How to tag dog house?

IMO man_made makes sense for dovecotes because they can be both separate buildings and parts of ones. I don’t think there are buildings with dog kennels built into the architecture though. It’s always a separate, individual building. Except maybe in animal shelters or boarding places, but that’s not really what we are discussing.

We should not use “building=*” for things that are too small for people to enter.
I would oppose that this is a good idea to change the Wiki without longer discussion.
See contributions above:
SomeoneElse Link
and Grass-Snake Link

What’s the next? building=birds_house?


We should not use “building=*” for things that are too small for people to enter.

my concern with the typical dog house is that it isn’t made of sufficiently durable material to call it a “building”. Most dog houses I have seen were big enough for someone to enter them (not standing up of course) because small dogs won’t get a dog house, they will sleep on a carpet or mattress inside

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I already meant “enter” and not “crawl in” :wink:
From a certain size one can discuss it

I already meant “enter” and not “crawl in”

I meant crawling is fine, also required for some buildings that house technical equipment

Without getting into the “building” aspects, I offer perspective on whether “kennel” is better chosen. In British English, as @SomeoneElse has said, “kennel” might be the right word to describe a small structure where a dog takes shelter in a yard, but in American English, “kennel” is (always) specifically a “boarding facility for animals” (very often, dogs). “Kennel” in American English never means “small structure where a dog takes shelter in a yard,” it always means “boarding facility.” So to avoid that (potential or actual) ambiguity, IMO “kennel” isn’t a good word for OSM, despite our propensity towards British English vocabulary.

And I appreciate that @SomeoneElse advises that “dog_house” could work in OSM, even as it is not especially a British English language element (except for the sense he notes of “being disapproved of,” as the phrase “in the dog house” is identical in American English) — similar to how “sidewalk” also isn’t especially British English, but it does get used in OSM as it “better disambiguates.”

This project isn’t always easy, but with sufficient discussion, just about anything is doable! Thanks for good discussion, everyone.


I agree that there should be a limit as to what is tagged as a building and what isn’t. In this case though I assume it would be similar to a shed, which in that case some are only tall enough for children to comfortable enter them while standing up. Yet we still use building=shed.

I assume anything that is to small for humans either wouldn’t show up on satellite images or be indistinguishable from barn/shed if they did anyway though. So it would really have to depend on a local mapper having local knowledge that the building is specifically for dogs, which in that case we can’t tell really tell them they are wrong or not to use the tag anyway :man_shrugging:

User Pedja modified the wiki yesterday morning, just over a day ago.
I’m going to revert his edit, this tag is too rarely used to be the common value.

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If there is no other way to tag this, it is ridiculous to remove method that is acceptable making people either not tagging such objects at all or inventing various other ways tagging them thus making more mess.

Any tagging method that sufficiently describes mapped object is better than none. And it is certainly better to have one that maybe is not ideal solution than none or, even worse, more different tagging methods. When we have one method people would use it, and if sometimes in future better tagging is agreed upon, then it would be easy to replace tagging info.

What you did is clear message that we actually should not map dog houses, which is very wrong per se, and especially considering what other ridiculous stuff is mapped in.

So, until you propose better way to tag this, and it is agreed upon, you should not force your opinion on others.

If you do not know how to designate a particular object, look at how similar objects are designated and do the same. Why don’t you like the dovecote tag? Perhaps it makes sense to do the same, especially since there are few dog kennels?

I agree with this. It might make sense to hybrid US-UK terminology:

  • dog_house for small (often wooden) buildings intended for one, maybe two, dog (similar to a shed but smaller)
  • kennels for larger building (usually built with brick or concrete) which houses multiple dogs, sometimes in separated pens/cages/rooms.

@Casey_boy’s suggestion aligns with my (US-perspective) of how “dog_house” is the colloquially-used morphology in US English, whereas “kennel” (in British English) can mean the same thing as dog_house does in US English, but “kennel” can also (in both dialects) mean “housing for multiple dogs in a larger building, sometimes in separated pens/cages/rooms.”