What Is A Shutter Dog?

Shutter dogs are a type of hardware that is used to secure shutters in place on the exterior of homes. They are typically made from heavy-duty materials like wrought iron, brass, or bronze and are designed to withstand the elements, providing long-lasting function and durability. Shutter dogs are a popular choice for homeowners who want to add a decorative touch to their windows while also providing security and protection for their homes.

The History of Shutter Dogs: From Functionality to Decor

The use of shutter dogs dates back to the 18th century, when exterior shutters were used to protect homes from the sun, wind, and rain. Shutter dogs were initially designed to serve a purely functional purpose: to keep the shutters in place during harsh weather conditions. Over time, however, shutter dogs have evolved into a decorative accent that adds charm and character to homes. Today, they are available in a wide range of designs and finishes, from traditional to contemporary, making them a perfect choice for any style of home.

While shutter dogs were originally made from wrought iron, they are now available in a variety of materials, including brass, bronze, and stainless steel. Some homeowners choose to match the material of their shutter dogs to their door hardware or other exterior accents for a cohesive look. Additionally, some shutter dogs are designed to be adjustable, allowing for greater flexibility in the positioning of the shutters. Whether you choose functional or decorative shutter dogs, they are sure to add both style and practicality to your home’s exterior.

Different Types of Shutter Dogs and Their Uses

There are several different types of shutter dogs available on the market, each with its unique design and function. The most popular types of shutter dogs include the L-shaped, S-shaped, and scroll designs. L-shaped shutter dogs are the most common, with a simple design that is both functional and decorative. S-shaped shutter dogs are a more elegant option that is often used for more decorative purposes. The scroll design is a popular choice for traditional or historic homes, as it adds an ornate touch to the shutters.

Another type of shutter dog that is gaining popularity is the magnetic shutter dog. These are designed to be used with shutters that have no visible hardware, giving a clean and modern look to the exterior of the home. Magnetic shutter dogs are easy to install and remove, making them a convenient option for homeowners who want to change the look of their shutters frequently. They are also a great option for those who live in areas with high winds, as they provide a secure hold on the shutters.

How to Install Shutter Dogs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Installing shutter dogs is a relatively simple process that can be done by homeowners with minimal experience in home improvement. The first step in installing shutter dogs is to determine the location where they will be installed, usually on the panel or stile of the shutter. Once the location has been determined, drill a small pilot hole in the desired spot, and then attach the shutter dog with screws. Repeat the process on the opposite shutter to ensure symmetry.

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It is important to note that the size and style of the shutter dog should be chosen based on the size and style of the shutter. Larger shutters will require larger shutter dogs, while smaller shutters will require smaller ones. Additionally, the style of the shutter dog should complement the overall aesthetic of the home. Traditional homes may benefit from more ornate shutter dogs, while modern homes may benefit from simpler, more streamlined designs.

DIY Shutter Dogs: Making Your Own Customized Hardware

For homeowners who are interested in a more customized approach to their shutter dogs, DIY options are available. With some basic tools and materials, homeowners can create their shutter dogs that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Materials such as wood, metal, or plastic can be used to create unique designs that are both functional and decorative.

One advantage of making your own shutter dogs is the ability to match them to the style of your home. For example, if you have a rustic or farmhouse-style home, you can use reclaimed wood to create shutter dogs that have a weathered, vintage look. Alternatively, if you have a modern home, you can use sleek metal or plastic materials to create shutter dogs that have a more contemporary feel. By making your own shutter dogs, you can add a personal touch to your home’s exterior while also ensuring that your shutters are securely held in place.

Choosing the Right Shutter Dog Material for Your Home’s Exterior

Choosing the right material for your shutter dogs is an important consideration, as the material will impact the durability and appearance of the hardware. Materials like wrought iron, brass, and bronze are among the most popular choices, as they are durable, long-lasting, and offer a classic look. Other materials like plastic or wood can also be used, but they may not offer the same level of durability or aesthetic appeal as metal.

When selecting the material for your shutter dogs, it’s also important to consider the climate and weather conditions in your area. If you live in a coastal region with high levels of salt in the air, for example, you may want to choose a material that is resistant to corrosion and rust. Additionally, if you live in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations, you may want to choose a material that can withstand these conditions without warping or cracking.

