Best Outdoor Dogs: 24 Breeds That Are Perfect Outside

By John Martin - November 17, 2023

The day is wasted when the weather is great but you are cooped up inside. How wonderful would it be to be in the open with your family and a loyal canine companion in tow? Unfortunately, not all breeds are made to be outdoors and run around. The following are 24 breeds that are perfect outside. If you are an outdoorsy family, these are the perfect breeds for you.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd in a field

An Australian Shepherd is a friendly, energetic and excitable breed that is perfect for a home with kids. They do have a coat that requires some care and will need some work to look after. However, they are great pooches to have at home.

Australian Shepherd Appearance

An average Australian Shepherd can grow to about 18 to 23 inches in height and can weigh up to 60 pounds when it grows the full size. Of course, as is the case generally, the males tend to be taller and heavier set than the females. They have a medium-length coat that is usually straight, or may at most be slightly wavy. The neck is especially furry and forms like a mane.

Australian Shepherd Temperament

Australian Shepherds are a highly intelligent breed that take to training well. They are good to have as pets as they get along well with children and other pets as well. They are also obedient dogs and will go to lengths to make their owners happy.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever playing

The Labrador Retriever is one of the best pets to have at home. They are friendly, affectionate and make for great pets for kids. They are also athletic dogs that will keep you on your toes (therefore, a better-suited breed for younger people).

Labrador Retriever Appearance

The Labrador Retriever is a medium-sized breed that was originally bred as retrieving gun dogs. This makes them athletic, agile and well built. Labrador Retrievers have a short coat that can often be of various colors, from a light blonde to a dark brown or black. They have a medium-length tail that stays high.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

Labrador Retrievers are friendly and playful dogs. They will be eager to please their owners and people they love and will, therefore, be mostly obedient. They are highly intelligent dogs that usually take well to training, making them the ideal breed to have at home as a pet or even for law enforcement.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog is a herding dog that has been bred in Australia. Given its origins, the breed is, therefore, adept at hiking long distances and has strong herding instincts even when it is raised away from a cattle-rearing setup.

Australian Cattle Dog Appearance

Australian Cattle Dogs can grow anywhere between 17 to 20 inches tall as adults. They are well built, agile and have a sturdy structure that gives them the power to cover long distances. They generally have a white coat as puppies, that turns to a shade of blue-gray or red, depending on individual dogs.

Australian Cattle Dog Temperament

Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely smart and intelligent dogs. They make for loyal pets and do have a strong protective instinct towards their family, especially in sight of a stranger. Australian Cattle Dogs also need to be kept stimulated and active, or else they may get bored, in turn leading to some destructive behaviors.

Related: 17 of the Top Blue Heeler Mix Breeds

Siberian Husky

Husky with both blue and brown eyes in the snow

The Siberian Husky is a stunning and formidable-looking breed of dogs. Their Siberian origins is where the breed gets its name from, however, huskies can be raised in less cold places as well.

Siberian Husky Appearance

A Siberian Husky is a medium-sized dog that can weigh up to 60 pounds at full size. It has a dense undercoat that sheds twice a year with the change of season (the first time you see this may be alarming, but do not be worried if clumps of hair begin to come out). It has triangular ears that stay erect and a long neck.

Siberian Husky Temperament

Siberian Huskies are highly intelligent dogs that enjoy their independence. This also means they can be a little stubborn if not trained in the right manner. Despite how they look, they are friendly and affectionate dogs that like to run around. They get along well with other pets they may have been raised with.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog gets its name from the canton of Bern. They are an obedient and friendly breed that make for good household pets, as well as for guard dogs thanks to their natural herding instincts.

Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large-sized breed. Males can weigh as much as 115 pounds at full size and grow up to 28 inches, while females can weigh up to 95 pounds and grow up to 26 inches in height. They have a long, straight, at times wavy coat that is usually tricolor.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament

Bernese Mountain Dog is an affectionate and friendly breed that makes for a good family pet. They thrive in the company of people and should be included in the family’s daily routines and events. Though they are not usually aggressive, they can be quite protective of the family so they need to be socialized from an early age.

Related: Is It Cruel to Keep a Dog Outside?

English Mastiff

English Mastiff sitting in grass

‘Large’, would be an understatement to describe the English Mastiff. They are muscular and huge dogs that can look quite terrifying, but have a generally affectionate disposition towards the family it is raised in.

