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Dog House Sizing Guide – How To Pick The Right Size For Dog Houses

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Friday 6 March 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
dog house sizing guide
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Depending on the breed, age, and gender of your dog, they will all be different sizes. We have selectively bred them this way because then there is a dog compatible with every person and lifestyle. Therefore, we want to give our pups the right sized dog house. In this article, we will explain the requirements and why in this dog house sizing guide.

Each dog should not only have enough room to fit into their house but to stretch and move. Sometimes this can be difficult to gauge and you may need a little help. We will provide a sizing guide for your dog house so you can feel happy knowing you’ve given them the right comfort.

Why Does the Size of a Dog House Matter?

We have listed some of the key points as to why dog house sizing matters and why it is important to consult a dog house sizing guide.


As an owner, one of our priorities when owning a dog should be their comfort. Providing them with their very own dog house is a great start, but it should be somewhere they want to travel to and feel happy doing so. Providing the right space for them to walk into without the worry of banging their head or struggling to move around will aid this. Furthermore, when they lie down they should be able to easily stretch in any direction. Your dog should not feel cramped or confined in their dog house as if they do, why would they want to spend their time there?


Safety can be applied in two aspects, their feelings of safety in the dog house and their physical safety. If a dog house is too small, your dog may still attempt to get inside it. This could lead to muscle and joint pain over time which can cause your dog difficulties in walking. Furthermore, they are more likely to catch or slam their head on the door when they get up or go in. This could lead to bruising and swelling, all of which we want to avoid. A sense of safety, however, can be provided to a dog through an area that brings them comfort which is neither too large or too small.


The practicalities of moving and constructing the dog house somewhere suitable have to be considered as well. Furthermore, the area must be large enough for the dog to easily access the house without it being in the way of anything. It can be argued that if you have bought a dog, you should have enough garden space to place the dog house if it is needed. However, sometimes this is not the case.

How to Choose the Right Size of a Dog House

There are many different dog house sizing guides to choose from with their own methods and explanations. Here we have gathered some of the most recognized.

Breeding Business' dog house sizing formula
Our formula and method to picking the right size for your dog’s house.

Ashville NC Humane Society’s Method

Ashville NC Humane Society is an adoption center dedicated to the care of dogs, cats, and small pets. they created a dog house sizing formula specific for a medium dog house with the requirements of an offset entrance and slanted single-panel roof. The formula is:

  • Width – Your dog’s length with an 18-inch allowance
  • Length – Your dog’s length with a 12-inch allowance
  • Height (Low Side) – Your dog’s height with a 3-inch allowance
  • Height (High side) – Your dog’s height with a 9-inch allowance

Pros – This formula is very easy to do. Most people have a tape measure at home and a calculator or access to one on a phone. These are the only tools you’ll need for this. This makes it a relatively cheap checking method as well. All you have to do is measure the height and length of your dog and do a few calculations. You can easily note down the four side measurements in five to ten minutes. This is a brilliant way of calculating the size needed for your dog for this house and dog size.

Cons – Although this method is brilliant for ease and cost, it is too specific. It can only be used for a medium-sized dog for starters which eliminates over two-thirds of dogs and dog owners from participating. Furthermore, if you do not want a dog house with a slanted single-panel roof and an offset entrance, you will not be able to use this formula. It cannot be altered easily either because it would be guesswork on the door size and depth allowance. Furthermore, when relating it to smaller or larger breeds, again, it is not known what the allowance should be because a general number has not been given.

ABC Method

This formula is much more general and can be used to create a basic dog house. It works through the measurement of your dog’s height in inches, and this should be multiplied by the varying amounts below. This will provide you with the required spacing for the door, elevation, width, depth, and height. Cedar Dog House created this spacious guide for dog house sizing.

The A-B-C method:

  • A – The distance from the dog’s shoulder to the bottom of his chest.
  • B – The distance from the dog’s nose to flank, not including the tail.
  • C – Distance from the top of the dog’s head to his toes.

Which translates, in practical terms, to the below ideal formula:

  • Door – A + 1 inch
  • Dog house elevation – A divided by 2
  • Width – B minimum
  • Depth – B minimum
  • Height – C x 1.25 inches

Pros – This formula is clearly labeled in a step by step plan. It considers all the aspects of the dog’s body and is another cheap and easy method of measuring. All you need is a tape measure to measure the three areas of your dog and a calculator to complete the required sums. This process should take ten minutes to complete so it is not time-consuming. Furthermore, this method provides the minimum requirements according to Cedar Dog House. This can be applied to any dog breed and size easily and quickly. It can also be used to understand the base space requirements for any type of dog house.

Cons – The sizing provided by Cedar Dog House is not the most adaptable as it depicts a standard sizing and shaped dog house. If you were interested in a rounded or corner dog house, the guide can still be used, but it is more difficult to apply. For example, if the distance from your dog’s nose and flank are 15 inches tall, you know the depth and width would have to be 15 inches. 15 x 15 gives you the required floor space of 225 sq inches. As long as this is applied, it may be argued that you could have a circular or corner based dog house. You are able to contact the company for advice on 1-844-339-8180.

