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Hang Out Your Shingle as a Dog House Designer

If you have woodworking experience, some basic tools and a bit of creativity, you can rake in the bucks as a Dog House Designer. While many people keep dogs indoors much of the time, dogs spend significant amounts of time outside too and need to stay warm and dry. You can help Max stay happy and healthy in a warm, comfortable, and stylish dog house!

What the Business Involves:
You'll be using woodworking tools such as saws, nails and paint to construct custom or standardized dog houses. You'll need to learn how to build a dog house (it's a good idea to buy dog house plans or borrow tested dog house designs to start with) and figure out to reach pet owners with money to spend on a Log Cabin for Fido or an air-conditioned chalet for Charlie.

Knowledge or Skills Required:
Some basic woodworking experience and familiarity with tools is required, as is access to woodworking tools. You need to be meticulous, detail-oriented, and focused on doing top-notch work. As a Dog House Designer, you could sell just a few stock designs (suitably proportioned for different sized dogs), and customize with paint or decorating.

If you choose to be more creative and sell custom dog houses - say, to match a pet owner's residence - you'll need the ability to communicate clearly with pet owners too and some sketching ability (if not formal drafting experience.)

Advantages of Being a Dog House Designer:

  • Little competition, especially for custom models; there are quite a few companies that sell Designer Dog Houses online but probably few in a particular geographic area
     
  • High profits possible, especially if you make heated or air-conditioned dog houses
     

  • You can work when you want, taking orders only when you have the time (or inclination) to fill them
     

  • Fun, creative hobby, plus you can see the results and feel the excitement of pets AND pet owners when you deliver their designer "home"

    Disadvantages of Being a Dog House Designer:

  • Materials can be costly, although since you use smaller quantities, you can take advantage of discounts, close-outs, salvage prices, et cetera
     

  • Time-consuming
     
  • May be a substantial learning curve, although that can be alleviated by using some of the dog house plans available below.

    Resources for More Information on Starting a Dog House Designer Business:

  • Smart Dog House Plansimage of dog house that can be build using this plan
    Three designs, immediate download, very detailed and thorough information, even for beginners, low cost for all the information you get!
     

  • Informative article on how to build a dog house
     
  • Here's lots of info on how one gentleman built his dog house; many photos!
     
  • Design & materials list for a simple A-frame dog house

    Comments/Ideas:
    Don't be too quick to price your custom dog houses until you've got a solid feel for the cost of the materials and the amount of time you'll spend. Your time and expertise are part of what the pet lover is paying for!

    Market yourself to an "upscale" clientele; your Dog House Designer business is geared towards people who can (and do) spend quite a bit of money on their pets.

    Learn about the factors that influence pet comfort and safety with regards to dog houses, too. For example, floors should be elevated off the ground and pets should have enough room to turn around.

    A good add-on business would be to build dog runs too.