Farm Life: Dog Boxes

100_7492Marsha recently wrote about her trials with containing her dog, Sadie, whose energy is exuberant. I joked about needing a dog box for Sadie.  I best clarify what I mean by this.  The word “box” might confuse a dog owner to think that I am referring to a crate.  Crate training is a useful tool for dog owners to train their puppies to use at night, inside, and for travel.  A dog box is more like a dog house, but with a country style.  A dog house is a suburban variation of what the owner’s live it.  A dog box is usually assembled from spare materials from around the farm.  Well, maybe that also reflects the owner’s home…

P1040760When we got our first dog, Bella, about 5 years ago, I tried my hand and assembling a structure for her.  I found some 2×4’s, scarp T-111 board, etc.  I added an spare window, and even found a roof vent.  Lots of nails held her box together.  But, my miscalculation was that Bella is not a cave dwelling dog.  She would not go into it, no mater how many dog treats I put into it.  After about a year, we moved it out to the field for the goats to play in.


Dogs can be grouped into three basic categories: herders, hunters, and dust mops.  The third category live inside, so I shall leave them be.  Our dogs, Akita-mix and Border Collie/Lab-mix, are herders.  In the yard, they run about herding the cats.  Let them into the field, they will round up the goats.  They like open spaces to watch over their domain.


Hunting dogs, Blue ticks, Red Stripers, etc, often referred to Coon dogs, are training to chase critters.  Letting them loose at night in the field or woods, they will round up all the raccoons that they can find.  They will track them and tree them.  I know some young 100_7490men who look forward to the weekend to go coon hunting.  They have never brought me any coon for the crock pot, but their stories are good.  Once their dogs are trained on small game, they begin working on bear hunting.  Finding a raccoon up a tree is one thing.  Treeing a bear is another matter.

Coon dogs cannot be let loose, like herding dogs, if they are going to be useful for hunting.  They need dog boxes.  Some dog 100_7486boxes may be assembled, as I did, with scrap lumber, siding, and roof shingles.  Drive around the country, and notice other items that become recycled for dog boxes.

I liked this 55 gallon drum, turned on its side with one end removed.  Make sure it is secured, lest it roll down the hill.



If you look carefully, you can see that this 100_7491dog box is made from discarded road signs.  We particularly chuckled at the Do Not Enter sign being the door.

Well, Marsha, from your description of Sadie’s behavior, I suspect that she is more the herding type dog.  I doubt that she would lie still long enough to enjoy a dog box.  Good that you leave near that sandy beach on which she can run, run, run.

P. S.  I know that the hunting dogs are chained with their dog boxes within reach.  Some readers may not agree with chaining a dog.  I do not have hunting dogs, and did not get a dog until we had a fenced area for her and time to attend to her.  I do not wish to be making a statement about chaining dogs.  Paul Lenzi has a well written poem on the subject of how we treat our dogs.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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6 Responses to Farm Life: Dog Boxes

  1. Mother Suzanna says:

    Mystery solved! Now I know why Bella didn’t want to live in her ‘Up-scale” Dog Box! Now my REAL interest in his blog of information was the photo of Bella on the new porch. (I assume waiting for the car to come up the drive so she could be first to “herd it into the barn”!) I noticed a bit of the wooden rocking chair and realized that is where you put the two rocking chairs…on the upper level of the porch not down on the lower area! I believe you would say this bit of curiosity is on a par with your knowing that I will “like any museum as long as it is in an old mansion”! Get it?

  2. Sadly, Sadie is both a herding and a hunting dog. And talk about up-scale: she has truly taken over my writing/reading retreat. I found her in there sleeping the other day after I had unintentionally left it open. She probably liked the space, but she liked better that it is where she shouldn’t have been.
    Isn’t that a chair on top of the last dog box? Very clever for that feeling of companionship.
    Thanks for the dog box ideas!

    • hermitsdoor says:

      The last dog box is acutally designed to fit onto the back of a pick up truck (notice the port holes on the side). I think that rails around the top are for trying deer, bear, etc. onto to take them to the check station after hunting. You could probably sit up there too.

  3. Thank you for sharing a link to my poem.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      You bet. I’m not much on re-blogging, but do like to reference and include links in my blogs, when I have come across something that another blogger has written which relates to my part of the covnersation. Social networks are not about how many views and Likes you get, but the interactions that you build.

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