17 Best Outdoor Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

Last Updated on July, 2024

If you intend to purchase a dog, you must consider plenty of factors before making your choice. Some may consider the breed, some whether the dog is healthy, some the size of the dog, the history, age, and activity level.

In addition to all of these variables, there is one essential component that we must all take into account when purchasing or adopting a dog, particularly the dog’s ability to adapt to the local climate.

Regardless if your dog is known as an indoor dog or an outdoor dog, how does the weather affect the dog you are about to make your pet? Some dogs are born to tolerate the cold weather; some indulge in the hot climate.

While most dogs are made for the cold or the warmth, some can bear both sides. The dogs who are capable of adapting for both cold and the warmth are ideal for outdoor living. 

Read on to explore all the information about the best outdoor dog breeds that can live outside.

Quick Summary

Australian Cattle Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Bearded Collie, and Belgian Sheepdog & more, are all suitable outdoor dog breeds.

Consider the climate and coat of the dog when choosing an outdoor breed.

Spending time outdoors with your dog is beneficial for both physical and emotional wellbeing.

Best Outdoor Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

Here are the top choices for dogs that can spend long periods outdoors owing to their body structure and remarkable vitality and strength. Analyze what outdoor dog breed suits the most to your lifestyle and the members of your household and invest in a dog.

1. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian cattle dog is a breed of herding dog originally bred in Australia, [Yeah, the name says it all] a medium-sized breed that is very popular amongst outdoor dogs. This is a short-coated dog who can handle the heat. 

Coming in at 35 to 50 pounds, they are very intelligent dogs, best when they are kept outdoors. It is a well-disciplined dog who responds to systematic training.

Australian cattle dogs thrive on running around and being very active creatures; they are only the best option if you have enough space for them to play. 

Australian Cattle Dog sitting on the table

2. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dogs are a breed that generally does well outdoors, requiring activity and exercise in their daily life.

Bernese mountain dogs do not have a great deal of endurance, but they have a well-built body structure for hiking. 

A male weighs 80 – 115 pounds and a female weighs 70 – 95 pounds.

They are calmer than other herding dogs and very gentle towards children and other family members.

Berners have a commanding presence that isn’t intimidating and treat outsiders with cool dignity.

Bernese Mountain Dog sitting on the ground

3. Siberian Husky

Husky is a medium-sized dog at about 20-24 inches tall, weighing 30-60 pounds.

They are ‘born pack dogs,’ meaning that they are bred to perform as part of a pack; they are sociable in their blood.

Siberian Husky is recognized for their thick double coat, which allows them to spend long hours in cold weather.

These dogs blow out their entire undercoat twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. [These days, you should leave a vacuum cleaner where you can see at all times.]

Siberian Husky running on the ground

These dogs do not do well in hot climates; if you live somewhere, where the temperature exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit, my advice is not to get a Siberian husky. 

They have epic levels of endurance and speed. They are known as talented escape artists; If you get one, just make sure it’s on a leash, I can tell you now you won’t be able to catch it if it decides to escape!

4. German Shepherd

German Shepherds vary from medium-sized dogs to large-sized dogs, only weighing in at a maximum of 90 pounds.

The German Shepherd dog is an agile, muscular dog of gentle character and high intelligence.

Though German Shepherds are excellent herding dogs, they are prevalent in worldwide police forces, and dogs are often used as excellent guard dogs. 

They love their owner but can be cautious around strangers.

German Shepherd requires a decent amount of attention, care and training, and they will reward you with significant years of loyalty and love. 

German Shepherd sitting on the ground

5. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan malamute is a powerful, loyal and playful breed. They are known for their high energy and strong posture.

It was initially bred for its strength to haul heavy loads as gentle giants. They feature a thick coat and are described as a serious individual. 

The Alaskan Malamute stands between 23 and 25 inches tall and weighs between 75 and 85 pounds.

Fact: When the Malamutes curl up in the snow, their thick tail fur helps keep them warm. They frequently appear with their tail wrapped around their faces and noses, presumably shielding them from inclement weather like blowing snow.

Alaskan Malamute sitting on the ground

6. Australian Shepherd

Australian dog is a breed of herding dogs originally bred in North America.

One of the best outdoor dog breeds and one of the most popular outdoor dogs in North America.

The Australian Shepherd is built with medium-length fur and an agile, athletic body structure and it weighs between 35 and 70 pounds.

