Can Australian Shepherds Be Kept Outside?


I wanted to know if my new Australian Shepherd could eventually be kept outside because my husband doesn’t really like the idea of having a dog inside the house. I don’t know too much about this breed in particular, but I am interested in learning as much as possible.

After taking a break from getting some exercise with my Australian Shepherd, I thought I would do a little digging into this topic. Please take a look at what I discovered!

Can Australian Shepherds Be Kept Outside?

Australian Shepherds (or any breed of dog) should not be kept outside unsupervised for a long time. While Aussies were bred for work that would typically have them outdoors, they may encounter unexpected situations, people, plants, or objects that could pose a threat to their well-being.

Athletic and full of energy, these dogs enjoy nothing more than a good outdoor activity at the end of the night. When the family is retiring to the inside, they should also be brought inside unless they need to use the bathroom. 

Australian Shepherds can and should be outside during the day when their family will be spending time outdoors. This allows them to expel as much of their energy as possible, which will have them feel more relaxed and calmer at the end of the night. 

Typically, no dog should be kept outside all the time, even dogs who seem physically able to do so.

Since it is unlikely that the pet parents to an Australian Shepherd can keep a close eye on them all the time when they are outdoors, it is essential to have them inside when the pet parent is inside or unless they can be watched at short periodic intervals. 

Weather can suddenly change, injuries can suddenly happen without warning, even in the most dog-friendly yards, they could become ill or be attacked.

It is even possible that they could be stolen. Strange things happen in life, and usually when we least suspect it. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the safety of our dogs.

One of the worst things a pet parent could do is leave their dog home alone, outside when they leave the house. Whether it is twenty minutes or three hours, it matters not. The unforeseen can and sometimes does happen. 

Unless a neighbor,  trusted friend, or family can watch the Australian Shepherd, this is strongly advised against. It is possible to keep the Australian Shepherd outside for short intervals, perhaps forty-five minutes, as long as someone is prepared to check on them every so often to make sure they are okay.

Why Can’t I Leave My Australian Shepherd Outside?

Australian Shepherds are athletic dogs that love outdoor adventures. For this reason, many people might believe they can be kept outside all the time.

They are built for work and outdoor adventures with their double fur coat of long, weather-resistant hair; they have stamina and strength, and endurance, which will have them running around playing, working, and searching for their next adventure.

Despite all this, they should not be left outside all the time. No dog should ever be left outside all the time, even dogs who are physically and mentally equipped for that. Despite their abilities, these dogs need just as much care, attention, and love as we have to offer.

That doesn’t mean that the Australian Shepherd cannot be kept outside for longer than a bathroom break when their pet parents are inside. Pet parents can rest easy, leaving their Australian Shepherd outside for a short time while indoors, but this depends on age.

How Long Can I Leave My Australian Shepherd Outside Alone?

Pet parents can do a trial run to see what length of time is best for checking on the Australian Shepherd kept outside for a while. Some might find that their Australian Shepherd is okay for fifteen or twenty minutes, while others might find half an hour okay before they take a peek out the window and see what the dog is doing.

If the Australian Shepherd is a puppy, they should not ever be left outside without constant supervision because their size can spell danger, even in a dog-friendly yard. Adult dogs and older dogs should be supervised at periodic intervals.

It can be helpful to keep indoor distractions to a minimum, like noises and visitors so that if the Australian Shepherd has an issue, they will be easily heard.

Now the Australian Shepherd is a dog that loves to learn tricks, so it may be possible to teach them new tricks like ringing a doorbell if they need something or something happens.

What fun would it be to have your Australian Shepherd ring the doorbell when they are ready to come in or a squirrel in the bird feeder again!

Many issues can arise, often without any warning signs, which can cause problems for the Australian Shepherd. It is also possible that their pet parents might miss these problems or issues if they are busy inside all the time and not checking on their furry little one.

Like a child, Australian Shepherds, and well, any dog for that matter need to be supervised.

How Do I Know How Long I Can Leave My Aussie Outside?

There are many factors that determine if and how long you can leave your Australian Shepherd outside, including the type of house and yard you have. Fences are helpful and can certainly stretch the time they spend outdoors alone for a bit.

Houses with lots of windows would make it easier to keep an eye on the Australian Shepherd, while reduced amounts might require peeking more often.

The neighborhood the pet parents live in will determine if and for how long the Australian Shepherd can be left alone outside.

Busy neighborhoods or houses that are on busy streets will require constant or more supervision for the Australian Shepherd regardless of age.

Homes that live in quiet neighborhoods or on quiet streets might get away with a bit less checking on your Australian Shepherd.

The dog’s personality will also factor in if your Australian Shepherd is a bit more reserved, quiet, and less likely to get into trouble.

However, that being said, the Australian Shepherd dog breed is known for being a bit of a trickster and having a love for adventures.

They are likely to be the ones to dig that hole under the fence to see what is over on the other side or simply jump over a short one to visit the new dog in the neighborhood.

They might be intrigued by the squirrel dancing on the bird feeder and decide to take a close look. For a dog with this type of personality and character, the possibilities are likely endless.

Health issues are another factor in the if and how long your Australian Shepherd can be kept outside by themselves. 

Health issues can spell trouble when any dog is left alone outside by themselves, depending on the issue. In most cases, it is best to keep a close eye on these dogs in case they suddenly start not feeling well.

Fur babies are like human babies; each one is unique and will have special needs and a unique personality to go along with them. Each pet parent must gauge their dog, their home environment, and lifestyle to determine what is best for their dog.

Check out our article, How Long Can Australian Shepherds Be Left Alone, for more helpful advice.

My Dog Is Very Well Trained, Can I Leave Him Outside?

No, obedience training would not make it okay for you to keep your Australian Shepherd outside all the time. Obedience training is used to teach the Australian Shepherd what is expected of them and how they are expected to behave. It is not for keeping them safe, healthy, and alive.

Obedience training can be helpful to teach a dog what to do, like learning new tricks if they are outside and need something, back to that ringing the doorbell again.

It can also teach them beneficial traits like not chasing the squirrels or climbing over the fence, but dogs like human children may not always remember or listen.

Obedience training is highly necessary but not something that should be used, so the pet parents don’t have to be parents to their dog.

Whether the baby is furry or not, the parent still has a responsibility to keep that baby safe, healthy, strong, and alive. Aside from that, who would want to leave their fur baby outside all the time anyway?

To know that your fur baby is sitting outside in the elements, and who knows what could happen while the pet parent is comfortably sleeping in their bed inside.

There are other alternatives if the pet parent doesn’t want the Australian Shepherd inside certain parts of the house. A warm and comfortable laundry room, garage, or den can be an excellent place for the fur baby to sleep where they are safe, comfortable, and out of harm’s way.

Crates are also the perfect option for pet parents that don’t like their dog being able to roam the house all the time.

Australian Shepherds Left Outside

No dog should be kept outside all the time regardless of breed. Many surprise situations can arise that would not be good for the Australian Shepherd.

When they are outside, they should also be supervised for their own well-being. These are the basics of caring for a fur baby.

It may be tempting to leave the Australian Shepherd outside all the time, especially if they love it. Thankfully, other alternatives make far better choices for pet parents and dogs!

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer loves animals! Jennifer used to work in animal rescue but she brought too many of them home so she had to stop. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge for all kinds of pets. She has been part of the Embora Pets team since 2018.

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