Can Collies Sleep Outdoors? Collie Outside Sleeping Tips

If they could, collies would spend every waking minute outside herding, playing or just having a nap. They absolutely love to be outside and the majority of collies would choose to be outside come rain or shine! But what about sleeping outdoors?

Collies can nap outdoors during the day, but they can not sleep outdoors. In the warmer months, some farmers let their working collies sleep in the barn or stables, but family pets should always be brought indoors to sleep at night.

In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of outdoor living for collies and figure out if they can live outdoors, how the climate affects them, and how you can modify your yard to make it comfortable for your collie to sleep outdoors. Let’s go!

Can Collies Live Outside?

Border collies can handle the harshest weather and tolerate cold conditions but they can not live outside all the time, although some working collies can live in barns and outbuildings so long as the climate permits it.

Collies on farms may live outside in barns. This is perfectly acceptable as they are sheltered from the elements and often sleep close to other animals to keep warm. If your collie is visibly shivering, invite them into a warm house to allow them to keep their body temperature at a safe level.

If you work long hours or irregular shifts and you’re worried your collie isn’t spending enough time outdoors a dog run might be an option. A secure dog run in the back yard will provide your collie with a sheltered area and also an open area to stretch their legs. You must ensure the run is high quality and secure to keep your collie safe.

Can Collies Sleep Outside in Winter?

Collies can sleep outside in warm summer months if they have some kind of shelter from the elements, however collies should never be left outdoors during winter. Providing your collie with a heated dog bed inside their kennel will allow them to stay cozy.

Collies thick double coat keep them warm, however even the hardiest of collies shouldn’t be outside if the temperature is hitting double numbers below zero. You will want to be vigilant about the temperature if your collie is sleeping outside in winter as allowing them to get too cold can cause health problems.

In the harshest winter weather, its always best to invite your collie indoors to enjoy a cozy nights sleep.

Luna loves being outside but prefers to spend the night indoors close to her family pack members.

Can Collies Sleep in the Back Yard?

Collies can sleep comfortably in the back yard during warm weather as long as you ensure all their other needs are met. Purchasing a high quality dog run is an easy solution to help keep your collie safe overnight if they choose to remain outdoors.

You should ensure your dog run has a sheltered, draft free area with a wooden floor raised off the ground. The roof should have thick waterproof felt to ensure your collie stays dry and warm. In this instance buying quality really does matter for the welfare of your dog.

Ideally, position your dog run in a sheltered area of the yard so its out of the wind and rain. You should also try to position the dog run in an area that gets shade in summer so your collie won’t overheat and has a cool spot.

How Big a Yard do Collies Need?

Ideally they should have a big yard where they can have some off-leash play regularly, however collies can be just as happy with a small yard or even no yard providing they get enough outdoor exercise every day.

Do you need a yard to own a collie?

If you don’t have a back yard and are thinking about owning a collie, you will need to ensure you have adequate outdoor space nearby so that your collie can still be exercised regularly. It’s definitely possible to own a collie without a yard with some commitment and planning.

With no yard, you obviously can’t just open a door and let them out unsupervised to play and burn off their excess energy. You will need to take them to a dog park or other outdoor space preferably where you can let your dog off their leash so they can do what collies do best and run freely!

This will be a big time commitment and you should make sure you have enough time in your schedule to cater for your collies needs. Collies need two hours of off-leash exercise everyday as a minimum, or else your collie may burn of their excess energy in your apartment in ways you wont appreciate.

Incessant barking and destroying furniture are common in collies who don’t get enough physical exercise so if you don’t have a yard this is something to keep in mind.

On sunny days Luna will spend hours in the yard playing, snoozing and enjoying feeling the wind in her fur.

Can Collies Sleep in the Cold?

Collies have double coats and were bred to work in harsh weather in colder climates. So, yes collies can sleep in the cold if it’s absolutely necessary, providing they are healthy. Freezing temperatures are always too cold for a collie and they should not be outdoors in below-zero conditions.

If the weather has taken a turn for the worst you will want to provide extra blankets for your collie or an even better option would be a heated dog blanket or heated dog bed. This will ensure your collie stays warm and toasty and gets a better quality of sleep which is vitally important for their health and wellbeing.

However, older or sick collies should not sleep in the cold. They should be kept warm and cosy indoors so sleeping inside is a better option for these dogs.

How to Keep a Border Collie Outside

Keeping a border collie outside is perfectly fine as long as you’re doing the following:

  • Provide a safe, secure enclosure for your collie. A high quality dog run is a perfect option.
  • Ensure you provide an insulted shelter with a wooden floor raised off the ground. A high quality dog kennel is a good option.
  • Provide your border collie with a high quality dog bed inside their shelter. If they’re outside you will want to make sure you get a thick, comfy, well insulted bed to help keep them snug even on colder days.
  • Have a water supply for you dog. An automatic water dispenser holds more water than a simple dog bowl and means your dog will have fresh water all day long without you having to keep topping it up.
  • Provide some entertainment for your collie if they’re outside in their run for long periods. Puzzle toys are ideal as border collies love to use their brain and thrive on having tasks to complete.

Can Collies Sleep Outside?

Yes, all collie breeds can sleep outside in a barn or kennel. Their thick double coat keeps them warm in colder weather. However if the temperature is cold for a sustained period of time, it’s best to bring your collie indoors to stay warm. A family pet shares a lot of genetics with their sheepdog ancestors, but if they are already used to sleeping inside it would be cruel to put them out.

Border collie on the sofa
Luna prefers a nice warm sofa

Can Rough Collies Sleep Outside?

A Rough collie has a long double coat, making it able to live outside and still stay warm. The rough collie was originally bred for herding sheep and goats in the Scottish and Welsh hills. Their coats allowed them to stay warm whilst sleeping with the sheep overnight in unfavorable weather conditions.

Can Border Collies Sleep Outside?

Border collies can sleep outside in all except the coldest temperatures. They originated in the Scottish borders and their thick coat keeps them warm even in the howling wind and rain. They were bred to herd sheep in the rugged mountains of Scotland where the weather is unforgiving.

Can Bearded Collies Sleep Outside?

Bearded collies have a long and thick double coat. They originated in Scotland to heard sheep and cattle through the highest peaks. Their thick rugged coat allows them to stay warm whilst sleeping outdoors to protect the livestock.

Can Welsh Collies Sleep Outside?

Welsh collies have a short double coat, this means they can stay warm whilst sleeping outside. They were used for herding sheep, cattle, pigs and even horses in Wales. They were also bred to be guard dogs for farmers and their double coat allowed them to stay warm whilst sleeping outside to protect livestock.

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

I'm an experienced collie owner from Scotland. I started Colliepedia to share everything I know about collies. All the pictures you see on colliepedia are of my beloved collie Luna

Learn More about me and Luna's story on the about page!