English Mastiff Appearance

As mentioned above, English Mastiffs are very large dogs. At full adulthood, a male English Mastiff can grow up to 30 inches in height and can weigh up to 200 pounds! Females can also grow as tall as 27 inches and may weigh about 150 pounds at full maturity. In other words, this dog is a giant, albeit a gentle giant. They have a short, light coat with a black mask around the eyes and the nose.

English Mastiff Temperament

The English Mastiff is a proud breed but is generally affectionate and good natured. They do well in families with older kids, however, it would be advised to keep younger children away from them because of their sheer size. Even if the animal does not intend to harm a child, accidents happen all the time.


Rottweiler service dog

Rottweilers are fierce and intelligent dogs that make for great guard dogs. They have natural herding instincts which are often on display when they feel protective of their family or children they grew up with.

Rottweiler Appearance

Rottweilers are black in color, with brown markings on the feet, chest and face. It has a medium outer coat that is present all over the body and a short undercoat that is found on the thighs and neck. However, the amount of undercoat a Rottweiler may have depends on the region the individual dog lives in.

Rottweiler Temperament

Rottweilers are confident and fierce dogs that can take some time to warm up to people. They are highly intelligent and do well with early training from when they are pups. This allows them to socialize better and neutralizes any aggressive herding instincts.

Rough Collie (Collie)

Rough Collie

A Rough Collie is a type of Collie that was originally bred for herding in Scotland. They typically have a beautiful, long coat and have remarkable facial features.

Rough Collie (Collie) Appearance

There are two types of Rough Collies that can be differentiated based on appearance. The “true” Rough Collie has long hair, while the short-haired one is referred to as the “smooth” Collies. They typically have tricolored markings, with variations of white, red and black.

Rough Collie (Collie) Temperament

Rough Collies are intelligent and take well to training, especially positive reinforcement. They are agile and require a fair amount of exercise and walking outdoors, but once they are indoors, they are calm and make for great, relaxed company.



The Vizsla is an elegant sporting dog which has origins in Hungary. The breed is easily distinguishable with its long, graceful stance.

Vizsla Appearance

Vizslas have a stunning golden-rust colored coat that is one of their most prominent identifiers. They are a medium-sized breed that has a long body and a graceful neck that arches outwards. They have pendant-shaped ears that flop over.

Vizsla Temperament

Vizslas are agile and energetic hunting dogs, which means that they need to be kept active and require a fair amount of exercise, making them perfect breeds for the outside. Vizslas do not like to be confined for too long and require a lot of space. If they are not kept engaged and stimulated, Vizslas are known to chew things to mitigate their boredom.

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhounds are proud, independent and intelligent breeds that are great outside where they get a lot of space to run around and stretch.

Norwegian Elkhound Appearance

Norwegian Elkhounds are longer than they are tall and can grow as high as 20 inches at full maturity. They have a beautiful silver-gray outer coat and a thick undercoat that sheds twice or thrice a year, depending on the climate of the region. They have a deep chest and strong, sturdy thighs that allows them to walk long distances and stand guard.

Norwegian Elkhound Temperament

Norwegian Elkhounds are playful, affectionate and enjoy being in the outdoors. They are, however, hounds by nature and can be quite protective of their families. They are a dominating breed and may not get along with other dogs, especially of the same sex.

American Foxhound

American Foxhound getting ready for the hunt

American Foxhounds are elegant and tall pooches that love being outdoors. They are usually tricolored and are a combination of white, red/mahogany and black (very close to the colors of a beagle).

American Foxhound Appearance

American Foxhounds are tall dogs with a coat of a medium length that stays close to the skin. The coat is also hard which protects them in rough terrain. They have floppy ears that hang low. The breed has a deep chest and a long, straight back. They have fox-like feet and muscular and sturdy hips and thighs.

American Foxhound Temperament

American Foxhounds are independent and proud dogs, so they can be a tad stubborn during training. They are also excellent runners and make for great hunting companions. However, they do not fare well as guard dogs as they are quite amicable with strangers.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds are tall and large dogs that can reach as high seven feet when they are on their hind legs! But even when they are on all fours, they are large dogs that can easily loom over small children and animals.

Irish Wolfhound Appearance

As has been mentioned above, the Irish Wolfhound is very tall when standing on its hind legs. However, you shouldn’t make it a habit of positioning the dog this way as it may lead to long-term damage to their hind legs. They have small ears, perched on a large head and muzzle.

Irish Wolfhound Temperament

The Irish Wolfhound may be a giant, but it is certainly a gentle giant. They are sweet-natured, patient and affectionate dogs that don’t even qualify as guard dogs, so friendly is their disposition. They are not aggressive, even towards strangers.

Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie

A Bearded Collie is a distinct looking dog breed that has long, lustrous hair. They are essentially shepherd dogs originating in Scotland, but are more or less family dogs now.

Bearded Collie Appearance

Bearded Collies have long, shaggy, often wavy hair that cover its front and hind legs almost entirely. It has a full muzzle and a square-shaped nose. Even the ears, medium sized, hang low and are covered in the long, beautiful coat. The coat is typically a combination of white and blue-gray.

Bearded Collie Temperament

Bearded Collies are generally good-tempered animals that love to play in the open. They are energetic and require a fair bit of exercise. Since they are herding dogs, they do get along well with all members of the family, including other household pets. However, this also means they may be protective towards them.

Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherds are medium to large-sized dogs. This is an elegant double-coated breed that prefers cooler climates, though it can also survive in hotter weather (albeit, not too comfortably).

Belgian Shepherd Appearance

A Belgian Shepherd dog is an elegant dog that can grow as tall as 26 inches for males and 24 inches for females. It has a topcoat that is thick with long and straight hair which is often water resistant. The topcoat is not silky but can be rough to the touch. The undercoat is soft and protects the pooch from harsher weather in the winter.

Belgian Shepherd Temperament

Belgian Shepherd dogs are agile, intelligent and courageous dogs that are extremely devoted to their families. They make for great watchdogs as they have incredible observation skills. As herding dogs, they are also wary of strangers, which means they must be socialized from a young age.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a strong and well-built canine that originates from the Swiss Alps. They are intelligent and brave dogs that have incredible herding qualities, for which they were reared. Today they make for great family pets.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Appearance

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have a flat, broad skull with a medium-length muzzle. They have a short coat that is tricolored with variations of black, mahogany and white. The chest is typically white, while the rest of the body is black with mahogany markings on the legs and face.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Temperament

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are agile and intelligent creatures. They look formidable, but they have a gentle and friendly disposition. But since they are so alert, they do make for great watchdogs. They have a loud bark which notifies the owner of any danger even if the dogs are not aggressive towards strangers. Still, the breed is stubborn and independent, requiring socialization from an early age.



Keeshonds are medium-sized canines that have a strong resemblance to the Samoyed, from whom they draw their heritage.

Keeshond Appearance

The Keeshond is a compact breed that has a long, luscious double coat. It has a luxurious mane around the face and wears a fox-like expression. It has perky, triangular-shaped ears that are placed high on a wedge-shaped face. The topcoat can be rough to the touch, though the undercoat is usually soft. They have legs that are also coated in fur.

Keeshond Temperament

Keeshonds are intelligent and active pooches that like to get a lot of exercise outdoors. They are great with people and do not like to be left alone for too long. If you leave them alone outside for too long, for instance, you will not hear the end of their loud barks.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd sitting in field being trained

German Shepherds are an attractive and intelligent breed that make for great herding as well as watchdogs. As the name suggests, the breed originated in Germany.

German Shepherd Appearance

German Shepherds are a medium-sized breed of dogs that have an elegant and poised stance. They have muscular limbs and a deep chest. The head is in proportion to the body and the triangular ears are pointy and alert. They have a strong muzzle with a black nose leading the way.

German Shepherd Temperament

German Shepherds are great pets that are loyal and protective towards their family. They are an intelligent breed that need to be kept stimulated and agile with new tasks and challenges. They are easy to train, but you need to start early. However, you must keep them engaged everyday or the shepherd dog may become bored and destructive.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are hunting dogs that were first bred in southern Africa. They are known as ridgebacks because of the line of hair that grows backwards on their back.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Appearance

Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs have a distinct wheaten-colored coat that stays close to the skin. The coat is short and soft, with a ridge of hair on the back that goes in the direction opposite to the rest of the coat. The coat is better suited to hotter climates.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a calm and even-tempered dog that is at times reserved, especially around strangers. The breed is brave and agile, making them great guard dogs. They have a loud bark but are generally quiet dogs. They are good with children, but it is important to supervise them as the dogs are large.

Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiffs are friendly and generally mild-mannered dogs. They are large and have an impressive coat that has several color variations. This is a livestock guardian breed from north-eastern Spain.

Pyrenean Mastiff Appearance

The Pyrenean Mastiff has a beautiful double coat that sheds frequently, depending on the weather. The topcoat tends to matt easily, so it needs to be brushed often. The brushing will prevent the coat from tangling and will also manage the shedding. While the base color is white, the coat can have markings of various other colors. Despite its large body it is light on its feet.

