You Can Keep Your Dog Outside

Updated on February 6, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Siberians enjoy being outside.
Siberians enjoy being outside. | Source

Is it Okay to Leave Your Dog Outside All of the Time?

This issue has been hotly debated 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 have 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 into a crate for their convenience.

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

It is okay to keep huskies outside.
It is okay to keep huskies outside. | Source

Does Your Dog Think it is 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 is 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 dog 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. | Source

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 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. | Source

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. | Source

Does Your Outside Dog Need a Kennel With Food and Water?

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 your 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 snow drift, 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 during 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. | Source

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.

Can you leave your dog outside?

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Would these dogs be happier sitting by the fire?
Would these dogs be happier sitting by the fire? | Source


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    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 6 days ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I, dogs are not like horses. They do not need to graze. You can put the food down, and wait with your dog for 15 minutes while she eats her meal. When she has finished eating, take away the rest and do not give her food again until her next meal. If she does not eat anyway, take away her food until her next meal.

      She will probably eat her food quicker then. If not, repeat.

      Leave water down all the time.

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      7 days ago

      My dog is outside always,i give food early in the morning and the afternoon the problem is that the bird's eat his food,what can I do.

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      Darcy 9 days ago

      Yes I have 2 dogs who live outside I am renting and the owner was very specific about not letting dogs in the house they are well looked after on a raw diet always checking there water get walked at least once everyday (twice if i don't have to go to work) unless it is pouring rain they have there own shed with blankets and heat mats in winter cooling mats in summer sometimes i go without food so my dogs can eat so yes it is possible to have dogs living outside and still be well cared for thanks for this article

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      MaggieandMolliesMom 4 weeks ago

      Thank God for a voice of reason! About a month ago I got two little girls puppies. Lab/st Bernard mix. The plan is to let them live outside. We have provided a fenced in yard, BIG dog house to snuggle in together and an area with shelter from sun/rain. They have a continuous waterer and are fed on a schedule. If they were inside they would have to be crated (separately) for at least 9-10 hours each day and then have a few hours loose before I have to go to bed. Instead they are free in their yard to play with each other and toys, snooze in the shade and poop and pee in the grass, haha. When I come home we romp in the yard (we have a 25 acre yard, lol) for a couple hours, take a break while I fix and eat supper and then we play again and learn some commands for another hour or two before dark. They are happy, extremely attached to me and their other humans, love when family and friends animals come to visit and are all around adorable pups. They are also obedient, learning tasks such as “come, sit, stay” rather easily so far (of course they’re all about the treat rewards!) Next is “down” and leash training so we can explore down the road! Thank you again for your very reasonable approach to animals and how they live.

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      2 months ago

      I have two make aussie shepherds that stay outdoors pretty much year round in Texas. With their thick coats, they LOVE the cooler and cold weather, and in the summers they get a haircut to keep them from overheating. They have absolutley no deaire to come inside, even when the doors are wide open.

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      Andy 2 months ago

      I have 4 small dogs that all sleep outside. Been alive for years. There dogs stop treating them like children

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      George 2 months ago

      I have a Siberian Husky and a German Shephard.. my husky will come inside from time to time when he feels like it but if I close the yard door he we’ll start barking at me.. at first I had no idea what he wanted I tried food, water, playing and it turned out all he wanted to do was go out into the yard to watch the night sky and enjoy the fresh air.. so he is outside about 80% of the time and will come in for the occasional sleep on the tiles or in our bed.. the shepherd on the other hand prefers my partner and I’s company and would rather sleep in our bed with us at night.. so at the end of the day i say it’s the dogs choice.. I used to feel sorry for the husky outside on his own at night but I would go out and see how he was going if he was sad and quiet contrary he would be laying with all fours in the air and had a big dopey smile on his face lol.. so like I said (I’m not dog expert at all) but my opinion is that if you get to know what your dog wants and understand them then let them choose :) .. this was a really good and level headed read by the way.. really enjoyed it!! Thanks!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Star, a JRT/chihuahua mix is one of the dogs I would not want outside in very cold weather. There is not much you can do since it is not your house but please do make sure your dog has water.

