Samoyeds are beautiful, white, fluffy dogs that were originally bred in cold, deserted Siberia. These smiling dogs are certainly known for their love of being outside, but it’s important to take the proper precautions to keep a Samoyed safe, happy, and healthy. While they can keep warm in the winter thanks to their thick, dense coat, that very same coat makes them susceptible to overheating in warmer temperatures. When deciding whether a Samoyed should be an outside dog it’s important to consider first and foremost the climate and conditions outside, but also whether a Samoyed will really thrive inside or outside.
Are Samoyeds outside dogs? They can be. If the climate is mild, cool, and mostly dry, then a Samoyed could happily live outside as long as he is in a safe, enclosed environment with all of his basic needs met. If the climate is hot and humid, it’s always best to keep a Samoyed inside.
Although climate and environment are perhaps the most crucial aspects to consider when deciding whether to let a Samoyed be an outside dog, there are other factors that might matter even more. Samoyeds (or Sammys as they are sometimes referred to by lovers of the breed) are very social dogs. In my experience, they are very family-oriented dogs and prefer a lot of attention from their family unit. Keep reading to learn more about how to set up the best possible environment for a Samoyed and decide for yourself whether inside or outside is best.
Are Samoyeds Outside Dogs?
The short answer here is it depends. There are a lot of things to consider and the answer won’t be the same for every Samoyed owner. Samoyeds love the cold weather. They can tolerate colder temperatures than most other dog breeds because they were quite simply bred for it in Siberia. They have a thick double coat of fur that helps insulate their bodies from even the most frigid temperatures.
While Samoyeds can reportedly handle temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is not recommended. I don’t recommend you let a Samoyed (or any dog) stay outside in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Samoyeds may start to show a preference for being outside once the temperatures drop. They might start asking to go out more or take longer to come back in, and that is okay. As long as the temperature isn’t too cold, they can take it!
On the flip side, leaving a Samoyed outside in any kind of heat is not recommended. If the temperature is going to be much above 75 degrees Fahrenheit or very humid like much of the southern half of the US, Samoyeds really need to be kept inside.
Hot weather does not agree with Samoyeds. They are at risk of heatstroke if left outside in high temperatures due to their very thick coat of fur not being able to keep their body temperature regulated and cool them down.
If a Samoyed is going to be outside in warm weather for any length of time, it’s recommended to make sure there is shade, plenty of freshwater, and ideally grass or sand to lay in so that they don’t burn their paws on pavement.
Samoyeds can be outside dogs if they have access to the right type of environment, but their quality of life is important too. They are one of the most social dog breeds and get a lot of enjoyment out of a highly interactive living situation.
If Samoyeds had a love language, it would be quality time. If they had their way, they would be with all the members of their family unit at all times. Whether it’s a solo dog owner or a large family, Samoyeds know who their “people” are and are very coo them.
Most Samoyed owners who are fans of the breed know this attached personality trait very well as it runs deep in almost all Sammys. For this reason, even with the best outdoor setup that is safe and comfortable, most Samoyeds would not truly thrive as an outside dog. Sammys simply need more socialization and love than being a true outside dog can give.
Do Samoyeds need a backyard?
Not necessarily. Backyards are great for Samoyeds (and all dogs) to enjoy the freedom to roam and play, but it certainly isn’t a must-have for a Samoyed owner.
A Samoyed can actually be a very good apartment or condo dog as long as they get the necessary amount of regular exercise and bathroom trips outside. Their need for companionship far eclipses their need for alone time outside, so they are great in small homes.
Most Samoyeds don’t really enjoy time spent alone outside for long periods. Because Samoyeds want to be with their owners so much, they really don’t need a large yard (or really any yard at all) to roam around in.
Regular walks and outdoor play with the family are plenty of outside time for a Samoyed.
Can Samoyeds get cold?
Yes, Samoyeds can get cold. However, it takes a lot more to make a Samoyed truly cold than most other breeds.
The thick double layer coat on Samoyeds is wonderful at keeping them warm and dry, but it’s always a good idea to make sure they have access to shelter and warmth if they are going to be outside in cold temperatures for any length time.
While a Samoyed can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is not recommended for long periods of time. Also, if a Samoyed is outside in the snow or rain and their fur gets wet they are at risk of hypothermia.
Is it cruel for dogs to sleep outside?
I would not say that it is cruel for dogs to sleep outside, but there are a lot of factors that dog owners must consider before doing so. Temperature, environment, and safety are the top priorities that cannot be understated.
Some dogs may prefer to stay primarily outside due to their breed and personality preferences. However, most domesticated dogs will strongly prefer to live primarily inside with their family unit and play outside occasionally rather than being left outside alone all day.
If a dog shows a strong preference for sleeping outside or it works best for the family as a whole to do so, what things should be considered?
Check that the climate is safe for a dog to sleep outside. It’s important to know about the breed and what they can tolerate. If there is ever any doubt on whether it’s a good night to sleep outside based on pending inclement weather, I always recommend bringing Fido inside.
The outdoor yard setup is truly just as important as the climate when deciding if a dog can sleep outside. Ideally, the yard should be fenced in and the dog should have access to a dog house lined with hay or thick blankets to protect from the elements and a freshwater source.
Safety precautions for letting a dog sleep outside go hand in hand with the environment setup. Make sure there is nothing in the enclosure that the dog can easily get to that would harm them in any way. This includes vehicles that might leak fluid, lack of adequate shade, holes in the fence, etc.
There are many measures that need to be taken when allowing a dog to sleep outside. It can be done with the right environment and the right dog, but that is not always the case. For the most part, dogs want to be with their families at night. That can be a crate, dog bed, or playpen in the home.
If a dog prefers closeness and time with the family, honor that by giving them a safe place to sleep inside. If a dog prefers to be alone and seems to love the outdoors, offer a safe outdoor space option.
Being a dog owner means welcoming a dog fully into the family and learning what makes them feel happy, loved, and safe. Dogs bring so much joy to their owners through their unconditional love and the companionship they provide, and all they want is for their humans to return the favor.
While it is certainly not cruel to leave dogs outside, it’s so important to take into account the dog’s personality, preferences, and breed when deciding where they should sleep at night.