Top Dogs To Keep Outside

Top Dogs To Keep Outside

If you’re hoping to get a dog but just don’t have the room to keep one inside (or the desire to potty train them, pick up after them, and clean the shedding fur off the furniture), you should consider one of the top dog breeds to keep outside.

Some dogs thrive on outdoor living, while some are much better suited to an indoor lifestyle. If you want a dog who can join you on jogs and hikes and sleep in the yard at night, these are the top breeds to consider. 

Best Outdoor Dogs

The best outdoor dogs are those bred for outdoor work or adventures. Most of these dogs are larger and sturdier, able to withstand and even thrive in outdoor temperatures. They also generally like lots of activity and space to run. 

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a strong, deep-chested dog bred to pull sleighs in the Arctic. With their thick weather-proof coats and penchant for running, these dogs are amazing for keeping outdoors even when the weather is chilly. 

Just be aware that this dog is strong-willed. While a Malamute will be a loyal follower, they must learn early that YOU are the leader so that you can keep them safe and close to home when they would rather run amok. 

American Foxhound

Popular as the dog of America’s forefathers, the American Foxhound is a vibrant, busy breed that loves to run and hunt. This dog needs tons of time to run and play outdoors and will be inclined to mark any small animal or intruder as prey, making them a good choice for an outdoor/guard dog.

These pups are fast and hardy, but they will need plenty of room to run in the yard and a very committed training regimen to help them maintain obedience and stay safe and healthy within your home. 

Australian Cattle Dog

The athletic Australian Cattle Dog is closely related to the Dingo. This pup is generally lithe, muscular, and fast, as well as incredibly intelligent. An Australian Cattle Dog makes a fantastic running partner with their graceful and fast gait.

It’s important to note that these dogs can get bored easily if not provided with entertainment, sport, and activity throughout the day. Be sure to get them plenty of exercise and keep them challenged with puzzles or games regularly.


The Beagle is one of the most popular dogs in America, and for good reason. Not only is this pup adorable, but they’re also incredibly energetic, playful, and loyal. Beagles have a fun streak that kids especially love! 


If you get a Beagle, they’re sure to be happy outside most of the time. Just be sure they get lots of playtime to run off their energy and keep their spirits high.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs come from the cold mountains of Switzerland, so they’re perfect if you want to keep your pup outside in a place where the weather gets cold. This dog is a strong, large breed with intelligent eyes and a loyal, loving nature.

Bernese Mountain Dogs make the perfect pet for a family as they love children, people, and other dogs. With their easygoing nature and abundance of fur, this dog is perfect for keeping watch on the house from the outside. 

German Shepherd

The popular, strong German Shepherd is well known as a top dog for those in dangerous jobs like the police force. This loyal, intelligent, and courageous pup will readily give his life for those he loves and is easy to train. 

If you get a German Shepherd, you’re guaranteed a companion who will go with you anywhere. These dogs love to run, so they’d make a great jogging companion if that’s what you’re looking for. And their thick coats can help keep them warm in colder weather if they need to sleep outdoors.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The beautiful red, black, and white Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is one of the largest, strongest dogs in the world. This pup is lithe enough to herd cattle but is also incredibly powerful, often weighing as much as an average-sized human.

If you’re looking for a companion who won’t mind resting outside in inclement weather and who will enjoy a jog or a workday outdoors, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a majestic yet gentle choice. 

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is possibly the tallest breed around, sometimes standing as high as 3 feet at the shoulder. This intelligent, gentle, strong creature is also incredibly fast, great for a jogging companion.

With their thick, rough fur and powerful muscles, Irish Wolfhounds find it easy to hang out out of doors and keep an eye on the house. And while they may not be particularly fierce with intruders, their looks alone are enough to scare anyone off. 

Labrador Retriever

The ever-popular Labrador Retriever is a big, strong, and fast dog with a lovable and playful personality. This pup will need lots of exercise and play to remain fit, and with their thick coats and strong bodies, they love being outside anytime.

If you’re looking for a dog who will be friendly to everyone you meet and hold a special fondness for children, the Labrador Retriever won’t let you down. 


The giant and intelligent Mastiff is a super strong and intelligent companion. This pup will love being outdoors, especially if there’s plenty of space to run and play. Mastiffs are great guardians but also patient and loving companion dogs. 

If you’re looking for a dog who will guard your home, scare off intruders, and enjoy spending time outdoors with you and your kids, the Mastiff is a great option.


A mutt is generally just a dog who is of mixed breeds. These pups are often cheaper than purebred breeds but still offer a great personality and lots of love and loyalty. Depending on the type of mutt you get, these dogs are generally happy-go-lucky and will love being outdoors.

Mutts are everywhere, just keep an eye out for one who is bigger and sturdier if you want them to spend time exclusively outdoors. And be sure to take special care of your mutt to ensure they stay healthy and happy for years to come! 

Norwegian Elkhound

The powerful and ancient Norwegian Elkhound closely resembles a wolf, with a strong body and silver fur that feature in ancient Viking tales, among others. This dog is incredibly loyal and loves to run and herd, features that make it great for taking on runs or keeping in the yard. 

Be sure to get your Norwegian Elkhound plenty of exercise and make introductions to any new people. This eager and energetic dog will be a loyal and fun companion for any adventure.


The powerful Rottweiler is sturdy, playful, and even cuddly. This pup will enjoy sitting on your lap, but he’ll also love relaxing outside and keeping a watchful eye on his territory. It’s important to train a Rottweiler early to avoid unpleasant territorial instincts. 

With thick muscles and a trotting gait, the Rottweiler will love being outdoors and doing anything athletic, just as long as they get plenty of love and playtime throughout the day.

There you have it—the best dog breeds to keep outside. If you’re looking for a pet who will enjoy the outdoors and stay safe, healthy, and happy while guarding your home, one of these breeds will be perfect for the job.

If you need help maintaining a clean yard for your outdoor dog, our team would be happy to help! We love cleaning up poop and providing our dog friends around the Treasure Valley with a safe place to live, work, and play. Check out our services to learn more!