With so many options and features to choose from, selecting the best German Shepherd dog house for your dog can feel only slightly less challenging than choosing your own house!
This is especially true if you are choosing a German Shepherd house for a GSD puppy who is growing fast.
You want to be sure the dog house you select can grow with your little pup as she grows!
In this article, we guide you through the process of picking the best dog house for German Shepherd Dogs.
German Shepherd Dog House Safety
These considerations can help ensure you select a German Shepherd dog house that is comfortable and safe year-round.
Your dog can get sunburned just like you can.
So you want to be sure your German Shepherd house provides sun protection as well as protection from rain, heat, and cold.
Raised flooring is an often-overlooked safety precaution to protect your dog from chronic dampness, mold, and bacteria.
Insulation and heating can be vital if you plan to use your new German Shepherd dog house outdoors in winter.
Ventilation is critical to keep your dog from overheating when temperatures heat up.
If your GSD loves to gnaw or chew, steer clear of dog houses made of materials that could cause injury if chewed or swallowed.
Avoid dog houses made of pressure-treated wood, which can be toxic if licked, chewed, or swallowed.
Make sure you also check out our guide to GSD chew toys, to help keep their mouths busy elsewhere!
German Shepherd Dog House Options
Today’s German Shepherd dog house is definitely feature-packed.
Here are the most common options to consider when selecting your GSD’s new dog house.
Plastic, metal, wood, composites of these, and cloth are the most common materials for dog houses today.
Each has pros and cons.
- Plastic is lightweight, easy to clean and durable. However, most plastic dog houses are not insulated, which can be dangerous when winter arrives.
- Wood can be problematic if your GSD is an aggressive chewer. Some types of wood (such as pressure-treated lumber) are also toxic to dogs.
- Metal is typically the heaviest type of dog house but is also the sturdiest and the most chew-resistant.
- Composite materials such as wood/plastic or wood/metal can combine benefits of other materials without their separate drawbacks.
- Cloth dog houses are easy and lightweight to handle. But they are usually only suitable for traveling or indoor use.
The three most common roof styles for large dog houses are:
- straight flat roofs
- angled flat roofs
- A-frame peaked roofs.
Some straight or angled flat-roofed dog houses can be propped open for extra ventilation and ease of cleaning.
Dog House Style
In addition to traditional rectangular and A-frame dog houses, you also have a choice of less common shapes. Such as the ever-popular igloo.
Does your dog likes to sleep all stretched out?
A rectangular German Shepherd house may be the best choice.
If your pup prefers to curl up, she may enjoy a rounded or igloo-style dog house.
If you plan to use your new dog house both indoors and outdoors, you will want to select something sufficiently easy to assemble and disassemble.
It also needs to be lightweight to carry and sturdy and protective against the elements.
If you plan to use both an indoor and an outdoor dog house year-round, you may want to consider purchasing one dog house for indoor use and a second weather-resistant, insulated dog house for outdoor use.
When evaluating a German Shepherd dog house for sale, always check to see what the floor is like.
Some dog houses have raised floors or removable floors, while others are fixed in place.
Raised floors are important for wet climates, and removable floors can make cleaning a lot easier.
Choosing the Right Size German Shepherd Dog House
If you are wondering what size dog house for German Shepherds is best, keep these general guidelines in mind.
The size of dog house for German Shepherd Dogs should always permit your dog to stand up, turn around completely, and lie down without restriction.
The German Shepherd dog house size you pick should be sufficiently roomy to allow for air circulation and ventilation in summer but not so roomy it will be too cold and drafty in winter.
Pay attention to both the exterior and interior dog house dimensions.
The former tells you how much space you need inside or outside your home to set up the dog house.
The latter tells you how much space your dog will have inside to move around.
If you plan to place a dog pad/bed, heating element, or cooling element inside your dog’s new dog house, be sure to factor in the overall height and size requirements for these accessories.
Otherwise, you may find your new accessories and your dog won’t fit inside together!
How to Measure Your German Shepherd for Perfect Dog House Sizing
To make sure the dog house you select is the perfect size for your pup when he is fully grown (even if he is still just a puppy right now), you need to take (or estimate) three key measurements.
Entry Height: Paw Pad to Shoulder Top
This first measurement tells you how big (high) your German Shepherd house door needs to be.
Measure your dog from paw pad to shoulder top.
Multiply that number by 1.25.
The dog house door needs to be greater in height than this number.
Interior Height: Paw Pad to Top of Head
This second measurement tells you how big (high) your German Shepherd house needs to be inside.
Measure your dog from paw pad to top of the head.
Multiply that number by 1.25.
The dog house interior height needs to be greater in height than this number.
Length and Width: Snout to Base of Tail
This third measurement tells you how long and deep your German Shepherd house needs to be inside so your dog can come in and out and turn around easily.
Measure your dog from snout to base of tail.
Multiply that number by 1.25.
The dog house interior width and length needs to be larger than this number.
Another way to calculate the minimum required floor space for your dog’s house is to take his height (paw pad to shoulder top) and multiply that by 36.
The number you get is the minimum square footage of floor space your chosen GSD house should provide, not including any front porch square footage.
Now let’s take a look at some great options for a GSD house.
Plastic German Shepherd Dog House
Each of these two plastic German Shepherd dog house options is popular with GSD owners for different reasons.
