German Shepherds were originally bred as herding dogs; this breed became popular among the masses due to its colossal courage, attentiveness, and intelligence that make it a brilliant guard dog that never fails to provide optimum security. Although, German Shepherds are of reserved nature and are not much friendly; they are loving and affectionate enough to fill the lives of their owners with colors of sheer joy and happiness.
Over the years, this dog breed has been widely recognized as a good family pet across the world, making it one of the most preferable dog breeds of all time. Besides this, they are easy to train and are obedient too. German Shepherds are highly active and require outdoor walks and exercises to stay fit and healthy. The main question that arises here is whether they can live outside or not. In this blog, we are going to address all your concerns regarding the same.
German Shepherds relish to being outdoors and they love to indulge in open-air activities. However, they can stay outside for shorter time durations only if the proper measures are taken to ensure his safety. You should not leave them outside for prolonged hours as it can affect their health adversely.
Letting you German Shepherd to stay outdoors and socialize is very important for the development of his emotional, mental, and physical health as well. To ensure a safe, comfortable, and contended outdoor stay for your furry pal you need to take the following few factors into consideration that would ease your task.
Coating of a German Shepherd
A pet can stay outside or not hugely depends upon his coating. German Shepherds have been adorned with a thick and double coating of fur that helps in keeping them insulated during winters. On the contrary, this winter coating tends to shed during the summers that assist the German Shepherds to cope up with the rising heat temperatures. Ideally, German Shepherds can stay outside more comfortably during winters.
Climatic Conditions and Weather
Climatic conditions and weather, both of these factors play a pivotal role in determining the outside stay of your pet. However, it is not at all advisable to leave your German Shepherds outside in extreme weather conditions, specifically during the scorching heat temperatures of the summer season.
Although, German Shepherds possess a dense and double coating that keeps them warm during winters it does not imply that you can leave your pet outside in cold temperatures. Anything that is in extreme is not good for your German Shepherds. Also, make sure to keep your pet inside during snowfall and rainfall.
One of the most common misconceptions among the people is that German Shepherds can tolerate the higher temperature. As mentioned above, German Shepherd blows its winter coating during summers to resist the heat temperatures but it does not imply that you should leave your furry pal outside in the scorching sunlight.
German Shepherds are prone to getting heat strokes when they are left outside for prolonged hours during the hot and humid summer season. Due to this, your pet might encounter several health ailments, such as vomiting, diarrhea, laziness, appetite loss, and many more.
If you are having an adult German Shepherd, then you can leave him outside for a few hours under your supervision. However, if you are having pups of German Shepherd, then you should not let them be outside as, during that stage, they are quite small and tender for exposure to open-air. Besides this, it is not at all advisable to keep the small pups outside till turn around three months old.
If your German Shepherd has become old, then also you cannot keep him outside for long as, during that phase, their bodies become weak and tend to lose immunity and resistance. As a result, elderly dogs are not able to withstand extreme climatic conditions. Therefore, it is not safe to leave pups and old German Shepherds outside as it can make them fall ill.
Some German Shepherds are quite obedient whereas some are not. If your pet is disobedient, then there are more chances of him barking excessively or indulging in notorious activities when left outside alone.
In such cases, you would need to give your German Shepherd a proper training to make him obedient and well-mannered. For this, you can even hire a professional trainer. Those pets that are not trained properly can even run away when they are left unsupervised.
Also, you can teach your German Shepherd what are his boundaries when he is outside. It would help your pet to identify and mark his territory outside. It also reduces the chances of your pet running away from the home. Make sure that your German Shepherd obeys the basic commands given by you such as sit, come, go, and stop.
Keep a Sharp Eye
Even after taking the necessary preventive measures for the safety of your German Shepherd while he is out, you should always keep a sharp eye on him. Do not leave your pet unsupervised especially when he is outside. Supervise your pet and try to accompany him as it would help in strengthening the companionship of love and affection between you two.
Another benefit of supervising your pet is that it helps you to identify whether your pet is feeling comfortable outside or not. There are probable chances that your German Shepherd might feel sick or uncomfortable when he is outside due to climatic conditions, in such cases your attentiveness and supervision would help you.
Place a Temporary Shelter Outside for your Pet
If your German Shepherd has become habitual of staying outdoors, then as a responsible owner, you should make sure that your furry pal is safe and secure outside. For this, you can even place a temporary shelter for your German Shepherd that would help in keeping him protected against harsh weather conditions and scorching sunlight.
The best possible solution to this is investing in a dog house that you can easily place outside. It would enable your German Shepherd to seek a comfortable refuge outside against the extreme weather conditions and unbearable temperatures.
Invest in Fencing
You can place a fence in the outside area of your house to keep your German Shepherd confined to limited outdoor space. It would limit the movement of your pet when he is out to a great extent. You can place fencing outside to mark the territory for your German Shepherd in which he can roam freely without any worries. It would also help in keeping your pet safe and protected when he is outside.
A Bowl of Water and some Food
Unlike humans, pets cannot speak and convey their requirements. That is why it becomes more important to take care of the basic essential needs of your German Shepherd when he is outside. You need to make the necessary arrangements for your pet as he can feel thirsty or hungry while being outdoors.
For this, you can place a bowl of water along with some healthy and nutritious food inside the dog house. It is done so that whenever your German Shepherd feels thirsty or hungry he can simply take shelter inside his dog house and relax.
A handful of Pet-friendly Toys
To keep your German Shepherd engaged outside, you can keep plentiful of attractive and pet-friendly toys inside his dog house. Purchasing toys for your pet is a worthy investment as it helps to keep your pet entertained all the time. However, you can even play games, such as go-fetch, tug-of-war, and many more with your German Shepherd outside. This would be a rejuvenating experience for both of you.
Regular Walk and Exercise
People often think that keeping your German Shepherd outside is enough to fulfill all his physical activity requirements. However, apart from keeping your pet outdoors for a few hours, you need to take him for a walk and regular exercise for at least an hour per day. Spending a few hours in open-air is not enough for a highly-energetic breed like a German Shepherd.
Disadvantages of Keeping your German Shepherd Outside
There is no denying the fact that spending time outdoors is important for the overall growth and development of a pet but little do we know that keeping your pet away from you for prolonged hours has got its disadvantages such as:
- It weakens the connectivity and attachment between you and your pet
- Your German Shepherd might feel lonely, insecure, and neglected if left along outside for prolonged hours
- Staying out for too long can have adverse effects on the health of your pet
- If left unattended and unsupervised, there are high chances of your German Shepherd encountering a sudden accident or he might run away
- Those German Shepherds that are left alone outside for longer durations tend to develop abnormal behavioral problems, such as excessive barking and unnecessary aggression
- If your pet is not trained properly, then he would become prone to biting, digging, and chewing that is not at all a good sign
Pets only know the language of love and hence, they expect oodles of care, attention, and affection from their owners.
You can allow your German Shepherd to be outside for a few hours but at the same time, do not forget to take him inside and give time to him. If trained properly, German Shepherds have the potential and qualities that every pet lover craves for.
All you need to do is to strike a balance between the outdoor and indoor stay for your German Shepherd to keep him contented and rejuvenated as well.