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What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Dog Outside

What to consider when you have a dog that lives outdoors.

What to consider when you have a dog that lives outdoors.

Is It Okay to Leave My Dog Outside a Lot?

This issue has been hotly debated as of late, and the people who have tried to give honest answers have been accused of animal cruelty and neglect.

Leave a comment if you disagree.

I even read a quiz given by breeders, in which those potential adopters who think it is okay to leave some breeds outside are eliminated from their waiting lists. What breeders need to do is find out which potential owners are going to lock their dogs in a crate for their convenience.

Dogs enjoy being outside, and many dogs can live in the yard all of the time. Or, do you think that being shut in a crate for a crime you did not commit is better than being outside?

It is okay to keep huskies outside.

It is okay to keep huskies outside.

Does Your Dog Think It's Okay to Be Outside?

If you are wearing a fur coat, being locked in a car sitting in the sun or trapped in a house with the furnace blasting are both uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous.

And, despite what certain people claim, you can generalize at times. A Chihuahua would not do well living outside in North Dakota. A Siberian Husky does not do well living outside in the hot and humid summer of South Carolina.

Those are generalizations, based on breeds and prevailing weather conditions.

If a Siberian Husky is used to being indoors but is put outside, that's not the same thing as living outside all of the time. This breed does not need to be brought inside during cold spells. It is cruel to take a dog that is adapted and built for the cold, and able to handle the cold, and then to make her come inside just enough so that she will start to become accustomed to the heat, then thrust her back out the next time someone comes over to visit.

That is the type of neurotic human behavior that a dog cannot handle. Unless one of my dogs was sick, I would never have forced him or her to come into my house.

Some breeds of dogs prefer to live outside in the cold.

Livestock guard dog breeds similar to the Great Pyrenees were bred to be outside.

Livestock guard dog breeds similar to the Great Pyrenees were bred to be outside.

Which Dog Breeds Can Be Kept Outside?

All of the livestock guard dogs that are working will do better if kept outside. If you ask a Great Pyrenees, Komodor, Kuvasz, Anatolian Shepherd, Caucasian Ovcharka, or any of the other guard dogs to come inside at times, and then go out at other times to guard the flock, it is hard on the dog´s health. A dry area of the barn can be available so that the dog can get out of the rain but, other than during a storm, he will probably not even use it.

The sled dogs with thick fur coats can be kept outside. Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Alaskan Huskies, and other sled dogs will all do okay. Thousands of sled dog drivers across the Arctic keep these dogs outside. Amazingly enough, they are still able to perform and run races like the 1100-mile-long Iditarod. You can logically infer that they are also not being abused.

Many sheep herding dogs are going to do well outside. The German Shepherd Dog and others like him have a coat that is meant to stand bad weather. As long as they have shelter, they can do fine.

Some other breeds like Tibetan Mastiffs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards all do okay outside.

If you decide to keep one of these dogs inside, do so consistently, not whenever you feel in the mood or you think the night might be too cold.

That sort of behavior is not good for the health of the dog.

This breed of dog should not be kept outside in the snow and freezing rain. That is a generalization.

This breed of dog should not be kept outside in the snow and freezing rain. That is a generalization.

Which Dog Breeds Should Not Be Left Outside?

Any of the small dog breeds, or even the medium-sized dogs with short coats, should not be left outside. Little dogs like Chihuahuas, Maltese, and Yorkshire Terriers can freeze to death, no matter how good the dog house.

This Caucasian Ovcharka can be left outside.

This Caucasian Ovcharka can be left outside.

What Do Outdoor Dogs Need?


Shelter should always be provided. A big kennel is a great alternative for times when you cannot be there, and a dog should always have a place he can retreat to in inclement weather. At times, the shelter you provide will not be accepted. During the harshest cold spell, with the wind blowing and snow falling, my Siberian Huskies would prefer to be outside in a snowdrift, their bodies curled up under a drift and their noses protected by their bushy tails.

During rain or thunder, the dogs would take advantage of the shelter.


Food should be provided in adequate amounts to keep the dog in good shape. A dog that is kept outside in the cold will have extra caloric requirements and should be fed extra, and given a diet high in fat. (Many sled dog drivers give salmon; I used chicken necks which are naturally wrapped in fat.) Does that mean he needs to be fed free choice, with his food available 24/7? No, the food can still be given in regular meals.


Water should be provided throughout the day. If the dog's water freezes during the night he is not going to die of dehydration. Anyone who tells you that this is going to happen is trying to scare you by making inflammatory statements.

It is not cruel for a dog to go without water in the middle of the night when he is sleeping. If this were cruel, all of those writers who suggest puppies be housetrained by taking away their water in the evening should also be prosecuted for cruelty.

If you are not going to go out and provide your dog with water throughout the day there are electric water heaters available. A water heater does not excuse you from taking your dog out and exercising her.

Can Dogs Be Left Outside Without Toys or Other Dogs?

No. Dogs are social animals and it is not right to leave them outside without livestock to watch, other dogs to play with, toys to chew on, or humans to interact with.

Leaving a dog locked up alone in a garage, no matter what the weather conditions, is a horrible thing to do and will lead to excessive barking, chewing, and other abnormalities.

If you want to leave your dog locked up outside just so that you do not have to interact with her, you should not have a dog.

Determining is a mixed breed dog can be outside takes some common sense.

Determining is a mixed breed dog can be outside takes some common sense.

Can I Leave My Dog Outside at Night?

I prefer not to leave any dog alone at night. My dogs sleep in my bedroom, on the floor, but if I had five or six to take care of, I would probably leave them outside in one of my kennels.

Dogs are not humans. If you are really interested in doing what your dog prefers, do not force all dogs to live inside all of the time, and do not force a dog with a thin coat to spend his life at the end of a chain or rope. Both things are just as cruel as locking them in a crate at your convenience.

It is okay to leave dogs outside. Yes, I am writing this for you.

Would these dogs be happier sitting by the fire?

Would these dogs be happier sitting by the fire?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is it okay for my dog, who is a Labrador/Collie mix, to live outside? She has always lived outside when she was a puppy; when she was born and then back outside since the age of 2. We regularly come outside to see her, play and walk her but she is by herself.

Answer: As long as your dog has water and shelter she is okay living outside. The main problem in keeping a dog outside all the time is behavioral. Dogs are social animals and need human companionship. How often do you go out to play and walk her?

Question: I am a nurse working 12 hour night shifts. I don’t have a dog yet, but really want to get one. I’m wanting to know if I put a doggy door in my back garage door leading into the back yard, and keep the garage well ventilated, if I can leave the dog there to wander freely between garage and fenced backyard while I’m at work or sleeping during my 3 days per week?

Answer: That sounds great, but be aware that dogs have been stolen from the back yard many times, so if your dog is small you need to search for an alternative. If you are in the US, is the region you are in very hot or cold? Consider this when getting a dog.

Question: I have a 4 month old Pomeranian- Siberian husky. We just got her and there are major issues of her going potty in her crate and then rolling around in it. I was told by the trainer to leave her in crate at night. Each morning I find her covered with feces inside that small crate. We have a fenced in lawn but I’ve fenced off a smaller area and place a dog house in it. We live in DC. Would it be ok to only leave her out for the night until she is completely house trained? Only for the night.

