6 Outrageous Doghouses
Dogs never had it so good
Sometimes being sent to the doghouse isn't so bad, especially if you are a pampered pooch lucky enough to have one of these pads. The family dog used to have to while away his time in a wooden box. Doghouses have come a long way, though, and today's models are usually made of waterproof plastic, or if your dog has a chewing problem, pressure-treated wood in cedar and other attractive species. Today's dog can also enjoy a heated dog bed, a customized nameplate, and even air conditioning in his once-humble abode.
But in life there are always those that have to be top dog. These six doggie dream homes lead the pack in terms of sheer opulence and, some would say, indulgence.
Inspired by the press coverage of Bo, the Obamas' dog, Sustainable Pet Design and several of its suppliers created Summa Canum (Latin for "top dog") to promote eco-friendly pet construction. The doghouse is modeled on Greek Revival architecture, the perfect complement to the White House, and is constructed of wood from Tennessee aromatic cedar trees that were planted by President Andrew Jackson along the driveway of his estate, The Hermitage, and were felled by a tornado year later. It has a green roof and is coated in zero-VOC paint. It will be presented to the Obamas by singer Neil Young, when he visits them riding LincVolt, a 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible that is being converted into a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Want to incorporate south-of-the-border style into your yard? This pricey hacienda was built for model, actress, and reality TV host Rachel Hunter's pooch. A similar model can be custom built with amenities including terra cotta floors, running water, lighting, air conditioning, and heat. It can also be made large enough for children and dogs to play in together. Setting you back $25,000-$50,000, it's available from Beyond the Crate.
This pup tent is a true palace. Inspired by tents used by Genghis Kahn and his Mongolian officers and measuring 22 inches wide by 25 inches deep by 30 inches high, it is topped with a gold finial and ostrich plumes, designating royalty or high rank. It can be custom designed with a range of fabrics and finishes for about $4,895 by Beyond the Crate.
Believe it or not, that snuggly fur ball you call the family dog is directly descended from big bad wolves. So don't be surprised if Spot prefers something more rugged than that sparkly pink dog bed you bought him. Canine Fine Art Caves builds structures that help your dog get in touch with his inner beast. Made of TerrierRock—faux stone made of reinforced papier mache—the caves have a durable four-layer wall construction that helps keep a dog warm and dampens sound. Each has a hand-dressed arch created from wood salvaged on western Vancouver Island and is stamped with a paw print from Scottie, the company's canine president. Scottie's Fine Art Caves offers them starting at about $2,500 for a small cave.
Hotel heiress turned reality star Paris Hilton knows about pampering. So, when she decided to team up with interior designer Faye Resnick to build her many dogs a house, she included every amenity. The two-story mini-mansion was constructed to resemble Hilton's own California home. It features a balcony, miniature Phillipe Starck furniture, a black crystal chandelier, black ceiling moldings, and a heater and air conditioner. The first floor is the living room, while the upstairs contains a closet and bedroom.
This place really has gone to the dogs. Currently being built for two Great Danes in Gloucestershire, England, it will feature sheepskin-lined, temperature-controlled beds, a $250,000 sound system, and a 52-inch plasma TV. Automatic dispensers ensure the dogs, who each have their own bedroom, will always have chilled, filtered water and dry food available. Dog-vision webcams allow their owner, who has chosen to stay anonymous, to keep tabs on the pups as they frolic in the house or in their own private playground outside. To keep out the riff-ruff, a retina scanner ensures only the two dogs can enter the front door, and an 18-inch spa bath with a saline treatment will help their coats stay shiny. Designed by architect Andy Ramus, this little shack will only cost about $417,000.