Wood Magazine’s Method

A cozier formula is provided by Wood Magazine. It has an easy and simplistic formula that is specially tailored to dogs in colder environments. All you need to do is measure the height and length of your dog and complete a few sums. The formula is as follows.

  • Height – Dog’s Height x 2
  • Width – Dog’s Length x 3
  • Depth – Dog’s Length x 3

Pros – This formula is another easy one to follow one with simple and clear instructions. You only require the provisions of a tape measure, your pooch and, you guessed it! A calculator. Three easy sums and you have the dimensions for the dog house appropriate for your dog. Furthermore, these are not difficult dimensions to measure, your dog’s length and height are not intrusive and can be done very quickly. This is the perfect box if you live somewhere cold as it is small, snug and will be less difficult to heat. In larger dog houses, the heat will escape quickly and it may take a long time to warm it up. This dog house sizing guide will give you the cozy dog house that you need.

Cons – Having a smaller dog house comes with quite a few cons. Firstly, your dog may be able to fit inside but are they getting the room they need to stretch? They may also be more likely to be uncomfortable or have trouble getting in and out of the entrance. Furthermore, there is a chance of injury. If your dog is known to get over-excited or can be clumsy, this may not be the most appropriate choice for you. Upon hearing a noise and getting excited too quickly, your dog may bang their head or catch their paws on the entrance, or even slip. Be aware of your dog’s temperament and reactive state before deciding on the appropriate dog house sizing guide.

Ontario Humane Society’s Method

The final dog house sizing guide on our list is by the Ontario Humane Society and is orientated around giving your dog enough space.

  • Floor space – 36 x dog’s height (from floor to shoulder)
  • Height – 1 or 2 inches + complete sitting height
  • Hall – Dog’s height multiplied by (dependant on their height but average is 12)
  • Doorway – check on their scale on the website, changes with height
  • Roof and Platform – These two are the same, but there is no common formula.

Pros – This dog house is also very roomy, there is no chance when following these recommendations, that your dog will not have enough rooms to stretch and stand. This dog house sizing guide truly has dog ethics and happiness at heart! Moreover, they have considered every possible aspect that could affect your dog, from the hallway to the platform. Each has recommended sizing instructions and example dog breeds, displaying a brand that cares about its consumers.

Cons – Unfortunately, this formula does not work well for practicalities. The large size that is recommended, especially for large breeds, is often not practical. The large size of the dog house may not work in your garden and may take up running space for your dog. It can also be argued whether this amount of space is actually needed. For example, if the height is twice the dog’s height, they may be able to reach on their back legs inside the house. This is not always necessary for just an area to sleep in. Furthermore, The large area of the dog house may not be easy to move if you are renting a property. If you have a large dog, the size of the dog house may not fit in your car or in the property’s garden, this can make moving that much more difficult.

Furthermore, this guide does not have a standard formula. Some areas of the dog house do, but the majority are confusing and you will have to check the website after each new measurement.

What is the Common Dog Sizing Method?

After speaking to several dog owners and brands, Breeding Business recommends a simpler standard dog house sizing method as follows:

  • Length – Your dog’s length x 2
  • Width – Your dog’s length x 3
  • Height – Your dog’s height x 1.75
  • Doorway – Your dog’s height x 1

Why Do People Use Our Dog House Sizing Method Most Commonly?

Owners use this sizing guide for dog houses more often than any others because of its ease and simplicity. It also has enough room for the pooch to stretch, avoid injury whilst not being so big it isn’t practical or cannot hold heat. Furthermore, it is adaptable and clear. All our guides have pros and cons, but many agree that this is an ‘all-rounder’ sizing guide and has the best combination of all the methods.

The sums used to calculate all the appropriate dimensions for your dog’s house are very simple multiplications. All you need to do is measure your dog’s height and their length and you are able to work out all of the required measurements. Furthermore, this is a very adaptable method due to its simplicity. If you want a rounded dog house, no problem! As long as you follow the instructions, you can adapt the shape however you like.

Furthermore, these measurements make an ideal dog house which is neither too big nor too small. They provide measurements that will allow your dog to stretch in any sleeping position they feel comfortable. These also allow your dog to easily walk in and out without the need of hunching over or squeezing in the body. But don’t worry, these calculations are not too big either. You should have little difficulty trying to warm up your dog’s house by following this method.

It is crucial that your dog has the right size house so they can be healthy and feel happy inside of it, especially if they are an outside dog. If your dog does not feel comfortable or safe in its confines, they may attempt to nest elsewhere in the yard. This can be a waste of money for you and a potential wrecked flowerbed. Furthermore, it leaves our companions feeling unhappy and not themselves. Find the right guide for you, your pup and both of your circumstances to make for a happier and easier life for you both.

One comment on “Dog House Sizing Guide – How To Pick The Right Size For Dog Houses”

  1. Julieanna

    How does the breeding process work? Do I owe the other dogs owner money for his services or do they generally just want one of the litter as payment I have a cane corso female and I am clueless on how breeding works.

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