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Can Border Collies Live Outside? Important Advice

  • Vet Approved Content

Is it possible for Border collies to live and sleep outside? Although collies are resilient, this article will explain why for most, it’s not a good idea. I’ll also cover additional information to know and when it might actually be possible. Let’s get into it!

Border Collies are not suited to living and sleeping outside. Despite being working dogs, Border collies are very human-orientated and crave being close to their owners and family. Many behavioral issues can arise from outside living.

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Can Border Collies Live & Sleep Outside

Border collies don’t suit living and sleeping outside, despite being working dogs. Collies form very close bonds with their owner and human family and do much better off living inside year-round.

1. Border collies are very human orientated

If you already have a Collie, you’ll know just how closely attached they become to their owners!

The bond they develop with their human family is significantly higher than many other breeds. And this makes living outside very difficult for them from an emotional standpoint.

Many behavioral and temperamental changes can occur when a breed like the Border Collie feels alone and isolated. This is perhaps the most important reason as to why Collies don’t suit outside living.

2. The downsides to living outside

Living outside creates many challenges and could have various negative effects. Let’s run through some of the likely results.

Collies can’t handle very cold conditions
● Collies suffer from separation anxiety and get lonely quickly
● Increased chance of disobedience
● Increased chance of aloofness and aggressive tendencies
Increased chance of developing depression and stress
Cold weather brings extra challenges to keep the housing-unit warm & safe
The chances of a lower quality of life are dramatically increased

It’s safe to say that any Border Collie owner would want to avoid all of those situations above! Yet they are quite likely to happen from outside life.

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When It’s Possible For Border Collies To Live Outside

Even though it may not suit most collies and families, It’s important to acknowledge the fact that it is still possible for them to live outside under the right circumstances.

If your collie is part of a pack (at least 3)

If your collie is not alone and is in a pack of other collies or dogs, then it does make it somewhat easier for them to live happily outside. If you have at least 3 or 4 other dogs outside they will keep each other company, warm, and will even support each other emotionally to some extent.

Most packs will still wait and crave their owner’s attention, however, so keep in mind that living in a pack doesn’t completely solve the issue. It’s very important not to overlook this point… Even two or three dogs together can still develop separation anxiety towards their owner.

If you live somewhere without cold temperatures

Aside from the issue of loneliness, it’s the cold weather that poses the next biggest challenge to overcome. However, if you live in a part of the world where temperatures are pretty average, this is a huge advantage.

Secure housing will of course still need to be provided for safety reasons, but if the temperatures stay fairly consistent throughout the year then a collie will be able to keep herself warm enough without any issues.

Suitable housing is always a must

If you do happen to live somewhere with reasonable temperatures and own a pack of dogs, you still have to provide excellent housing.

Housing is to protect them from other animals as well as prevent them from escaping.

Ideally, the living area will have a gated/fenced off outside area with a fully secure inside housing unit too. The housing unit is for them to sleep comfortably and securely while the outside area can act as their daytime area.

Should Your Collie Live Outside?

For the vast majority of owners, having your Border Collie live indoors with you is going to be the best option by far. Even if you own your Collie for working purposes, having her indoors is still the best way to go.

Even if you have multiple dogs and have reasonable temperatures, it also comes down to the quality of life, and nothing rivals them living inside our home with us.

There’s a lot that can go wrong trying to have your Collie live outside, from weather condition issues, housing issues, and the negative effects it can have on her behavior and temperament. In the end, it’s not going to be pleasant for your Collie.

Of course, everyone has a right to do as they feel fit, just be sure to consider how this affects your Collie.


Thank you for reading!
Was your question answered sufficiently? I love to hear feedback and respond to my readers. If there’s anything that you feel is missing, please let me know so I can adjust my content to help future readers! For now, all the best, Harry.

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