Do Guard Dogs Sleep Outside? (Is It Cruel?)

  • By: Justin
  • Date: April 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

What’s the best way to protect your family, your home, and your prized possessions? 

Get yourself a guard dog! 

But do guard dogs sleep outside? 

In this article, we’ll be answering this question along with, How many hours do guard dogs sleep, What Temperature is Okay for Dogs to Sleep Outside, and much more.

Let’s jump in..

Do Guard Dogs Live Outside?

Do Guard Dogs Sleep Outside

Guard dogs live outside. Most guard dog breeds will sleep outside in order to keep track of any intruders that come into the property after hours. However, you must never leave your guard dog unattended for a long time. 

It is important that you check on your guard dog to see that it is not showing any signs of poor health.

Like hypothermia or heatstroke.

Most importantly, they need to have a place like a dog kennel where they can cool down with water. 

And also a place where they can stay warm with bedding.

Guard dogs can always do fine living outside as long as they have shelter. 

Do Guard Dogs Sleep At Night?

Guard dogs Instinctively sleep most of the daytime as they don’t need to hunt because they were selectively bred by humans to bark and guard when we sleep at night.

A big guard dog will usually rest in day time if it is properly trained and exercised. And will go on to patrols to safely check its territory and loved ones at night.

But it heavily depends on the breed and the trainer as well. You should make sure to select the specific breed with your preference and also every dog have a different personality even in the same breed.

So you can actually train a dog to perform guard duties at night and sleep during the day.

Are Dogs Alert While Sleeping?

Dogs, due to their natural instinct, tend to be alert straight after being woken up. It’s a kind of defense to survive in the wild.

Dogs sleep many hours a day, but only in small periods because they had to be alert while sleeping to survive (easy prey).

A dog’s sleep pattern is always very different from that of a human being. They sleep longer than we, humans, but spend less time in deep sleep.

This means that they are always easy to wake up and are often ready to deal with any threat. 

Where Do Guard Dogs Sleep?

Guard dogs do sleep outside. They are hardy animals and would sometimes choose not to enter their kennel or doghouse.

They mostly prefer to sleep where they have a full view of their surroundings. Guard dogs require windbreaks for windy or very cold days.

It is therefore necessary that you construct a kennel or rather a shelter for him.

How Many Hours Do Guard Dogs Sleep?

Age is one of the biggest determining factors for a dog’s sleeping needs. Puppies and senior guard dogs require the most sleep, resting for 18 to 20 hours per day.

Meanwhile, adult dogs only need to sleep for eight to 14 hours each day. A range of factors including age, Rapid Eye Movement, sleep, exercise, surroundings, and health can affect your dog’s sleep. 

is it ok for a guard dog to sleep outside

What Temperature Is Okay For Dogs To Sleep Outside?

Small dogs are often vulnerable to cold temperatures and can easily suffer from hypothermia.

Therefore before sending your dog outside, always keep in mind that 50 degrees or higher temperatures are safe for your dog.

85 degrees temperatures and above are not safe for them at all.

45 degrees is acceptable but you still have to keep an eye on him to see how he is handling himself in these temperatures.

A temperature of 20 degrees or less is life-threatening for your dog. You should always keep your small four-legged pet indoors and avoid any prolonged activities outside.

The temperature safety for medium-sized dogs is almost similar to those of small dogs.

The only distinguishable difference between them is that medium-sized dogs have the potential to function better than small dogs in temperatures between 15- 20 degrees.

However, this temperature range is still risky for medium-sized dogs and depends on the dog breed. You, therefore, need to be cautious. 

Unlike small and medium-sized dogs, large dogs do best in cold temperatures.

There is no risk for large dogs at 45 degrees or higher.

However, you should have eyes on your dog if the temperature is between 20-35 degrees because it might be potentially unsafe depending on the dog’s breed.

15 degrees and below are unsafe for your dog.

You should therefore limit your dog’s exposure to cold and keep them indoors.

Can A guard Dog Live Outside?

Yes. As I mentioned earlier, Guard dogs will always do better outside. They have a coat that enables them to stand extreme weather conditions. They can always do fine as long as they have shelter.

Therefore you should not tether, chain, tie, fasten or restrain your dog to a dog house, fence, tree, or other stationary objects. You may temporarily tether your dog but it shouldn’t be longer than is necessary for you to complete a temporary task.

Is Having An Outside Dog Cruel?

Any outside dog’s instinct is to be outside. It is not cruel to have your dog outside as long as you are looking out for them. Breeds such as German shepherds and other guard dogs prefer to be outside.

Farm dogs could also be happier outside.

Final Thought

In conclusion, Guard dogs are trained to protect and guard people, animals, and property among other things against intruders or animals that should not be there. However, guard dogs are not watchdogs.

Watchdogs will always bark to alert their owners that a stranger is coming. Guard dogs, on the other hand, are trained to attack in case a stranger comes too close.

Guard dogs usually stay outside in a kennel and are always alert at night.

You are in a good position if your dog attacks people who intrude onto your property as long as you have a fence.

It is hard and almost impossible to claim that you didn’t know that you were trespassing if you had to climb over a fence to gain access, but someone just walking over a yard or lawn can get definitely get away with such a defense.

So a fence or a leash protects you from liability.

Looking For Watch Dog Guides?

If you’re looking for more guard dogs resources, consider checking out our other post on guard dogs.

Justin- Writer & Chief Editor of


Justin is a protection dog enthusiast. He has years of experience teaching and training dogs. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned. Read More

Can A Guard Dog Be Neutered?

Previous Post

Can A Guard Dog Be Neutered? (Read This First!)

Next Post

5 Best Guard Dogs For Apartment Life (Updated 2023)

Best Guard Dogs For Apartment Life