Dogs are versatile animals- they are adorable, extremely loyal, and man’s best friend. And while most dog breeds can happily live indoors, a few enjoy outdoor life more.
Such breeds can not only be kept in your backyard for a long time, but you can also take them along for outdoor activities. These dog breeds tend to be alert, bigger (although not always), and wouldn’t mind if you keep them in an outside kennel.
Although keeping their dog outside can be equivalent to dog abuse for some people, it can be perfectly okay for others. However, people with a large property, good outdoor space, or living in the ranch or countryside often look for dog breeds that they can keep outside for extended hours.
Keeping this in mind, we have listed the top dog breeds that love to live outside. But before we hit the actual section, we would focus on some more areas that will help understand why and how to keep a dog outdoors.
What Characteristics Make a Good Outdoor Dog?
It is undeniable that dogs, irrespective of their breeds, need to spend some time outdoors to attend the nature’s call. Therefore, it also becomes essential for the owners to take their dogs outside for regular physical exercises and activities.
That said, if you are looking to have a dog that you can keep outside, here are the main characteristics to look at in them.
1. Suitable fur
The outdoor life can be hugely different from that of indoors. The climate, weather, temperature, and humidity can be highly unpredictable. So, a dog with a coat compatible with the weather or climate you live in will make a good outdoor dog.
So, if you live in a colder region, it is preferable to choose an outdoor dog with thick fur. On the other hand, if your area receives a high amount of sunlight, a dog with short hair can survive better outside.
2. The breed
The breed of a dog can tell a lot about its adaptability.
For example, certain dogs are bred to live outside like Huskies, Mastiffs, etc. As a result, they love outdoor activities and need a lot of physical activities to stay happy and healthy.
3. Activity level
Dogs that feel happy outside need a high level of activity. They need regular exercise, a large space to run around and burn off their energy. Hence, choosing a dog breed that particularly belongs to this category can make a great outdoor dog.
Why Keep a Dog Outside?
This question that may linger in your mind is, why keep dogs outside? Although the topic of keeping dogs outside has been debated for a long, there can be a good many reasons to do so.
We can give you more than one reason to satisfy your query.
Better scopes for physical exercise
The indoor living conditions may fail to offer your dog the necessary scope for physical exercises.Hence, if you have dog breeds, like huskies, border collies, etc., that need regular exercise and physical activities, keeping them outside for a prolonged time can be practical.
Living on A farm
Working dogs are bred to perform specific tasks. And they tend to be happier when given the scopes to work on those tasks. So, if you live on a ranch or farm, keeping an outdoors working dog can prove helpful. For instance, a German Shepherd would spend its time looking after your farm animals, and keeping it outside can be a wise decision.
Better exposure to outdoor life
If you live an active life, it’s natural that you would want to give the same experience to your dog as well. So, you can keep your fur buddy outside and engage it in activities like running, hiking, camping, hunting, etc.
If you live in rural areas with large fields and yards, keeping your dog outside can open scopes for them to run, hike, and walk regularly. This, in a way, can enable them to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
The same reason goes for those on a large property with a big lawn or yard. Keeping your dog outside can also prove helpful in keeping a watch on the property.
Good outdoor shelter option
If you have a large yard with the provision of a kennel, you can think of keeping your dog outside. However, you must bring your pooch indoors in case of rain, cold winds, and other bad weather conditions.
Best Outdoor Dogs
So, now let us shift our focus on exploring the top 10 dog breeds who would be more than happy to be outside. These breeds are versatile and wouldn’t mind being outside for a prolonged time.
However, we would always suggest you research which dog breed is most suitable for you as per your lifestyle, outdoor space, and other factors.
#1. Siberian Husky
One of the most popular outdoor dog breeds is the Siberian Husky. These dogs, weighing around 40- 60lbs, are large and require an active life to stay happy and healthy. Native to cold to freezing regions, these dogs were originally bred to pull sleds, but you can domesticate them well.
Huskies are very social, and even when you decide to keep them outside, ensure that you give enough scopes to play, run, and interact with people surrounding them. Loneliness can be vicious for your husky.
Bonus Read: Can Huskies Live In Hot Weather
#2. Alaskan Malamut
Another colder region dog is Alaskan Malmut. Malamut is heavier and larger than Siberian Huskies and is bred to carry heavy loads on sleds on snowy terrain. However, they are extremely tough, energetic, and loyal. You can also keep Malamuta as working dogs to help you in your work, even in freezing temperatures.
#3. German Shephard
German Shepherds are among the most accepted breeds worldwide and are primarily used as service and guard dogs. These dogs enjoy a moderate amount of physical activities, making them a good choice for outdoor dogs.
German Shephards can also work as working dogs since they are primarily bred herd and guard livestock. So, if you have a farm, a German Shephard can be your ideal choice of outdoor dog.
However, take care not to keep them outside for a prolonged period during hot summer months. They have thick fur, posing a health risk in scorching hot.
#4. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely loyal and social animals. They can be a great choice for outdoor dogs, as herding animals is innate to them. So, if you live on a farm or have livestock or cattle, an Australian Cattle Dog can come in truly handy in driving them.
That said, you can keep your Australian Cattle Dog outside in a secure shelter. These dogs can thrive in rain and cold temperatures. But ensure to build a kennel for them to give them the scope to rest and take shelter from time to time.