Answer: I think it is a bad idea to keep a four month old dog in a crate all night. Dogs are social animals and are not shunned to a cave to sleep alone.

A Pomsky will be fine outside all night but she is never going to be housetrained if you revert to this now. She is probably going to be outside, feel alone, and start barking and howling. Are you ready to listen to your neighbors complaining about your dog barking all night?

If this were my dog the first thing I would do is housetrain her properly. You will have to wake up and let her out in the middle of the night for about a week.

After she is housetrained, if you want to leave her out when during the day there should be no problem. (You might need to worry about someone stealing her, of course. I do not know what kind of area you live in.)

Question: Could I leave a Siberian husky outside all day in Arizona? Yesterday, the temperature was 113.

Answer: Leaving your dog outside in those conditions is a bad idea.

It is not a good idea to have a sled dog in a hot area. I do know of people that have Siberians here in the tropics, but they are inside all day, in air conditioning.

Question: I want to get a dog that can be outside all year long, only because my mom is fearful of dogs. If the dog comes in, my father and I will be sleeping outside with him! However, the dog will have an electric water heater, a reprieve from the weather, and a very comfortable dog bed, as well as any other accommodations needed for him or her to be living the best life possible. What breeds do you recommend? I have my eyes set on a German Shepherd. What do you think?

Answer: You do not mention where you live, but since you do mention the electric water heater, I assume it is somewhere that gets cold. The GSD is a good choice, but you can also look at a Shiloh Shepherd or Alaskan Malamute. Livestock guard dogs (Great Pyrenees, for example) are also great outside dogs but have higher exercise requirements.

Question: I have sixteen-week-old Newfie my wife wants to keep him outdoors during the day while work, I want him to sleep in our basement. 1. Being he is an only dog (plenty of toys, bones, a small pool and dog house will be provided but no kennel) will this plan work? 2. If not, would it be better for him to sleep outside as the article implies for consistency sake?

Answer: I am not sure what the layout of the basement is, but I think the puppy would be a lot happier if kept outside. If you are in a heavily built-up urban area, you do have to consider dog-nappers. If that is a problem, the basement would be safer.

I have nothing against a dog being outside during the day and sleeping with his family in the evening. Dogs are very social animals and appreciate that extra time spent with the family.

Question: I have 3 month old shepherd/retrievers. We would like for them to be outside all the time. So far they have been fine. We have a 50x50 chain link fence in a shaded wooded area. I have gotten concern from others about leaving them outside at night due to possible coyotes or bears. We live in a mountain/rural area. Are they safe?

Answer: I cannot promise you that your dogs will be safe from wildlife. I live in the Atlantic Rain Forest and have a jaguar that comes into my back yard. My dogs go crazy when they hear him, and if they were loose they would end up attacking him and be killed.

The best thing you can do for your outside dogs is get them used to coming in to the house at night. Your dogs are going to be big. Wouldnt you rather have them defending you than the dog pen?

Question: My German Shepherd lives outside and has lots of room to run around. We live in AZ and it is his first summer. We are trying to bring him in when it gets super hot. We are afraid that he would be happier as an indoor dog with another family, but we are also considering a second dog to be his buddy. Is this considered ok, or should we have him indoors all day?

Answer: Is he outside alone most of the day? If that is the case, getting another dog is a great idea. Dogs are social animals and need to be with another animal to be mentally healthy.

It would be even better if you were able to spend more time with him.

Would he be happier as an inside dog? Not really, but if he is isolated in the back yard then the answer is yes, he would feel better inside since he would be able to be around his family.

My dogs can come in and out as they please, but as they have a lot of other animals to socialize with they spend most of the day outside. This has nothing to do with weather: this is their choice.

Question: Is it ok for a working cocker spaniel to be left outside?

Answer: Cockers are small dogs, but they have a long coat, so it really depends on where you live. In my area, a Cocker would do fine outside, but of course, like any dog outside, he would need to interact with his human family to be normally socialized. Keeping him outside alone all of the time is not a good thing to do.

Question: What do I do with the dog when I go on vacation?

Answer: That is a big problem for a lot of dog owners. I have dogs, horses, sheep, poultry, parrots, and an exotic. What is my solution? I do not go on vacation.

Some dog owners will take their dogs to a kennel when they go on vacation. If your dog is outside most of the time, the best thing is to have someone come by your house and take care of the dog. At night, however, there is another problem since if the dog starts barking, and the barking continues for hours, no one is in the house to take care of things.

Also, consider a house sitter. I think this is the best solution.

Question: I have American pitbull terrier and I live in a fenced Villa with a backyard in Cairo Egypt. It gets a little bit cold in winter averaging about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and 90s in the summer. Is it okay for him to live in the backyard where he has toys and shelter all the time?

Answer: Your APBT should have no trouble in the winter. In the summer, just make sure he has adequate shade. (He should always have access to water in winter and summer.)

Question: We are planning on getting a Siberian husky puppy and keep him outdoors per the advice here with him hanging out with us everyday inside. If I bring him home as a puppy and start keeping him inside for purposes of training him etc. then when I transition him to the outside will there be issues? Or should I start him straight from the outside when I bring him home as an eight week old? Will he cry at night like puppies?

Answer: Dogs are social animals. There will be issues, he will cry, and no, it is not a good idea to take an 8 week old puppy away from his mother and siblings and then toss him outside where he does not have any other animals or people to socialize with.

Question: I live in South Africa and have two little mini schnauzers that are thirteen weeks old. I have mostly been at home with them since we got them at 8.5 weeks old but I will have to be at work some days, and by the time they are six months old, I will be returning to work full time to work eight to ten hour days. We have a nice little garden with kennels and shade: would it be ok to leave them in it outside while I work?

Answer: As long as your dogs are brought in and socialized in the evenings, they will be fine outside. Make sure they have water available.

Would the dogs be safe while you are away during the day? Dognapping is a big problem now in some areas, and a few Miniature Schnauzer puppies might attract someone.

Question: We have a six-month-old Shepherd/Terrier mix who loves her crate; she sleeps in it no problem from day one. We live in San Diego and during the day for the five hours we are gone and are trying to decide if leaving her in the crate or outside in a covered 5x5 kennel would be better? She is a rescue and wasn't adopted until she was six months.

Answer: I would much rather be outside than locked up in a tiny room in which I could not even turn around. Your dog may be okay with being locked up for a while but it is not a good thing for her.

As long as she has water and shade, being outside for those hours is a much better choice.

Question: I live in Puerto Rico and am thinking of getting an Australian Shepherd puppy. I go from school to swimming practice, so I'm not home all day. I want to leave him in my backyard with toys until 7 pm. Can he stay outside all day?

Answer: Since your climate is mild, a dog will have no trouble being outside all day. I do have concerns about your choice though. A working dog like an Aussie tends to be more high strung than the lazy breeds and if left alone all day will probably develop bad habits like excessive barking, howling, digging holes, and trying to escape.

If other dog breeds are acceptable, you should read

Dogs are social animals, and if you leave a dog alone all day, he needs to do okay alone.

