Keeping a dog outside-new england – page 1
A healthy GSD can take a lot of cold weather. I had a light layer of straw in each house and just packed them tonight as it is -3F. Still pretty warm but it can really drop anytime now and I know they have a good bed down. Usually on really cold nights below -30F I will repack the houses so the straw is like a den for them. Door flaps work well if the dog will keep it on. The problem with a igloo house is the door that is huge as you mentioned. The ceilings are too high and they are too big in general. Dog houses for really cold weather need to be small with small openings. The biggest factor is the roof height which needs to be ideally around 24″. This sounds too low but it keep the heat down where the dog is. The lip on the door opening of a dog house needs to be at least 6″ up from the floor to hold a thick layer of straw in.
If your igloo house is near a wall, face the door of the house towards the wall about 18″ away. This will help keep the wind out if you can’t keep a flap on the door. Also fill it to the roof with loose straw. Refill as the straw gets packed and in most of the weather you will see your dog will be fine. If you dog starts to loose weight and you have to bump his food intake to keep him looking good, your dog is probably getting cold and using too much energy to stay warm.
While I have not used this dog house, it appears to be one of the best on the market to keep a dog warm. They even sell a safe heater for it that uses a light bulb or a heating element that does not burn out. http://www.gundogsupply.com/dog-house.html If you never want to worry about this again this would be a good way to go in my opinion. Here is the heater link. http://www.gundogsupply.com/houndheaterii.html