Don’t Pen Them In: Dog Breeds That Thrive When They Spend Time Outdoors

One thing that all modern dog breeds have in common is that they were descended from wolves. Similar to wolves, there are quite a few dogs that don’t do well when they are kept cooped up indoors.

Breeds such as the Siberian Husky, French Bulldog, and German Shepherd need to spend a lot of time outside for various health and safety reasons. If you’re a dog owner or are looking to become one, make sure you read through these breeds to discover if your dog will need to spend a lot of time outside.

Siberian Huskies Are Pack Dogs

siberian husky in the snow
Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images
Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images

Siberian Huskies are one of the most majestic dog breeds and do well in snowy environments. According to Embora Pets, Huskies have a lot of energy and should spend a good deal of time outside.

They are one of the closest descendants to wolves and are considered pack dogs. The American Kennel Club insists that Siberian Huskies make excellent pets because they are very friendly and enjoy living with a family.

Labrador Retrievers Need To Get Their Energy Out

labrador retriever puppy resting with its mother
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Simon Lees/PhotoPlus Magazine/Future via Getty Images

Those who own a Labrador Retriever know that they are friendly and outgoing and come with a lot of energy. Labs were originally bred to help owners retrieve fishing nets during the hunter/gatherer era.

This breed needs to spend a lot of time outdoors going on walks and exploring their surroundings. The American Kennel Club states, “A Lab who doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to engage in hyperactive and/or destructive behavior to release pent-up energy.”

German Shepherds Are Great At Commands

german shepherd dog on a leash
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Known for their ability to follow commands faster than most breeds, the German Shepherd is both a smart and friendly dog. They are extremely active and athletic and require a lot of exercise for both their physical and mental well-being.

Their agility skills make them great outside pets where they can practice herding, tracking, and more. While German Shepherds are equipped to spend a lot of time outside, they shouldn’t be left alone for long because they love being with humans.

Australian Shepherds Aren’t For Couch Potatoes

australian shepherd sitting on the grass
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you consider yourself a couch potato, then the Australian Shepherd is not the dog for you. This breed requires at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day and can become restless if they aren’t let outside.

According to the American Kennel Club, many Australian Shepherds have an impulse to herd, which can range in things such as birds, dogs, or even children. Aussies usually develop a strong bond with their owners and love to accompany them on long walks, hikes, and runs.

French Bulldogs Need To Be Outside To Breathe Properly

french bulldog puppy with a black and white coat
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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Although French Bulldogs don’t require a huge amount of exercise, they still need their outdoor time. They are a flat-faced breed that is prone to breathing difficulties, so they need to spend a lot of time in an open-air environment.

French Bulldogs were bred as lapdogs or companions, but they are actually quite intelligent and make for excellent watchdogs. Since they were bred as companions, they get severe separation anxiety when apart from their owners.

Irish Wolfhounds Are One Of The Tallest Dog Breeds

a woman walking five irish wolfhounds on a grass field
Carl Court/Getty Images
Carl Court/Getty Images

It’s hard not to notice just how tall Irish Wolfhounds are, with the males usually measuring at three feet and 180 pounds. Their fur is very thick and coarse, which makes it perfect for withstanding the elements outside.

According to the American Kennel Club, Irish Wolfhounds have a strong instinct to hunt and prey, so they need regular exercise to keep their bodies and minds healthy. Unfortunately, the average lifespan for this breed is only between six and eight years.

Bernese Mountain Dogs Can Withstand Harsh Weather

bernese mountain dog posing for a photo
Cuveland/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Cuveland/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent and calm. Their tri-colored coat helps them withstand harsh weather and they were bred to help on farms and pastures in Switzerland. These dogs usually get along with humans, but will often attach themselves to one specific person.

The American Kennel Club states that Bernese Mountain Dogs need at least a half-hour of exercise every day and that they love a multitude of outdoor activities. Those who are thinking about adopting this breed should train them early because their large size makes them difficult to train in adulthood.

Jack Russell Terriers Are Balls Of Energy

jack russell terrier with long fur
Tim Graham/Getty Images
Tim Graham/Getty Images

Even though they are small, Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most energetic dog breeds of all time. They love to be outdoors either taking long walks, playing games, or exploring their surroundings.

If Jack Russell Terriers are kept inside for too long, they can start to cause problems with their pent-up energy. Their high-energy temperament can even prevent them from getting along with other dogs or small children. This breed was actually developed in England to use in foxhunts.

American Foxhounds Require A Lot Of Exercise

american foxhound weaving through poles
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

According to the American Kennel Club, American Foxhounds are natural-born hunters and are known for their agility and endurance. It’s important that they go outside and exercise regularly because they can get depressed and destructive if left inside too much.

Their exercise habits are one of the most demanding of all the dog breeds, with a recommended one to two hours every single day. Since they were bred to hunt, they need to either be supervised or in a fenced-in area when they’re outside.

Alaskan Malamutes Were Born To Work

alaskan malamute standing on the grass
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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Alaskan Malamutes originated from arctic sled dogs, which can be seen in their deep chest, broad shoulders, and strong bones. Their dense and thick coats can protect them from the coldest temperatures and they are known to thrive in packs.

