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Do Australian Shepherds Like the Cold? Vet Approved Facts & Care Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Do Australian Shepherds Like the Cold? Vet Approved Facts & Care Tips


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When the winter months start to come around, it’s only natural to wonder how much cold your Australian Shepherd can handle. You don’t want to leave them outside, but sometimes it seems like they don’t want to come in.

Does this mean that Australian Shepherds like the cold? When do things get too chilly for them? There are many factors that go into this, but typically, Australian Shepherds don’t mind most cold conditions, and they can spend quite a bit of time outside in winter weather. We break it all down for you here.

divider-pawDo Australian Shepherds Like the Cold?

While the Australian Shepherd doesn’t have a rich history of living in the coldest environments throughout the world, they do have a thick double coat, which insulates them and enables them to handle colder temperatures.

This means most Australian Shepherds do well in the cold, and many enjoy colder temperatures. But whether your specific Australian Shepherd likes the cold will come down to their preferences and temperament.

Keep an eye on your Australian Shepherd when they’re out in the cold and see if they like it. If they’re always trying to find a warmer place, there’s a good chance that they don’t like the cold!

Australian Shepherds snow
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock

How Long Can You Leave Your Australian Shepherd Out in the Cold?

A good rule of thumb is that if you need a winter jacket when you go outside, you should at least watch your dog for signs of them being too cold.

Once you get to know your dog, you can start to recognize the signs that they’re too cold, and from there, you can recognize when the weather conditions are simply getting too chilly for them! For many Australian Shepherds, that occurs once the temperatures drop below freezing, and even then, they might not struggle unless they’re outside for too long.

Can Australian Shepherds Live Outside?

The answer to this question depends on where you live and the kind of living conditions you have available for your Australian Shepherd. The colder the environment where you live, the more robust the housing conditions you need for your dog.

For the coldest environments, you need a fully insulated doghouse and perhaps even a heating unit to keep it warm enough for them.

If you want your Australian Shepherd to live outside, you must monitor all their needs to ensure that they’re not getting too cold, and if they are, give their living quarters the necessary improvements.

Finally, while your Australian Shepherd can live safely outside, you still need to ensure that they’re getting plenty of attention from you so they can stay happy and healthy!

Australian Shepherd Dogs playing snow
Image Credit: Helen Rose Gabriel, Shutterstock

Other Factors to Consider

If you’re looking at the temperature reading to determine if it is too cold outside for your Australian Shepherd, just know that you’re only looking at part of the picture. Two other factors are windchill and the moisture content in the air.

Moisture content can refer to rain, but it can also be an overcast day that leads to moisture building up on the Australian Shepherd’s coat.

If your Australian Shepherd is in a windy area and is wet, they can’t handle cold temperatures as well as they could otherwise. You must provide some sort of cover and protection for your dog if they’re spending extended periods of time outside without the ability to come inside.

Finally, keep in mind your Australian Shepherd’s age and any health conditions that they might have. A healthy younger Australian Shepherd can likely handle colder temperatures better than an older or sick Australian Shepherd.

Signs That Your Australian Shepherd Is Too Cold

No matter how cold it is outside, you should keep an eye out for warning signs that your Australian Shepherd is too cold or uncomfortable.

Here are a few of the most common indicators that your Australian Shepherd is too cold:
  • Excessive shaking
  • Slowing movements
  • Tucked tail
  • Hunched body
  • Trying to keep paws off the ground

Be aware that it’s possible that your Australian Shepherd might exhibit different symptoms, and those are just as important.

divider-pawFinal Thoughts

With a thick double coat, your Australian Shepherd will probably like cold weather and can stay outside in chilly conditions for a long while. But even if this breed typically likes it, every dog is different, so keep an eye on your Australian Shepherd before assuming that they’ll like cold weather.

Featured Image Credit: Lightman Pic, Shutterstock

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