Can Great Pyrenees Sleep Outside?

two great pyrenees dogs sleeping outside

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Great Pyrenees are one of the fluffiest dog breeds in existence!  Their soft white coat makes for a grooming nightmare but it also helps to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  As a Great Pyrenees owner, you might already know that most of these dogs love to be outside.  But, is it okay to let them live outside?

Can Great Pyrenees sleep outside?

Great Pyrenees can sleep outside, and they’ll probably love it.  But, that doesn’t mean that they should.  There are temperatures that are too low for even the Great Pyrenees, so, depending on where you live and where your Pyr will sleep, you might still want to keep them indoors overnight.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about whether or not your Great Pyrenees should sleep outside.  We’ll talk about cold and hot weather, why your Great Pyrenees loves the outdoors, and how to know if your pup is in any danger while being outside.

Do Great Pyrenees Like To Sleep Outside?

If you already have a Pyr, you might know the common answer to this question!

Many Great Pyrenees love sleeping outdoors and most would prefer it over apartment life any day (even though they can still do well there).  Owners report having a hard time when asking their pups to come back inside.  It seems like Great Pyrenees would spend all of their time outdoors if they could. Of course, there are some of these dogs that are homebodies, but they aren’t the norm for this breed!

This video gives a great example of the Pyrenees mindset.  You can see that the owner tries to get her dogs to come inside.  One dog comes right in but the GReat PYrenees won’t budge.

Since dogs can’t communicate with words, this is about as clear as they can get in saying “no, I don’t want to come inside!”

But, why do Pyrenees like sleeping and staying outdoors so much?

Why Do They Love The Outdoors So Much?

Great Pyrenees are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence!  Fossils have been found of this breed dating back to 1000 B.C.  Since the beginning, Pyrs were bred to be outside.  These working dogs originated are guardian and herding dogs.  They spent their entire lives protecting flocks of sheep.  They ate with them, stayed with them, and slept by them.

For thousands of years, Great Pyrenees have thrived in the mountains and used to live outside all year long.  This breeding history is responsible for the big reason why Pyrenees just love to be outside, it’s in their blood!

Besides their long history of being outdoors, Pyrenees also just might feel more comfortable outside.  The temperature outdoors might be easier for them to acclimate to with their big bodies and fluffy coats!  It’s even normal for dogs like this to want to stay out in the rain and snow because it’s just better for them.

So, we know that these dogs love to be outside, but can they sleep outside now in the present day?

Can Great Pyrenees Sleep Outside?

In most climates, Great Pyrenees can sleep outside.

These dogs are tough and weather resistant.  In addition to making wonderful pets, Great Pyrenees still act a guard dogs for some people.  In these situations, the dogs will usually spend most of their days outdoors.  Sometimes, they’ll still sleep outside with the livestock and bark if anything comes too close.

Of course, there are some temperature extremes we’ll talk about later on that your Pyr just won’t be able to handle.  But, if you’re determined on letting your Pyr live outside, there are two things you should keep in mind!

You Might Need To Provide a Shelter

One thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that your dog is going to need shelter outdoors.

This shelter could be as simple as a dog house, but it all depends on the climate that you live in!  A good shelter for a dog will protect them from the elements like rain wind and sun.  PLus, it should be warm enough to keep them happy through long winter nights.

If your Great Pyrenees is acting as a guard dog for your farm, they could choose to sleep in the barn or shelter of one of the farm animals.  If they choose to do this, it’s okay, just make sure that the other animals are also happy to have them there overnight.

You’ll Have To Protect Your Pet From Parasites

Another thing you’ll need to do before you let your pup sleep outside is to make sure they’re protected from parasites!

All dogs should be protected from parasites.  Whether you have an all-indoor dog or a ranch dog, they’re at risk of contracting parasites.  Sleeping outside only heightens the risk.

Heartworms, ticks, and fleas are some of the most common parasites your dog might find in outdoors.  Fleas and ticks are dangerous because they act as vectors for other dangerous diseases, like Lyme disease.  Heartworms are parasitic roundworms that can make their way to your dog’s heart and will eventually lead to death.

Although parasite preventatives are extremely effective, outdoor dogs will need more maintenance than just a monthly dose.  You’ll need to check your dog almost daily for tics to make sure they don’t have any attached to them.

So, even though you Great Pyrenees can spend the night outside, you’ll have to make some special accommodations for it!  And you might start to wonder if it’s been worth it!

Where Should Great Pyrenees Sleep At Night?

Where your Great Pyrenees should sleep at night is totally up to you.

As a veterinary technician, I’ll chime in and say that the dogs in the worst conditions are usually dogs that live outdoors.  Now, that doesn’t mean that all outdoors dogs aren’t being taken care of.  But, I’ve noticed that it seems to be a lot harder to keep your pup happy and healthy when they live outdoors.  Having your Great Pyrenees sleep indoors might even increase your dog’s lifespan.  Even those these dogs are huge, some of them make great indoor dogs.

Plus, Great Pyrenees are notorious barkers!  They bark excessively, and if they sleep outside they can become a true nuisance to neighbors.

Despite all of this, there are still some reasons to let your Pyrenees sleep outside.  They might love it!  They also might have more space outside than inside, which would be more comfortable for them overall.

Again the best place to let your Pyrenees sleep is going to vary based on each family’s situation!

Now, let’s discuss the effects of temperature on all of this.  If you don’t live in a temperate area, the cold and hot are going to have a big effect on how much time your pup spends outdoors.

Can Great Pyrenees Stay Out In The Cold?

Because of their thick double-layered coats, Great Pyrenees thrive in the cold!  They’re mountain dogs, and they’re used to extreme weather.

So, how cold is too cold for Great Pyrenees?

Any temperatures around 30F are completely comfortable for Great Pyrenees.   These dogs love to play in the snow and would spend all day outside in the cold if they could.  But as night approaches and temperatures drop, you might think twice about leaving them out.

Great Pyrenees will suffer from the effects of the cold at about 15F.  At this temperature, the Great Pyrenees will start to become hypothermic.  Hypothermia is a dangerous situation for any dog and can happen suddenly.  To understand more about how cold your pup can tolerate, read our article here.

Can Great Pyrenees Overheat?

Because they do so well in the cold you might think that Great Pyrenees can’t handle the heat, but you would be wrong!

Great Pyrenees actually tolerate extreme heat reasonably well.  These mountain dogs were bred for the cold and the high altitude direct sunlight.

One of the best features of the double-layered Great Pyrenees coat is that it is able to reflect sunlight.  The rough top layer of the coat is thick, shiny, and white and acts as a reflective layer.  Plus, Pyrenees shed seasonally so they’ll lose a lot of their insulation layer as it warms up.

This being said, Pyrenees can still overheat.  You’ll want to make sure your dog has a cool area to rest in during the day and night if they’re staying outdoors.  Watch for extreme panting and signs of dehydration and try to give your Great Pyrenees the option to come inside on hotter days.

Final Thoughts

The question of whether to let your Pyrenees sleep outside is up to you and your dog to answer!  You’ll need to take a look at your resources, needs, and climate.  You’ll also need to consider whether our dog wants to see indoors or outdoors and what is the best choice for their health.  Hopefully, you feel like you have enough information now to make an informed decision for your family and your furry friend!