But, once in a while, they do like to warm up and get away from the winter. They have several options. For days when it is not overly cold, just snowy, they can use their summer houses, which have new straw about a foot deep. The houses protect them from the wind and snow, but are not insulated or warm. There are several plastic shells from the 1000 litre totes with holes cut in them and lots of fresh straw. Those are good for colder days, being entirely sheltered from any wind at all.
And then there is dog city. Inside the straw bale fort, are 5 houses filled with straw. Around them is straw and then there is a plywood roof with straw as well. They only use these when it is very cold.
But the barrel house is popular for the two female Maremmas. They are smaller and can easily crawl inside and turn around or curl up. In dog city, there is one barrel and there is one on its own.
To construct the dog house, simply cut through the top of the barrel. For the outside one, I left the flap of the cut to act as a wind screen. The dogs are smart enough to know how to move it just enough to wiggle inside. Then, there is a lot of straw on the ground under the barrel and two pieces of wood to keep it from rolling, on either side of the bottom. There are straw bales surrounding the barrel house as well and a roof too. Once inside the flap shields the wind and keeps the warm air the dog generates inside. If I put my hand inside after a dog has been sleeping in the house, it is noticeably warmer than outside.
They also have an insulated house with a light bulb, but none of the dogs use it. Go figure. If I could find a bit of a larger barrel (these are 50 gallon sized), then it would do for the bigger dogs, but the pups who were raised with the sheep sleep with the sheep most of the time at night and the other two dogs sleep outside most of the time. They like to be able to run at a moment's notice when they are on duty. I love those dogs!