It makes an excellent companion dog for high-energy dog owners. 

Australian Shepherd has a trainable personality, is adept at dog sports and search and rescue missions, and is known as a great service dog.

Australian Shepherd standing on the ground

7. Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers are one of the best outdoor dog breeds with a medium-large body structure. The ideal weight of the dog comes to 55- 80 pounds.

Their coat is short and water-resistant and built for cold weather.

They require daily exercise, and if it’s not provided and the labrador retriever is left alone, they can be very destructive.

A Labrador retriever is a fast-maturing breed that is known for frequent grooming, and they reach an adult height in 12 months.

They are excellent family dogs as long you keep in mind their need for daily exercise and training. 

Labrador Retriever sitting on the ground

8. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish wolfhound is a giant hound breed native to Ireland. They weigh up to 120 pounds; they are one of the giant outdoor dog breeds in the world. 

They are a true gentle giant. They can associate with any human being with proper training and socialization, including small kids.

Their furry coat can come in many colors, and it may be black, brindle, gray, red, or pure white. They have relatively long and muscular necks.

Irish wolfhounds are among the most incredible dog breeds for outdoor living, much like the other dogs described above.

Irish Wolfhound sitting on the ground

9. Bearded Collie 

Bearded Collie is a popular family companion.

It has an average height of 20 – 25 inches and a weight of 40-60 pounds.

Bearded Collies enjoy outdoor exercise in any weather.

They are amiable creatures and their whole body is covered with heavy furry coats.

Bearded Collie is also known as a show dog.

Bearded Collie lying on the ground

10. Belgian Sheepdog

They are one of the best outdoor dogs in the business and are very intelligent and versatile. Belgian Sheepdog is a highly trainable dog.

They have excellent tracking skills, which makes them good search and rescue dogs. They are alert, devoted, protective, and sensible.

One of the best dog breeds to secure your premises and your family.

For Belgian Sheepdogs, the usual weight ranges from 55 – 70 pounds. 

Belgian Sheepdog standing in the water

They have three coat varieties, long-haired, short-haired, and rough-haired. They require training from an early stage to come to their senses.

Belgian Sheepdogs inspire loyalty, and they live and love with great passion.

11. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 

The greater swiss mountain dog is a large, immensely strong worker-famous dog breed, they tip the scales at 115 – 140 pounds.

Greater swiss mountain dogs are very strong creatures. They were developed in Switzerland as all-purpose farm dogs. 

Greater swiss mountain dogs are a rare outdoor dog breed. Warm weather is challenging for these dogs, so the ideal weather condition for them would be colder weather.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog jumping on the ground

The breed is large and heavy-boned with muscular physical strength, and they are strong enough to perform farm duties in all forms.

They are charming, calm, and active dogs and would love to join you on your long walks and hikes.

12. Rottweiler 

Rotties are a breed of domestic dogs. If you are a person who loves an outdoor lifestyle, Rottweiler is another suitable companion for you.

One of the best outdoor dogs in the world.

It does not have a thick coat, weighing 95 – 135 pounds, A Rottweiler is capable of being outside in extremely hot and cold climates. 

The roles of companion, service, rescue, and working dog are all ideally suited to Rottweilers.

Rottweiler Dog standing on the ground

Through early socialization and training, a Rottie can constructively redirect their territorial impulses.

13. American FoxHound

American Foxhounds were developed as fast dogs.

These incredibly active canines are excellent jogging partners due to their tremendous stamina.

Weighing 40-65 pounds, American FoxHound features a medium-length hard hound coat in any color, though the hues of black, white, and tan are particularly striking.

They are compassionate and loving, but value their personal space.

American FoxHound standing on the ground

14. Samoyed 

A breed of working dogs bred in Siberia, Weighing 45- 65 pounds. Samoyed thrives on human companionship and does not do well when left alone.

Samoyeds are intelligent dogs with a touch of independence.

Samoyed dogs typically have white coats with a brown hue that makes them naturally dirt-resistant.

They have a pleasant and cheerful nature and are known to be utilized in missions in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Samoyed sitting on the ground

15. Canaan Dog

The Canaan dog is a pariah dog that has survived the extreme heat of the desert region.

These dogs compete in highly intensive dog sports. Canaan dogs are highly adjustable dog breeds.