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      Star 2 months ago

      My dad put my dad out side in a big cage he has shelter and he is a jack russle mix chiuawawa he likes it out side he has medium fur I feed him. And give him water is that all I need to do?

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Cheryl, my Siberians were just like your Sheprador. They would come inside to say hello to the family but went back outside to enjoy themselves. Thanks for your great comment.

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      Cheryl 3 months ago

      This is the most common sense I have seen regarding leaving a dog outside. When I was growing up dogs did NOT live inside and the Pet I had was fine. He knew he was loved and could depend on his family to care for him. Times have changed in ways that's it seems to be more of fashion statement to have a dog inside than letting them out to be dogs! I am older now and just got a beautiful sheprador(rescue) and have stressed over leaving her outside due to all the new age ideas that it's cruel. I agree in that if I were a dog and had a choice of crate vs the great outdoors it woul d be a no brainer! I love my pup and she's going to be an awesome dog. But she will be an awesome outside dog. Just for those who may be critical of my choice believe it or not i gave her a Choice. She comes Inside to visit with my husband but right back out she wants to GO. shes Happy Healthy and gets plenty of attention. thank You for Helping me get past feeling bad about leaving her outdoors. Sheba thanks you too!

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      Isa 3 months ago

      My Bernese lives outside of the house and a lot of Bernese ownership judge me because of that. I’m not leaving him alone, all by himself. I give him lots of love, attention, we play a lot with his toys... but it’s like a obligation to keep a breed like a Bernese inside the house all the time. I used to feel guilty about it, but now that I saw this post I’m started to feel better about it

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Shaz a GSD should have no problems in mild weather like Dallas. I would actually be more concerned about the summer since that breed has a long fur coat. Do some reading on the best way to keep your dog cool in the summer. Best of luck to you both.

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      Shaz Akhtar 4 months ago


      I recently just got a three month old German Shepard from my neighbor who was moving out of country, anyway she has always been an outdoor dog and seems to enjoy her time outside. Do you think that it is fine for a German Shepherd to be outdoor she has plenty of shelter, toys, and a dog water fountain. I live in Dallas so on occasion the weather ranges from like 25-100 f through the year


    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Skubi´s Dad: I lost a junkyard dog I rescued several years ago to cancer secondary to asbestos exposure, so I know how hard this can be. My dog lost weight for several weeks and finally stopped eating. It was terrible.

      In Skubi´s case, the cancer certainly had nothing to do with him being outside, and nothing in the way you took care of him. It sounds like you did all you could.

      I cannot tell you when it would be a good idea to get another dog, but I definitely do not agree with the idea of not getting another dog. Our pets die. My number one soul mate, a Pitbull that is the best dog ever, is a senior so I know that in the years to come she is going to pass. She was spayed so although I wanted one of her puppies I ended up bringing home one of her neices. Not the same at all, but at least she is probably going to be around a lot longer. If you decide to get another dog later, he will not be Skubi, but he will be an individual deserving all of your care.

      Sorry about your loss, truly.

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      Skubi 4 months ago

      Scooby will sadly be put down tommorow...He was diagnosed with cancer in metastatis(sorry if I said it wrong,I don't know much about cancers).We discovered the cancer too late,it spread all through his body...I can only imagine the pain he is suffering.I alone decided to put him down because I see how his stomach makes weird moves and we give him water with force.He didn't eat for 2 days.He is probably in pain...I'll be with him this last day,I'll take pictures of him so I have something to remember him of.This life just isn't fair.He did not deserve this,he was only 5 and he was living kind of left out from my family.I fell in depression,I just can't accept the fact that when I open the balcony doors,nobody will be there jumping around and wagging his tail.My father and I tried everything to save him,it seems like we didn't try enough...I will never have a pet again knowing that I'll have to go through the same thing one day.Maybe I am so depressed because it's my first time experiencing death of a loved one,but I just don't want to do anything fun,I just feel like that would be a disrespect to his death.Animals deserve a better life than 90% of humans.Even if we discovered it earlier,I wouldn't give him chemoterapy or radiotherapy.I'd never want a dog to have an "expiry date".Life really sucks!!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Based on your description Skubi has a small intestinal disease, maybe inflammatory bowel dieases. It can be treated, controlled, but not cured, so all of the meds that have been tried are just an attempt to see if something might work. The one thing I can suggest that might work is probiotics. I am not sure what is available where you live.

