This article is from the Dog Supplies FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.
In general, your dog should sleep with you in your room at night.
However, you may still want to provide it with shelter, etc. if you
leave it outside while you are gone, for example.
A variety are available, and you can make your own. In general, look
for an elevated floor and sturdy construction. The dog house should be
placed where it will be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Be
sure it is not placed so as to assist escape over the fence. Many
dogs, particularly larger ones, appreciate a flat roof (make sure it
has a slight slope for drainage) that they can lie on when the weather
is hot. Do not be surprised if your dog does not use the dog house. If
you place bedding in the dog house, be sure to clean it frequently,
otherwise pests such as fleas will take up residence.
You may want to construct a kennel or a dog run for your dog. Use
concrete or pea gravel for the floor to improve drainage. Make sure
the run includes a roofed over area for shelter from the elements.
Clean out the pen daily to prevent worms and disease. Secure the water
supply so that the dog can't tip it over (try a galvanized bucket with
a double-ended hook to fasten it to the wall. If you use chain link
fencing, be sure to put runners through it if you will keep a bitch in
season in it to prevent mismating. The height should be sufficient to
prevent jumping or climbing; some breeds are better at this than
others. A reference to consult is:
Migliorini, Mario. _Kennel Building and Management_. New York, N.Y. :
Howell Book House, 1987.
Contains a bibliography. Useful tips on how to construct a dog run.
It's oriented toward commercial kennels, but contains lots of
useful tips for the dog owner.
Even if you keep your dog inside, you will want to restrain it from
certain areas of the house. A common way to do this is to use a
child-barrier. Pet stores and mail-order companies stock barriers
sturdy enough for bigger dogs. Examples of restraint might include:
keeping puppies in the kitchen or in areas where there is linoleum,
keeping young dogs in a specific room when going through the teething
stage, keeping your dog downstairs or in the basement, etc.
A common barrier used in dog shows is the x-pen. This is a
eight-sectioned, foldable heavy guage wire fence. The ends are clipped
together to form an approximate 4'X4' square area; or several x-pens
may be clipped together for a larger area. Do not leave a dog alone in
an x-pen; another person should always supervise a dog in an x-pen.
The exception is that this can be suitable to restrain a small puppy
with, especially if the x-pen is propped so that it cannot fall over.
A crate is another restraint, this has already been described above.
You should give your dog its own bed. Try folded up towels for young
puppies. There are a variety of beds for the fully grown dog -- try
any of them. Be careful with cedar-filled beds. There are reports that
cedar reacts with urine to produce poisonous fumes. You should not let
your dog sleep on the bed with you, instead insist that it sleep on
the floor next to the bed.