Some dog breeds are guard dogs or herding dogs by nature. They would rather stay outside, enjoy the yard, and protect your property.
If your dog is one of them, you’re probably asking, what age can a puppy live outside?
There are a lot of potential issues involved once your dog starts sleeping outside. But when a puppy is raised the right way you can avoid these problems.
We share with you whether you should let your puppy live outside your house or not, and at what age to let your puppy live outside.
Should You Let Your Puppy Live Outside Your House?
Letting your dog live outside is a better option for many people. It will prevent a mess in your house, and it will also allow your fur baby guard your property by being on the lookout for intruders.
It’s okay to let your dog live outside as long as you make enough time to bond with them. Socialization is an important aspect of their life!
You also need to make sure that they stay safe outside. When it’s too hot or cold, let them in.
You should also ensure they have adequate shelter and get a dog house for them.
Or, if you have the skills you can watch how to make a dog house yourself.
However, dogs love to be part of a pack, whether it’s a group of humans or fellow dogs. That means it may also be hard for them to be outside dogs.
There are instances where having an outside dog means little to no interaction with their humans.
This is a disadvantage not only for them but also for you. You don’t get the benefits of companionship from a dog you don’t always see.
Sometimes, outdoor dogs serve as a warning system, but their indiscriminate bark wouldn’t help you tell if they are barking at a trespasser or an innocent passer-by.
If outdoor dogs aren’t socialized well, they may develop bad behavior like digging, barking too much, and chewing on stuff.
At What Age Can a Puppy Live Outside?
If you can handle letting your dog safely live outside while making sure they receive enough interaction with you and other people, then you need to know what age you can start doing this.
If you’re raising a guard dog or herd dog, wait for around a year before you let them live outside.
The puppy developmental stage takes about a year, where the early months are the most critical because it is where you need to establish yourself as the leader and form a bond with them.
It’s also the stage where you need to train them and do everything in your power to raise the perfect dog.
Your dog has to be fully developed behaviorally and physically before they can stay outside.
You must socialize, train, and vaccinate them, and ensure their health first before letting them become outside dogs.
There really is no exact age for this. Different breeds develop at different times. And different dogs respond to training at different speeds.
The way you raise them will also determine the age they can live outside. At what age did you start training them? When did they become independent? These are just some questions to ask.
To be safe, wait until your puppy turns one before you let them stay outside permanently.
Conditions for a Puppy to Live Outside?
Aside from socializing and training them, another reason not to let them stay inside during the early stages is that puppies cannot regulate their body temperature yet.
Let your puppy grow to a size and weight that will be able to withstand the elements.
If it’s too hot, humid, or snowy, your puppy won’t be able to adjust. In some cases, this is true for adult dogs too. That is why you need to let them stay inside during extreme weather conditions.
Puppies are also more vulnerable to infections and diseases than adult dogs. They may catch parasites, sickness, and other diseases when they stay outdoors all the time.
Make sure your dog gets all their vaccinations before you begin the transition from house to yard.
Again, even if your dog is already old enough to stay outside, make sure you still bond and exercise with them all the time.
This is important especially if you don’t have a second dog to keep their company.
How to Train a Puppy to Live Outside
Here’s what you should do when training your dog to live and sleep outside.
Provide Adequate Shelter
The first thing you need to do is to provide shelter for them in the yard.
You can design a doghouse or purchase an outdoor crate that your furry friend will love.
This is the most crucial item you should have for an outside dog, especially when the winter months come.
Once you get a shelter for them, expect that its location in the yard may not be permanent yet. You may want to let your dog choose the spot they prefer.
Spend Time Outside with Your Dog
Accompany your dog when staying outside during the day when possible. Let them spend time in the spot where you want them to stay during night.
Place the shelter near the most suitable place in your yard.
Put your chair nearby and let your dog nap. Repeat this for a few days until they feel safe in their spot.
Let Your Dog Out at Night
Let your dog go out for a few hours before bedtime. Do this for a few days but be sure to let them sleep inside at night still.
This will make them more comfortable being outside at night.
At the start, give them company and gradually leave them alone for longer periods at a time.
Do the same step for a few more days, now making sure that they are alone at night with their favorite chew toy and other stuff.
Let your dog see the haven you made for them. These familiar items will inspire comfort and condition them to stay outside more often.
Let them sleep inside until the night comes when they would prefer to sleep outside! Be patient. It will take time for them to enjoy their freedom outside.
Can My Puppy Play in the Yard?
Yes. You can take your puppy to your yard for a few minutes up to an hour.
Even newborn puppies can be taken out to your yard in mild weather as long as they are supervised and confined to a safe area.
Young dogs are more susceptible to infections because they may still lack vaccines, so keep an eye on your baby.
Weather is another factor to consider.
Puppies are vulnerable to temperature extremes. Even if it’s just a short play in the yard, you shouldn’t let them go out if it’s too hot or cold.
You should only let them wander around the yard on their own once they have completed their vaccinations.
Letting your puppy play outside is the initial step to potty-training them. Keep the trips short yet productive.
FAQ Outside Dogs
What Should I Put in a Dog House for Bedding?
That depends on the dog house’s design and size. But in general, you can put linens, rugs, or a dog bed in their house or crate.
As long as your puppy has their dog house or kennel inside the house, then they will be safe and comfortable.
Once your dog is of the right age to go outside, you can add more items to their dog house, like a heater, more blankets, and a door for their house.
You also want to put water and toys in their house to keep them happy and cozy.
Check out our comprehensive guide on dog bedding in dog houses now!
How Do I Stop Puppy Accidents?
One of the reasons why many dog owners decide to put their dogs outside is because they poop and pee inside.
With puppies, accidents are normal. Like babies, they go whenever they need to go. But you also have to train them so they don’t bring this behavior with them into adulthood.
One way to stop puppy accidents is to make sure they are not overstimulated when they are outside. You must also make sure to stick to a routine that they will get used to.
We have a guide on how to stop puppy accidents here!
Why Does My Inside Dog Suddenly Want to Stay Outside?
There are many possible reasons why your dog suddenly wants to stay outside. They may be experiencing anxiety or there’s a new dog around the block.
They may also be doing it because they are sick, or they want to protect you.
Some breeds are also more likely to want to stay outside!
Learn why your inside dog suddenly wants to stay outside now.
Preparation is Key for an Outside Puppy!
Many problems may arise due to letting your puppy stay outside. These include behavioral and health issues.
But if you socialize them well during their early stages and continue bonding with them, then you shouldn’t have any problems letting your dog outside.
Make sure they are vaccinated and already a year old before letting them stay outside for good.
Train them to get used to the outdoors at night and gradually leave them alone until they feel comfortable.