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Can Dobermans Live Outside: 4 Reasons Why They Can’t

Whether you already own a Doberman or are considering getting one, knowing if they can live outside is pretty important.

It’s known they are one of the toughest breeds out there, but does that make them outside dogs? This article explains everything.

The quick answer: Dobermans should not live outside as they are indoor dogs. Dobermans, albeit resilient and tough, have short coats and do not handle the cold very well.

Additionally, many negative behavior issues can result from living outside.


Should Dobermans Live Outside or Inside?

Although possible with the right kind of outside housing, a Doberman should still live inside the home with the family for many good reasons.

Understandably, many people consider Dobermans as “outside dogs”. As Dobermans are often used as guard dogs, it’s common for them to be kept outside of the house somewhere on the property.

Unfortunately, this is to the detriment of every Doberman living outside.

Let’s explain in the next section some very important reasons as to why they should live indoors.

4 Reasons Why Dobermans Should Not Live Outside

There are a few very good reasons why Dobermans should not live outside. Let’s run through them.

1. They do not handle cold weather well

Dobermans have short single-layered coats (apart from around their neck) and in general, do not cope well in cold weather.

While the summer months might be fine, the winter months will be far to cold for a Doberman, regardless of your location.

You can tell from the Doberman’s coat that they are not supposed to be outside dogs. Dogs that have a history of living outside have thick, dense, and long coats.

2. Dobermans hate being alone

Dobermans are highly social and love to be by their owner at all times. This is due to their protective nature, guard dog instincts, and the fact that they quickly form strong bonds with their owners.

The more time a Doberman has to spend alone (which is usually what happens with outside living) the higher the chance of behavior and mental issues. This brings me to the next point…

3. Negative behavioral impact

Ironically enough, those that want their Dobermans to stay outside, are likely those that also need their Doberman to be exceptionally obedient. But it doesn’t work like this…

Outside living generally has a negative impact on their temperament rather than a good one.

This means they are harder to train, more disobedient, more aloof and aggressive, and unpredictable. That is not a good combination with this breed. You always want to be in control when owning a Doberman.

4. Higher stress levels (mental issues)

Ultimately, due to all of the above, the result is increased stress and diminished quality of life.

Dobermans that are living outside on their own with reduced interaction are more likely to suffer mental issues, anxiety, and generally be unhappy (even depressed).

Even if a Doberman is going to be used for work purposes only, they are still better off living inside the home. The better the bond a Doberman has with their owner, the better worker they will be for them.

Can Dobermans Sleep Outside?

In short, no. Dobermans should not sleep outside. Despite being strong and resilient dogs, Dobermans prefer sleeping inside the home with the family.

Sleeping outside can cause fear, and anxiety, and increase a Doberman’s aloofness and aggression.

Can Dobermans Live Outside In Pairs Or More?

Much emphasis has been put on the fact that most Dobermans live outside on their own. But what about in pairs or a pack.

Even Doberman in pairs living outside will still suffer the same problems. They might have the company of each other, but ultimately that does not replace human interaction. And in the end, it will just be two Dobermans longing for their owner instead of just one.

It could potentially be different if you have a large pack meaning at least four dogs together. It’s still not ideal, but in this case, the support and bond from the pack might actually suffice and prevent negative behavioral issues.

In reality, the answer remains the same, Dobermans are inside dogs.

Living Outside In Summer Poses Its Own Threats

Although we’ve focused mostly on the fact that Dobermans don’t handle the cold very well, they also don’t handle the heat too well either!

Dobermans living outside are vulnerable to heatstroke and dehydration. These black-coated dogs absorb the sun’s heat quickly, making it risky to leave them outside.

One of the best ways to keep a Doberman cool when the weather is hot is to actually keep them inside. Go figure! By keeping them inside we can control the temperature of the room and keep them in the shade. Nothing works better.

Here’s a full guide on keeping your Doberman cool in summer

Likely Outcomes If You Leave a Doberman Outside

Let’s summarize a few of the most important points explained above and run through what will likely happen to a Doberman that’s kept outside.

  • Get too cold and too hot in winter and summer
  • Develop isolation distress or separation anxiety from being alone
  • Increased aloofness and aggressiveness
  • Harder to train
  • Less obedient
  • Excessive barking problems
  • Destructive behavior
  • Lower quality of life
  • A wide range of health issues brought on by all of the above

Granted, these are guaranteed to happen, but why increase the chances of it when you don’t have to?

Trending article: How long do Dobermans live?

What About Fancy Dog Houses?

What about if your Doberman has a super-duper dog house with all the weather resistance and protection they need?

Honestly, the answer still remains the same. If it isn’t the weather then it will be the issue of being alone.

Dobermans crave being around their loved ones and it’s this that really makes the difference to their life, temperament, and behavior.

For those that remain adamant about keeping their Doberman outside, then, of course, it’s imperative that your Dobie lives in a weather-proofed housing appropriate for both winter and summer. Although we still advise against it altogether.

Last Thoughts

Dobermans should remain inside the home with the rest of the family. They are not outside dogs and will suffer greatly if they are made to live outside.

Regardless of whether your Dobie is for work purposes, or you live in the perfect climate, it will still be better if the Doberman lives inside.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Check out more Doberman articles >

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.