Can Staffordshire Bull Terriers Live Outside? – The Cold Facts

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are robust family dogs that are up for almost any challenge your throw their way. I have lived with my Staffy for over 10 years now and her willingness to take on new tricks and tasks even in her old age amazes me. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is alway eager to please. They love their humans.

Can Staffordshire Bull Terriers Live Outside? The family oriented Staffordshire Bull Terrier can live outside in moderate temperatures, but shouldn’t live outside overall. Staffies are very people focused dogs, and much prefer spending time in the home with family. They do not do well in isolation. They also do not tolerate heat and cold well.

Just because a Staffy can live outside, doesn’t mean they should. Staffordshire Bull Terriers have always been a family companion dog. Often referred to as the “Nanny Dog” because of their love and protective nature with children.

Having your Staffy live outside goes against much of their nature and instincts to be part of the family unit.

As a Staffordshire Bull Terrier owner myself I can attest that having my dog live outside would not work. She would be absolutely miserable even in the mildest of weather. There are a number of reasons I would suggest against having your Staffy live outside. Let’s dig into some of those reasons.

Are Staffies Indoor Or Outdoor Dogs?

cold staffordshire bull terrier live outside with winter coat

Staffies are primarily indoor dogs. Meaning they much prefer to be the company and companionship of their family and loved ones. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier loves the outdoors, but only as a way to spend time with their humans.

Keeping your Staffy as an outdoor dog can be fine if they are provided with adequate access to water, food, and shelter. Assuming this is in a mild climate where it is not too warm, or cold. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not equipped to hand exposure to heat or cold for long periods of time.

Living in a household that requires the Staffy to be outdoors for a few hours a day can work. Again I will stress that this is not an ideal situation for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, they would much prefer being indoors with you.

This should also not be the primary means by which Staffies get their exercise. You will need to walk and interact with your Staffy even if they have been outdoors during the day.

Related ArticleAre Staffordshire Bull Terriers Good Family Dogs? 10 Facts

Can Staffies Sleep Outside?

staffy sleeping

Staffies should not be left outside to sleep overnight. Even in the warmer climates the temperatures can drop to an uncomfortable level. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not physically equipped to stay warm in cold outside temperatures and will get cold during the nights.

Even as I write this I can’t fathom leaving my Staffy outside to sleep at night. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier does not do well with this sort of isolation from their family.

To be blunt I would even consider this cruel and unsafe. If you want a dog that will sleep outside, and spend most of the day outdoors, the Staffy is not a good choice for you.

As a pure breed of dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a very popular, and expensive dog to buy. Leaving your Staffies outside to sleep leaves them vulnerable to theft. Depending on the area you live this can also leave them vulnerable to wild predators. I lived in an area prone to frequent visits from Mountain Lions that could easily snatch your Staffy in the middle of the night.

Don’t let your Staffy sleep outside. Just because a Staffy can live and sleep outside, doesn’t mean they should. The risk of cold, predators, and anxiety due to isolation are all too high a risk in my opinion to keep a Staffordshire Bull Terrier as an outside dog.

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Staffy?

When temperatures reach down to about 45° F/7°C your Staffy will begin to be uncomfortable with the cold. Once temperatures dip even further to 32° F/0°C this is too cold for a Staffy without any gear to keep them warm.

Some Staffies will fair better in the cold than others. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers tolerance to cold can depend on a few factors such as:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Color of Coat

A young healthy black Staffy of a good size and weight, for example, could handle cold weather better than a white, unhealthy, skinny senior Staffy. A bright sunny day will keep the black dog warmer. That extra youth and body fat can generate a bit more heat as well.

My rule of thumb is generally that if I am going to be very cold outside in a shirt and shorts, then my Staffy will mostly likely be too cold as well.

Do Staffies Have Undercoats?

staffy on a bench

Staffies have a thin single coat with no undercoats to protect them from the cold outside. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can get cold outside very easily with this lack of protection. Keeping your Staffy outside in the freezing weather for even a short period of time can lead to hypothermia and frostbite.

My Staffordshire Bull Terrier and I live in a very cold winter climate. It is not uncommon for temperatures to go below -0° F/-17°C for several weeks of the year. This is extremely hazardous for your Staffy and far too cold to be outside for any period of time without proper protection.

In these cold weather conditions my Staffy only gets outside for quick potty breaks. We have to forfeit our daily walks even with her full sweater and jacket protection. Instead we focus on indoor games and training exercises to give her some mental stimulation. 

Even with the warmest protection below freezing temperatures can still lead to frostbite of the more vulnerable areas of your Staffy. The exposed ears, tails, and feet can experience significant risks of frostbite, and permanent damage, not to mention extreme pain. 

Keep your Staffy inside as much as possible when it is too cold for them.

Do Staffies Need Coats In Winter?

My Staffordshire Bull Terrier Ruby in her festive Winter coat

Not only should Staffies wear coats in the winter, they absolutely need coats in the winter. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier does not have the thick undercoat like other breeds, and will need added layers of protection. Winter coats are a must when temperatures go to 32° F/0°C or below.

