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12 Great Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

12 Great Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

There are a lot of Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside. It is important to understand what type of dog you have and how they can live in your environment before making any decisions about whether or not they should be inside or outside. In this blog post, we will discuss some breeds that can typically live outside with the right care from their owners. 

If you don’t find your favorite dog breed listed here, make sure to check our guides about Akitas, Beagles, Samoyeds, Whippets, or French Bulldogs. Otherwise, let’s get started!!

1. Norwegian Elkhound

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Norwegian Elkhound – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The Norwegian Elkhound is a Spitz breed. They originate from Norway and were first used as a hunting dog for elk, rabbits, and other small animals. Affectionately called “Elkhound”, this breed was developed from a cross between Karelian Bear dogs and native Norwegian farm dogs sometime in the ninth century.

The Elkhound is a small to medium-sized dog with a very sturdy build. They have a wedge-shaped head with dark eyes and small, erect ears. Their coat has many colors including black, gray, brownish red, yellowish red, or silver-gray. Elkhounds have two types of coats: an undercoat that is soft and an outercoat that is harsh and thick. They will shed their undercoats twice a year and grow new coats in the spring and fall.

The very thick undercoat makes it perfect to live outside during the cold winter months. In fact, their thick double coat can handle even the harshest of conditions.

Although they are not the best choice if you want your dog to come inside most of the time or be an inside dog, they do need access to an area where they can lay down and have shelter from the wind so being outside is usually fine! Just make sure that you have a place for them to sleep out of the elements with good ventilation so that they don’t get sick.

These dogs are great hunters and will typically go after some type of prey. They don’t like to walk on a leash for long periods of time, so it is important to make sure they get plenty of exercises. They can be stubborn at times, but if properly trained, Norwegian Elkhounds can become very loyal companions. They are definitely one of the small dog breeds that can live outside.

2. Welsh Terrier

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Welsh Terrier – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

Welsh terrier is an interesting terrier breed that is one of the most popular and widely recognized in many countries. It has an auburn or dark red wiry outercoat with close-fitting coal undercoats which contribute to its weatherproof abilities identified with many hardy breeds from the British Isles. It is a small breed of dogs known for being great hunters and having plenty of energy, so they will appreciate an area where they can run around outside and can even live outside as long as you have a place for them to sleep that is out of the elements. 

Welsh Terriers are actually famous for their ability to live outdoor and take care of themselves in all kinds of weather. This is largely due to their dense undercoat which provides them with the insulation they need when living outside in even extremely cold or hot climates. The coat on this dog is very harsh which makes it perfect for living outside because it helps repel water. If you do decide that Welsh terriers living outdoors are for you, then expect to see plenty of furry little bundles sitting on your porch when you get home from work! You need to have a proper fence in the yard though because this dog loves to dig holes.

Unlike many dogs living outdoor, Welsh terriers need consistent grooming and care if living outside, so you should seek professional help or read some tips on how long it takes to groom a Welsh terrier. The basis of proper dog grooming includes brushing and combing the wiry coat at least once per week.

3. Tibetan Terrier

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Tibetan Terrier – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

Tibetan Terrier is a small Tibetan dog breed with an alert, lively, and intelligent expression. Tibetan Terrier is also often called “the little lion dog” because of the resemblance to the Tibetan Lion (the Tibetan Mastiff). Tibetan Terriers are courageous, brave, perky, and lively little dogs that will do well in active homes where they get plenty of daily exercise. They can adapt to most climates but prefer warmer weather. They are easy to groom and maintain too- just brush their coat once a week with a rubber brush.

This breed does not respond well to harsh training tactics so you should always use positive reinforcement when training Tibetan Terriers. They also function best in a pack, so they need to be around other dogs and/or people.

The Tibetan Terrier is one of the small dog breeds that can live outside, as they have thick coats allowing them to endure cold temperatures, but actually, they do prefer to be inside. Tibetan Terriers love attention and company, and it is important not to leave them unattended for long periods of time. The breed is active indoors but appreciates a small area that allows them the ability to run around.

This dog will be perfect as an indoor pet if you treat it well. If you do need to leave the dog alone at home, make sure it has access to its own place where it can retreat or find comfort. The breed is adaptive towards living in smaller places like apartments where there are no yards available. It will be happy with daily walks outside if its yard does not permit running about freely.

4. Jack Russel Terrier

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Jack Russel Terrier – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The Jack Russel Terrier is a small type of dog that was bred to hunt foxes, badgers, and other rodents. They are named after the person who first bred them, they’re supposed to have come from England in 1819 where Reverend Jack Russel wanted a big tough dog to rid his land of varmints. The Jack Russel Terriers appear to be smart dogs capable of problem-solving. They are also fairly fearless, very free-spirited, loyal, independent, and make great pets for those looking for an alert companion with lots of energy. These terriers are one of the most popular types of dogs today and their popularity continues.