Igloo Shaped Dog House
This popular igloo-shaped dog house comes with a taupe cover and a black base.
It is treated with Microban to prevent sanitation issues.
The large size accommodates dogs from 50 to 90 pounds and the extra-large is for dogs weighing 90 to 125 pounds.
The offset doorway avoids drafts, and the top has built-in ventilation holes.
Inside, the raised floor with drainage exits controls moisture.
The thick walls help lock in warmth in winter and cool in summer.
You can also purchase an igloo-shaped dog pad (sold separately).
Doubled Walled Plastic House
This double-walled plastic dog house with an elevated floor retains warmth in winter and cool in summer.
This dog house is appropriate for dogs up to 125 pounds.
No tools required to assemble the dog house.
The roof comes off when it is cleaning time, and the exterior is treated with an ultraviolet light-resistant coating to extend its useful life.
There is also an optional winter door (sold separately).
Wood German Shepherd Dog House
These sturdy wood German Shepherd dog house products are sufficiently roomy to accommodate extra accessories as needed. Such as a dog bed or pad and a heating element for winter.
XL Wooden Dog House
The XL version of this dog house will accommodate dogs up to 95 pounds.
This rectangular wood dog house has an angled, flat, hinged roof that can be opened for extra ventilation or for cleaning.
The elevated floor sits on adjustable feet so you can alter the height as needed.
The material is weatherproof pine, assembled with a tongue-and-groove construction to eliminate drafts.
There is also an optional door flap (sold separately).
Large Wooden Dog House
This large size dog house can accommodate pups up to 28 inches tall and 150 pounds.
The flat slanted roof easily keeps rain and moisture out.
The roof lifts up from the outside for ventilation or cleaning.
The raised floor keeps your dog 4.13 inches off the ground for better air circulation.
Assembly is simple – all holes are pre-drilled, and only standard tools are required.
Be aware, this house is not for aggressive chewers.
Metal German Shepherd Dog House
These metal German Shepherd dog house choices each offer something special for outdoor playtime, indoor décor matching, or ease of indoor/outdoor transport.
Metal Heavy Duty House
This metal German Shepherd dog house is made of heavy-duty, rust-resistant steel with welded smooth edges.
The panels are easy to set up with the included clamps – no tools required.
The included waterproof tarp is also ultraviolet-resistant to extend its useful life.
The door is big enough for a person, so easy for entry and exit and cleaning.
There is no floor – this dog house sits right on the ground.
End Table Pet Crate
The plastic and wood polymer composite material this end table pet crate is made of will not rust, warp, split, or crack.
The dog house is constructed around a stainless steel frame that assembles without any tools.
This dog house can accommodate pups up to 100 pounds.
However, be aware it is not able to withstand heavy chewing.
Heavy Duty A-Frame House
This sturdy A-frame heavy duty steel wire dog house has a rust-resistant, chew-resistant, non-toxic coating.
The four rolling coasters make for ease of movement.
The roof opens from the outside. A set of two slide-out trays under the floor makes cleaning easy.
The XL size will accommodate a German Shepherd and owners say it is sturdy enough to resist aggressive chewing.
Cloth German Shepherd Dog House
These cloth German Shepherd dog house options make it easy to set up your dog’s temporary shelter when you are on the go.
All-Weather Portable House
This unique all-weather portable lightweight indoor/outdoor dog house comes with its own storage bag and mat.
The synthetic mesh fabric is breathable yet insulating to hold in warmth in winter and cool in summer.
The elevated floor allows for air circulation.
The large size bed is suitable for dogs up to 100 pounds. The XL bed is for dogs 100+ pounds.
Lightweight Portable House
This lightweight, portable, indoor/outdoor dog bed can double as a travel crate.
The frame is steel with a fabric exterior and mesh panel windows for ventilation.
The cover is machine-washable, and the base is water-resistant and simple to wipe down.
The dog bed folds up flat for storage or travel.
The 42-inch house is suitable for dogs up to 100 pounds.
Other German Shepherd Products
Preparing for a new German Shepherd is no easy job! There are hundreds of accessories and products to choose from – it can be pretty overwhelming.
So we’ve got a collection of the best German Shepherd product guides! Check them out below.
- German Shepherd brushes
- Shampoo for German Shepherds
- Best collars for German Shepherds
- German Shepherd toys
German Shepherd Dog House
We hope you have found this guide to choosing your German Shepherd dog house helpful and informative!
Do you have doubts about whether the German Shepherd house you are considering is sized correctly for your pup?
Reach out to your dog’s breeder or rescue shelter or to ask your veterinarian for guidance.
When you do select your GSD’s new dog house, please drop by and post a comment to share the house you chose and how your dog likes it.
We love to learn from our readers!
References and Resources
Gerganoff, C., et al, “German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard,” German Shepherd Club of America, 1994.
Chapin, S., DVM, et al, “Cold Weather Care for Dogs,” Humane Society of Utah, 2019.
Linkenheimer, R., DVM, “Creating a Dog-Friendly Yard,” River Valley Veterinary Hospital, 2018.
Follett, D., DVM, “Keep Pets Safe During Summer Heat,” Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital, 2018.
Overdeep, M., “North Carolina Vet Demonstrates How Cold Dog Houses Get in Below Freezing Temps,” Southern Living, 2018.