Question: I am looking at adopting two Great Pyrenees mixes who are still quite young. They will be on my farm in Virginia, with 100+ acres, cows, horses, and quite a few other dogs. We have shelter for the dogs, as they all stay outside, and ceiling fans around the entirety of our wrap-around porch where they love to lay to shelter when it's hot (one of them is a Pomeranian with thick hair, and he has done okay for the years he's been with us). Is it okay the keep the Pyrenees outside as well?

Answer: I think people that keep the Pyrenees inside are setting themselves up for problems. They are an active dog, low maintenance when kept outside but prone to shed excessively and bark a lot inside. They also are likely to run off if kept enclosed.

Your situation sounds great. Enjoy your great dogs!


Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 04, 2020:

Hi Lindy,since he has already gone through his little puppy phase, which is hardest, I think he will be all right as is. If he were my dog I would not plan on bringing him in, or crating him. What about getting a cat since you cannot get another dog? Do you guys have livestock? One of my dogs that sleeps outside (the other two sleep in the house) goes and sleeps with the sheep. (This is kind of easy because I have a ewe that was orphaned and she was raised with the dogs!)

Lindy Lawrence on September 04, 2020:

Hi Dr Mark.

We have recently adopted a 10 month old Collie/Heading dog cross from a farm where he was not being used as a working dog and was spending all of his time in a kennel. This dog has zero training.

After a very nervous and timid start he is finally coming out of his shell, and doing typical puppy things. However, he does not like coming into the house very often as it is still a foreign concept to him.

He currently sleeps in a kennel outside at night, as this is his preference (and ours due to zero toilet training). We live in a part of New Zealand where the weather is fairly mild, so that is not a concern. After reading your advice on dogs sleeping outside, I'm concerned about him developing social issues. I cannot get another dog at this time, as I simply do not have the time to train two.

So what I'm wondering is how long do we let him sleep outside, as is his current preference. And, when we bring him inside (if still having toileting issues) is it okay to keep him in a crate over night? Any advice on how to navigate this and what you think may work best would be greatly appreciated.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 26, 2020:

Habib, the problem with Sibes is that they are great outside but also very social. When I kept these dogs years ago I always had several and they always slept fine since they were in a group.

Is getting another dog a possibility for you? I hope so. If not, your dog may grow out of this (he is very young) but I certainly would not guarantee it. He is much more likely to try and run away when he gets older if he is alone at night.

Habib on August 25, 2020:

Hi Dr Mark

We are living in London recently bought a 13 weeks old male Siberian husky we never ever had a dog before he is so freindly with us now we do like him but, I would like to keep him outside in yard in his Kennel during the night as me and my wife don't want to be distracted at night problem is he don't want to be alone and sleep alone even in the night

I had to sleep in living rome with him for the last 4 nights which I won't be able to continue. I realy want him sleep in his Kennel out in the garden I will appreciate your advise sir.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 24, 2020:

Hi Jacquie, defintely doable. Dogs adapt well even at that age.

Jacquie on August 24, 2020:

I live in Central Florida and have a Rottweiler (6 years) who has been indoors her whole life. We may be getting a pit mix and would like both to be outside dogs. We live on an acre and they would have free roam of half of it. Is this doable?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 08, 2020:

Spencer--not sure who told you that but Bernese Mountain Dogs do NOT need to be inside. They do great outside, and your situation sounds ideal for that breed. Yes, they can be very social, like all dog breeds, and it can be very hard when they are small if they are forced to sleep alone outside.

A second dog is always great so that they can be together when family is not around. If this is a possibility, I would recommend it. (One of my European neighbors here has 3 Bernese mountain dogs that run around her compound at the beach. It is really hot here for them but they do okay since they can jump in the water and cool off during the day.)

Spencer on August 07, 2020:

I am considering getting a Bernese Mountain Dog for my family (me, wife, and four young kids). The Berner would be an outsider dog. We live on 18 acres so there would be room to roam. We will probably also be getting some goats and a couple cows. My wife and kids are home all day most days (she home schools), so there would be lots of opportunity for the dog to be spending time with us. The thought is that we'd fence off a fairly good sized dog run (1/4 acre or so) where we'd have all the necessities for the dog, and we'd be with the dog while we were out and about on the property. We live in northern Utah so I think the climate is right. I've read that berners need to be inside dogs because they need to be close to their family all the time. Should I be concerned about that? Would getting a second dog alleviate that concern? Is there another breed we should consider? Thanks!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 01, 2020:

Taylor--no idea how your winters are but ACDs are fine outside in most places. I am glad to hear you have a second dog. Be sure to provide plenty of activities since they are working dogs and will become bored and destructive if they have nothing to do.

Maeve on August 01, 2020:

I have an 11 week old German Shepard Rottweiler mix. She slept inside for the first little bit but she stays out in the fenced back yard now at night and during the day when I’m at work. I have a neighbor that checks her A few times during the day. Trouble is she seems aggressive when I get home. I usually go straight to her and we play fetch or other games. She has lots of toys and a comfortable place to sleep and shelter. She bites a lot and giving her a toy doesn’t defer her she goes right back to barking and nipping. Even during play. Is it because she was bored during the day? How do I train barking and nipping out of her? I have 2 cats that she tries to bully which is the reason for her sleeping outside so I’d prefer to not have her come inside At night because she torments the cats. She’s the best bad dog. Lol.

Taylor Lefthand on August 01, 2020:

I have two four month old dogs ones a red heeler and ones a blue heeler, and my dad told me I have to leave them outside day and night basically but is that even safe for them or okay? Since they’ve both been trained to play outside for eight hours and then sleep inside at night & be put back out in the morning, so would it be okay then If they’re going from that to being outside 24/7?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 01, 2020:

Roseamillion, he sounds like a good candidate to be an outside dog but there are a few things to be concerned about. You mention that he gets snappy inside but also mention that he gets out with the kids. Does he ever get snappy with them? If he does, and you are aware of this before something happens, you are likely to have a lot of heartaches and legal problems down the road.

As I have mentioned in the other comments, the main problems I see with outside dogs is behavioral issues. Dogs do not do well left alone. Your dog might be an exception since he already sleeps outside at night.

Roseamillion on August 01, 2020:

Hello Dr. Mark I have a corgi border collie mix about a year old. since I adopted him I've been kenneling him at night. He seems to prefer being out doors and my grandkids and neighbor kids interact with him. I have an igloo dog house he likes. He does not interact well with my cats. Im thinking about just letting him be an out side dog.

He has very thick fur.

Tonight he kept whining in his kennel so I finally took him out side. He always has fresh water and i feed him twice a day.

Hes gotten snappy with me when I try to bring him in lately.

Should I just let him be outdoors?

I think his former owner kept him outside all the time.

In general he is a very sweet playful dog.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 30, 2020:

James, plan for large medium! Too much information is okay, much better than too little. If I were you I would plan on at least 3 months, but the main problem is that dogs do not like to be alone so outside dogs do tend to bark a lot if there is not another dog present. The temperature and setup sound great but you will probably notice the social problems.

James on July 29, 2020:

Hi Dr Mark,

We have just adopted a 3 month old puppy from a dog rescue. The vets believe she is a Shar Pei X Bullmastiff, and believe she will be a medium sized dog. We are letting her sleep inside at the moment as we are in the middle of winter. Average winter temperatures this month is 12 Degree Celsius high, 3 Degree Celsius low. Also the odd days where it goes below 0, but never below -4.

