Can Cocker Spaniels Live Outside? It Depends On This!

Can a Cocker Spaniel live outside

Where your Cocker Spaniel spends the night is very much a topic of debate. My Cocker’s have always slept in the same room as me, often in my bed, much to the horror of some people.

Where you choose to have your pet spend the night is up to you and there’s no wrong or right answer to whether Cocker Spaniels can live outside. While they certainly can live outside, the answer really depends on why you have a Cocker in the first place. Is your Cocker a family pet or is he a gun dog?

If you are planning on keeping you Cocker Spaniel outside, then an outdoor dog house such as this would be ideal.

Let me try and explain in more detail.

Is Your Cocker Spaniel A Family Pet?

Like the majority of most people who own a Cocker Spaniel, my little black Cocker Guinness is a treasured family member. I couldn’t imagine him not being there.

He’s a massive part of our everyday lives and the kids dote on him, as do my wife and I. Whenever we are going out for the day, we have to plan what will happen to our boy when we are out. Are there any family member who can check on him and let him out etc while we are out.

If we are away for the day, then who can feed him etc etc…..the thoughts really do take over as there’s so much to consider.

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So if your Cocker Spaniel is a loving family member, why would you want him to sleep outside at night time?

Most Cocker Spaniels that are pets live inside during the day apart from when they go out for walks or play in the garden. My Cocker is constantly by our sides or playing with the kids.

When it comes to bed time, our little boy has always slept in our bedroom, truth be told, we have always let him sleep in our bed once he was toilet trained.

Let me tell you, when we also had our big Show Springer Spaniel, there wasn’t much room in the bed for all four of us but you know what? I wouldn’t of had it any other way.

Now I’m not saying you should let your dog sleep in the bed with you, or even in the bedroom. I know plenty of dog owners who don’t like their dogs upstairs at night….that’s their choice.

What I am saying though is that if your Cocker Spaniel is treat as your typical house family member through the day but then put out on a night to go to sleep, then I can almost guarantee and whole host of problems are to follow.

Now I don’t care how nice you make his outside home, how comfy his bed is or what toys and blankets you leave him. A well trained domesticated house pet will respond terribly if you put him outside for bed.

What Are The Problems If You Put A Cocker Spaniel Outside At Night?

If your Cocker is a gun dog, then having him live outside is perfectly fine….see the next category below.

In today’s society, Cocker Spaniels are bred and raised as pets. They look at you and your family members as their family, their pack. Pack animals do not like been separated from their pack and a Cocker Spaniel is no different.

Pack animals need to stick together and are also known as den animals. The ‘den’ is their home. Your home is their den. They feel safe with their pack in their den and if you suddenly chuck them outside on a night time, well, outside is a lonely dark cold play for a little Cocker Spaniel that’s used to companionship.

OK are you ready to read a whole host of problems you are likely to encounter if you put your Cocker Spaniel outside?

  • Howling: I hope you aren’t expecting to get much sleep tonight. Oooh this is a massive problem. Your Cocker will be having separation anxiety issues and will be trying to let you know. Many people claim dogs howl as a way of communicating and that their howl can travel further. Many dogs are though to howl because they can’t see you therefore they think you are further away. Either way, a howling dog on a night time is one sure fire way to not get any sleep and upset the neighbours plenty.
  • Barking: Pretty much the same as above. They don’t understand why you have put them outside so they bark a lot try to and get your attention…….lack of sleep and complaints from next door are guaranteed.
  • Digging: This problem can vary depending on the sort of home you have outside for your Cocker. If you have some sort of ‘run’ built and any part of it is on grass, you can be sure that your little energetic, confused and annoyed dog will find it and he will dig and believe me, Cockers can dig with the best of them.
  • Poor Social Skills: It’s been proven that most dogs who are put out at night, have poorer social skills towards other people and other dogs. It doesn’t matter how much you try and interact them, they often show slight aggressive behavour towards strangers. This is thought to be down to the fact that they are allowed with their pack during the day but are banished outside at night.
  • Chewing: Another favorite behavour of a confused and angry Cocker Spaniel. If there’s anything that your dog can chew and destroy when he’s outside, believe me when I say he will find it and he will, most definitely, destroy it. They get anxious when they suddenly find themselves alone in a strange place and chewing is one of their reactions. They often chew their paws until they are red raw too.

Those are just a few of the many problems you can encounter if your try and make your Cocker Spaniel live outside at night after spending all day inside with his family.

Your dog will develop a lack of trust in you and your family. He possibly may even start to show slight aggression towards you and will be less obedient and will most certainly prove harder to train efficiently.

If you’re looking for some training tips and ideas for you Cocker Spaniel I highly recommend you check out this online training resource.

If Your Cocker Spaniel Is A Gun / Hunting Dog

Now we will quickly discuss the situation where it is perfectly fine to have a Cocker Spaniel that lives outside.

A Cocker Spaniel that is used as a Gun / Hunting and retrieving dog responds to living outside much better than a family pet Cocker Spaniel.

These Cockers that are used for these hunting purposes are kept outside and isolated for family members. Many people who go hunting and shooting will have more than one Cocker. This will be their only company apart from their trainer who they will look at as their pack leader.

They will usually be kept away from their owners family members, especially children as they can often show aggression to anybody that approaches them apart from their ‘leader’.

Cockers that are kept this way respond very well to the correct type of training and adapt very very quickly to living outdoors all year round.

My father-in-law goes shooting and although he doesn’t have a Cocker of his own, most of his shooting friends have some sort of Spaniel, usually a Cocker or Springer and they are never a problem on a night time when they are outside.


If you are looking to get a Cocker Spaniel for hunting purposes then yes, Cocker Spaniels can live outside in a kennel such as this (link to Amazon)

If you have or are looking to get a Cocker Spaniel as a new family member then no, they cannot live outside, especially on a night time…’s not fair on you, your neighbours but most importantly, it’s not fair on the lovely little Cocker Spaniel who just want to be with his family. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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