Also, you would need to keep your dog indoors or in a secure kennel where they can keep themselves warm and dry when the temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rottweilers are large, strong canines, and you can often find them outside because they enjoy racing around and playing.
Having a Rottweiler would also mean that you need to walk and engage it in regular exercises. So, an engaging outdoor life can be highly suitable for a Rottweiler. Moreover, this dog breed is a great choice as a guard dog. So, you can keep them outside to keep thieves at bay if you have a large property to look after.
There are a few things that Rotties cannot stand outside, like too hot or too freezing climate, loneliness, and boredom.
Mastiffs are extremely mammoth canines that love to stretch out. So, for them, you have to provide a larger space. Formerly known as English Mastiffs, these dogs are one of the biggest globally and weigh around 120- 130lbs.
Mastiffs enjoy being outside, making them perfect companions for people who have spacious, fenced properties or live in the countryside.
Samoyeds are kind and faithful to their owners and are originally bred to pull sleds and guard reindeers. This dog breed can remain friendly with other animals and has an innate instinct to herd and chase.
They have thick body coats, are extremely playful, and need regular physical activities to channel their energy. This makes them a good outdoor dog for those living in colder regions.
#8. Norwegian Elkhound
The Norwegian Elkhound, the National Dog of Norway, is a hunter breed created to pursue bulls, bears, and other dangerous prey. They are heavy dog breed and need at least 30 minutes of physical activity or exercise twice a day.
To keep this dog, you need to have a spacious outdoor area, like a yard, field, or lawn. You can keep this Norwegian Elkhound outside even when cold, as these dogs love snow.
But always remember to keep your dog under a leash as Norwegian Elkhounds tend to wander around.
Also, Norwegian Elkhounds should not be kept outside full-time because human companionship and interaction are needed to thrive.
#9. Labrador Retriever
One of the most in-demand dog breeds in households is Labrador Retriever. These are medium to large breeds and have a gentle temperament, making them excellent pets.
Labradors love to play and hang out around humans. These amazing dogs were bred to assist their owners in working fishing lines but are also good hunter dogs. So, if you have a Labrador Retriever, make sure to offer it ample outside space to play, stretch out and work. Also, you would need to offer it the scope to socialize with other dogs and humans from time to time.
#10. Great Pyrenees
The thick coat of Great Pyrenees makes it a great choice to be kept outdoors in cold weather. Originally bred to guard and herd livestock in the Pyrenees Mountains of Europe, Great Pyrenees daily moderate exercise to stay fit.
However, always remember to keep your Great Pyrenees under a leash to prevent them from wandering away.
Tips to Keep your Dog Safe Outside
So, the dogs mentioned above can be kept outside. Although we suggest not to keep any dogs outdoors full time, they can be kept for certain hours every day.
That said, there are a few things to be taken care of before planning to keep your dog outside. These things would ensure that your dog is in good shape and safe outside.
1. Build a kennel
Before placing your dog outside your home, ensure to build a secure kennel for it. It is no good to keep your dog chined outside under open space. A kennel can give it a safe shelter where the dog can sleep, take rest, keep it dry from rain, and warm in colder weather.
Also Read: 5 Best Dog Houses For Large Dogs
2. Keep Fresh Water
Water is a basic precondition, and your pet should have easy access to freshwater resources. This is especially true if you leave your doggo outside during the hot summer months.
3. Constant supervision
You should never put your dog outside and forget it. Keeping a constant eye on its activities can help you track it and be aware of any potential dangers like unwanted escapes, encounters with other animals or wildlife, and so on.
It is needless to mention that you must vaccinate your dog irrespective of keeping it.
5. Fencing the yard
Some dogs have the habit of wandering away. Hence, it is always advisable to fence your yard to a proper height. Also, a fenced yard can prevent the intrusion of outside animals.
Additionally, building a fenced yard could be a great alternative to tethering your dog since the latter can abuse the dog, increasing the chances of self-harm.
6. Weather condition
Keep checking the local weather condition when your dog is staying outdoors. Extreme heat, cold, thunderstorms, or rain can put a question mark on the dog’s safety. Hence, bringing your dog inside would be the best thing you can do for your dog in extreme weather conditions.
Dogs are sniffers. So, before putting your’s outside, make sure your yard does not have anything that might pose as poisonous for the dog. Keep an eye out for any deadly snakes, ants, frogs, or spiders that your dog might come across while outside. Also, get rid of any stagnant water body near your dog, as ingesting water from it may harm it.
Learning about common dog poisons can be an effective way to ensure your dog’s safety.
Keeping dogs outside does not mean keeping it all alone. We say so because dogs are highly social animals, and they need some level of human communication. In other words, loneliness or boredom can affect your dog’s mental well-being.
So, try to keep it active, play with it, engage in physical exercises, and take it hiking or hunting. These activities will ensure that you stay well connected with your dog all the time.
Remember that every dog needs some time to be spent indoors. Never keep your furry friend outside all the time, even if it is a great guardian dog. You must understand that dogs also have certain basic needs that must be fulfilled to encourage them to thrive and flourish.
Only through understanding your dig’s needs; will you be able to provide it the utmost suitable environment to live in.
Meet John Patterson, an accomplished Dog Trainer and a dedicated advocate for building strong human-canine relationships.With years of experience as a Professional Dog Trainer, John firmly believes that well-trained dogs are a reflection of patient guidance and unwavering care. Beyond his training skills, he finds solace in grooming and playing with dogs, nurturing their physical and emotional well-being.