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15 Outdoor Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

Written by Elliot DeLacey
Elliot DeLacey is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Monday 2 November 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
outdoor dog breeds that can live outside
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If you’re considering outdoor dog breeds that can live outside, make sure the area you’re living in is suitable for your new pup. You should take into consideration your area’s climate and the coat of the dog.

Outdoor dog breeds are not only better for outdoor work and tasks, but they’ll also love going on adventures with you. These include hiking and camping as well as many others. These puppies are great if you like to spend most of your time in the great wilderness or in your backyard!

All breeds of dogs have been adapted for different tasks, their differences range from coat length to body strength. This is a list of the best dog breeds for living outside.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are medium to large-sized dogs that are best known for their swimming capabilities! Labradors were bred to help their owners with fishing and hunting, which makes them a great breed for outdoor activities. Your dog will need to be constantly mentally and physically stimulated in order to use up their high energy levels. When puppies, this breed can be naughty, high-spirited, and lively. Labradors can come in several different coat colors ranging from a chocolate brown to a golden yellow.

These loyal pooches aren’t only good for outdoor work and time but they’re extremely faithful and playful. Fully grown, this breed ranges from 55-80 pounds in weight and 56-61cm inches tall, with the males typically being larger. Make sure to keep an eye on your Labrador’s health as they are a breed prone to hip dysplasia.

2. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is number two on our list for best outside dogs for outdoor activities. These dogs were originally bred for herding cattle and are considered some of the smartest in the world. They have high-energy levels as well as being quick and agile. These dogs are the happiest when they’re working or doing activities outside! They’re great family dogs so long as their energy is put into activities and tasks. Australian Shepherds grow to be between 35 and 70 pounds and 18-23 inches.

These dogs, when well trained, are great at following commands and can also be very good with children. Australian Shepherds require lots of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy and healthy. These dogs can best be kept happy with repeated hour-long daily walks, long fetch sessions, and other outdoor dog sports. This dog is sure to be your best friend if you keep them active and entertained with outdoor activities.

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are another dog that was bred to herd and protect livestock. Due to this their energy levels for outdoor activities are through the roof. This breed is versatile and hard-working, they are unmatched in their bravery and loyalty. These dogs have a high tolerance for colder weather due to their thick coats but adapt to almost all climates. German Shepherds grow to be 75-95 pounds and 22-26 inches tall. For these dogs, daily exercise is a must, their energy levels cannot be left unattended.

Due to their breeding background, this breed has a reputation of being amazing police and military trained dogs. German Shepherds are also notorious for being full-time shedders, so be ready to clean up fur and brush lots. Keep an eye on your German Shepherd if you have them outside in extreme heat for a long time. Their thick coat, although can be adapted to hotter weather, makes them more susceptible to overheating.

4. Siberian Husky

Next on the list is the Siberian Husky. These dogs have a very high tolerance for colder weather climates. Although they can live in warmer climates, these dogs were bred for the harsh cold winters in Western Asia. It is best for Siberian Huskies if they are kept in colder temperatures. The Siberian Husky is well known for its facial markings and piercing blue or multicolor eyes. This breed has a high energy level both physically and mentally, due to this they will need lots of stimulation. Huskies also enjoy lots of socialization with humans and other dogs as well.

Huskies are a medium-sized dog which grow to be about 35-60 pounds and 20-23 inches tall at the shoulder. These dogs were bred to run which makes them perfect outdoor companions for hiking, camping, and other high energy activities.

siberian husky cold tolerance
A Siberian Husky has a high tolerance for cold weather.

5. Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs come all the way from the farms of Switzerland where they were bred to be watchdogs. They were also bred to herd cattle and pull carts. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a more moderate energy level compared to some other cattle herding breeds on our list. The Bernese Mountain Dog is loveable and would be great for a family who loves the outdoors. Monitor your dog’s temperature on hot days though, as their thick coat can cause them to overheat quickly.

The Bernese Mountain Dog can still be a difficult one to handle due to their size and level of playfulness. This breed grows up to 70-110 pounds and 23-28 inches in height.

6. American Foxhound

Weighing 40-65 pounds and standing tall at 21-25 inches tall is number six on our list, the American Foxhound. This breed loves everything to do with the outdoors, whether it be working or playing, outside is where the American Foxhound is its happiest. Their love of running and high stamina makes them a great jogging partner for anyone in almost any climate. This medium sized breed is well suited for both cold and hot temperatures. Like any other dog however, make sure to monitor your Foxhounds temperature when you’re outside for extended periods of time so as to avoid overheating and discomfort for your playful pup.

While American Foxhounds can be a great family friend, they are a very vocal breed of dog so they may not be suitable for every kind of household. These dogs also need to be trained well and while young to make sure that they listen to you when you’re out adventuring with your pup.

7. Vizsla

Vizslas are next on the list and they are one of the most energetic dog breeds in the world. Being such a high energy dog, the Vizsla is a great family companion for an active and outdoor family. The Vizsla does not do very well in cold temperatures due to its thin coat so it is best kept in a warmer climate. This medium-sized breed when fully grown weighs 45-65 pounds and grows 21-24 inches tall. Vizslas love the outdoors and like to explore all types of forests and fields with their owner by their side.

Vizslas do well with a minimum of 60 minutes of outdoor time a day. Training and socializing this breed are a must. The Vizsla can become a difficult dog to handle if not well trained to you and your commands. Make sure, like any other dog breed, to monitor your pup’s health as Vizslas can be prone to hip dysplasia and other health conditions.

outdoor dog breeds
Vizslas are high energy outdoor dogs.

8. Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a large-sized dog breed who is a great outdoor companion. These gentle giants were originally bred for sled hauling and strength. Alaskan Malamutes need constant work and stimulation, these dogs are not well suited for apartment life as they need lots of space. This breed is high-energy and needs lots of outdoor time and exercise. Alaskan malamutes grow to be 75-100 pounds and 23-25 inches tall.

Although Alaskan Malamutes enjoy the outdoors, be wary of your area’s climate as they are not suited for areas with hot temperatures due to their thick coats. This breed sheds more than most so be ready to brush your Malamute often and lots as well as cleaning up fur that they’ve shed. Alaskan Malamutes were bred to pull heavy weights of up to 1,100 pounds, unlike the husky which was built to pull longer distances rather than higher weights.

9. Rottweiler

Rottweilers grow to be 85-130 pounds and 22-27 inches tall. This breed is best kept in a house with a big yard or a family who goes outside often, for this reason, they do not adapt very well to apartment living. Make sure you take your pup out with you when you’re adventuring the forests and fields. Some Rottweilers even enjoy swimming!

The Rottweiler is another large breed that was bred to drive cattle and pull carts. This breed is not one for the novice dog owner as they can be intense and require lots of training. These dogs enjoy lots of outside time and exercise in order to match their energy levels. Rottweilers can be suitable for average levels of both hot and cold climates but be sure to monitor your dog’s temperature when weather spikes or plummets dramatically.

10. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to be a home protector and hunting companion. In modern days they’re more likely to be your cuddle bug after a good run. This breed is high energy and a good partner for running and all cardio-based activities. Due to being bred in Africa, they are well adapted to hotter climates but can become cold in lower temperatures because of their short fur and lean physique. This breed would make a good companion to an active family but is better suited to houses rather than apartments. They have very high exercise needs and as an owner, you should be sure to train your Ridgeback while they’re young.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks grow to be 70-85 pounds and 24-27 inches tall at their shoulders. This dog would be good for a family with older children but may be too high energy and rambunctious for toddlers.

11. Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog has a medium-length coat and is a good outside dog breed for areas with a hotter climate. This breed is easy to train and very intelligent, which is part of the reason it needs constant mental and physical stimulation. The Cattle Dog grows to be 30-50 pounds and 17-20 inches tall, so it is on a smaller scale compared to some of the other dogs on this list. This breed originally was used to herd cattle so they love to be involved in all sorts of family adventures, especially ones that involve running. These dogs love having a job to do so if you live on farmland they would be the perfect companion for you.

The Australian Cattle Dog does not do well with a family that needs to keep their dog inside or that lives in a small house as they have so much energy, they need lots of outside time to run and stretch. A good long session of fetch is sure to not only use up some of your dog’s energy but to bond the two of you as well.

12. Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie was bred in Scotland to be a herding dog. They are more adapted to apartment life than some other dogs on our list but prefer a house with lots of room and an active owner! They shed lots so be ready to pick up after them and keep up with their grooming. Bearded Collies are extremely playful and are just as ready as you to go outside and play!

This dog is high-energy, playful, outgoing, and full of love! Bearded Collies require a minimum of sixty minutes outside a day in order to keep up and use up some of their high energy levels.

13. Collie

Not to be confused with the Border Collie, a Collie is an athletic dog which grows to be about 50-70 pounds and 22-26 inches tall. Collies are very intelligent dogs and are known for their loyalty and high levels of affection! This medium-sized breed is okay for apartment living but needs regular attention and exercise or else they may become irritable and difficult to train and keep control of. These dogs do better in cold weather than they do in hot weather but can be suitable for both climates, as always, make sure to monitor your dog’s health and temperature no matter the climate you live in.

Also known as the Rough Collie, these dogs are amazingly agile and fast as they were bred for herding animals. Fly-ball and Disk are just two of the many mental and physical stimulation games that you can play with your Collie.

14. Belgian Sheepdog

As its name suggests, the Belgian Sheepdog was bred in Belgium for sheep herding. This makes them a high energy, agile breed. This breed is considered to be one of the best outdoor dog breeds in the world. They are a large-sized dog breed that grow to be 60-75 pounds and 22-26 inches tall. The Belgian Sheepdog do well in both hot and cold climates and are good for all types of active households. They are very loyal and intelligent which means you have to keep on top of training your pup and making sure they stay active so they don’t become destructive.

These dogs need to be kept in a well-fenced yard as they have a very high prey drive so they are sure to chase anything from squirrels to cyclists alike. They may also try to dig underneath fencing so be sure to prevent this. If you keep up with these high energy pups you’ll have one of the most loyal and playful partners you could wish for.

belgian sheepdog bred in belgium
Belgian Sheepdogs were bred for sheep herding.

15. Irish Wolfhound

Known as one of the largest breeds in the world, the Irish Wolfhound is also a great outdoor dog. These dogs were originally bred to hunt large prey like deer and are regarded as one of the best outdoor dog breeds in the world. This dog does not do well with apartment living due to its size as they grow up to 115-180 pounds and 32-35 inches tall at their shoulder. These dogs do best with a big backyard and room to run. They are best suited for an active family and are also very good with kids.

The Irish Wolfhound is a brave but not aggressive breed so although their size may scare off some intruders, they are not the number one guard dog. They have thick coarse fur which protects them from the elements and allows them to do well in both hot and cold climates. This loving breed is sure to be a great dog to brave fields and forests with.

Make sure to check that your dog is healthy and fit before taking them out for adventures. Always monitor your dog’s temperature and energy levels when you’re out so as to prevent overheating or your pup being too cold. Your new friend will be on their way to being your number one adventure partner in no time!

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