Can Border Collies Live Outside?

By John Martin - August 11, 2022

Border Collie running in a field

Bred to be herding dogs to herd flocks of sheep, Border Collies are very hardy dogs, whose hardiness was developed because of spending most of their time working outdoors in the hills and valleys of the rugged Scottish countryside.

These sturdy, muscular dogs are highly energetic, have plenty of stamina and are built for the outdoors. But can Border Collies live outside?

What Temperatures Can Border Collies Handle?

Border Collies are working dogs and love spending most of their time outdoors. But you must remember that although the Collie loves being outside, they cannot tolerate extreme temperatures.

So, it is a good idea to monitor the temperature and bring your Border Collie indoors in case extreme temperatures occur in the area where you live.

The good thing about Border Collies is their long and thick double coat that can protect them from the cold very well. It allows them to run and play outdoors even when the temperature is very cold and even frolic in the snow.

But the dog will not be able to tolerate sub-zero temperatures, especially when it starts falling below 32 degrees. And, when the temperature starts dipping below this, then it may be best to bring your Border Collie indoors.

On the other hand, when you consider the summer months, Border Collies can handle the warmer weather much better compared to other dog breeds having thick double coats.

Border Collies can tolerate temperatures up to 85°F to 88°F when they are quite active. But at temperatures higher than this, you will notice that your pet starts drinking more water and becomes less active.

At very high temperatures, your Collie is at a high risk of suffering from a heat stroke.

So, if the temperature is above 90°F, then it is best to bring your Collie indoors or find other ways of keeping them cool.

Also Read: How Much Exercise Does a Border Collie Need?

Can Your Border Collie Live Outdoors?

Border Collies have thick double coats that keep them warm and these dogs can tolerate the harshest weather conditions and very cold climates.

But if you’re wondering if these dogs can live outside all the time and sleep outdoors during the winter months, then the answer is “no.”

Border Collies can live outside in out-buildings or barns during the summer months when the weather is warm as long as they are sheltered from the elements.

You should never leave your Border Collie outside during the winter when it is very cold. It is best to let them come and sleep indoors so that they are warm and protected.

Also, avoid leaving your pet outdoors all the time. Border Collies are social dogs and need the attention and company of their humans.

They are very human-oriented and form close bonds with their family and living outdoors all the time may make it rather difficult for your pet emotionally and they can feel isolated and lonely.

Leaving your Border Collie outside for a little time is fine, but leaving them all by themselves for extended periods can be detrimental to their mental and physical well-being.

Can Your Border Collie Sleep Outdoors?

Since they were herding dogs, typically raised on farms, Border Collies often love sleeping outdoors. And, your Border Collie can sleep outdoors as long as the temperatures are not extremely hot or below freezing.

If you do plan to have your Border Collie sleep outside, then it may be a good idea to provide a dog house with a dog bed for your pet so that they are comfortable when spending several hours outdoors.

If the weather gets too cold, placing a heated dog bed or a heated dog blanket inside your pet’s kennel will ensure that your Collie is warm and cozy and your pet gets good sleep, which is very important for their health.

Make sure that the dog run has a sheltered area that is draft-free and a wooden floor that is raised off the ground. The roof of the dog house must have a thick waterproofing so that your pet is dry, warm and cozy.

Place the dog house in a sheltered area so that it is not affected by the wind, rain and snow. And, in the summer, it gets sufficient shade so that your pet has a cool, sheltered spot and will not overheat.

But if your Border Collie is older or sick, then avoid letting them sleep outdoors. It is better to bring them indoors where your pet is warm and safe.

Also Read: Do Border Collies Bark Much?

How to Keep Your Border Collie Outside

You can keep your Border Collie outside, provided you do the following:

  • Ensure that your pet has a secure and safe enclosure, preferably a high-quality dog run.
  • Provide a high-quality insulated kennel with a wooden floor that is raised off the ground.
  • Place a good-quality dog bed inside the kennel, which is thick, well-insulated and comfortable so that your pet is warm and cozy even on colder days.
  • Ensure that your Border Collie has plenty of drinking water and if you’ve placed a bowl in the dog run, then make sure that it is topped up at all times.
  • If your pet is in their run for prolonged periods, then make sure that you provide some toys, puzzles, etc. to keep your pet entertained and busy.

Should You Keep Your Border Collie Outdoors?

Even if you have a Border Collie for working purposes, keeping them indoors is the best option for your pet.

Having your pet live outside can have many negative effects on their temperament and behavior and can be detrimental to your Collie’s overall well-being.

Some of the negative consequences of keeping your Border Collie outside include:

  • They cannot handle extremely cold conditions
  • They can get lonely and can suffer from separation anxiety
  • They can be stressed and depressed
  • Increased chance of developing negative behaviors such as disobedience and aggression

So, even if the area where you live does not have extreme temperatures or if you own many dogs, when you consider the quality of life of your pet, nothing can compare to them living indoors in your home along with your family.

Also Read: Do Border Collies Bite or Nip?


Border Collies are highly energetic and loyal dogs with easy-going sweet dispositions, making them wonderful family pets.

These working dogs have thick double coats, which make it suitable for them to stay outdoors, as long as the weather is not too hot or cold.

Although your pet may love running about and being outdoors, it is a good idea to bring them indoors when the weather turns too cold or hot. Also, keeping your Border Collie with the family will make them a happy and well-adjusted pet.