Another factor to consider when choosing the material for your shutter dogs is the style of your home’s exterior. If you have a traditional or historic home, you may want to choose a material that complements the existing hardware and architectural features. On the other hand, if you have a modern or contemporary home, you may want to choose a material that adds a unique and eye-catching element to your exterior design.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Shutter Dogs: Tips and Tricks

Maintaining and cleaning your shutter dogs is an essential part of ensuring that they continue to function optimally and look their best. One of the most important things to do is to regularly inspect your shutter dogs for any signs of damage or wear, such as rust, chipping paint, or loose screws. Cleaning your shutter dogs with a mild detergent and water will help to keep them looking clean and bright, while also removing any dirt or debris that can lead to damage over time.

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Another important aspect of maintaining your shutter dogs is to lubricate them regularly. This will help to prevent them from becoming stiff or difficult to operate, which can cause damage to your shutters over time. You can use a silicone-based lubricant or a light oil to lubricate your shutter dogs, being careful not to over-apply and create a mess.

If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect your shutter dogs. Applying a protective coating, such as a clear sealant, can help to prevent damage from the elements. Additionally, if you know that a storm or other severe weather event is coming, it’s a good idea to secure your shutters with extra hardware, such as hurricane clips or straps, to prevent them from being damaged or blown off.

Shutter Dog Alternatives: Other Window Hardware Options to Consider

While shutter dogs are a popular choice for homeowners, they are not the only option when it comes to securing shutters in place. Other window hardware options that can be used include hinges, locks, and pulls. Hinges offer a more concealed option than shutter dogs, while pulls and locks provide additional security and can be used in conjunction with shutter dogs to further enhance their function and aesthetic appeal.

It is important to consider the style and material of your shutters when choosing window hardware. For example, if you have wooden shutters, you may want to choose hardware that complements the natural wood grain. Additionally, some hardware options may be better suited for certain types of shutters, such as louvered or panel shutters. Consulting with a professional or doing research on the best hardware options for your specific shutters can help ensure that you choose the most effective and visually appealing option.

How Shutter Dogs Can Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Shutter dogs are an essential part of any home’s exterior décor. When installed correctly, they can enhance the overall appearance of the home and provide a functional and decorative touch to its curb appeal. Shutter dogs come in many different designs and finishes, making them a versatile option for homeowners who want to add a unique flair to their exterior décor.

One of the benefits of using shutter dogs is that they can help to protect your shutters from damage caused by strong winds. By securing the shutters in place, the shutter dogs prevent them from banging against the house during a storm, which can cause them to break or become damaged. This not only protects your investment in your shutters but also helps to keep your home safe during severe weather.

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In addition to their functional benefits, shutter dogs can also add a touch of historical charm to your home’s exterior. Shutter dogs have been used for centuries to secure shutters in place, and many traditional designs are still available today. By choosing a classic design for your shutter dogs, you can give your home a timeless look that will never go out of style.

The Functional Benefits of Using Shutter Dogs on Your Home’s Windows

Aside from their aesthetic appeal, shutter dogs also provide several functional benefits that make them a worthwhile investment for homeowners. One of the key benefits is the increased security they offer, as they help to keep shutters in place, preventing them from being forced open. Shutter dogs also provide protection against harsh weather conditions, helping to keep the interior of the home drier and warmer during inclement weather.

In addition to their security and weather protection benefits, shutter dogs can also help to improve the energy efficiency of a home. By keeping shutters securely closed, they can prevent drafts and air leaks, which can lead to energy loss and higher utility bills. This makes shutter dogs a smart investment for homeowners who are looking to reduce their energy consumption and save money on their monthly bills.


Shutter dogs are a functional and decorative window hardware that adds style, security, and protection to a home. They are available in many different designs and finishes, making them a versatile option for homeowners who want to enhance their curb appeal. Installing shutter dogs is a simple process that can be done by homeowners with minimal experience, and with proper maintenance, they can last for many years while adding to the overall value of a home.

It is important to note that when choosing shutter dogs, homeowners should consider the size and weight of their shutters to ensure that the hardware can support them properly. Additionally, regular cleaning and lubrication of the shutter dogs can help prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. By taking these steps, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of shutter dogs for years to come.

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