We have a 3 car garage where we will setup a section for her. She will have couches set up, bedding, toys, dim lighting for night time. There will also be a doggy door so she has access inside the garage, and outside to the yard as she pleases. Our yard is fully fenced 1.8m high. She will also have a doghouse/kennel in the yard, which we will setup with a bed as well in case she decides to use it.

She will always have access to fresh water, and will never be locked in the garage or tied/chained.

At what age do you think we should transition her to sleeping outside? And what do you think the best way is to transition her to sleeping outside?

She will always have time inside during the daytime with us. Unfortunately we don't have any other pets, but we will give plenty of human interaction during the day such as walks, exercise, training, mental stimulation, etc.

Apologies for the long comment, just thought I'd give the most information.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 26, 2020:

Sadaf, that is hard to answer for sure because dogs are individuals, but with most pups at least 4 months. Usually when they become "teenagers" around 6 months they like to be more independent. I do not worry so much about dogs wanting to stay in except for the social aspect. Dogs do not like to be alone all the time. (Is another dog a possibility for you in the future when your husky is no longer a very young puppy?)

Your weather sounds great. The dog will love it.

Sadaf on July 25, 2020:

Hello Dr mark,

I will be getting a 8 week old husky in the next 3 weeks and hoping to keep her outside in the future when she’s older but for now I would keep her inside and supervise her most of the time as she’s still young , so at what age would you recommend for me to slowly transition her to stay outside day and night? When I leave her outside I would have a dog house food water and everything else she would need including exercise and playing with her during most of the day. Also I live in London so the weather here rarely gets any extreme hots or colds. And the average weather most of the year is around 18 degrees Celsius. In the winter the coldest it usually gets is 1 degree Celsius and in the summer around 28 degrees would be the hottest, I have shade above her dog house, but even then if it gets too hot I would bring her inside. So I was questioning that if I keep her inside as a puppy then she might get used to the house and not like to be outside so maybe even as a puppy I should play with her outside most of the time so she would like to be outside? Because I thought that Siberian husky’s would prefer to be outside more than inside so it would be better for the dog? I look forward to your feedback, thanks!

Flora579 on July 24, 2020:

Thank you Dr. Mark. I'm struggling with finding a way to help my partner understand that perhaps finding the dog a new home would be hard, but would make her much more happy. I think he feels strongly about his commitment he made when he first got the dog. But I think we would be honoring that commitment by realizing that we are no longer the best place for her.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 24, 2020:

Flora, you are correct. The dog may survive just fine but if you consider happiness then no, she is not happy. Dogs are very social and it is not outside that is hard on them. It is being without social contact all day long. 5 or 10 minutes a day just is not enough.

Flora579 on July 24, 2020:

My partner and I keep our German Shepherd outside. She has a high fenced in yard and a dog door to access the garage for shelter. Over the past year, we have been spending less and less time with her. At most, my partner will go outside and spend 5-10 minutes a day with her. Sometimes all we see of the dog is when we feed her. I feel horrible for this, but our lives have changed. I feel she would be much happier with another family who actually has the time for her and who will enjoy having her in the house, which we do not. My partner feels she if happy the way she is. He says the dog is happy being outside. Advice?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 24, 2020:

Pinrosy, Huskies are very social animals and if you get one dog and lock him in the back yard all of the time he is going to develop behvioral problems (howling, barking, digging, trying to escape all of the time, submissive urination when you approach, jumping up, etc). Getting a second dog to spend the days with him is one alternative. Raising and training two puppies at once can be a real chore for most people so you might look into an older dog when you buy your puppy. (I have no idea what is available where you live.)

I live in NE Brazil and some Sibe owners need AC during the day. I am not sure that you do but it is a good idea.

You cannot train a husky to stay in a dog house during the night. (If you try to lock him in a house he will end up chewing it up and getting out.) In fact when I was living in the US I had Siberians and they usually preferred to be outside, especially if it was snowing. What kind of shade do you have in your back yard? If you do not have a tree you can build a shaded area with sheets of tin.

Best of luck. Take a few minutes to look at Youtube and type in "Husky escaping". These dogs will climb out, dig under, chew up, and do whatever they can to a fence. A chain link kennel in the backyard is a good idea.

Pinrosy345 on July 23, 2020:

I’m planning on buying a baby husky and only keeping him outside in my large backyard where there’s a pool. But I have a few questions:

1) I live in the Middle East where it gets really hot during the summer time so should I keep my husky in his dog house with an AC during the night time?

2) Do I need both a kennel and a doghouse? Or can I just buy a large doghouse for the husky and train him to stay in there during the night and outside during the day?

3) if my husky’s going to be outside most of the time even though I’ll be playing with him, taking him for a walk and teaching him a few hours a day, will he need another husky as a friend to spend the rest of the day with?

3) In that case, should I get two huskies? One female and one male? So they can both stay outside in the backyard and spend time with eachother?

4) and lastly if I’m not at home or going somewhere can I lock my husky in his doghouse where there’s going to be food, water and a installed dog toilet? Like will he break through the doghouse and destroy my whole backyard or is it safe?

Thanks again, I can’t wait for your answers!!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 23, 2020:

Sheeya, unless you are getting a dog like a Newfounfland, he or she does not need AC. I live in the tropics (Atlantic rainforest) and even Siberians do okay here as long as they have a wading pool.

Make sure your dog has shade and access to water.

Sheeya on July 22, 2020:

I am getting a new Goldendoodle puppy soon. And I will have to keep it outside whenever u go to school. I’ll go to school at 8 and come back at 3:30. And my parents both work full time. And we live in New Mexico so it gets pretty hot I’m the summer and it is moderate In the winter. We are planning on getting a air conditioning for it for the summer. But my parents said I have to leave the dog outside with air conditioning while I’m at school. Also we have an area full of shade where I want to put and it right next the door entering to our house. So I have a plan to keep it there and of course we’ll put toys and I’ll be with it for the first 3 weeks to train it. But I just wanted to make sure it’s ok

Janie on July 22, 2020:

My partner and I have a German Shepherd. She lives outside in a fenced in yard and has access to the garage for shelter. Since we have moved the dog outside, I have noticed that we spend less and less time with her. Sometimes one of us will feed her and that's all we see of her in a day. I feel that the dog would be much more happy with another family that will spend more time with her and who will enjoy her being in the house, which we do not. My partner feels she is happy the way she is. Advice?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 18, 2020:

BKW--I agree with you about her being lonely. No way to tell if that will stop or not; dogs are individuals. I think she should be sleeping inside with her family.

BKW on July 17, 2020:

We recently adopted a Great Pyrenees Cross. She is just under 2 years old. She allowed inside when we are home, but we have her sleeping outside right now. When we put her out for the night, she whines and barks for about 10 mins. This makes it really hard on me and I want to have her sleep inside, but my husband disagrees. Will she settle into the routine, or do we need to re-evaluate? She is in a fenced yard with access to water and a doghouse. She just seems so lonely outside.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 12, 2020:

Buehler--no, I think it is a good idea to take him in to socialize and play with him after work. The main problem with a puppy that small is that he is going to feel isolated during the day and may start barking incessantly, whining, or develop other behavioral vices. If you can find someone that is home to babysit him, at least the first two or three months, he will be a much better dog in the years to come.

