How We Build It- Dog Houses
We won't take credit for the design, these dog houses we've been building are a modified version of what Karen Ramstead/North Wapiti Kennels builds for their sled dogs. We didn't feel we needed quite as heavy duty as they are building, and a slight change in material preference. Trust me, these houses are plenty heavy as they sit even with the redesign!
8' Pressure treated 4"x4" board
16' Pressure treated 2"x6" board
1- 3/4" 4'x8' sheet of plywood *we chose marine grade plywood* This sheet can build 1 house or become 4 roof sections
1- 4'x8' sheet of MDO board *fiberglass sealed board*
16' 1"x1" stick
1 box 1 3/4" self tapping deck screws
1 box 1 5/8" self tapping deck screws
2' 2"x4" pressure treated wood
Start with making the quick, easy cuts.
Take the 8' 4"x4" board and cut into 2 equal 4' sections. This will be the feet of the pallet we'll be building.
Next take the 16' of 2"x6" and cut into 2' sections. This will be the platform of the pallet.
Finally take the 16' of 1"x1" and cut into 24" sections (2 of these will need to be shortened to 21" sections). These will be what secures the walls together from the inside. Also shown here are the 2' sections of 2"x6" that will become the chin rest at the front of the house.
Continue making your cuts to construct the sides, roof, front, and rear sections.
The 2 sides will be 3' long with the front height of 24" and the rear height of 21". This will create a gradual slope to the roof.
The roof will be a 2'x4' piece of plywood. The front will be a square 24"x24" section. The rear will be a 24"x21" section.
To make the opening for the entry, we used the bottom of a "Home Depot" bucket to make the arch and drew straight lines down from that.
For best results you'll want to use a quality JIG saw. An extra set of hands is always welcome too!
If you choose to use the MDO board you will need to tape your cuts with simple painters tape to prevent the fiberglass from chipping as you cut. It is very simple material to work with other wise.
We chose the MDO board for weather resistance, longevity of the material, and most importantly chew resistance!
Build the pallet platform that the house will sit on. To do this take your two 4' sections of 4"x4" and place them 2' apart. Place the 2' sections of 2"x6" across the top making a deck. Secure using the long deck screws.
Next secure the 1"x1" sticks to the inside side walls (remember one wall will be opposite the other, a mirror image or they will both be built for the same side). You'll want to make sure they are flush to the outer edges of the wall. Use the shorter deck screws for this step to prevent pushing through the outside of the wall.
Secure the rear wall to the two sidewalls using the short deck screws. Do not secure to the deck yet!
Secure the front in the same manner that you secured the rear.
Line up the rear of the box to the rear of the deck and then secure, we recommend using long deck screws for this step.
Attach the chin rest using long deck screws. This will add stability to the front of the structure, helps keep straw in, and the dogs love having a place to rest their heads.
Place the roof, we prefer to leave about an inch overhang off the rear purely for somewhere to grab when moving the unit and a bit of a drip overhang. Secure with the shorter deck screws into the 1"x1" on the sides.
At this stage we like to take some outdoor spray paint and seal the exposed edges of the walls, just to prevent weather damage.
Repeat as needed! Congratulations you have a completed dog house that your sled dogs will LOVE and that will LAST!
If you have any questions about the construction of these houses, please feel free to contact us! We'd be happy to help!
From The Trail To The Ring
With spring officially gracing the Inland Northwest, we can safely say our racing season is over and trail time is getting more and more limited. Not much left to do but pack up the sled and settle things in for some light cart runs and approaching summer show circuit.
Follow us through some pics from the trail and what is yet to come!
With the addition of Weaver and the girls, Kenna and Enya, coming of age we were able to start training a 6 dog team. With Denali out showing with Soni Jager, Juneau got to have some early season harness time.
With Denali home, a finished AKC CH, Juneau was able to retire and the team continued to build. Mason decided to chunk up (bad musher for overfeeding!) so conditioning training was our first priority...lets hope we can keep that from happening next season!
Our first race as a 6 dog team in our own 'backyard' and frequent training ground yielded us a second place finish. A great time was had by all who participated!
Snow fell rather late in our area which made training interesting. As long as trail conditions were safe we could run the cart. Harvest joined the team and made our team that much stronger!
The first time Team Keahi used the sled and experienced real snow was our first race in West Yellowstone Montana! Placing 4th overall in the race, we can't say we're displeased with the results!
Our first training run with the sled came in late January. Driving to find snow was a bit of an inconvenience, but worth it every single time! Hoping the weather is more cooperative next season!
Having gotten pretty disappointed in local winter conditions, and numerous race cancellations, we packed up and headed to West Yellowstone. We spent a week of fun with some of our local mushers who had sparked the idea and had a great time training!
So what's on the horizon? Rogue has been brushing up to be a show dog! Having completed Conformation Handling class, we plan on seeing how she does this spring/summer in the show ring. We already know how she does in harness!
Enya also plans on seeing about making a small splash in the show ring as well. She's come strides in harness, now is the time to get her showing and maybe, just maybe even finished.
Growing up in Montana my love of the Siberian Husky started at a young age. It has been quite a journey so far. There has been much to learn and still a lot more yet to learn! I truly believe that we are never too old, too experienced, or too full of ourselves to learn something new. I also believe that knowledge is useless unless we are willing to share it with others.