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      Skubi 4 months ago

      Skubi is actually the name of my dog.It's Scooby just on Serbian.

      The first vet came on 10th January and for 3 days he gave him 3 vaccines which he didn't tell us the name of,but I feel like it did nothing,he just walked harder with that leg for next few days.We waited a bit and nothing happened,he was just having a really awful diarrhea for the next few days.I thought that grass will help and they same day he ate some grass he vomited it along with his food.By the way he was vomiting for the first 10-12 days.Then he stopped vomiting,he just had a bad diarrhea.Slowly he began to lose his weight.I could see his ribs more and more every day.By the 21th January he was literally half of his full size.He was so skinny he would get tired after 800m of walking.The vet that gave him those vaccines was just a small private vet,so me and my parents took him to a nearest if I could say more developed vet. station.I'm not sure if the names of the medicine stuff are the same here in Serbia and there,but he told us to give him Longaceph vaccine first day,and if he felt better,give him one every next day for 7 days.We didn't notice much difference but he did want to chew on toys and he wagged his tail which he kept down or between his legs.So yeah we gave him all 7 vaccines.The situation is the same.Skinny,bad diarrhea.I noticed that 2 pairs of glands got bigger.The ones under his jaw and the one on the down side of his neck.They weren't that oversized but it was noticeable.We wen't and analyzed his blood,we took him to the same vet that gave him longaceph and he said it wasn't that bad.He gave him albendazole,and there was no difference in his health,still skinny,weak and a bad diarrhea.After we waited 3 days,a dads friend that has a Yugoslavian Sheperd told us hiw his dog had bad diarrhea,was very skinny for a few days and he got better by giving him nifuroxazide and activated charcoal.We did the same and we noticed how he was more playful and his bad diarrhea had some little bits of normal excrement(not sure how to say it but there were some small sized brown balls),in a diffrerence from before when it was pure liquid.We also gave him Bactrim.A few days passed by and here we are.He is still having a bad diarrhea with those bits,he lost even more weight,his glands on the down side of his neck are almost the size of a small egg.My parents are talking about taking him to another vet and if he doesn't get better in the next few days,we will have to put him to sleep.He is so young and full of life...He has lived only 5 years,I'd really like him to survive this,I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for not caring about him more.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Skubi it sounds like you care a lot about your Staffy and are doing the best you can for him. What kind of pills did your vet give you for his weight loss?

      A lot of dogs freak out from fireworks, so if you can keep him inside that night it is a lot better. If you look on my profile page you can find an article about teaching a dog to have no fear of fireworks through conditioning; it is a lot of work but eventually it can help a lot.

      Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

    • profile image

      Skubi 4 months ago

      Is it okay if I keep my dog on a big balcony with water food and shelter always provided?The balcony on the back of the house is huge sadly it has no grass or trees,it's just a flat balcony with a separated shelter that is protected with walls.The dogs breed is American Staffordshire Terrier which is similar to pitbulls.He is out there all the time except for the winter when I have to take him to the garage which is right next doors,but on the winter I walk him 3 times a day and I feed him like 6 times with smaller portions.He really can't stay outside cause temperatures here get down to -20C and his fur is really short.I would like to keep him in house but my mother is allergic to him so he can't live in the house.While he is in garage he has enough space,a warm radiator next to his blanket and water.When the winter is gone I walk him 2 times a day with walks of 1 hour and he is fed properly,he has toys to chew on and has a view on a huge street,so he is not that bored.I would really like if he was in with my family but I'm 16 years old and I have school so I am with him barely 2,5 hours with him a day except for some days when we go on a trip to nature where I let him free and he runs for the whole day with me.I feel so sorry that I can't spend more time with him,and for last 25 days he is so sick and skinny and I am so afraid that he has a serious sickness and he is only 5 years old.Me and my dad visited a vet,he gave him some pills and we are giving him vaccines but I haven't seen any improvment,we have checked his blood and the vet says that his blood is not so bad.I'm sure that it was because of new year fireworks and firecrackers,since he was outside on the midnight.I want to punish myself so much for not putting him inside I was such an idiot...