(Do not keep him confined to that inside crate all day. He is going to develop more behavioral problems and they will be much worse.)

Buehler on July 12, 2020:

We are about to pick up a Boykin Spaniel 8 week old puppy. We are not home from 7 am - 4 pm. 4 days per week. We are thinking of keeping the puppy in an outside kennel 6 x 10 with a dog house while we are gone. (With water, food and toys) Then he will be brought inside for training, exercise and socialization. We would keep him inside from 4 pm until it's time to go back outside at 7 AM. We have an inside crate for him too. Is it too confusing for a puppy to be inside then outside?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 09, 2020:

Sarah, I would not worry about the weather extremes there as much as the social stress to the dog because of being alone most of the time. She is probably going to be worse about trying to get in, may develop into a chronic barker. I do not know of any easy solutions here but wish I could be of more help. I am not even sure if you are going to find a no kill shelter willing to take her.

Sarah on July 08, 2020:

Our 10 year old female yellow lab became overly anxious due to recent fire works. She refused to go outdoors even when none were going off and when trying to get her to go she snapped and bit a family member on the hand. She is a nervous dog and always has been, (scared even if you toss a sock across the room she jumps) but around people she is always loving and happy, wagging her tail and wanting attention. This family member would like to get rid of her now due to the incident to a no kill shelter, put her down or something. She has never been kenneled before and she is well cared and an indoor dog. I fear who will take good care of her plus change of new ownership at her age or if she should even have a new owner post the incident. We have had her since she was 8 months old so she is part of the family. I found your article as a possible way of keeping her, since the person in household wants her gone, but don’t know it that would be any benefit to her either. We only have her as a dog. Since she was young, she generally does Not get along with other dogs so it’s hard to walk her. She goes crazy. But we play at home instead or I walk far away from other dogs. Other concern of her being outdoors, Kansas weather goes extreme hot and cold. I am looking for general advice for what to do with a dog that has bit this same person two times in ten years when she was fearful and suggestions to try or if we put her down. Sorry if this does not match exactly to the article. She also whines and scratches at the back door wanting in constantly.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 07, 2020:

Aaron, I would not worry about the winters there at all, but please make sure your dogs have plenty of water. In the summer provide plenty of shade, as they will mostly just lie around. Here in the tropics the Sibe owners I know allow their dogs free run at the beach and the dogs spend a lot of time soaking in the water. Think about providing a wading pool in the back yard for your dogs to soak when it is too hot. (They will smell like wet dogs but this is preferable to heat stroke.)

Aaron on July 07, 2020:

Hi, i have 2 siberian husky/great pyrenees pups, about 6 months old. I am considering building them a shelter outside with a fenced in area. They are very energetic and getting alot bigger than expected. Almost 60 lbs at 6 months old. I live in souther kentucky and does get hot sometimes but winters are mostly mild. I plan to fence in an area and build a house for shelter and have a couple fans to give them air flow as well. How would they do in these conditions outdoors?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2020:

Caitriona, the main problem with a pup that age is going to be that she is lonely and will whine and cry. Dogs are very social and do not like to be left alone like that. I would have to suggest that you wait until she is at least four months old, but really it would be best if she was sleeping with another dog. Is that a possibility for you? Can you have two dogs?

Caitriona on July 03, 2020:

Hi Dr. Mark,

We are soon to buy an 8 week old labrador, and we intend having her sleep outside in shed with a kennel/bed, within a large secured fenced off garden area. We intend keeping her in the fenced off area at night and when we are not at home, but otherwise allowing her the run of the rest of the garden and also the house. We live in Southern Ireland, with a mild climate, though occasionally it snows in Winter.

My question is, at 8 weeks, is it best to start the pup sleeping in the outside kennel from the outset (she is currently in an outdoor setting-shed with her mother and siblings on the breeders farm), or is she too young to be put to bed alone, outside, and if so at what age can we start to transition her into sleeping in her kennel outside at night?

Idania on June 23, 2020:

Hi Dr. Mark

Thank you so much for responding back, I really appreciate.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 23, 2020:

Idania, As long as they have shade and water, there is no problem. They sound like a great couple!

Idania on June 23, 2020:

Hi Dr. Mark

We have a pitbull terrier and a grey tabby cat. They enjoy being outdoors since we moved from California to Arizona and now have a yard. They are provided with plenty of shade, and water throughout the day, but it gets in the 100s. Is it safe for them to live outdoors?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 12, 2020:

Daniela, it is really up to you since if your weather conditions are anything like here (Brazil) even puppies can be outside at night. The dogs will have no problem with one living inside, the others outside.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 12, 2020:

Naima, yes, that breed does okay as an outside dog, even in cold environments.

DaniellaTad on June 11, 2020:

Hi Dr Mark.

I have a 4 month old Yorkie and will be getting 2 Labrador Retriever’s in 6 weeks.

Our Yorkie sleeps inside but the Labrador’s will have to sleep outside with all the necessary requirements.

I stay in South Africa so the weather conditions are quite warm mostly. They will be puppies when they arrive. At what stage can I teach them to sleep outside ? Will it be okay to have an inside living dog as well as 2 outside living dogs ?

naeema suleman on June 10, 2020:

Hi, I live in South Africa and I want to get an Akita. I've done lots of research on how to look after them and I know they need a lot of socializing. Would it be okay I let him live outside ( I have a very large backyard so he won't be chained or caged), given that he has a house and lots of shade for when its hot and of course it will always have enough water and food and I'll walk it and play with it every day? I would keep it inside but my mother would kill me...

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 15, 2020:

Dana, that is not a very good idea. Dont you have someone that can come in at least once a day to check on the dogs? If not, you really need to board them at a kennel that can watch them and do something if something is wrong.

Dana Vayre on May 10, 2020:

Can you leave 2 female dogs which are chihuahua's in a kitchen for 2-3 days while out of town?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 01, 2020:

Ellen, I had Sibes in the past when I lived in the US (I live in the tropics now so they would be miserable here) and if they were my dogs I would leave them outside unless you are having meals, sitting around watching TV, etc. When you are at work, or sleeping, the dogs will be fine outside.

They are sweeties but do like to escape and need a lot of exercise. Do a lot of soul-searching before deciding to bring home this breed.

EllenJW on April 30, 2020:

Hi, I was planning to get two Siberian Huskies this year, and had intended to have them outside in a secure garden whilst I was out at work, as I would rather they not chew my house up and/or hurt themselves in the process but I don't agree with crating dogs. I walked my neighbor's Lab when I was at uni and hated myself every time I had to put him back in the crate.

Anyway, I am now changing jobs and will be working nights, and am unsure about what would be best. I could still put them outside in the evening before I leave for work, but what about when I am sleeping in the mornings? If I bring them inside whilst I sleep are they still likely to hurt themselves if they start chewing something when I'm asleep? Will they get agitated if I'm not awake to let them out when they want? If I leave them outside until I wake up is it fair on them to be on there own for that long 3 days a week?

I really had my heart set on getting them, as I've loved Huskies since I was at school but I don't want to get them if they are going to be miserable.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 17, 2020:

HH, your situtation is okay if you are going to be leaving the Sammie out with the GP. They will be able to socialize so not be as depressed. As far as transitioning, I would not worry about the weather much since if you are in the northern hemisphere it is spring already. If you can let the dogs come in at night to sleep in the house for the spring and summer that helps a lot from a social aspect.