A good winter coat for Staffies should comfortably cover them from neck to the base of the tail. Preferably wrapping their bellies up as well. Well fitted coats and sweaters will give your Staffy the necessary protection from the winter and avoid illness due to cold conditions.

Make sure when selecting a coat or sweater for your Staffy that they fit fairly snug and are comfortable. I know from personal experience that getting a coat that is too tight, or too loose can make going outside a drag for Staffies.

Staffies in winter coats can be cute as hell. I’m not gonna lie, I love seeing my Staffy in her various winter outfits. I know it is keeping her nice and warm, and the attention she gets for being so adorable is welcomed by both of us. These are some of the best winter coats you can get for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Canada Pooch True North Insulated Dog Parka

Crafted with a soft fleece lining and faux-down insulation for ultimate warmth in all kinds of weather. The durable water-resistant shell will help keep your doggie dude dry while the dual hook and loop closure keeps this puppy parka in place. Complete with a slit for a leash attachment, you’ll have no problem getting your buddy all bundled up. Available on Amazon

Pet Life Fashion Parka Dog Coat

Lined with 3M Thinsulate Thermal Heat Retention Technology, this jacket is perfect for those chilly days to make your pooch warm and comfortable. The inner fleece protects him from getting cold, and the removable faux fur hood can be zipped on and off to give him a new look every time he leaves home. Available on Amazon

Kurgo Loft Jacket

reversible dog vest is perfect to keep your dog cozy during the chilly fall months, and cold winter months when out on walks, hikes, and runs; dog jacket has reflective piping to easily spot your dog when it gets dark early; adjustable hook and loop closure for a custom fit. Available on Amazon

Chilly Dog Boyfriend Dog Sweater

Chilly Dog keeps up with the latest trends to keep dogs fashionable as well as warm. Their sizing can fit a tea cup dog to a great dane.  These are the warmest and best quality sweaters you will find out there! Don’t let your dog be left out in the cold! Available on Amazon

Canada Pooch | Northern Knit 2.0

High quality, fashionable-yet-functional outerwear to keep your dog comfortable & dry. This sleek and stylish fleece-lined knitted dog sweater features a zippered neck closure.  Equipped with functional zip-up pockets for treat & bag storage, a leash/harness slit, adjustable button closures, plus ribbing on the neck & sleeves for a snug fit. Available on Amazon

Kool Tail Plaid Dog Hoodie

Keep warm in cold weather, thicker than most of the hoodies. 65% polyester, 35% cotton, soft and comfortable, machine washable. Back has a hole, leash can through it, convenient for going out to walking. Available on Amazon

Keeping Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier Warm

Keeping your Staffordshire Bull Terrier warm goes beyond just the outdoors. They are sensitive to the cold even in the home. I know I like to keep a cooler condo even during the winter, and this causes my Staffy to seek warmth.

A few ways I manage to keep my Staffy warm while inside are by providing her with blankets. Lots of blankets. She loves to burrow underneath, or get wrapped up in what I call the Pibble Burrito. Oftentimes when we come inside from a cold walk I will throw a blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to give her that extra warmth.

staffy inside blanketsMy Staffordshire Bull Terrier Ruby in her warm Pibble Burrito blanket

Another item to keep handy is a good cozy dog bed. A comfortable dog bed keeps your Staffy from sleeping on the sometimes cold floor, and allows them to stay warm. Adding in an additional blanket, or placing their bed a safe distance from a fireplace is extra nice for your Staffy.

Spoil your Staffy with a good Bully Beds setup. These are the best beds on the market, and the Waterproof Faux Fur Throw Blanket is the best way to keep your Staffy nice and warm on those cold days. 

The Round Sherpa Top Bolster Bed from Bully Beds is one of the best around. Waterproof top and bottom, easily washable cover, and a 20 year guarantee. The orthopedic design is made to support joints, hips and reduce discomfort. Not only that, but it looks fantastic. Go see for yourself over at

Final Thoughts

Just because your Staffordshire Bull Terrier can live outside, doesn’t mean they should. Keeping your Staffy as an outdoor dog is not an ideal setup for this family companion dog. Staffies much prefer the warm indoor comfort next to their loved ones.

The isolation of being an outdoor dog may suit some breeds just fine, but the Staffy needs their people. They are one of the most people oriented breeds of dogs around. Social interaction with humans is what a Staffy craves the most. Making them mainly an indoor dog.

Keep your Staffy inside and warm during the winter. They do not handle the cold very well, and some climates are far too cold of Staffies. Getting your dog the proper winter coats and sweaters to protect them from the snowy months is an absolute must. 

Set up your home environment to allow your Staffordshire Bull Terrier to live inside as the indoor dog they were intended to be. A warm and comfortable environment with a place to sleep and cover up is pure bliss for any Staffy. Especially when they are right next to you.

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