A small dog emerges from a outdoor doghouse with steps to a fenced sun deck on its roof.

13 DIY Outdoor Dog Kennel Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 9/3/2021

Merry Products Wooden Dog House
Merry Products Wooden Dog House

DIY outdoor dog kennels give your favorite pup a place to rest and sometimes a safe space to run without your direct supervision. Ready-made models can get pricey, and they don’t always fit your needs or available space.

DIY dog kennels let you use your imagination to create a comfortable interior with an exterior that fits in with your style.

We’ve put together some DIY outdoor dog kennel ideas to inspire your own designs and a few that include plans to get you started right away. 


Double Dog Kennel


Why house only one pooch when you can build accommodations for two? This dog kennel borders on a backyard doggie retreat. You can buy the plans online and build this kennel with or without a porch.

Add an interior divider for dogs who need their own space or keep it flexible with a dual-entranced open plan. However, you may only need the inspiration to get started on a kennel of your own. 


Dog Kennel with Porch

If your property has a Little House on the Prairie feel, this DIY outdoor dog kennel could be perfect. A porch and windows offer plenty of ventilation and give your backyard a whimsical rather than a strict kennel feel.

You can buy the plans online and modify them based on your preferences. Think of ways to customize with paint colors, siding options, and shingles that match your house.


Large and Modern


This isn’t a traditional DIY outdoor dog kennel design. A corrugated sheet metal roof gives it a rustic modern appeal that’s outside the usual dog kennel vibe.

Give it a coat of paint to spice up the design or keep it rustic based on you or your dog’s personality. 


Log Cabin Style


A little inspiration goes a long way with this dog kennel. Log cabins blend well in both manicured and rustic landscaping. A simple opening and pitched roof give your dog a space to call his own, but the off-center entrance strays away from the traditional kennel.


Room With A View

Merry Products Wooden Dog House

A dog kennel can be more than a place to get out of the sun or rain. Pets love a good perch. Add a railing and stairs to give your dog a better view of the backyard and a place that puts him within reach for a good scratch. With a perch, the dog kennel goes from functional to a fun retreat.


Angled Siding

Wood Magazine

DIY outdoor dog kennel plans give you design freedom. Pre-made trims can be used to look like faux siding, transforming the dog kennel from a functional piece to an integrated part of your landscaping.

This is another model that features a porch, a popular addition to dog kennels. They stray from traditional designs and aren’t hard to add on. 


Doggie A-Frame


Weather extremes or a penchant for mountain cabins are two reasons a doggie A-frame might be more to your liking. If you’ve got leftover shingles from a previous project, this model can also save money on materials.


Classic A-Frame

You really can’t beat the classic A-frame dog kennel. Spice it up with fun paint colors or a locking door. It can also be used within a dog run or other enclosed spaces, so your dog can wander in a safe space unsupervised.

Plans a-plenty abound, each with their own take on this backyard staple. 


Wine Barrel Kennel


When we say “think outside the box” with this dog kennel, we mean outside any kind of box-like shape. Any watertight container with adequate ventilation and space for your dog to turn around can function as a dog kennel.

Why not a wine barrel? Make a door, get some bedding, and it’s ready for a private abode for small to mid-sized dogs. 


Green Dog Kennel

Eco-friendly designs aren’t just for the main house. Dog kennels can become completely unobtrusive when they’re made green. This design features a green roof, but you can expand the “green” nature of a dog kennel.

Driftwood, branches, and moss gathered from green spaces surrounding your home are the perfect place to start. Plant-life and gravel add a touch of whimsy while being eco-friendly and don’t disturb the outdoor appeal. 


Concrete Dog Kennel


Concrete has made a comeback in the home decor department. However, it has never lost its popularity in outdoor spaces. If you’re feeling adventurous, it offers a highly durable alternative for a DIY outdoor dog kennel.

You’ll have to tap into your architecture and sculpting skills. It starts with a wireframe and a messy process of filling every inch of the frame with concrete. Get creative with your shapes and make it in a space that’s easy to clean afterward. 


Barn Door Dog Kennel

Kennels can come with style and personality, like this model by Made with Happy. This particular design was made to complement a treehouse.

Adapt the plans to complement a chain link dog kennel, backyard pool, or patio space. Keep it classic or add color. The small porch gives it a homey feel that goes beyond a traditional kennel design. 


Keep It Light


This lightweight design gives you some flexibility in where you place the kennel. Maybe you want a kennel that you can move to the shade or away from the house when company comes over.

The size requires two people to move, but the weight maintains mobility for changing circumstances. Metal siding also offers excellent weather protection. With a little insulation, this design could be a great option in climates where temperature extremes require a little extra protection.