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Julie, here is a link to an article I wrote on keeping your dog cool

      Labs are prone to obesity, so please take special note on the section on weight control.

    • profile image

      Julie 5 months ago

      We just adopted a German Shepherd/lab mix. We live in South Carolina, USA. Temperatures can get anywhere from 90- 97 degrees F in the summer. If it's not advisable to switch between indoor/outdoor living, how would one keep a dog comfortable outside while temple are this high?

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Taryn,that makes me wonder why people like that even get a dog! Purchasing a Pug was probably not cheap, and then to leave it without shelter is really disgraceful. They are not outside dogs, and they need to socialize too. Getting the dog a shelter is a great idea--maybe she would even consider giving the dog to someone that wants to give it a real home?

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      TarynDavidson 5 months ago

      Hi, I'm worried about my friends dog. She keeps him outside all the time, and the dog is never socialized. There's no snow, but it's extremely windy and it's about 29 degrees F during the night. No shelter, he is kept in a large backyard and he sleeps on the ground - nothing else but a pathetic thin, old towel of hers. He's a very small breed - pug. I would really like to say something, but instead I was thinking about getting him a shelter and a couple of warm blankets. Please help, it's only a few months old, and I'm afraid it's suffering miserably outside!

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      Eememe 6 months ago

      Okay great thank you! He still hasn’t gone in and it is -5 celcius tonight but he looks rather comfortable all sprawled out on his bed right outside his doghouse and he has plenty of food and water. Thank you again for your help!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mackenzie, beagles do fine outside in most conditions but what bothers me is that you mention he does not have a shelter, and what is worse is that he is isolated. They are pack dogs, used to being with a lot of other animals, very social. Not sure what you can do, as it really depends on what state or region you are in. It does sound like cruelty, but some regions do not care much about treatment of dogs.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      eememe--I think the best thing you could do for your dog is provide the house, with some straw bedding, and if he gets cold in that fur coat he can use it. if not, he will stay outside.

      Do not forget to provide fresh water. Dogs need to drink even if it gets down to zero C.

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      eememe 6 months ago

      I live in Hungary ( a small country in Europe) it got extremely cold last year -3 celcius I think with a lot of snow. I think the coldest it has gotten this year was 24 F so I think around 0 celcius, but when I look out our window he is sometimes shivering and from what I understand that is a sign a dog is cold. It has warmed up a bit so I suppose I won’t have to worry too much for a little while

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      mackenzie mena 6 months ago

      Hi, my neighbor leaves his beagle outside 24/7 for years. The dog has no interaction with anyone or thing, and does not have access to shelter or sometimes food. In the summer it gets to 100 and in the winter we get into the 20s. The only thing he has is concrete and dirt. Ive called the non emergency number on them last winter and this summer and while they say the dog is on the skinner side, that he is fine. it’s getting very cold again and the poor thing cries all night. i feel terrible, is the dog okay? what should i do? We talked to the ex wife of the owner but she never does anything and we’re too afraid to confront the owner because he’s dangerous.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      eememe, maybe your dog does not want to go inside the house . Where are you located? Maybe you think it is cold and it is fine for him. My Siberians would never sleep in a dog house, no matter how cold I thought it was, but they would go inside sometimes to get out of the rain.

      The current feeling in the US is that it is cruel to leave dogs outside. I think that is pretty stupid and does not consider the dog.

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      Eememe 6 months ago

      I know it has been awhile since this article was written but can I just say how happy I am to see that someone finally agrees with me. Our dog, a golden cocker has lived outside all his life. Though we take him inside every so often he mostly stays outside ( due to my allergies and the fact that he always begs to go back out). My little sister and I are homeschooled so I try to spend as much time with him as possible (I would say about an hour to an hour and a half a day and every other day I take him on an hour walk to a park where he is let off the leash and can run around). But that is not the point. He hasn’t been sleeping in his doghouse and it is getting rather cold. He slept in it all last winter but refuses to now. It is nice and warm and well insulated with lots of room and nothing has changed since last winter. Thankfully this winter is milder and eventually if its gets cold and he still won’t sleep in it, my parents agreed to let him inside. I have done quite a bit of research but all the only answers I get is that I am abusing him and should feel very ashamed. Any ideas on how to get him sleeping in his doghouse? Also he has a bed and blankets right next to his house on the covered porch so he isn’t sleeping on cold ground.