HH on April 14, 2020:

DD omg I needed your comment... I'm going through the exact same thing! Mine is allergic to my sammie, but I also have a pyrenees so she won't be alone going outside. The yard is fenced and they'll have a dog house too (with heat/air if i can get it run). Any suggestions on how to transition them out? I'm getting so much hate for moving them outside. They've lived with me in a duplex with no fenced yard, so they can only go outside on a leash due to city ordinances. I'm so happy they'll have room to run in an entire yard! But I'm struggling because my sammie is very attached too, I got her at 7 weeks and she is 5. She gets depressed when I go on vacation and won't eat for 2 or 3 days at my dads house. My pyr has attachment issues from being abused as a puppy before I got her. She is very needy.

Taylor on April 03, 2020:

I grew up in the country where our dogs were always outside. They would rather be outside all day than to come in anyway, even out all night. The only time I let a dog in was during a storm because he was not a fan of that. We actually knew a storm was coming because of him.

During the day we let our dogs chase rabbits, moles, birds, etc. This helped our garden and gave them a purpose. We provided a dog house that they barely used because we had a front porch and a back porch they would rather lie on when it rained.

I strongly feel that dogs can live outside. I know that more now because I live in the city and I have to keep my dogs locked in a kennel when I leave. I do not agree to this. They should not be confined to a small space because I am not home. I don't even want to leave the house because I can't stop thinking about my dog being in "a cell"....

I do not believe I should control every aspect of their life! They are my friend and I want them to be happy and sometimes they need time to be what they are, a dog! We are fixing our fence in the city to allow our dogs to run and play in the yard when we leave, but I still have to visit the country to really let them run around every once in awhile. If you live in the city and you can't provide a country setting, take them to a park, take them to places you can really let them run and explore without your ever watchful eye. Let your dog be a dog. They evolved from being outside and so did we. I wouldn't put a small dog outside, but they don't even care to go out as often as a larger dog anyways. My message was long, but I would rather have my dog live a happy and free life than an indoor and caged life. I hope my experience in raising dogs outside helps. Be aware of size, breed, weather and what you can provide for them to live a better life (that life can be outside, inside, or mixed).

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 20, 2020:

DD, yes, she is going to be depressed. Dogs are social animals, she is bonded to you and now that you are tossing her out it is going to be hard on her. She might like it, but what she will want is to lie down in your company. I hope your fiancé does let her come in when she wants.

If not, at least get another dog to keep her company outside.

DD on March 19, 2020:

My Samoyed is 2 years old. I got her when she was 10 weeks old. Her and I have been together in my apartment with the AC on everyday for the past years. She does go out with me for walks every day. I also have a balcony and she doesn’t like the door closed. She likes the fresh air.. my question is... I am getting married and my fiancé wants to have her in the backyard. He will build her a doggie house but will not have her in the house unless she wants to. No grass in the back at all. Will she get depressed if she is not in the house with us? She is extremely attached to me.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 25, 2020:

Bullmastiffs have a lot going for them, in that they do not bark much and are pretty calm during the day. If you need a dog that is going to need less exercise than a GSD, they are an option. No problems in the summer, but they do have a thin coat so watch pretty careful during the winter. (It does not sound that cold there, but I would not recommend this dog for northern Canada, etc.)

Tevita Latu on February 24, 2020:

Thanks Dr Mark. Appreciate your advice and the prompt reply to my question.

If we disregard the requirement of a guard/watch dog, would the Bullmastiff or English Bull Terrier be OK for my situation as well? Just looking at any other options I can have, as I understand a German Shepherd will require the most exercise out of the given breeds.

I am in Christchurch, New Zealand, where the temperature in summer is 22.5°C (72.5°F) and generally falls below 0°C (32°F) in winter.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 24, 2020:

Tevita, it sounds ideal for a German Shepherd Dog, but make sure that he gets plenty of social interaction with you and any other family members. Best of luck.

Tevita Latu on February 23, 2020:

I am looking to get either a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Shar Pei, English Bull Terrier or Bullmastiff as an outdoor dog, ordered from most preference (GSD). Basically I would like a dog that can live outside in a medium-large sized yard and also be trained to be a watch/guard dog.

The dog will be provided with an open kennel or dog house for shelter in the yard, but also have access to the garage where it will have its own space. The dog will be allowed to roam the fully fenced yard, NEVER being tied up nor locked in a kennel or the garage. Will have a dog water fountain. It will have its own space in the garage (3 car garage, 1 side will be setup as the dog's with a couch, bed, toys, etc). The dog house / kennel and it's bed and space in the garage will also have toys there. During winter, I can provide a heater in the garage to warm it up, and I am thinking I will turn this off before I sleep.

I will be able to walk the dog in the afternoon. I will also be able to walk the dog in the evening, and spend time giving the dog exercise and playing either at the park, in our yard, in the garage on rainy days, etc.

The only rule is that we can't have the dog in the house.

Out of the three breeds, do you see which will be best for my situation? Do you recommend any other breeds for my situation?

Rebeckah on February 09, 2020:

I have 5 dogs here in Florida.

•8y/o, F, BoxerXPitty,

•6y/o M, LabXPitty,

•5 y/o M, BoxerXGreat DaneXStaffy,

•5 y/o F, PittyXJack Russel, and a

•6m/o F, LabXPitty.

All spayed/neutered. Our two males are best friends and are kept outside in a shaded privacy fenced yard with a large insulated dog house. We had to move them outside because after YEARS of getting along, they started seriously attacking my older female (who fights back) about a year ago, and now our defensless puppy. Our older female and puppy get along well, so they are kept free roaming in the house. Our 5y/o Jack RusselX is extremely dog agressive (bait dog rescue) so she stays in a large crate unless she is outside when the boys are in their dog house. We find that this works well.

As far as our boys outside, our larger male has a shorter coat, but he has different weighted jackets/sweaters and cuddles with his buddy in the insulated dog house when it gets chilly, and when its hot, they have misters, lots of shade and areas of dirt/concrete that never see the sun so they stay cool. We are outside with them everyday and have children so there is no shortage of love and attention. I would rather have all of my dogs inside, but due to the circumstances, we have had to put the two ourside, but it works.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 03, 2019:

Jim, if your dog is a chessie cross, then there will probably be no problem with the cold. As far as getting another dog, i think that is an excellent idea since dogs get lonely as they are such social animals.

Jim on November 01, 2019:

I have a one year old Chessie/Beagle mix that currently lives outside. She's about 40 lbs with hair wavy and coarse like a Chessie only shorter. She has an igloo style house that's not too big but is stuffed full of straw as well as a bed and a blanket. Now that it's getting colder outside should I be concerned about her getting cold at night? The temperature can drop below freezing at times. Also, she is often left in a large pen for up to 9 hours a day while I'm at work 3 days a week. Would it be a good idea to get another dog to keep her company as well as keep each other warm during winter months?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on October 23, 2019:

Gareth--a German Shepherd is not a dog that you can just lock up in a cage all day. If your wife is afraid of the puppy, even at only months old, ask her if there are dogs she is not afraid of. You are better off getting another dog that is not going to be stressed out alone. (If getting a dog that you can socialize with is not an option, at the very least your GSD should have a companion.)

