Can Dogs Live Outdoors Full-Time?


No. Question answered, let’s move on.

Okay, now really, you asked that questions in all seriousness, so let’s move on to why dogs are not meant to live outdoors.

First off, if you care about your dog, then he is a member of your family, and you do not shove your brother, daughter, sister or whoever else outside to fend for themselves.

Let’s talk about my family for a minute. I’m going to tell you about my brother, Jake, and I’m not even going to do the thing where we say “I will call him…” Jake, you know who you are, and you’re a jerk. Jake the jerk. You’re the guy who ties his dog outside in all manner of weather. You’re the guy who got that beautiful black Lab, Buddy, and then you married a woman who didn’t like dogs. So what did you do? You consigned Buddy to the back yard where he lives on a chain. Because your dog-hating wife wanted it that way. So there’s Buddy, out there, wondering why no one loves him, and why he can’t be a part of your family. You know, the family that includes the woman you never should have married.

You tell me, “Buddy is fine! He likes being outdoors!”

No, he doesn’t. Buddy would like to be inside with the rest of the family. You are knuckling under to your dog-hating wife. Oh, and by the way, I never liked her.

Why Outdoors Is Wrong

Jake, it’s not just about the weather, you a**hole. According to Rob Halprin of the MSPCA (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), if you keep your dog outdoors all the time, you are condemning him to “a life of loneliness and frustration.” He maintains that dogs are very sociable animals – pack animals. And we are their pack. When we make them live outside, away from us, we are being cruel.

The Humane Society of Silicon Valley in California maintains that dogs who are kept constantly in the back yard with no human interaction will develop behavioral problems. In fact, they state that depriving a dog of human companionship can be horribly damaging to a dog’s psychological development. Dogs do not like to be left alone. You can tell when a dog is upset by being alone because he will howl, whine, dig, chew, or be hyperactive. I’ve talked about this kind of behavior in more detail in my article, Could Your Dog Have OCD?

Related Content:

How to Turn an Outdoor Dog into an Indoor Dog
9 Tips to Make Your Dog Feel Right at Home
The Perils of Tying Your Dog Outside

You Think You Have a Guard Dog?

A lot of the time, people think that if they have a dog chained outside, they have a good guard dog. The fact is, chained dogs do not make good guard dogs. Why would your dog want to protect your house if he is never allowed in it? It’s not his territory. The yard is his territory. So if anyone wants to come in and dig up your sod, you might have great protection. Your house, though? Not so much.

Why Chaining Is Bad

I shouldn’t have to tell you that chaining a dog in your yard is bad. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I love dogs, and I want only the best for them. Chaining in the back yard is indisputably not the best, for a number of reasons. As I’ve already stated, chained dogs are prone to hyperactivity, because they are frustrated. Second, if you have a dog chained in your yard, what do you think happens if someone harasses him? You’re running the risk of your dog being harassed by kids going by, and he’s trapped. He can’t get away. And if he tries, he could end up hanging himself on a fence or over his dog house. Is that really what you want?

Your dog wants to be indoors. With you. Sure, he needs some time outdoors, to play and exercise. But play and exercise does not happen on a chain. Play and exercise means that you dog is outside with you, fetching a ball or going for a run. It doesn’t mean putting your dog in solitary confinement, tied to a dog house out in your yard.

If you leave your dog outside all the time, you are going to set yourself up for all sorts of problems. Your dog is probably going to start barking at anything and everything, dig holes in your lawn, attack your outdoor furniture, and try to dig under or climb over your fencing. This is because he has no human companionship, and he is bored.

You also run the risk of your dog getting out and getting lost, being out too long in the sun and getting heat stroke, or getting so bored that he digs up electrical cords and ends up being shocked to death.

Why Do You Even Want a Dog?

If you are going to get a dog, and keep him chained outside, why do you even want a dog in the first place? If you’re not ready to love a dog, don’t get one.

A Good Dog House

I’m a big believer in keeping dogs inside. Sometimes, though, dogs want yard time. It’s fine to have your dog outside for a while, as long as he’s still a member of your family and not constantly relegated to the back yard. Suncast makes a great [easyazon_link identifier=”B000QJ9EU2″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”n” tag=”natur0da-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]dog house[/easyazon_link] that looks a lot like a pretty cottage. The list price is $89.99, but Amazon has it for just $59.98, and the shipping is free! It’s good for dogs up to 70 pounds, and if your dog is bigger, Suncast has bigger dog houses that are every bit as attractive for larger dogs.

Related Content:

How to Turn an Outdoor Dog into an Indoor Dog
9 Tips to Make Your Dog Feel Right at Home
The Perils of Tying Your Dog Outside


Leaving your dog outdoors all the time is just wrong. Jake is an idiot, and I’m ashamed to call him my brother. If you love your dog, then he should be part of your family, and he should be in the house with the rest of you. Anything else is just unthinkable.