They are very smart, but at the same time, they also can be stubborn. 

They are a wild type of dog in appearance weighing 35 to 55 pounds. Their outer coat is dense, harsh, and of short to medium length. 

Canaan Dog standing near the river

Despite the fact that the Canaan dog is a more tenacious, tough dog. These characteristics make it a terrific choice for herds, however it may still make a wonderful household pet.

16. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is a Scottish breed and medium size dog breed. These dogs stand from 20 – 24 inches in height and 55 – 75 pounds in weight. 

Their double coat is a noticeable feature; their outer coat could be extended, flat, or wavy, and it has good feathering, while the undercoat is dense and provides weather resistance.

The Golden Retriever is a very common companion dog. They are considered intelligent and a very affectionate breed of dog.

Golden Retriever lying on the ground

17. Mastiff

Among the largest dogs, mastiffs are enormous, heavy-boned animals with short coats, low-set tails, and large feet.

It has a shoulder height of at least 30 inches and can outweigh a grown man as it weighs 160 – 230 pounds.

Despite the body’s ominous appearance, Mastiffs make kind, patient guardians and companions who respond well to moderate discipline. Mastiffs are devoted and protective of their family.

Mastiff sitting on the ground

Best Reasons to Get an Outdoor Dog

If you are to buy an outdoor dog, you have to invest your time in training your dog; you should spend time outdoors, running, walking, and playing with your dog. This applies to more than just the outdoor breeds. It also applies to indoor furry friends.

It’s essential for your dog’s enjoyment and health that he or she spends time outside for exercise, fresh air, and cerebral stimulation.

Here are some reasons why you should buy an outdoor dog.

For an Active Lifestyle

If you are a human who spends half of your day outdoors hunting, fishing, or camping, an outdoor dog is a solid escort. 

Take a Hike

An outdoor dog is the best solution if you require a partner for long walks.

If your dog can handle the weather conditions perfectly, take it on walks, hikes, and your daily run.

Long walks can boost your pets’ mental and physical health. 

It’s straightforward to start with this dog-friendly activity; if your dog is an outdoor dog, you shouldn’t worry if it’s hot weather or cold weather, but be mindful when choosing your path.

Small dog breeds require less exercise; choose short paths with a flat surface; if its’ a medium-sized breed or else large sized dogs, you can select longer hikes with more hills.

a human walking with a dog

Overnight Camping Sessions

There’s no better feeling than sharing the warmth of a campfire with your flurry ball. There’s a slight problem if your dog doesn’t have a thick coat, but you can still give him warm hugs during these sessions. 

Since many campgrounds are near lakes, you can always treat your dog with fun-filled activities.


Your dog already has a nose for exciting adventures; animal hunting could be treasure hunting, and your dog would love to join you on the journey.

For the Safety of You and Your Premises

Having an outdoor dog will be the best solution if you live in a troublesome neighborhood filled with thieves. Since outdoor dogs can spend long hours outside the house, you shouldn’t worry about their health.

Both your dog and potential robbers won’t bother you if you can find a way to securely contain your dog.

A Good Workbuddy

Some dogs are bred to do specific jobs on behalf of human beings, some dog breeds are specified for keeping you safe, and other dogs are good at hunting. They are the happiest when they are allowed to work alongside you.

Why Shouldn’t You Get an Outdoor Dog?

a human sitting with a dog in mountain

This topic totally relates to you and the environment around you. Even though you purchase an outdoor dog breed, you shouldn’t rely on the thought that your dog is safe outside or it is enjoying being without company.

They are denied the social framework, pack or family, to which they were born as animals. They live their entire lives on the outside, looking in.

You also shouldn’t buy an outdoor dog breed if you don’t have the time to spend at least one hour a day with it. A dog you don’t see too often may not provide the benefits of company for you.

Additionally, the area where you live needs to be cozy and secure for your dog to feel safe living outside. You should absolutely abandon the thought of purchasing an outdoor dog breed if you feel that the situation is not ideal.

An outdoor dog breed should be able to survive in every weather, but there is a limit to how far they can go.

Inspect your surroundings’ weather to make sure it isn’t too extreme or too extreme for the outdoor dog breed that you are about to purchase.

Things That Make a Good Outdoor Dog!

These are the qualities that your outdoor dog breed should possess if you intend for them to stay outdoors securely.