Gareth on October 22, 2019:

I have a german sherphard and he is 4 months old my wife is afraid of dog but she is ok if he stay outside in cage! My house has no fence so what did i just do is to built a dog house (not that large) and every early in the morning a take him to the ground for exercising him and do potty and some times in evening too! The weather of my environment is rainy and some how cold and mountain ! But after that I return him to his house and he dont like it because he starts barking and howling! I need your advices please!!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on October 14, 2019:

Maria, if the puppy is put outside and does not spend most of his time with another dog or people it is cruel. Dogs are social animals, just like we are. You can explain to them that it is just as bad as locking their baby out on the porch every night. Unfortunately, a lot of people just do not care.

Maria on October 11, 2019:

My family is getting a german shepherd and my parents are strict about not letting the dog anywhere inside the house. We have a sort of big garden and no other dogs. Is it cruel to just leave him outside and if so how can i convince them not to?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 09, 2019:

Zack--as long as they have shade and water it is not considered animal abuse in most areas. You can contact your local animal control if you want to ask for the specifics in your area.

Terri on July 14, 2019:

I have 2 dogs that was threw out as puppies. They are 4 and 5 yrs old.They have fenced in yard and two crates on in closed carport when its cold or storming. They come in sometimes but not for long, they like outside. I think its common sense like everything else how to treat animals. I do not believe in chains or rope tho.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 13, 2019:

It sounds like your Maltese has found the best of all worlds. They sound like a great pair.

Loatile Tsoai on July 09, 2019:

We have a staffy bull pit (M) and a Maltese (F). They started as house puppies. The Pit got too big for the house. Maltese got too dirty outside while playing in the backyard so we said no more outside just walks. She barked so much inside at night and signals that she wants to go outside and looks sad so she moved outside. The pit looked sad alone outside at night too. We built large shelter kennel area but the gate is always open for them to roam the yard. They have hard plastic kennels, water, blankets and food. Maltese bullies the pit, growls at him on most days, eats from his bowls and sleeps in his kennel on top of him and can’t share space, she tore her bed, the dogs move the blankets all around the yard on some days. The Maltese still has her Maltese temperament but also now hunts birds but has at least stopped eating everything outside. Is this best option for both dogs? I live in South Africa. During the cold winter nights or storm we let them in the house because of the cold and they are scared of thunder.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 19, 2019:

Alli, I can only say sometimes. Dogs are individuals, so sometimes it helps a lot (since they are social) but other times the dog only wants to be social with humans, not other canines.

Alli on June 18, 2019:

Do you think having another dog would help him stay outside more?

Maria on June 18, 2019:

I have a 9 year old lab mix who’s an outside dog with a big air conditioning room with a doggie door, she’s been an outside dog since day one. I do have an 8 year old inside dog who doesn’t want to be out side for long periods of time. My mother lives with me she spends a lot of time with both dogs, but she will so be going to a group home and my inside dog will have to go outside since I will not be home to let him out during the day, I feel awful!!!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 18, 2019:

Alli, bloodhounds do fine as outside dogs. If it is very cold you need to worry about their ear tips freezing, so you definitely need to provide goos shelter. Oklahoma is hot but it should be fine for a bloodhound in the summer. (They will even do okay with the high humidity in LA and Missiissippi, so OK should be fine.)

If he is already 4, however, and is an inside dog, he is probably pretty social. Leaving him outside might not be easy.

Alli on June 18, 2019:

Hello, I have a very large 4 year old bloodhound and was wondering if he’d do okay outside? We live in Oklahoma where it can get pretty cold in the winter some days and very hot in the summer. I’ve read several people who say bloodhounds don’t make good outside dogs because they’re such a social dog. Do you know much about bloodhounds?

Shunrah on May 23, 2019:

Thanks Dr Mark - they're actually pretty common here amongst bedouin shepherds- I just feel so awful leaving her whilst we're all inside with the air con - including the other dogs/cats - paddling pool is a good idea though! Thank you- enjoy!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 23, 2019:

Shunrah--great dog breed, I hope he does okay there. I think wading pool is best since the dog can stay cool (but he will make a big mess). Here are some other ideas:

Shunrah on May 23, 2019:

hello - 2 months ago we rescued an italian meramma (livestock working breed) from the roadside in the north of Israel where i currently live - she's beautiful...very affectionate and we believe she was used as a working dog in one of the local villages - perhaps even just to breed more livestock puppies - she isn't keen on entering our house - we have 2 other dogs - pekingnese and a canaanite - both spoilt rotten and living alongside us in the house and she gets on with them very well but will not follow them into the house after walks etc..content to be outside..I know this isn't unusual for this particular breed - maybe she considers it her job to guard us all including the inside dogs - my concern is that now the weather is getting much hotter...we are almost in summer when outside temperatures are excruciatingly hot - i have tried in vain to get her to enter with us in the a/c - she refuses to come inside - i have tried offering treats even physically moving her in but she is visibly uncomfortable - what should i do?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 01, 2019:

Mark, Beagles are great in outside kennels as long as they have social time. A Pomeagle will have an easier time of it, but be sure the dog has plenty of time with you and the family.

Mark on April 30, 2019:

I live in Alabama. Is it ok for my pomeagle to live outside?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 25, 2019:

Lafonmel, I appreciate your reply. Just my opinion, but I think she would be a lot better off outside than stuck in a garage all night.

Lafonmel on April 25, 2019:

Thank you for your response! Her sleeping outside worries me too. I hate leaving her outside at night and she doesn't like it either. She knows when I am about to leave her and won't come outside. She just wants to be by your side all the time. That is why I hate doing that to her. The most I could do is ask my parents if I could leave her in the garage at night with a fan on. But I am not so happy about that because where I live it gets hot. 85F-98F year round. I cannot get her another dog to keep her company during the day. I feel as if I don't get much time with her, only a three or four hours before she is back outside again. What you say about pit bulls put down at shelters I have thought about. I would never ever take her to a shelter, I cannot do that and live with myself. There is this local rescue organization, a non-profit that told me they could help me if I have patience and could keep taking care of her while they find her a home. They fly the animals to other states that don't have so many animals in need of homes, not many surrenders and high adoption rates. I see they have placed pit bulls in loving homes where they are inside and have other dog siblings. They are sleeping in the furniture. I cannot help but think what if that is possible for her. I don't want to close her any doors. On the other hand, I also feel as though I am being part of the problem, being part of the people who surrender their dogs. I don't want to be that, I would like to be part of the solution. I feel as though I am taking the chance of another dog who needs it more getting adopted. But if its really really really in her best interest, I guess I would do it. For her own well being. I am really torn here. Please, don't think I am taking this easily. I am torn and feel lost. I would be heartbroken to see her go but if she is better than with me, then I would be happy for her. Thank you for listening and providing me your advice. And I looked for the name of the mass that was removed and it was a collagen nevi, just so you know exactly what it was.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 24, 2019:

Lilly, if you like the looks, a Standard Schnauzer is a medium sized dog tough enough to wrestle with your GSD and adaptable enough to handle your NE weather.