Jack Russels are known for their high energy and talent and they can learn tricks and do well in obedience classes. Jack Russel Terriers love to be around people and play, but they tend to be more difficult than other dogs- so you need more patience and persistence with them. They also require regular daily exercise or they will find other ways to entertain themselves.

The Jack Russel Terrier is also one of the small dog breeds that can live outside and enjoy it, but only if the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. They like to be active and will do well in an environment where they can run around and play outside without it being dangerous for them.

5. Australian Terrier

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Australian Terrier – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The Australian Terrier is a small breed of terrier that was developed in Australia. It is one of the smallest of the working breeds of dogs, and it shares ancestry with the larger Fox Terrier and Cairn Terrier breeds. Australian Terriers are intelligent, courageous, and lively little dogs with a lot of energy. They are great watchdogs who will bark when something is out of the ordinary.

Australian Terriers have wiry coats that need to be brushed regularly and they need to be bathed and rubbed down with a chamois or other material that doesn’t leave any lint behind. Aussies do not bark much, but they can howl sometimes, especially if left outside without company for too long.

Overseas the Australian Terrier is used as a companion and pet because it is loving and loyal. It can get on okay with other pets but it is important to socialize this dog at a very young age so that it will be able to coexist peacefully with other animals.

It has been claimed to be an excellent rat catcher due to its fast movement, high energy, courage, and keen senses. The breed seems to have originated from dogs living in the Port Jackson area or on some part of Sydney’s coastline when Europeans first settled there.

Australian terrier fur is very thick, coarse, and wiry in texture. According to one breed standard it is suited for both hot and cold climates, and while they can survive heat very well their thick coats make them prone to overheating in warmer temperatures so owners need to take care of this issue.

6. Bedlington Terrier

This breed is a cross between a Fell Terrier and a Scottish Water Spaniel. The first Bedlington Terriers were black, but since 1877 they have been seen in silver as well.

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Bedlington TerrierSmall Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

These dogs are friendly. Because of their superior intellect, very early training is possible. They are extremely energetic, so they require a good amount of exercise…

The Bedlington Terrier was bred primarily as an all-around working dog, and it is a hard worker who loves a daily walk or a chance to run free in a safe area. They are good watchdogs though they don’t bark much because of their tendency to be reserved with strangers unless shown otherwise.

Bedlingtons can make excellent family pets but they need owners who will train them well and give them enough exercise. They tend to get along quite well with children, other dogs, and other pets if they are raised with them – this is one of their better traits.

Bedlingtons do well in cold weather, but not in hot weather. Their fur is too dense to permit high temperatures, so you should make the decision on whether to let them live outside depending on the state you live in.

Bedlington Terriers are alert dogs with great powers of observation. They have good judgment in deciding for themselves how much exercise is needed, but owners must control them so that they do not run into the road or get into fights with other animals.

7. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Boston Terrier – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The Boston Terrier is an American breed of a small dog. It is one of the five most common cat breeds in the United States. It is a small, compact, short-haired breed of dog that has a shiny, smooth coat and most often a black mask around its eyes.

The Boston Terrier is intelligent, playful, and confident. They are good with children as long as they have been raised with them from the time they were puppies. They also tend to get along well with other pets if they have been socialized early on in life. They do not bark much but do snort quite loudly when playing or excited which can come off as comical.

Boston Terriers love their owners and will follow them everywhere – even into the bathroom! They are lively little dogs who require regular exercise because of their high energy levels.

Boston Terriers were bred as a fighting dogs like their American Pit Bull Terrier, but they would eventually be entered into dog shows in Boston in the 1800s. Boston Terriers are bred for many different reasons; some Boston’s are bred to participate in Boston Terrier races, while others are used as therapy dogs. The Boston terrier was originally known as the “bull and terrier” due to its original purpose. After World War II, Boston terriers began being used for companionship.

Boston Terriers enjoy living outdoors because it gives them the chance to run and play. If you would like to let your Boston Terrier live outside, make sure you have a fenced-in yard so he does not run away from home!

Boston Terriers are known as one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. They can learn problem-solving skills within twenty minutes and they respond best when owners treat them with love and respect.

8. Brussels Griffon

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Brussels Griffon – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The Brussels Griffon is a breed of small toy dog. Brussels Griffons are known to be great family dogs because they are playful, affectionate, and full of personality. They are protective of their owners and will bark if they feel you are being attacked or someone is breaking into your home. Brussels Griffons love to be loved on, so expect them to follow you around all day long.

Brussels griffins are curious about new people they meet but are not friendly toward other animals. Luckily for pet lovers everywhere, however, they can live in harmony with most household pets as long as they have been introduced at a young age.

They tend to become bored easily so owners should provide them with many toys if they keep them outdoors because it may keep them entertained for hours at a time!

Brussels Griffons is one of the small dog breeds that can live outside and they are very smart, so they will quickly learn what living outdoors means and may even be able to open doors or gates if they are left unlocked!

