australian shepherd outside
Photo by Maud Slaats

Can Australian Shepherds Live Outside?

Australian Shepherds are known for their high energy and the love of the outdoors. Some people believe that because of this, the dog can live outside. However, this is not the case. Australian Shepherds cannot live outside.

Research has been done to determine whether these furry friends can stand outdoors for long periods of time and if this is safe for them. Despite their resilience and nature, Australian Shepherds enjoy company and are very loyal to their owners. If left alone, they can become bored and lonely.

This might be confusing since these dogs need activity and open spaces. However, it is important to understand all the factors that will keep your dog healthy. Making their living conditions as comfortable as possible is crucial to keep your furry friend content.

Why Australian Shepherds Should Not Live Outside

Aussies have a lot of thick, dense fur that makes it possible for them to stay outside in harsh weather conditions. They are bred to be herding dogs so they can remain outdoors for longer periods of time. However, though they are built for the outdoors, their personality makes it so that they do not enjoy it.

While Aussies need to be taken outdoors in order to stay active, they should not be left to live there for long periods. There are some of the main reasons why it wouldn’t be a good idea for Aussies to live outdoors.

Traits Of An Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds become very attached to their owners and family. They form deep bonds with them. For this reason, they will get upset if separated from them for long periods.

Leaving them outside your home may result in your dog barking to come in. They might also get very frustrated and wreak havoc in your yard.

Furthermore, it would be cruel to leave your dog outside in harsh temperatures. Your little buddies need warmth and shelter just like you do.

Spending time with your dog outside would be a great idea. It would allow them to let out their energy and it might even give you a good amount of exercise.

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The main issues your dog will face if you let them live outside are:

Boredom

Picture yourself in your Aussies situation. Would you enjoy being outdoors without company all the time? The answer is no.

Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs, and they are bred to work with other animals and people. They would not do well being alone and would get easily bored.

This is especially concerning since you are likely to keep your dog outside in a yard or fenced area so that they do not get lost. This would mean very little pace for your dog to live and explore.

Loneliness

Australian Shepherds are very loyal dogs and enjoy the company of people. They form bands with their family and so would not enjoy being separated from them.

All dogs need love and attention. Leaving your Aussie craving some good old head pats will only make them depressed.

They will begin missing you and playing with you rather than trying to be entertained alone outdoors.

This would result in abandonment anxiety for your furry friend and could even make them aggressive or withdrawn.

Messiness

If your Aussie is too lonely and bored, they may begin engaging in destructive tendencies in order to get your attention. They would bark at your door and be very disturbing. They might even claw and scratch at it from the outside.

Your Australian Shepherd might become very messy and tear up your yard. This is their natural ration to being upset and would cause you to get angry. You would have to spend a lot of time cleaning up their mess. For these reasons, would you really rather not just have an Aussie with you in the house to be adorable and keep you company?

Getting a dog means that they are part of the family. Living in your home and having sufficient outdoor activity time would be the best way to keep your Aussie happy.

What Temperatures Can An Aussie Withstand?

Your Aussie’s health should be a top priority for you. We all know and love the Australian Shepherds’ thick, luscious coat. But can this coat protect them against the elements?

If leaving or taking your dog outdoors, you should be mindful about what the weather is like. There are some things you can keep in mind so that you do not exert your dog.

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Aussies In The Cold

Australian Shepherds were first bred in Western America. They did not face subzero temperatures. However, they do have very thick coats that provide them with a good degree of insulation. For this reason, they can be fully functional in very cold environments.

In fact, Aussies are very popular in Canada and Alaska, where the temperatures are often below freezing.

Aussies have a double coat- an undercoat and a topcoat. This protects them against the elements in most cases. However, Aussie’s paws are not built for harsh weather, so extreme cold may damage them and cause the little guys much discomfort.

Even though the temperature of a region may be low, there are a lot of other factors that affect the weather and your Aussies’ reaction to it. If there is a blizzard, heavy snowfall, hail, or rain, your dog should not be left outside.

Additionally, it is important to note that each Australian Shepherd will have a different climate than they are used to. If your dog is accustomed to being in the warmth of a heated house, you should not let them live outside.

Cuddle up with them and take them out occasionally for playtime during the harsh winter months.

Aussies In The Heat

Since Australian Shepherds have thick fur, they can become overheated easily. It is a very hot day; letting your dog stay outside for too long can be bad for them.

Make sure your dog has access to shade and water. If they don’t have a space for lounging in the shade, they can become agitated. Drinking enough water in the heat is also very important as an Aussie can become dehydrated and ill if they do not drink enough.

Additionally, it is important to notice the signs your dog is giving you. An Aussie will typically stand by the door if they wish to be let in. Some might not wish to come inside very quickly, but it would not be very smart to leave them outside for more than a few hours if it is a very hot day.

Outdoor Care For Aussies

You can do some things to make sure your dog is comfortable when they are staying outside for longer periods of time.

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Water Access

Make sure you Aussie can take a break and lap up some fresh, cool water after they tire themself out with activity. Keep a container of water outside for them. Put it in a place where they can easily access it and are familiar with.

Age

Very young puppies should not be made to live outside. Puppies over 6 months of age can spend some time outside safely.

The age you let your dog out also depends on how well trained they are. If they get frustrated, the puppies may chew everything in your yard or toss around things.

There should also be a fence that keeps your pup close to you. If agitated, the dog may wish to escape, and no one wishes to lose their little puppies.

Shelter

Dogs are den animals- they like having an enclosed space to rest and sleep. If you let your dog live outside, it is very important to have a good shelter for them.

This would give them some protection against wind, rain, and snow. Some people opt to have a little doggy house, while some simply put a dog bed and blanket on the porch for them to curl up.

Can Australian Shepherds Sleep Outdoors?

Most full-grown Australian Shepherds are perfectly comfortable sleeping outside if the weather is not too harsh. Depending on your dog’s personality, you can safely let them sleep outside.

Some dogs love the outdoors, and fresh air and so would want to sleep outside your home. If this is the case, you can make them comfortable with a shelter to sleep in and access to water.

Owners who wish to reduce the amount of fur around the house often use this as a sleeping arrangement for their outdoors-loving dogs.

If your dog is well trained and has a safe environment, there is no reason why you should not let them sleep outdoors.

Australian Shepherds And The Outside

We can conclude that Australian Shepherds do love the outdoors and being outside. You can safely let them sleep outside and have a good amount of playtime outdoors. However, since they are a very social breed and require a lot of attention and company, you probably should not let them live outside full time.

Give your little buddy a balanced life and spend time with them both outdoors and indoors.