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      Dbarcus 6 months ago

      Hi there, we are a family of 7 and we live in Amish country of Pennsylvania. We rent our home from an Amish family and Amish do not believe in household pets only outdoor pets. Anyways, my boyfriend and I have 5 kids, our 3 year old has autism, and dogs calm him very very much, my boyfriend and I have always wanted dogs, our children as well and so we want to get a pair of husky mixes, but obviously like stated above they have to stay outside, we wanna get puppies so that they can be trained to be outside and adapt to that but we are not sure the proper steps to take in building them a house that is insulated and caged so that at night they don’t wonder off, I am a stay at home mom so they pretty much will be out of the fenced area all day, and depending on any errands I may run from time to time will be allowed to ride along with us, we want our 3 year old to have as much time with the dogs as possible, run around and love on each other and just be best friends because we have seen the impact health wise it has on our son and knowing huskies enjoy the attention and affection he has to give to them as well as the rest of the family I feel it would be a great fit, we live off of a farm, no criminal activities happen that we have ever heard about as far as theft of any sort etc. maybe just some pointers on how soon to start leaving the dogs out, references to building them an awesome house for weather of every kind, we have hot/humid summers and 25-30 is as cold as it typically gets, sometimes there is snow but rarely anything to be worried about for the dogs

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Please: I would not keep my Schnauzer outside. She is not particularly adapted for the heat here, and I imagine it is just as bad over there.

      Congrats, hope you all do well together.

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      Please answer my Question! 7 months ago

      Hi everyone.

      Reading these comments is shocking! The poor use of grammar is terrible!

      I am getting a miniature Schnauzer soon and I was browsing the web to see if I could keep it outside because I am not allowed to have it inside.

      I live in Australia and the weather conditions can get pretty harsh.

      Should I just keep it in the laundry?

      Could I keep a dog as small as a mini schnauzer outside?

      Please answer my question ASAP.

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      Kirsten 9 months ago

      Wow reading some of the comments on this topic has amazed me. I fully agree with this article I'm not sure if it's different countries but I live in Australia and I dont make my dog do anything he has the backyard when I'm at work and when I'm at home if he wants to be in he can come in or if he wants to be out he stays out. Normally he has always been an outside dog but has a bed inside and a kennel out. I believe it would be cruel if I locked him inside the house. I'm getting a new puppy and was having a browse what other people do and I'm shocked at how many people lock their dogs up when they go out! I understand not everyone has a yard but from my experience unless they're sleeping or little lap dogs they prefer running around outside.

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      Yohaan 9 months ago

      What hypoallgenic dogs can live outside

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hollie, BCs are fine in weather like that you have in NC. A lot of other breeds are okay there too, so a Blue Heeler is another good choice there. Good luck, ignore that negativity..

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      Hollie 9 months ago

      Hi! I was thinking about getting a Border Collie and keeping it outside 24/7. I live in Greensboro NC, so we get humid summers and very few snows in winter. We have about an acre of backyard and it is fenced in. I have a couple of questions. Do you think that a Border Collie is a good choice? Or should I look into a different type of dog? And should I look into getting two dogs if I get a Border Collie? If so, should they both be Border Collies or can they be different breeds?

      Thanks for this article, I started getting worried when I read a bunch of negative stuff on getting an outside dog.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 9 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      I visited this article again and liked it immensely. My exchange of views with Dr Mark reminded me that 3 years ago I was that much young ha-ha.