9. American Water Spaniel 

American Water Spaniel Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
American Water – Spaniel Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The American water spaniel is an intelligent, active dog who needs a job. He is not the type of pet to just sit around and watch television all day long.

He can be kept in an apartment if given enough exercise – at least two half-hour walks should be enough to keep him happy for the day! Additionally, American water spaniel’s need space because they are rambunctious and like to jump around when playing with their owners.

They do not get along well with other animals so it is important that they are socialized early on in life so they will grow up knowing how to properly interact with strange pets. American Water Spaniels have been called “spaniel gentlemen” due to their calm temperament compared to other spaniels.

It is a breed of dog that was originally bred for hunting most commonly ducks and geese. In the past, they lived inside with their owners but now are most commonly found living outside because of their high energy levels and love to swim during the heat of the summer months. This small dog breed can live outside during the warm months.

10. Cockapoo 

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Cockapoo – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The Cockapoo is a mix between the poodle and cocker spaniel breed of dogs. Cockapoos are small dogs, but they do require a decent amount of exercise. They need to be walked daily and most prefer to live outside because of their high energy levels.

Cockapoos can learn new tricks quickly if they are trained with a gentle approach. Unlike most spaniels, cockapoos love being around children and will be protective of them when playing or napping.

Cockapoos are not the type of dog that will attack other animals without provocation so owners can consider adopting them into homes where other pets reside.

This dog can adapt to living in both hot and cold weather conditions. If you want to keep your Cockapoo outdoor, you need to have something on them to protect them from the hot temperatures on their back, because they are very sensitive. If left outside unattended for long periods of time, make sure they have a shelter where they can retreat.

Just like all dogs with this kind of coat, the cockapoo will appreciate a regular brushing and combing on their wiry outercoat in order to rid any dead hair or tangles. Depending on which part of the country it lives in, so some states may require more grooming than others. The coat type will usually determine how much time you spend grooming this breed, but regardless it will need lots of attention throughout the year.

If kept indoors, these dogs are known for being homebodies that would rather stay indoors than go out. They still love walks outside though, so try taking your pup for an hour each day especially if there is no backyard available to them where they can run around freely or play with their toys.

11. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Miniature Schnauzer – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular small breeds in America. Miniature Schnauzers are known for their intelligence, self-confidence, and willingness to please. Miniature schnauzers are also loved for their affectionate nature, making them great family pets. The Mini has stood the test of time and is still very much loved by many families today despite it being nearly 100 years since its discovery.

Miniature Schnauzers look like little terriers with their wiry, curly coats which can actually be black, white, or salt-and-pepper. Their coat requires regular brushing at least once a week to get rid of any dead hairs and avoid matting since the Minis are not heavy shedders.

Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred as ratters. This means that they were bred to catch rodents that were infesting stables or used in fighting rings or other unsavory places that Miniature Schnauzer was the perfect dog for the job. They developed a keen sense of smell and were able to track and corner their prey quickly and efficiently. Miniature schnauzers were also used in many places as watchdogs because they would bark when danger was present or strangers invaded their space. This is why people may decide to arrange the place for the outdoor, making them one of the small dogs breeds that can live outside.

12. Pomeranian

Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside
Pomeranian – Small Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

They were originally bred in Pomerania, an area not known for any particular quality; therefore, they became popular because of their friendly personalities and small size.

Pomeranians are small dogs with a lot of energy. If they are not given sufficient physical activity, they may become hyperactive and even destructive in the house.

They commonly need grooming every three to four months. However, their hair grows quickly, so even if they are groomed monthly, you will still have to clip their hair about once per week to keep it short and neat-looking.

Also because Poms were originally bred for colder climates than most other toy breeds today, you want to make sure that this dog has adequate shelter and warmth at all times. Their undercoat is soft, dense, and abundant; while their topcoat is coarse. They can live outdoor or indoor. They are not one of the most intelligent dogs in the world, but they excel with socialization. They are definitely one of the small dog breeds that can live outside.


There you go this is our complete list of 12 small dog breeds that can live outside. Before deciding on whether or not to arrange the place for your dog outside, you must do proper research, as this simply may not be the right environment for your pet and could put them at risk for many health conditions. 

Also despite, that there are many small dog breeds that can live outside (technically), the question is whether they really should from an ethical point of view?

Living outdoors comes with some benefits, as dogs living outdoors are able to play and exercise more because there is an endless supply of space to run around. They are free to explore their surroundings without being on a leash, which helps burn off energy. Outdoor dogs have access to natural sunlight, allowing them to receive the Vitamin D that they need every day.

Having said that living outdoor is still not an easy task and can actually be harder on your dog than you imagine – especially if they were used to living inside, this sudden change of living conditions might be hard on them psychologically. Some animals may prey on your pet depending on where you live so keeping your pet safe becomes paramount if he’s left alone outside for long periods of time each day. For living outdoors you will need to have them under constant surveillance, or else they may run off! They also could be an easy target for people with bad intentions. If living outdoors is still preferable, then an outdoor dog house is a must!