The Kerry Blue terrier is another good choice, as is the Chow chow. Here is a link that might help.

In my opinion those medium sized dogs are a lot better outside than the small breeds.

Lilly on April 24, 2019:

I live in the Northeastern part of the US. So yes, we experience ALL the seasons, anywhere from negative degree wind chills to highs in the 90's.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 24, 2019:

Melanie, although the situation might not be ideal, consider the alternative. Most Pits are put down when given up to a shelter, so if she has already had a medical problem (the skin mass) the prospect of finding her an alterate home is very low.

I worry more about her social life, since she has to be alone at night. (It matters a lot more than the sun exposure. Do not worry about that.)

It sounds like you are doing everything you can for her. Keep struggling, she is worth it!!!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 24, 2019:

Lilly, what part of the world are you in? There are a lot of spitz-type dogs that do very well in cold, and even more that can handle the heat.

Melanie on April 24, 2019:

Hi. I have been taking care of a Pit Bull that I found as a stray. Her story is long but overtime she went from being an insecure, anxious, not trustful of humans to a very happy, socialized and confident dog. I want to know if I am qualified to adopt her or I should look for a home for her. I work 8-5 weekdays and I have to leave her on my backyard (fenced, shaded, water, dog house, grass area). When I come home, I play with her, walk her and just hang out with her. But all of this outside of the house, this is, in the garage and backyard because my parents do not like her inside the house. After this, I feed her at around 7-8 and then she sleeps all night in the backyard. I do not like leaving her alone during the day but I cannot bring another dog to be of company to her. Plus, she has had skin problems (a benign mass removed) and it worries me that she is outside and this can affect her health at long term. Even though there are shaded areas, there are places where the sun hits, specially after 3pm. Where I live it is an average temperature of 85F year round. So, she is already used to me that is why this is a difficult decision for me. Do you think its fair leaving her outside?

Lilly on April 24, 2019:

Yes, that is what I was thinking. She spends a lot of time just looking out the windows in the house, so I feel she will be thrilled to be out. She will have a large fenced in space with access to our garage and basement when the weather isn't too good. Are there any small/medium dog breeds can do well being outside?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 24, 2019:

Lilly, it does sound like she will be a lot happeir outside. What about a medium sized dog? You do not have to get another GSD if you do not have enough space.

Lilly on April 24, 2019:

I understand what you are saying. We are moving her outside because we now have the yard space, yet our house is small and I can tell it is not the optimal space for her. She paces the house and will bark at the door, but until now we didn't have a fence for her to be let out to run. I would be ok with getting her a companion if that is best.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 24, 2019:

Lilly, you have decided to take care of a social animal. She is alone all day, sees you for a few hours, and then has the door shut in the face by the one family she has.

Is it okay to live outside? Sure. Is it okay to ask a social animal to be alone all day, and then alone all night? It is not natural. If she is outside during the evening when you are in the house you are probably going to spend even LESS time with her.

Occassional play dates with a neighbor dog will not make up for it.

Lilly on April 24, 2019:

Our German Shepherd has been kept indoors all the time. She is about 2.5 now, and we are getting ready to transition her to be an outside dog. Right now she spends her days alone while we are at work, and nights alone (we don't let her in the bedroom). She does fine being alone now with a house full of toys. Once she moves outside, we will spend time with her when we get home and a friend down the road has a dog we can bring over for play dates. Do you think its necessary to get a second dog? I honestly don't want to if we don't have to.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 23, 2019:

AJ--a Scotty should have no problem handling the fine weather of Kentucky. Make sure he has toys (like a Kong) so that he will be busy when alone and not sleeping. You should make sure that he has water and a dry place he can go into for shade during the day, and I would definitely recommend you keep bringing him in at night since he is so social. He sounds like a great little dog.

A.J. on April 22, 2019:

My wife and I work during the day, and our 11 month old Scottie is home alone for approximately 9 hours. When we are home he takes every step we take, and stays inside with us every evening and during the night. Would it be okay to leave him outside in a 6’ x 8’ kennel while we are at work? We live in Kentucky.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 15, 2019:

Whoreallycares: if this bothers you try to report your neighbors instead of sitting on the internet and complaining to people who are writing about an entirely different situation. If you think it is acceptable to sit in your warm house and complain, instead of doing something, you are the one without hope.

Whoreallycares on April 14, 2019:

New neighbors just put a 6 month old German Shepard in a kennel with plastic tarp on 2 sides, a wet mat bed, in the far back corner of their yard....this is upstate NY...currently it’s 42, windy and rainy, nights are in the 30’s, ..I get to see this poor lonely soul bark and cry 24/7......if you people think this is acceptable then there is absolutely no hope for any other beings except yourselves

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 28, 2019:

Mimi, the main reason I think dogs should come in is not because of the weather, it is because dogs are social animals and need companionship. If you do not let your dog in, and he is bored and lonely, he will likely develop behavioral problems (digging, running off, etc).

Siberians and Samoyeds both shed, a lot. Consider a Standard Poodle. You can keep his coat shorter, he is a lot easier to bathe, he does not shed all of the time, and if your husband is okay with him may be able to let him in at night.

If you are not able to let him in, you really need to consider another dog so that he will not be alone at night.

Mimi on March 27, 2019:

We live in Northern California and have a descent size backyard. We’ve always wanted to have a dog but since my husband is allergic to dogs, we could only consider keeping the dog outside all the time. I’m at home during the day so I could walk the dog every morning, Pilar with him/her, or even set up an office outside to be with my dog while I’m working. My concern is about the night. Could we leave the dog outside to sleep during the night too? (In his/her dog house of course.) Or would we still need to bring the dog inside? We don’t have any other animals to be the dog’s company—probably just me during the day and my children after school. Also we are considering a Samoyed or Siberian husky. Would that be doable? Thanks!!!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 09, 2019:

Although your new Bernese would probably prefer a canine companion, dogs are amazingly adaptable animals. He will most likely adopt one of the cats and be just fine.

Meg on March 07, 2019:

We are considering getting a Great Bernese puppy for our farm in Indiana, USA. Are horses, cats and chickens enough companions for an outdoor farm dog like this?

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 24, 2019:

Sam, since dogs are such social animals it sounds like your mastiff rotti mix is just lonely for another dog. If this were my pet I would definitely get her another to spend time with, let them be outside during the day, and the in at night since it is so cold where you live.

Best of luck.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 24, 2019:

Sam, since dogs are such social animals it sounds like your mastiff rotti mix is just lonely for another dog. If this were my pet I would definitely get her another to spend time with, let them be outside during the day, and the in at night since it is so cold where you live.

Best of luck.

Sam on February 21, 2019:

I have a 9 month old Mastiff Rotti Mix we got her from a farm where she lived 100% outside with other dogs. Now she’s on her own and she only wants to be outside. We’ve only had her for four months and the first 4( just moved days ago) she was in an apartment. Not good. Now we are in the country with a yard and I want to know how to set her up out there. She loves the snow. She hates coming inside. She pouts all the time and doesn’t seem happy. That’s how I found your site. Help! I live in northern Canada. Should we get a second dog for her and then keep them outside most of the time and let them in at night?

Fraser on February 20, 2019:

I just want to commend you on your writing style. You are so complete and direct with what you have written. Fantastic.