Can Dachshunds Live Outside?

Dachshunds certainly love exploring and adventuring outside, but you may have wondered whether they are suited to an outdoor life permanently. 

So, can dachshunds live outside? Sadly, due to the breed’s thin coat, fragile build, and inquisitive nature, they do not make good outdoor dogs. 

We’ll be going into more detail about why dachshunds shouldn’t live outside below, as well as how to keep your pooch safe in hot and cold weather.

Can You Keep A Dachshund Outside?

a dachshund dog outside

Dachshunds shouldn’t be kept outside for long periods as their coat and build cannot withstand cold or hot weather. The breed has a very fragile and petite frame, which means they are unable to properly defend themselves against predators and wildlife.

Another reason why dachshunds aren’t suited to outdoor living is their curious nature – they love to explore and are escape artists at heart!

Dachshunds are excellent diggers as they were originally bred to hunt small animals that live in burrows, such as badgers and rabbits.

These dogs will have no trouble tunneling under fences or squeezing through small gaps thanks to their long, slender bodies and strong front paws.

If your dachshund lives outside 24/7, they will likely find a way out of your backyard. Additionally, dachshunds, like all dogs, are pack animals – they thrive on attention and companionship.

This pooch loves nothing more than cuddling, playing, and socializing with their favorite human.

Forcing your dachshund to live outside will cause them to feel lonely and isolated, which may cause behavioral issues such as aggression, hyperactivity, and excessive barking.

If you have neighbors, they probably won’t appreciate being disturbed by a noisy, yappy dachshund!

How Long Can A Dachshund Be Kept Outside For?

Despite being more suited to indoor living, dachshunds can still enjoy some time outside. Provided your dachshund is in good health, they can be kept outside for 30 to 45 minutes in mild weather. Make sure you supervise them as, otherwise, they may get into mischief!

Obviously, if there is heavy rainfall or frost/snow on the ground, simply allow your pooch enough time to relieve themselves, then usher them back indoors.

Cool weather worsens the symptoms of arthritis in dogs, so if your dachshund is suffering from this condition, it’s especially important to limit their outdoor access.

On the flip side, if it is extremely hot, don’t let your dog stay outside for long periods.

Make sure there’s shade and fresh water that your dachshund can easily reach, particularly if you’re spending time outside for a substantial amount of time, such as for a family gathering or BBQ.

Try to avoid the sun when it is at its peak, which is usually between 9am to 4pm. This rule should also be followed when you’re walking your dachshund during hot weather.

What Temperatures Can Dachshunds Tolerate?

Dachshunds can tolerate temperatures between 42 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 42 degrees Fahrenheit are too cold for dachshunds to comfortably be outside for long periods. 

If you’re walking your dog in cold weather, make sure they’re dressed in appropriate attire, including a waterproof, thermal coat and booties/paw protectors.

Avoid walking your dachshund in deep snow as it will be difficult for them to move through due to their short legs. 

In temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, use caution when walking your dachshund. Steer clear of peak sun hours and make sure you pack water to keep your pooch hydrated.

Paw protectors can help protect your dog’s paws from the hot ground, so it’s a good idea to use them in warm weather.

Even in temperatures as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit, dogs are at risk of developing heatstroke.

You should always ensure your dachshund has constant access to fresh water and shelter, especially when they are outdoors.

Can You Take A Dachshund Out In The Snow?

a dachshund out in the snow

Due to the dachshund’s thin coat and delicate build, they are more susceptible to the effects of cold weather, including snow.

Ideally, you shouldn’t let your dachshund out in the snow for more than 10 or 15 minutes, even less if it is deep.

Although long-haired and wire-haired dachshunds have thicker coats than smooth-haired dachshunds, you still shouldn’t allow these varieties outside in the snow for long periods. 

The breed’s long body means there’s a bigger exposed surface area to cold air, which means they will lose body heat rapidly.

Additionally, their short legs mean they are very close to the floor, so they will feel the cold from both the air and the ground.

Related: Can you go on hikes with your dachsund?

Do I Need To Get A Coat For My Dachshund?

Dog coats are beneficial for dachshunds and other short-haired breeds if you live in an overly wet/cold climate.

The dachshund’s stubby legs and long body means they are at a disadvantage in cool/rainy weather over most other dogs.

As mentioned earlier, both these characteristics expose the dachshund to the chilly air and ground, causing them to feel the effects to a greater extent.

In heavy rain or snow, your dachshund’s belly will easily become damp, putting them at a higher risk of developing frostbite and hypothermia. 

A thermal, waterproof coat can lessen the effects of cold weather, helping keep your pooch warm, dry, and comfortable while they are outside.

Dog booties or paw protectors are also worth using as they will protect your dachshund’s feet from the wet ground.

What Dog Breeds Are Better Suited to Live Outside?

Although the dachshund is not suited to outdoor living, there are a few other breeds that are better equipped for a life outside. 

Siberian Husky

Siberian huskies can make fantastic outdoor dogs thanks to their energetic, active, and playful personalities.

These pooches were originally bred to pull sleds through deep snow, so their thick, double coats make them highly resistant to cold weather.

However, that warm, fuzzy coat also means they’re less tolerant to hot climates – they will quickly heat up if left outside in warm weather.

Siberian huskies need a lot of exercise and stimulation every day, so you need to make sure you walk them for at least two hours daily.

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian cattle dog is one of the most popular outdoor breeds. They are a classic working dog which, as you may have already guessed from their name, were bred to herd cattle.

As a result, these dogs are well accustomed to spending long periods outside. 

The breed is loyal, protective, and extremely intelligent, making them great family dogs.

Like the Siberian husky, the Australian cattle dog needs at least two hours of exercise each day.

Their warm, double coat also keeps them toasty in cold weather.

German Shepherd

As far as bravery and loyalty go, you can’t beat the German shepherd.

The breed is popularly used as police, service, and guard dogs due to their intelligence and courage. 

German shepherds need a minimum of two hours of exercise daily as they are agile and active.

Provided you keep this breed well-trained, they make excellent companions and family dogs.

Due to their thick coats, German shepherds can tolerate cold weather but are more susceptible to overheating in hot climates.

Belgian Sheepdog

As their name suggests, Belgian sheepdogs were originally bred for herding sheep. They are active, obedient, and are fantastic trackers, the latter of which gives them a high prey drive.

Due to these dogs’ large size, they need to be kept in a backyard with a high, well-secured fence. The breed requires at least an hour of exercise each day to keep fit and stimulated.

Belgian sheepdogs thrive in both warm and cold weather, so they are considered one of the best dogs suited to outdoor living.

Final Thoughts

Although dachshunds cannot be kept outdoors permanently, that doesn’t mean they can’t play and explore outside altogether.

As long as you put in all the necessary precautions into keeping them safe, you and your dachshund can have fun adventuring the great outdoors (or just your backyard).

Remember, temperatures lower than 42 degrees Fahrenheit and higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit can be risky for these dogs.

Limit your dachshund’s access outside during extremely wet, cool, snowy, and hot weather as they are more susceptible to the heat and cold than other breeds.