwen just about every day. And Arwen is Kaiah's great, great grandmother. People think that you love them less if you have a lot of them.
 

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love reading your story Selzer"

and back to dog houses. Make sure when you are choosing your shelter that you look at your state and county laws. Some places just mention shelter, food and water needs to be available. Some places have very restrictive time limits and even detailed specs for dog houses.
 
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