It’s best if your dog is larger sized. The majority of large-sized breeds can withstand the elements, but small breeds are more vulnerable to animal assault and the extreme weather conditions. 

Only adoptable animals should be allowed to spend significant amounts of time outside. The dog should be closely watched if they have a major medical issue.

A moderately thick coat is definitely a benefit, a thick double coat is necessary for prolonged outdoor exposure in cold weather. Your dog will stay warm in cooler areas thanks to this inner layer of fluff. 

Short-coated breeds that can handle heat are better suited to warmer areas. For example, you shouldn’t leave huskies or Samoyeds outside all day in the heat.

An average muscular rate is necessary for your breed to spend extended periods of time outside unsupervised. If your dog is insufficiently muscular, they risk overheating fast in warm temperatures.

Here are the best and most fun games to play outside with your dog.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Outdoors

Weather Condition and a dog sleeping

As a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of all the factors that trigger a warning sound for your dog’s safety. 

Life outdoors can be fascinating, but at the same time, you should be aware of the dangers.

Weather Conditions

It’s very important to protect your dog from all the elements of nature, such as wind, rain, sunlight, or snow. Always protect your dog from extreme weather conditions.

If the heat is troubling your dog, he should always have access to water and provide shade for your dog so that he can escape heat strokes. 

The rays of the sun can overwhelm your dog. Dogs can also get sunburns on their nose and ears; a place out of the sun will help them to prevent sunburns. 

Cold can also be hard on your dog, and short-haired dogs need an extra layer of protection from the cold or winter winds. 

If snow accumulates high enough that it is too hard for him to walk around, make sure to shovel his path. He could get lost in the snow, and you could struggle to find him in unfavorable conditions.

Protection From Various Outdoor Creatures 

Make sure to keep an eye on your dog when they are outdoors. Leaving your dog alone can lead your dog to unwanted bonds with other wild lives.

Engage with it in various outdoor activities and make sure your dog gets its daily exercise done on your watch.

Poison Dangers

Your dog could encounter poisonous snakes, spiders, and insects, so be aware of the poisonous wild animals while roaming outdoors. 

Suppose you are living next to a land which uses fertilizers or else if you are living near a factory which uses poisonous products, be mindful of giving your dog filtered water and healthy foods.

If the land is fertilized, make sure to keep your dog away from that area for a few days after fertilization of those lands. 

Be Aware of the Heat 

Your dog might show different signs of sickness.

If he is experiencing a heat stroke, he will show symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, blue or bright red gums on his tongue, drooling, and a rapid heart rate.

And if you feel your dog is slow and not listening to your command, get him to a shade and attend to him.

Hyperthermia is another warning sign. Consequences of extreme hyperthermia may include neurological problems, which will later cause coma, heart problems, and kidney failures in your dog. 

a dog drinking water

So make sure to consider your dog’s emotions before leaving him outside for long extended periods. 

Protection Against Parasites

If an infected animal bites your dog, he is most likely to get heartworms. Heartworms are dangerous parasites that can cause life threatening heart and lung diseases. 

And your dog is most likely to encounter fleas and tick troubles. Both these parasites can transmit diseases that are harmful to your dog, which could later affect you and your family members, especially your kids.

Make sure to talk to your veterinarian regarding the precautions against parasites.

Having a Shelter Where Your Dog Could Rest 

No dog should spend 24 hours a day roaming outside the premises; it is a must to have a shelter in your yard for your dog to go and rest. 

Even though your outdoor dog can tolerate cold climates and hot climates, it’s best to have a shelter so that he doesn’t suffer needlessly when there’s an easy way to get comfortable.

Final Thoughts

Along with being enjoyable, spending time outside with your dog is beneficial for both yours and your dog’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

On a final note, if you’re considering purchasing an outdoor dog, make sure to examine the climate in your location as well as the dog’s coat.

Take advantage of outdoor activities in all weather conditions and participate with your adventure dog.

And in this article I have mentioned everything you should know before making your choice. 

Read it, educate yourself and make the best choice possible! 


Some pet owners think that dogs who live outside are happier, receive more exercise, and make good security dogs. True, and while dogs can be content to be outside, they are not content when left on their own. They yearn to be noticed.

Your dog can live outside as long as it has access to water and shelter. Keeping a dog outside all the time has behavioral issues as its biggest drawback. Dogs require human company since they are sociable animals.

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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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