Can Cocker Spaniels Live Outside? Things To Consider


Perhaps you have a Cocker Spaniel or you are thinking of introducing one into your family and you are wondering whether they would be able to live outside. You may wonder whether it would be too cold or exposed for a Cocker Spaniel to live in the outdoors. 

For example, my cocker spaniel Penny that I had growing up wasn’t exactly an ‘outdoor’ dog, she did not spend extra time outside besides going to do her business or to be taken on a walk around our neighborhood.

Despite that, Cocker Spaniels are adaptable and can live outside, but it is best to consider several things. They are versatile dogs that adapt to most conditions regarding their sleeping situation, but they still shelter in the form of a dog house or kennel if they’re to be left outside.

They are a hunting breed and are intelligent and clever dogs. If, at all possible, it is best to keep your dog indoors, no matter what breed you have. 

However, if you do decide to keep your Cocker Spaniel outside, even if it is just during the daytime, ensure that you install a high-quality kennel or dog house that is damp and draft-free. 

Can a Cocker Spaniel Live in a Kennel Outside?

Cocker Spaniels can live in a kennel, however, this does not mean that you should keep your dog outside, like Matt mentioned in this article on our website. If you choose to introduce a dog into your family, it is best to keep him inside your house where it is warm and dry. 

However, if you decide to keep your dog in a kennel outside for whatever reason, make sure that you have a purpose-built dog house that is warm and free from damp and drafts. It may also be a good idea to consider having more than one dog so that they do not become lonely when outside. 

Lady and Dolly, two of our former cocker spaniels

Cocker Spaniels are bred to be a working dog breed and they are often raised as puppies in a kennel because they were part of a group.

However, if you have a single Cocker Spaniel puppy, it is usually not fair to keep him alone in a kennel. He would much rather be kept inside and perhaps have the option of sleeping on your bed or next to you on the couch in front of the fire. Cocker spaniels are a social breed after all.

If you are planning to keep your Cocker Spaniel outside despite these things, you will need to consider several things, the first of which being, what type of kennel you are going to install or build yourself. 

5 Ways To Use Dog Kennels For Your Cocker Spaniel

For whatever reason, you may want to use a dog kennel for your Cocker Spaniel, even if it is just part-time while you are out of the house at work.

If you do choose to use a kennel whether overnight or for shorter periods, it is important to be aware that some issues may arise due to isolation and loneliness. 

1. Best Of Both Inside And Outside Worlds

The best solution for your Cocker Spaniel, if you do choose to utilize a kennel, is to give him the best of both by keeping him in the kennel when you need to, but also making time to bring him into the house.

Even if you do use a kennel, you should make time to integrate your Cocker Spaniel into your family. This will ensure he is happy and part of the pack so to speak. 

2. Introducing Your Cocker Spaniel Puppy to the Kennel

When you bring your puppy home, he will likely be nervous and scared if he is left alone in a new kennel. He will be cold and miss having his siblings around him. Thus, it is not a good idea to leave a new puppy alone in a kennel.

Try to leave him in a bed within a wire frame or a crate in a warm room that is near to where you sleep, to begin with. A pen or crate will keep him feeling safe and secure until he gets used to the new environment.

Help your puppy adjust to its new environment with a crate or a wire frame enclosure close to where you sleep so it feels safe and secure.

Once your puppy has become used to his new environment, which can take a few days or even a few weeks, you can begin to introduce him to his kennel during the daytime.

Give him his food inside the kennel so that he associates it with positive experiences. Give him time to become familiar with the kennel before you decide to leave him there alone. 

Ensure your puppy has a warm and comfy bed rather than a plastic one. Consider installing a radio for background noise and add some blankets that have been used inside the house for the familiar smell. These things will help your puppy to feel secure and comfortable when he is in the kennel alone. 

3. Install An Outdoor Run

It is also a good idea to install an outdoor run adjacent to the kennel so that your puppy or dog can go outside whenever it likes.

Choose a secure run that allows your dog to go outside for fresh air or to go to the toilet. Many kennels do come with a run, while others require a separate installation.

4. Keep The Kennel Clean

You should make sure to clean your dog’s kennel every day, despite the fact that Cocker Spaniels are typically clean dogs. Keep the run and the kennel clean and hygienic for your dog. Also make sure that your dog always has access to fresh, clean water while he is in the kennel. 

5. Make Sure The Kennel Does Not Become Too Hot Or Too Cold

Make sure to keep an eye on the temperature of the kennel, especially during the summer and winter when it can easily become too hot or too cold for your Cocker Spaniel.

When installing the kennel, make sure that it is well insulated or heated for the hot and cold months. Try lining the kennel with plyboard and fill the gaps with insulation.

You may also want to install a heating and air conditioning system, like this heater on Amazon by Hound Heater with a six foot long cord for the winter.

Is Your Cocker Spaniel A Family Pet Or A Hunting Companion?

If you have working Cocker Spaniels it may be suitable to keep them in kennels. In this case, it may be natural for your spaniels to be homed together in a kennel.

It is best to install a large kennel or dog home, with wire runs that allow the dogs to go outside whenever they desire. Many spaniel owners choose to adapt a shed or garage into a suitable dog house that is warm, dry, and draft and damp free.  

If your Cocker Spaniel is not a working dog, it is usually best to keep him inside, and even working dogs can be kept inside. Having working type dogs live inside usually does not hinder their working ability.

A dog should not be just a pet but a family member too. They love the companionship of people and do not like to be left alone for too long, so keep them inside if possible. 

Remember, a dog shouldn’t be just a pet, but also a family member too!

Cocker Spaniels are pack dogs and they thrive when in the company of people and other dogs (and even with cats in the case of our household).

If you have several Cocker Spaniels you will likely notice that they do always sleep together, so keep this in mind. 

When Can You Take a Cocker Spaniel Puppy Outside?

Vets usually recommend that you wait until about two weeks after your Cocker Spaniel puppy has had his final vaccination booster, which is usually around fourteen to sixteen weeks of age, before you start to take him for walks outside.

Once your Cocker Spaniel reaches around six months old his bone structure will have developed enough for him to go on long walks. 

How Long Can You Safely Leave A Cocker Spaniel Outside?

It is recommended that you do not leave your dog alone outside for more than a few hours. In colder or rainy weather, limit your dog’s time outside to just enough time for him to relieve himself.

However, if your Cocker Spaniel has his own warm and dry kennel and has enough food and water, he will be able to live outside.

How Well Do Cocker Spaniels Tolerate Cold Weather?

Cocker Spaniels do not tolerate cold weather with temperatures below freezing, so if you take your dog out in the snow or for walks during freezing temperatures, you should invest in a warm winter jacket for your Cocker Spaniels.

If your Cocker Spaniel lives in a kennel, you must, must insulate it properly so that it is warm enough for him even in colder weather.

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