Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I was just thinking about writing about long roofs on my dog's houses and I read Lynn's post and she said it for me! Thanks Lynn!
It definitely makes a huge difference. With the overhanging roof, the dogs don't drag much snow into their houses and it keeps the wind at bay. Another BIG advantage is that a male dog won't pee right at or inside the door of the dog house! With the overhang they don't want to kind of squat under it to pee!
When cleaning out dog houses in the winter I use a short ended rake. I can put the rake directly into the house and pull out all the old straw. Tom McGrane uses a small hand type rake which you can get at a gardening store. It is used to churn up the soil but does a great job at grabbing the straw in the houses.
This last warm spell followed by an extreme cold spell is really hard on straw!! I try to keep all the houses cleaned out when it is warmer for it is hard to chip out the straw after it freezes solid. I was truly surprised that after the warm spell, the houses with the overhangs weren't damp at all....my ones with just the open door were soggy and I had to change them all out.

I have also learned when making my dog houses that I put the door higher than "normal." You can get a very deep layer of straw in there without it pouring back out the door or the dogs dragging it back out with their chain as they go in and out. The one draw back is that often a dog will hits it's snap hook on the bottom of the opening and it will pop open. I have often come home to dogs running loose with their chain inside their house! It doesn't happen too often and I'm glad that I have a fenced yard....but you might consider Swedish snaps if you go this route.

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