Rottweilers are one of the top choices for K-9 protection roles in the world. One look at a big, burly Rottweiler and you know you are looking at one hundred percent pure dog.
But just because the Rottweiler is strong and brave doesn’t necessarily mean that these dogs are “outside” dogs that do well living apart from their people.
Whenever you are thinking about letting your Rottweiler sleep outside at night, there are a number of safety and well-being factors to think through.
In this article, learn whether your Rottweiler can sleep outside and, if yes, how to make sure your dog is comfy and safe.
Can My Rottweiler Sleep Outside?
Yes, your Rottweiler can sleep outside as long as it is safe to do so.
But a much better question is, should your Rottweiler sleep outside?
If you decide your Rottweiler will sleep outside at night, you will need to provide suitable shelter and protection for your dog.
Coping With a New Rottweiler Puppy Crying At Night
In this YouTube video, a professional Rottweiler dog trainer offers two approaches to dealing with a new Rottweiler puppy’s night time crying.
Rottweilers are very keen to spend all their time with their people. They don’t typically tolerate being left alone very well even if there is another dog present.
Ideally, you should consider how you will handle putting your Rottweiler to bed at night before your dog even comes home with you.
But sometimes your dog has other ideas and if that is the case, there is a lot you can do to adjust and turn a bad situation into a positive experience.
Why the Earliest Rottweiler Dogs Slept Outside All the Time
So can a Rottweiler sleep outside? It certainly happens – and it definitely happened back in this dog breed’s earliest days.
The Rottweiler is a true working dog breed that can trace its lineage all the way back to the time of the ancient Roman Legions, as the American Kennel Club recounts.
In those very early days of the breed, Rottweilers traveled with soldiers and guarded the herds of livestock meant to feed the troops.
They worked outside, traveled outside, and lived outside. And they certainly slept outside. But it is important to remember that the Rottweilers didn’t sleep outside alone. They were with people, livestock animals, and other dogs.
Is It Safe For Your Rottweiler to Sleep Outside?
The Rottweiler is a working dog breed. Working dog breeds have a specialized double layer coat that offers specialized protective properties.
The inner layer (closest to the skin) is designed to grow thicker in winter and be insulating – not unlike a warm winter parka for you.
The outer layer (closest to the elements) is designed to have water-repellent properties and be coarser to protect the dog against pests, sunburn, windburn, and other threats.
But just because your Rottweiler is essentially wearing a winter coat all year round doesn’t mean your dog won’t feel cold or heat.
As Breeding Business points out, hypothermia is a risk anytime temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees Celsius).
This applies to all dog breeds, not just the Rottweiler.
In Rottweiler’s case, because they do have a double layer coat that is warmer, the risk of heat exhaustion is greater than for single-coated dogs.
As Mississippi Rottweilers breeders explain, Rottweilers may be able to tolerate temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.22 degrees Celsius) if they have fresh cool water to drink and adequate airflow.
But the tolerance will lessen if your Rottweiler is a puppy or a senior dog, has any health issues, or is overweight.
So for very general purposes for a healthy adult dog, if you live in a geographic region where temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or dip down lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you must make alternate arrangements for your Rottweiler’s sleeping situation.
Should Your Rottweiler Sleep Outside?
Even apart from temperature considerations, there are other equally important safety issues to think through before allowing your Rottweiler to sleep outside at night.
Predation from local wildlife
Rottweilers may be fearsome protection dogs in their own right, but this does not make them immune to natural safety dangers.
A sleeping Rottweiler is just as vulnerable to predation from local wildlife like coyotes and big cats.
Rabid wild rodents can pose a significant risk as well. Your dog may chase or hunt these animals and end up getting bitten and becoming ill.
Infestation from pests
Ticks, fleas, worms, mosquitoes, and other pests can also cause health problems for a Rottweiler that sleeps outside at night.
It is very important to keep up with all health vaccinations and pest treatments if your Rottweiler is going to be spending significant time outdoors every day.
Never let a young puppy that hasn’t yet completed all required vaccinations and pest control treatments sleep outside at night.
Provocation from other dogs, cats, and rodents
If your neighborhood has other dogs that sleep outdoors or if there is a large local population of feral cats and wild rodents, you and your neighbors could be in for some serious nighttime barking from a Rottweiler that sleeps outside.
Even if you are able to sleep through this, your neighbors may become justifiably angry with your choice to allow your Rottweiler to sleep outside.
Rottweilers are considered a “dangerous” dog breed in some areas, and so it can be in your best interests to keep a low profile to avoid angry neighbors reporting your dog for disturbing the peace at night.
Risk of theft or escape
One thing you will absolutely want to think through is how to make sure your Rottweiler stays secure and safe inside your yard if you choose to leave your dog outside all night.
You don’t want your dog to find a way to escape during the night and you also don’t want to risk that someone might try to steal your dog while you are sleeping.
You need to make sure your back yard is both escape-proof from the inside and impenetrable from the outside.
A miserable and lonely Rottweiler
Many Rottweilers simply do not want to sleep apart from their people. These dogs are herding, protecting, and guarding dogs and this work is in their blood.
As von Ruelman Rottweilers breeder points out, it is not uncommon for Rottweilers to want to sleep within eyeshot (and earshot) of their people.
So your Rottweiler may not be able to adjust to sleeping so far apart from you and out of the line of sight and hearing.
Rottweilers are guarding and protection dogs and sometimes these dogs just cannot cope with being “off duty” during the night hours.
Preparing to Let Your Rottweiler Dog Sleep Outside
If you do decide to let your Rottweiler sleep outside, you will want to start training your dog to go outside for the night right away.
The longer you let your Rottie sleep indoors with you, the harder it will be to untrain this behavior later on.
This is especially true if you have been allowing your Rottweiler to sleep in your bed with you. In this case, your dog will be going from sleeping with you to sleeping far away from you outside. This can be a tough transition.
As we mentioned in an earlier section here, you will need to make different accommodations as the seasons change, especially if there are extreme seasons where you live.
Most importantly, you will need to make sure that you make yourself available during the daytime to spend a lot of time with your Rottweiler playing, training, exercising, and spending time together.
Rottweilers can quickly become bored and destructive if left alone for too many hours per day. Even another Rottweiler’s company can’t substitute for your company.
While these dogs are guarding and protecting dogs, they do not make good property protection dogs if they don’t get adequate socialization and affection from their people.
To recap, these are the safety precautions you absolutely must take before you allow your Rottweiler to sleep outside at night:
- Escape-proof, jump-proof, dig-proof fence, and gate.
- Weatherproof dog kennel or house with protection from wind, rain, and snow.
- Additional heating if your climate gets very cold winters.
- Additional cooling if your climate gets very hot summers.
- Continual source of fresh, cool water available 24/7.
- Vigilance with pest treatments and vaccinations.
- No-bark training to avoid keeping neighbors up at night.
- Alternate plan for sleeping indoors should safety require it.
By understanding the risks your Rottweiler may face when sleeping outside alone at night, you can do your best to make the experience both safe and positive for you and for your neighborhood and community.