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      Amanda 10 months ago

      We adopted a Husky. We tried to keep him inside going outside multiple times a day. He was just too rambunctious and nipping at my daughter (not in an aggressive way, playing) but she is only 3. We decided to have him be an outside dog. He is chained up in the back yard. Access to the garage for shelter. And a very large shade tree. We still go out at least every hour to two hours and walk him around the property. He doesn't bark or talk much but just paces back and forth. Is this Bc he is lonely? Should I be concerned?

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 11 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Do you mean he sleeps in the house at niht and is outside durin the day? that is worse than bein outside all of the time.

    • profile image

      hello i would like to ask a question 11 months ago

      i dont have much choice with what my mom does with her dog, but i was wondering if what she does is alright? the dog is usually an outside dog that sleeps inside a large crate at night. shes well stimulated and we play with her outside but it bothers me that she sleeps in a cage. my mom does not allow animals on the furniture. ive told her to not have a pet if shes going to half ass being a owner but she guilts me about it. she is very well fed and taken care of, doesn't bark much and is in generally a very happy dog, this has been bothering me for a long time, any advise? the doggy isn't abused or neglected, just usually outside sometimes she hangs out with the cat.

    • profile image

      Madilyn 11 months ago

      Hi Dr. Mark, I am thinking about getting an Austrailian Cattle Dog puppy. I live in Texas suburbs so it gets up to 102 degrees here outside, but I have a big garage and shady trees. Would it be okay to keep the dog outside by itself without another dog? Or would installing a doggy door be best?

    • PoundPup profile image

      Mary Carther 11 months ago from Killeen

      I live next door to someone who keeps 2 American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls) in separate cages 4x6 ft each 24/7. City ordinance requires 10x10 ft minimum cage size, but Animal Control will not enforce it. He keeps the dogs in those little kennels with limited shelter (Plastic dog houses), with little to no water in the Texas summer heat. There is no efficient shade, no dry spot in the rain, especially in the one dog's kennel, since he shreds his shelter. I have filed complaints, but Animal Control does not believe my recounts (lengthy) of them yipping out in thunderstorms, barking all day long as soon as anyone is outside in the other properties, and just never getting any exercise, except for on Sunday, when he takes either one or the other to breed. Even though A/C comes here during the day, they see the dogs in the cages at noon, but then he talks to them in the evening - and they allow him to bamboozle them later.

      I have filed complaints, but the city is so overrun with crime, they don't have time to worry about 2 outside scrawny thirsty, unsocialized dogs. I just give the male water when I can. His kennel is adjacent to my fence. The female is at the other end of the yard, I cannot reach her. :(

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      Lauren B. 13 months ago

      I have a small dog named Liam and he's not even 1 yet and when I first got him he was inside but I blew my chance so because my room started to smell from me trying to potty train him. And now she makes me keep him in the foyer and I don't know how to make her realize that he isn't meant to be an outside dog. She never lets him inside anymore and I mean never not even to take a bath, what do I need to do?

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      Shannon 13 months ago

      I just adopted a dog from the shelter who is approximately 1 1/2 years old. She has never been inside and appears to have had minimal interaction with people. She is getting more comfortable now and is coming up to me and playing with toys. She wants nothing to do with inside, and I'm not going to force her to come in. I have 5 acres of land fenced in with a pond and plenty of shady spots. She has plenty of fresh water. She lives outside with my cat, who was also a rescue and prefers to stay outside the majority of the time.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hey Whitney not sure if things in California are as bad as in the NE US but there is a lot of people that are opposed to dogs being outside and might report you. Are you in a neighborhood or rural area? If the weather is mild lots of smaller dogs do okay outside, like the Lhasa Apso, but they still need a lot of social interaction. There are a lot more hardy choices in medium sized dogs, like the Shar Pei, so I think you are better off with a medium than two small dogs.

      I am glad you are putting so much thought into this. If you have any other questions about a specific breed let me know before you make a final decision and I will be glad to help.

