Can a German Shepherd Husky Mix Live Outdoors in the Winter?

I have a German Shepherd Husky mix; can he live outdoors during the winter months with the garage as a shelter?

By mac from Chatham, Ontario


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October 24, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

If the dog has no doghouse set up in the garage over winter, then here's my plan if he were my dog:

If the garage is not drafty and blowing in snow or rain. Then I would say yes, but I would make a really nice large and deep wood box for him to lay in and snuggle up to keep warm in a corner. Nail four posts to each corner and wrap with plastic on the bolt purchased reasonably at Walmart to shield your dog from blasts of cold air when the garage door is opened.

You can make an inexpensive pad of remnant fabric and fit to the size of box. Fill with bags of polyester filling used in pillows and sew closed. Cover over with remnant fleece or fur fabric, so you can wash the surface layer. Drinking water will freeze up, so that will need to be checked frequently during the freezing cold temps.


Keep in mind the age of the dog and if he has any arthritis or other health issues that cold weather can affect him. You might need to use a heat lamp during coldest days and nights so the dog is kept warmer.

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February 10, 20180 found this helpful


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October 26, 20100 found this helpful

Though your dog may be able to survive physically outdoors, why would you want to do this to him? Don't you think it would be lonely for him to be outside and away from the rest of the family? Dogs do have emotional needs as well as physical, and as pack animals, they want to be with their "pack",which is their human family, not banished alone to the yard. Not sure what your reason is that he cannot come into the home, maybe no one committed to proper training for him, or no one considered when he was a cute little puppy that someday he would be a big dog that would shed and bark and leave a doggie smell behind, all things people should consider before they get a dog, but obviously they don't, or shelters wouldn't be full and we wouldn't be talking about this.


Sorry, but this makes me angry. I don't understand why people get dogs at all if they are just going to chain them up or pen them in the yard.

Please reconsider, or find a home for your dog where all of his needs will be met.

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December 5, 20170 found this helpful

I have the same issue and trust me I wish my dog was an inside dog. My parents don't want any kind of animal inside the house. I wish it was up to me but it's not. When I move out I'm definitely gonna take him with me and he'd be living with me and not outside

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February 10, 20180 found this helpful

It makes me angry, pissed and also sad.... Cuz the reason I looked this up was cuz I had 2 dogs run off a husky mix and dad who's a shepard...


dad is old with arthritis and it's cold here in New York... I wanted a lift in my spirit for their safe return!!!! But not really reassured for that!!

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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

Why does he have to stay in the garage during winter? Snow in Canada. Lonely dog in the garage. No contact with the family. Please find a proper home for him if you are not willing to give him love and companionship. He deserves much better than a cold garage in winter.

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May 12, 20171 found this helpful

My shepherd mix lived outside for 17 years we had a doghouse with hay in it for the winter she loved the outdoors and was healthy and happy when i brought her in if it was too cold she cried the whole time!

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February 3, 20181 found this helpful

Yes, they indeed can. Think about this: your dog is a husky mix, and huskies are born for the cold. They wouldn't do well outside if it was blazing hot, but your dog is also a german shepherd mix, so they could also tolerate the heat. Now, even if staying out at winter is okay, im not saying just keep them outside whether extremely hot or cold. Remember, the dog is still part husky, so if its too hot, you're better off having them inside, where its cool. But, during winter, it would be fine to put them outside. In fact, forcing a dog (HUSKY) to come inside in the house during winter, when the heat is probably on, that could almost count as neglect. Huskies are dogs that love the cold, they even perform races where they stay outside in the snow for days, maybe even weeks, pulling sleds.


Compare that to just staying outside in winter. So in my opinion, yes it is okay to put a dog outside during winter, but do make sure they have somewhere nice and cozy (such as a dog house with many blankets.) i have a german shepherd husky as well, he is still a puppy, so we are keeping him inside, but we have a dog house with a fluffy dog bed and blankets inside it, just in case we do plan on putting him outside for longer periods, but i personally don't mind having him inside. There are times when i have had the heat on, and my dog would whine and bark to go outside, and of course i would immediately open the door, and he would run out and play. (I got him in winter, so it was cold outside.)

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April 18, 20190 found this helpful

I have a Sheppard husky cross and live in the Northwest Territories Canada. Before I rescued him he lived on the end of a chain outside for two years. He now lives inside but prefers outside. I regularly walk him in temperatures below -35c. He can easily withstand a 2 hour walk without pi king his paws up or showing any signs of being cold. I get cold well before he does. I think alot has to do with the genes of a dog being a bred product of a climate that is very cold. Mix breeds in Southern climates of the same mix can't handle the cold. A Sheppard husky from a gene pool somewhere not to cold will be more effected by the cold. Mine is numb to it.


When I got him his coat was so thick it was crazy. I observed him one day in -42c on the driveway after being outside half an hour pick his paw up. He then Sat on his thick furry but and picked all 4 feet off the ground for a minute then took off to visit the neighbors dogs. He came back an hour later fine as could be. Most dogs you find north of 60 are well adapted to the cold even labs up here can handle extreme cold. It's a genetic thing. The strong survive and there DNA us passed along. If you are looking for a cold weather dog look for a rescue from the far north like yellowknife spca in canada. They get tons of puppies from remote communities. These dogs are survivors and built for the climate.

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