Pyrenean Mastiff Temperament

Since the Pyrenean Mastiff is so large, at times it can be difficult to get a handle on. This is why it is recommended that you train the dog from an early age so they learn not to pull or resist, especially when they are on a leash. Since they are guard dogs, they are protective of their family. They need to be kept occupied and active or they can become destructive if bored and unengaged.

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are distinct looking canines, with a long and dense topcoat. This is a large breed that looks even larger with the density of its impressive coat.

Old English Sheepdog Appearance

The Old English Sheepdog is a strong and intelligent dog with a waterproof undercoat and a dense topcoat. It has a long neck and a compact body that is covered in its thick coat. They have short legs and a long body. However, the legs are muscular and well built for navigating slopes.

Old English Sheepdog Temperament

Old English Sheepdogs are gentle and docile animals. However, they are herd dogs and may try to herd other household pets and small children. This means that they will be especially protective of them. To break this pattern, they need to be socialized and trained from an early age. They are energetic and like to play a lot, at times becoming rowdy during playtime.



Samoyeds are incredibly beautiful and intelligent-looking dogs. They are trained working dogs that can be extremely helpful around the house. The pristine, white coat is one of the most stunning in the canine world.

Samoyed Appearance

The Samoyed is a large breed that is a natural herding dog. They have a thick double coat that makes it possible for them to survive in very cold weather. They have a compact body with strong and muscular legs. The breed has a tapering nose. One of the distinct traits of the face is that the Samoyed looks like it is smiling perpetually. The upturned lips prevent the dog from drooling.

Samoyed Temperament

The Samoyed is an intelligent and gentle breed that loves to play and is friendly with everyone, even strangers. This is not a good trait for a watchdog, however, a Samoyed will bark and tell you if it senses danger. They are friendly with children and make for a great family pet. They need a lot of exercise and physical stimulation, so they love the outdoors.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog is an attractive and cute pooch that is regarded as a working dog. As the name suggests, the breed originates in Portugal. They are called water dogs as they came to work on coasts where they would be used for herding fish in fishermen’s nets.

Portuguese Water Dog Appearance

Portuguese Water Dogs have a single coat that is usually wavy or curly. The coat can be a variety of colors, ranging from black, gray, silver, white, etc. These are medium-sized pooches that make for excellent working dogs. They have a dome-shaped head and a long muzzle. They have webbed feet which makes it easier for them to swim more adeptly.

Portuguese Water Dog Temperament

Portuguese Water Dogs are affectionate and playful. They are highly intelligent dogs that can be trained to work around the house. The dogs respond best to positive reinforcement. Their high levels of energy can seem overwhelming at first, but you can train them from an early age to manage this.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a beautiful and strong dog that was originally bred as a sled dog. While they are still used for this purpose, they also make for great companion dogs.

Alaskan Malamute Appearance

The Alaskan Malamute can have various color combinations, though the primary color remains white along with shades of other, darker colors, such as red, seal, silver, black, agouti, etc. They are muscular and have a powerful stance with a long neck and a head held high. The coat is thick, with an undercoat for protection from the cold. They also have a broad head and a bulky muzzle, with alert triangular ears perches on top of this frame.

Alaskan Malamute Temperament

Alaskan Malamutes are friendly and affectionate pets that make for great companions. They love being outdoors and need a lot of attention and exercise. They are also good with children and can play with them for a long time. However, it is not advisable to leave them alone with small children as they are very large dogs. They are highly intelligent and can be trained well from a young age.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees resting

Great Pyrenees are beautiful and graceful pooches that thrive in cold weather conditions. They have a lush coat that keeps them warm in the cold and have a friendly face.

Great Pyrenees Appearance

Great Pyrenees have a thick, protective undercoat and a long, wavy topcoat that can be rough to the touch. The coat is usually white with markings of a darker color. They have short hair around the face and the ears. Though the dogs are longer than they are tall, they are still large dogs and will definitely loom over a smaller animal.

Great Pyrenees Temperament

The Great Pyrenees are large dogs, but they are patient and gentle. They are friendly dogs that are also filled with courage, making them great guard dogs as well. Great Pyrenees are intelligent dogs that can be trained well, however, they are also independent thinkers and may be stubborn at times.

Wrapping Up

Dogs make for some of the best companions in the outdoors, especially when you are going camping or if you are out for hunting season. If you are looking for a pooch that will make itself useful in the outdoors, the 24 breeds described above will not disappoint!