Can Poodles Live Outside? [What You Need To Know]

At first glance, it might seem that a Poodle’s curly hair would make them a good candidate for outdoor living. However, this isn’t the case.

A Poodle’s “fur” is actually hair that provides little insulation from cold weather. Furthermore, this breed can overheat and get sunburn if you trim their coat short.

can Poodles live outside
Can Poodles live outside?

I’ll help you understand when it’s okay to leave your Poodle outside and why you shouldn’t make it their permanent home.

Can Poodles Live Outside?

Poodles shouldn’t live outside. Although Poodles make excellent hunting dogs, these animals are a family-friendly breed that needs lots of socialization to stay happy and healthy. So, even if you use your Poodle for work purposes, they should follow you in your house after a day on the job.

jet black mini poodle
There are different shades of black coat.

Why Can’t Poodles Live Outside?

Poodles can’t live outside for a few reasons, including:

  • Cold climates, given that they don’t have a well-insulated coat
  • Because of how intelligent they are, they’ll become bored and anxious
  • They enjoy being around people, so their emotional health may deteriorate

Furthermore, Poodles hold up better in warm weather than cold weather. But when it’s too hot, they could suffer from a heat stroke

Although Poodles have merocrine glands in their paw pads which allow them to sweat a little, it isn’t enough to sufficiently cool them down in extreme heat.

poodle playing with a toy
Standard poodle playing with a toy in the grass.

Social Traits of Poodles That Impact Their Ability to Live Outside

Poodles are highly social animals that thrive on human attention. While Poodles love other animals and giving them a dog companion outside helps, it’s not a replacement for attention from their owner.

In fact, Poodles go above and beyond to please their humans, which is likely because of their breeding to fetch prey in the water for hunters.

As a result of the strong bond that Poodles form with their human companions, they get separation anxiety when left outside.

best brush for poodle coats
A woman brushing a chocolate color Poodle

Physical Traits of Poodles That Impact Their Ability to Live Outside

A Poodle’s fluffy coat may look like it can withstand harsh winter weather, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Unlike many dogs with fur, Poodles have hair akin to human hair.

Can you imagine the hair on your head keeping you warm in cold weather? Poodles can’t, either.

So, although Poodles have a dense set of wiry curls, there’s a practical reason that owners dress their Poodles in sweaters before taking them outside on a cold day.

apricot and red poodles white background
Apricot and Red Poodles sitting together in a white background.

Guide to Leaving Your Poodle Outside

Should circumstances require you to leave your Poodle outside, only do so if the temperature will remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit day and night

Then, help them stay comfortable by providing them with the following:

  • Warm shelter that protects them from wind and rain
  • Shade to keep them out of the sun
  • Plenty of clean water
  • Remove any potential hazards
  • Double-check that the fencing is secure
  • Ample space for your Poodle to roam around

Some people like to leave food for their Poodle when they put them outside. However, it’s often best to keep your Poodle on their regular feeding schedule. Otherwise, you might attract unwanted critters around your pet.

dog drinking water
Thirsty brown poodle drinking water.

How to Make a Poodle Go Into a Kennel?

If you choose to leave your Poodle outside, providing them with a kennel can create a safe space for them, especially if they’re used to using a kennel in your house.

However, if you have a Poodle that’s hesitant about using a kennel, follow the techniques below to encourage them to enter.

  1. Make the kennel inviting for your Poodle. Fill it with comfortable bedding and their favorite toys or even a shirt with your scent.
  2. Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and words of praise to get them to go inside.
  3. Don’t leave them alone during their initial exposure to the kennel. Instead, work on gradually leaving them alone.
Poodle lay on the floor
A smiling Poodle lying on the floor.

Risks of Leaving Poodles Outside

Leaving your Poodle outside makes them subject to physical and emotional harm

If you don’t have a sturdy water bowl, your Poodle could knock over their water while pacing out of distress, causing them to become dehydrated. Furthermore, if you don’t check their water regularly, it could fill with debris or bird droppings, making it non-potable for your dog.

Your Poodle may also experience sunburn. Since Poodles only have one layer of hair, the sun’s rays may reach their skin, especially if they have a close shave. Therefore, it’s crucial to offer your Poodle shade. 

happy poodle outside on grass
A happy Poodle running outside on the grass

Possible Physical Dangers

If you leave your Poodle outside in temperatures at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they’ll likely experience hypothermia. Hypothermia begins in the paws and tail at higher temperatures, moving inward below 20 degrees.

Other physical dangers of leaving a Poodle outside unattended include:

  • Eating things they shouldn’t
  • Snake, wasp, or bug bites
  • Sudden bad weather
  • Chewing through the fence

Possible Behavioral Issues

If you’re thinking about keeping your Poodle outside to punish them for poor behavior in the house, you can expect it to augment outdoors. 

Poodles need lots of human attention for their emotional health. So, it’s likely they’ll experience separation anxiety when outside, including barking, pacing, and digging.

If you have neighbors with other pets nearby, including outdoor cats, they may not appreciate your Poodle being outside if they bark at them.

sad poodle
Poodles are smart and social – and a prone to separation anxiety. This can lead to problem behavior like excessive barking.

Conclusion and Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have doubts about your Poodle staying outside, the questions below should clear things up.

Poodle hiding behind the bush
The Poodle is hiding behind the bush. (Image: Instagram/@hugothetoyboss)

Can Poodles Live Outside?

Poodles should not live outside. Their coat can’t tolerate the cold weather or extreme heat. Furthermore, Poodles are people-oriented, so they’ll experience emotional distress by living away from their owners.

Can Poodles Stay Outside?

Yes, Poodles can stay outside for short periods in nice weather. When preparing your Poodle to stay outside, ensure they have access to shade, shelter, and clean water.

How Long Can a Poodle Stay Outside?

A Poodle should stay outside for no more than a few hours unattended. However, if the weather is nice, they’re with other dogs, and they have all their basic needs met, it might be okay to leave a Poodle that isn’t prone to separation anxiety outside for the day while you’re at work.