While these dogs love being outside in the snow, they usually cannot withstand living in places with warm and humid weather. They are working dogs by nature, so they require daily exercise to keep their physical and mental states healthy.

What To Know About The American Pit Bull Terrier

pit bull on a leash
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Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

Owning an American Pit Bull Terrier is a huge responsibility. Dog Time states that they were originally bred to “bait” bulls and later evolved into farm dogs. They are filled with lots of energy and need to be outside to get it out.

If left to their own devices, this breed can become restless and do some damage. Pit Bulls are very intense, but have the potential to be playful around other humans. Also, they are extremely obedient and agile.

This Myth About Rottweilers Is Now Debunked

rottweiler running on a grass field
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Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Early training is critical with Rottweilers. With the proper training, they will become calm, confident, and courageous. It’s sometimes generalized that Rottweilers are aggressive, but that isn’t usually the case.

According to the American Kennel Club, this breed loves to be with their owners and can get separation anxiety fairly quickly. These dogs are very muscular and athletic and need regular exercise to function properly. Rottweiler owners should spend a lot of time outside with their furry companions, either swimming, walking, or hiking.

Akitas Are Symbols Of Health, Happiness, And More

akita dog sticking its tongue out
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AFP via Getty Images
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AFP via Getty Images

Akita dogs don’t necessarily require a ton of exercise, but they should get a moderate amount. They were bred as house dogs, but their thick and double-coated fur allows them to be outside for extended periods of time in cold weather.

In Japanese culture, this breed is known for their dignity, courage, and loyalty and are considered family protectors. They are seen as symbols of good health, happiness, and long life. Akitas aren’t for novice dog owners and should be socialized and trained early to avoid any aggression.

Doberman Pinschers Are Great Watchdogs

doberman pinscher sitting on the grass
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Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Those who are looking for a good watchdog breed should consider getting a Doberman Pinscher. They are very muscular and energetic, so they need lots of exercise and free play outside.

Doberman Pinschers are credited for their alertness and intelligence, which makes them easily trainable. This breed always makes sure that their owner is safe, but when they are left alone for too long they can get agitated. The American Kennel Club states that when Dobermans aren’t trained properly, they can become “pushy, destructive, and unmanageable.”

Dachshunds Are Small But Mighty

dachshund jumping on the grass
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Don’t let the size of Dachshunds fool you. This small dog breed isn’t equipped for long-distance exercise, but they are almost always packed with energy. Dachshunds were bred to hunt, so they are very brave and a bit stubborn.

Exercising helps them build strong muscles and support their uniquely-shaped back. While these dogs may look cute, they can become aggressive if they are prevented from letting out their energy. It’s important to note that Dachshunds sometimes don’t get along with people they don’t know because they prefer being with their owners.

Weimaraners Are Known As Gray Ghosts

weimaraner posing for a photo
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Often called a “Gray Ghost,” the Weimaraner is a hunting dog known for its sleek, silver coat, friendliness, and obedience. This breed loves to exercise outside by going for walks with their humans or sprinting long distances.

Weimaraners need regular exercise because it helps with their overall physical and mental health. Owners shouldn’t leave this breed alone for too long because they do suffer from separation anxiety. They also have one of the most distinctive howls and barks.

Don’t Be Fooled By The Size Of Chihuahuas

chihuahua sticking its tongue out
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Frank Rumpenhorst/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Considered to be one of the national symbols of Mexico, Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed and they’re packed with a lot of energy. They don’t usually need a large space because of their size, but going outside is a great way to get their energy out.

This breed often tires easily, so don’t let them overextend themselves. Also, don’t let their tiny size deceive you. Chihuahuas are one of the most aggressive dog breeds and will do anything to protect their owners.

Only Active Owners Should Have Border Collies

border collies with a stuffed animal
James D. Morgan/Getty Images
James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Owners will need to lead a very active lifestyle if they plan on caring for a Border Collie. They are one of the smartest dog breeds and need constant stimulation.

Border Collies love to run around outside or challenge their minds with a puzzling toy. The American Kennel Club states that this breed thrives when they have a specific job to do that they can accomplish while exercising. They often participate in dog competitions because of their impressive obedience and agility skills.

Vizslas Love The Great Outdoors

vizsla dog looking in the distance
Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Vizsla dogs were bred to accompany Hungarian sportsmen for long days in the field. They are very active hunting dogs and need daily mental and physical stimulation.

This breed remains active and playful throughout their lives, which shows in their great love for the outdoors. Canine Weekly found that while Vizslas are intelligent and kind, they need to be kept busy in order to not become agitated. Owners who are looking for a dog to take on long hikes or walks should definitely consider getting a Vizsla.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks Hail From Africa

rhodesian ridgeback standing on the grass
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to the American Kennel Club, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was made famous in Africa for tracking lions. This breed is one of the fastest and most athletic and needs to be trained as early as possible.

Since they were bred in Africa, they have developed a tolerance for harsh climates and have strong endurance skills. Rhodesian Ridgebacks make great exercise companions, whether they go jogging, hiking, or running. It’s best not to keep them in cold climates because of their short and lanky build.

