How Long Can I Keep My Australian Shepherd Outside?

by Dana Mcgee, Saugatuck, Mich

It is in the dead of winter, Southwestern Mich and when I leave my Aussie out all year round on my farm, I do not have to put her on a run. Now my swans and geese are herded into a corner of the pond, and she goes out and pretends she is walking by and when I am not looking, stalks them and chases them across the ice, she is sneaky sam, has the intelligence to behave and then sneak behind your back. Food on the counter, disappears if you turn your back, and she sneaks off with it in her mouth, gone was l/2 half of my chicken breaks my blue cheese, and everything else. Now is have to keep her on a run. The fur is 5 to 6 inches long on the body, not the feet, so how long can I keep her outside in this weather of 10 above ))

I cage sneaky sam at nite so we can all get some rest, and she is warm and loves her cage at nite, she snuggles till morn. I want to change her name to sneaky sam, but she is used to her name, so its hard to break, if you live in a cold region tell me your story. Dana

Comments for How Long Can I Keep My Australian Shepherd Outside?

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How long to keep Aussie out
by: Sandy

If it's safe for a child to be out, it's safe for a dog to be out. However they can get frostbite on their feet and ears just like we can. When it's below 20 degrees out, I only leave my Aussie out to go potty and then in she comes. She is glad to get in sometimes too. When it's below zero definitely do not let your dog out longer than to go potty. Treating frostbite is very expensive and they can lose feet and ears like us. You sound like you have a handful with your girl.

Aussie Outside in WInter
by: Sally Freeman

We have an Australian shepherd that is 2. In the cold of the winter we don't put her outside other than to go to the bathroom. If it's 30 degrees it's okay for a little while. She lets us know when she is cold and wants to come in. They are smart dogs but are not smart enough to know when they are getting frostbite. I would say to not let her out for long periods of time when it's 10 degrees. If it's over 32 it should be okay. You might want to ask your vet. They would know the answer to that question.

Aussies are north country tough!
by: Dave and Molly

I know a lot of people are going to disagree with this but I will say it anyway. This breed and indeed most breeds can tolerate very cold temps for long hours at a time, or even all winter. I say this from experience. I grew up in Fairbanks Alaska where the temps get an honest -60F and there are literally thousands of dogs of all sorts that live outside 24-7! The Aussie is a tough breed with a LOT of hair! Think about it, a dog bred to work outdoors all day in the Montana/Wyoming type country would have to be able to take a little cold weather! We live in a somewhat warmer part of Alaska now on 3 acres and our big male Aussie is outside in the snow for hours at a time. He comes in mostly to get us to play, take him to get us to take him for a walk, or looking for a treat, not because he is ever cold!

Interesting how your Aussie will sneak food. We are fortunate that ours is just the opposite. Never gets into garbage, or counter surfs, and I can leave a plate of food on the coffee table and he wont get near it. Never chews up anything but his toys etc. The only thing he does that is forbidden is he'll grab a piece of kindling from near the stove and chew it. He knows he isn't allowed and only does it if we are not given him enough attention, sort of acting out.

Australian Shepherd & the cold
by: Lenny

My Australian Shepherd is 2 1/2 and he hates the hot weather here in central MIssouri. He loves the colder weather & snow. I keep him im a pen outdoors with a highly insulated dog house I built myself. When it gets much below freezing I keep him in my shop so he has water. They are a tough dog.

by: Anonymous

Dogs are social pack animals. An Australian Shepherd's biggest need is an owner that is smart enough to invest time in training to be The pack leader! Without training it’s like having a kid in the house without parents willing to raise them. Would it make sense to stick the kids outside because You can’t control them? At that point why have a dog just to sleep in a crate at night? I’d suggest love your dog enough to invest time in training or surrender to Aussie Rescue who will find a suitable home.

Note from Anton: Okay, that comment might be a bit harsh, but... being the respected pack leader really is important and if you are looking for a program that teaches exactly that, and more, I highly recommend this video-based dog training program created my a professional dog trainer from New Zealand who goes by "Doggy Dan". You can find out more about Dan and his program in our article here.

Is it too cold
by: Jean

That comment by anonymous was harsh and he/she knew it was and insensitive and that’s why they didn’t give a name. If you didn't love your dog, you wouldn't be taking the time to read and get information before keeping he dog on the cold. I love my dog and that's why I was on here, trying to get an answer to the same question. Some dogs just won't be trained. I got mine at 6 mos from a breeder and she came with bad habits then picked up another one when I had to board her for business. It is very difficult to train these habits out. I've looked at the suggested videos and tried to follow them and my dog isn't reacting at all like he expects in the video. I'm at wits end and I love my dog but I would never put her with another owner. I wouldn't do that to a kid.

by: Anonymous

I took my Aussie backpacking with me overnight where the temperatures got to about 15 degrees overnight and he loved the cold, even with the low temperatures he still was jumping into piles of snow and kept trying to go for a swim in the mostly frozen lake.

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