    • profile image

      Whitney 16 months ago

      My husband and I are considering getting a smaller dog as we have two young boys and a third on the way. We're unable to bring the dog indoors as a family member has severe allergies to dander. We live in Southern California and don't experience extreme weather. The dog would be free to roam in our fenced backyard (with shade and a house) and would get frequent walks and a lot of interaction with our family - if needed we could let him in the garage for emergencies. What small breed could tolerate mild weather and living outdoors (not neglected!)? We've also considered getting 2 puppies if that would help even more with having a constant companion. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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      fed up 17 months ago

      dogs should not be dumped in the garden even with an empty shed to go in,

      they fret as soon as the owners leave for work meaning all day at work,

      the dogs howl and fight the noise can be awful, but never mind people living nearby as long as out of sight out of mind, that is what I call distressing for all around every day!!!!!

    • profile image

      Ellie 18 months ago

      What about if the dog is aged? Or is of a particular breed strains that was not bred to work but to show for example. My parents leave my gsd outside in the cold and rain, they room away his only shelter (which was a table). And the roof, under which he sleeps, leaks so that there aren't any dry spots on the ground. He's 11 years old and he isn't a working gsd. No matter how I try to reason, they won't budge. I live here. But it's their house. And if were to let him in myself, I'd be sleeping outside too. (Not sarcasm).

    • Diane McClain profile image

      Diane McClain 21 months ago

      My husband and I have lived in our house for 25 years and in that time we have had dogs outside. The only time the dogs are in the house is for extreme emergency cases They have a doggie door where try can go in and out, plenty of water, plenty of food , blankets The yard is shady we have plenty of trees they can get exercise by running around We have a 4 ft high fence. Our dogs just because they are outside the ARE NEVER NEGLECTED The seem happy they can play with the neighbor dogs. I think they have a good life. Everyone who has outside dogs aren't cruel. I can't have the cats and gather dogs inside it just wouldn't work. And all my dogs have lived until the teens. I just can't imagine a dog like rottweiler staying in the house.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Matthew. Dogs are social animals and most do not do that well that many hours alone. A few breeds you might look at are:

      What you do not want to do is adopt a Border Collie, Lab, Siberian Husky, or one of the other popular breeds that need a lot of attention. If you are going to be away that many hours, it is a good idea to have two dogs so that they are not alone, but you must really want a dog and be willing to spend that time you home with them--walking, playing, etc.

      Good luck. Drop me a note on the other article and let me know what you decide to do.

    • profile image

      Matthew Burke 3 years ago

      I work 7 hours/day and I love dogs so I wanted to adopt one. I can't come from work to my dog because my workplace is 2 hours away. I don't know

      what I should do. Please help me !

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Cindy, I never said that. What I did say was that breeders are stopping people from getting dogs because they are planning on keeping them outside. Those same breeders think it is okay to lock those dogs up in crates. That is wrong. If you think this is a devils advocate piece, you are not reading very carefully, or maybe not reading at all.

      Do you really think a Pyrenees will be better off spending part of the day inside if he is locked up in a crate? If they are inside with their "pack" but are incarcerated while doing so, do you think that is good for the dog´s mental well being?

    • profile image

      Cindy 4 years ago

      Bit of a logic flaw to say that "Because some people crate their dogs cruelly, it is therefore great to leave my dog outside 24/7". You're creating a false comparison and straw man argument.

      Pyrs can be kept as inside/outside dogs; moving between environments is not de facto bad for their heath any more than it's unhealthy for you to walk to your car every morning. For Pyrs the real question should be do they have a pack/flock and are they wherever that pack is. If they need to be inside for part of the day to be with their pack as much as possible then yes they absolutely should be inside/outside dogs.

      This reads more like a 'devil's advocate' piece than an informative article:/

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Yes Dr. Mark, that makes sense to me.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Suhail, it sounds like K2 is into the breezes, like my dog. She sits in the front doorway all day long (I usually leave my front door open) and "soaks" up the ocean breeze coming into the house. I bet the cold concrete of a garage feels good on his belly too.

      Pamela, I see this down here too. Some of my neighbors have the opportunity to walk their dogs off leash on the beach and never even let them out of the yard. It really is sad to see them locked up all the time.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I agree with everything you have said in this hub.