Why Farmers Should Own Australian Cattle Dogs

australian cattle dog puppy playing in the snow
Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Australian Cattle Dog was bred for herding, so they are naturally athletic. This breed thrives when in an open outdoor space to run around and play in. Farmers would benefit from owning an Australian Cattle Dog for their expert skills at hunting, chasing, and moving livestock.

The American Kennel Club found that this breed loves to spend quality time with their owners, both working and playing. This particular dog can become mischievous if they are left alone and become bored.

Norwegian Elkhounds Used To Sail With The Vikings

norwegian elkhound at a breed competition
Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The American Kennel Club states that Norwegian Elkhounds are one of Europe’s oldest dog breeds and that they used to sail with the Vikings. This made them an important symbol of Norse culture.

Their build, including a deep chest, sturdy legs, and muscular thighs, makes them a perfect outdoor breed capable of a long day’s work. They were bred to hunt, so they love the freedom to explore the outdoors alone. It’s important to keep Norwegian Elkhounds on a leash because they have an innate sense to run off.

Great Pyrenees Dogs Are Livestock Guardians

great pyrenees dogs cuddling with their owner
Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Great Pyrenees dogs were most commonly used to help shepherds keep wolves, bears, and even humans away from their sheep on snowy mountaintops. They are one of the strongest and heaviest dog breeds of all time and will guard their owners with a “zen-like” calmness.

Luckily, they will quickly show their true nature if they suspect danger. Great Pyrenees dogs don’t require a lot of exercise, but they do like to spend a lot of time outside patrolling land. Also, their lush and fluffy white coat can protect them in the harshest of elements.

Anatolian Shepherds Can Be Unreliable Off-Leash

anatolian shepherd walking on a leash
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Anatolian Shepherds date back over six thousand years ago to the Bronze Age when they were bred to catch predators over harsh terrain. They are rough, yet agile and need to have time to exercise outside every day.

Their dense coat protects them from harsh environments and they are relatively low-maintenance. Anatolian Shepherds need to be leashed when they are out of the house and backyard. One trainer explained, “Don’t assume that your dogs will be reliable off-leash. False security on your part can become a disaster.”

Chow Chows Have Blue Tongues

chow chow dog with its tongue out
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Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Though they may look small, Chow Chows are very muscular and compact. They are incredibly easy to train, but need to be socialized early in order to stop them from becoming aggressive.

Chow Chows are quite active and love to go for walks and play with toys outside. Due to their thick and fluffy fur, they do not tolerate hot weather well. You may notice that their tongues have a different color than most dogs. They are born with pink tongues and the blue/black color develops over time.

Dalmatians Are Known As Firefighters’ Best Friends

dalmatian running in the snow
Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

It’s hard not to notice the contrast of the black and white spots on a Dalmatian. Over the years, these dogs have often been put to work accompanying firefighters, nobles, and more with their jobs.

According to the American Kennel Club, all Dalmatians need regular exercise to stay fit and happy. It’s important to note that their bones don’t fully develop until they are two-years-old, so it’s best not to put them through vigorous outdoor activities until then.

Greyhounds Are Incredibly Fast

greyhound dog running
Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Considered to be the “cheetahs” of dogs, Greyhounds are one of the fastest breeds. Some owners enter their Greyhounds in races because of how quick they are. This breed is thought of as regal and has been owned by kings, artists, poets, celebrities, and more.

While some Greyhounds love to lounge around the house, all of them get excited to sprint outside, play fetch, or run with their owner. Greyhounds are able to run so fast because of their aerodynamic skull, shock-absorbing pads on their feet, and their overall inverted “S” shape.

Basenjis Don’t Bark

basenji dog standing on the grass
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

One thing that sets Basenjis apart from other dogs is that they don’t bark, but they do make other fun sounds such as yodels and chortles. This breed is very energetic and active and often compared to a racehorse.

They need long play sessions outside because they will exhibit destructive behavior if kept inside for too long. Basenjis were originally bred for hunting, so it’s advised to keep them away from cats and other small animals.

Why Tosas Need Love

tosa dogs snuggling on a blanket
Vadim Kot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Vadim Kot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Unfortunately, the Tosa dog was bred for fighting, especially in Japan. This has caused them to get a reputation for being dangerous and unpredictable to be around.

The American Kennel Club states that Tosas are actually very calm, but need regular mental and physical stimulation. Getting some time to chase a ball around or learn new tricks in the backyard would make any Tosa happy. Also, they respond well to obedience training.

Afghan Hounds Have Stylish Coats

afghan hound puppy and his dad
Seoul National University via Getty Images
Seoul National University via Getty Images

Afghan Hounds are often praised for their unique coats of long, silky fur. They were bred to have this kind of fur to protect themselves from harsh mountainous climates.

This breed is built for outdoor activities due to their excellent agility and huge paw pads that act as shock absorbers for any kind of terrain. According to the American Kennel Club, Afghan Hounds need to have several opportunities throughout the day where they can run in a large, enclosed area.