      It's very sad here in Arizona where so many dog owners should not be dog owners. So many people in each neighborhood have their six foot-high brick fences with their lone dog in the back yard, winter and summer, fall and spring. It's heartbreaking to walk past some of the houses at midnight (when it's a bit cooler) in the summer months with our dogs and know there are dogs in certain yards that hear us walk by, happy, while they live their lives outside in the dreadful summer heat.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      By the way, Dr. Mark, my dog has developed a strange liking for parking himself in the garage where I have put a fence on one of the two doors. He enjoys looking outside at passing people and their dogs and cars. He doesn't like to be inside for long duration because of hot temperatures due furnace and in the backyard, where the high wooden fence obstructs his view of the outside world.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I can only imagine what you are going through, Rebecca. I hope you are able to find her. I would be a wreck if something happened to my dog Ajej. My dogs stay out in the yard with my poultry when I go to town, and they really are happier than when I have to leave them in the house (like rainy days). Bob Bamberg discussed the issue of the dog thieves there in the US, hopefully that is not an issue there in Georgia. Good luck in your search--dont give up on her!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Hi there. You are stepping all over my toes. I moved from the burbs to the country a couple of years ago. All the dogs have been in hog, well dog heaven ever since, but on New Years one of them mysteriously disappeared when going to potty. She is chipped and I am looking desperately. She is a tan-colored German Sheppard mix. I will never leave them unattended again. I feel so bad. But she was doing so well just hanging out in the yard. Also, I heard that a neighbor's dog was stolen. That is another worry. Thanks for a good article.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I can certainly understand why people would be forced to keep dogs inside, like those you mentioned who had to move to an apartment. But to say that dogs are better off living inside? To me that is totally wrong.

      Interesting comment on the WWII dogs. I cannot imagine volunteering my dog! I guess I am not "patriot" enough.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      A very good hub indeed.

      Susan Orleans advises in her book 'Rin Tin Tin' that keeping dogs inside the homes is a phenomena that has its beginning from great depressions. As people and their families moved from their farms to the cities in search of jobs, they brought their dogs and cats along. In the cities, their dwellings were much smaller, usually apartments to save costs. The dogs moved in. Previous to those tragic times, most dogs were meant to remain outside.

      Also she writes that human-dog relationship during 2nd World War wasn't as close as it is today. When the US military advertised for volunteering dogs for use in war, an overwhelming number of people volunteered their dogs in due to patriotism.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Wow, the Arizona desert! I live in the tropics so when I leave my dog outside I deal with the heat, but the desert would be different in several ways. Not good for a Siberian, but a Pharaoh Hound or Saluki would probably be fine outside. With plenty of exercise, like you mentioned.

      Great comment! Thanks.

    • ellesvoice profile image

      Elizabeth Hanks 5 years ago from Queen Creek

      This is a great article on a controversial topic! Living in the hot Arizona desert, I can't say I'd agree with keeping my long-haired pup outdoors, but I certainly would if I had snow for them to enjoy! Definitely agree with the fact that leaving a dog alone with nothing to do is a horrible idea, though! I've had several great dogs that got downright DESTRUCTIVE when left alone for too long.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Michelle thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I have a lot of respect for your opinion and appreciate your input.

      Bob, Mass sounds scarier all of the time. It is amazing that Elizabeth Thomas Marsall lived there and let her dogs run off leash to write "The Hidden Life of Dogs". If she tried that now she´d be hauled up and....well, you know.

      Thanks for coming by and leaving that interesting comment.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 5 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Good article, Doc. I especially appreciate it because it validates my own thoughts. Around here it seems to be the nature vs nurture conundrum. For the most part, leaving dogs outside is a practice that's frowned upon by most owners...even when they have a large, fenced in yard to run around in, but do so alone.

      Being naturally adapted to outdoor living, most dogs seem quite content to be outside. But, if he's out there too long, with the rest of the family sequestered inside, the dog will let his unhappiness be known.

      Dogs being left outside, especially if they're tied up, generates many calls to ACOs and the MSCPA. Most people consider that the dog is being neglected and are quick to drop a dime.

      More often than not, officials find that the dog is not being neglected. He's just being maintained under standards that don't measure up in some peoples' opinion. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Indeed, certain breeds should be kept in certain conditions and some do much better living outside! Thanks for sharing, Mark.


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