Does a dog need a garden?

does a dog need a garden

Who does not know the reasons that speak for or against a dog? “I’m going to get a dog, we have a garden” or “I’d love to have a dog, but we don’t have a garden”. But how is it actually? Does a dog need a garden?

As a rule, a dog does not need a garden. A dog needs daily exercise and activity in the form of walks in nature, where he can explore the environment. Sniffing out trees and brush is to dogs what reading the newspaper or social media is to us. A yard is a big plus, but not a disqualifier for a dog. However, there are dog breeds for which a garden can be useful.

Why a garden is not enough for a dog

A dog needs daily walks in nature, where he can ideally also run off leash or at least on the drag line, if the recall does not work so well yet.

Dogs need to have the opportunity to sniff and explore the area and pick up and process scents. This is simply what a dog needs to be happy and healthy.

If you keep your dog exclusively in the backyard because you think he has enough room to exercise there, he will get frustrated over time.

At some point there will be nothing new to discover in your garden – it will become boring.

Why a garden is not necessary for a dog

Many people have inhibitions about getting a dog because they don’t have a garden.

Basically, this attitude is good, because they think about the welfare of the dog in advance and deal with the issue.

But normally you don’t need a garden if you want to have a dog. There are exceptions, of course, but I’ll get to that later.

Depending on the breed, a dog needs between 1 and 3 hours, sometimes 4 hours of exercise and occupation a day in the form of walks in nature, jogging sessions, bike rides or even dog sports like agility or Frisbee.

If you exercise your dog enough every day, he will lie quietly and contentedly in his dog bed afterwards.

After all, dogs sleep between 17 and 20 hours a day and therefore do not need much space in the house and garden. Because your home is a resting zone for your dog and not a place where he satisfies his urge to move

As a basic rule you can remember: A garden does not replace a walk!!!

When is a garden with a dog useful?

Of course, it is always better to have a garden because it simply offers some advantages. We don’t have to kid ourselves about that.

Especially if you have a puppy and want to housebreak him it is much more convenient FOR YOU.

If you can let him out in the garden every 2 hours instead of always carrying him down from the 3rd floor and back up again. That is already a big advantage.

Also if you are sick or it is raining cats and dogs, you can send your dog to the garden for a day to pee. These situations are of course easier with a garden.

Can you keep a dog in the garden?

Under certain conditions it is allowed to keep a dog in the garden or on the company premises. Then it is purely a work animal and has a task there. Namely guarding.

However, I will not go into this case now. Because as a rule, it is about families or singles who get a dog as a family member.

A dog should not be kept exclusively in the garden.

Even if the garden is large enough, the dog has enough space to move and has a solid hut as a shelter from wetness and cold, this type of housing is not recommended.

To what extent it is legally permissible at all to keep a dog exclusively in the garden, I cannot say. But even if it is, morally it is not okay in any case.

Dogs need social contact and feel most comfortable when they are part of the family. Some dogs also need the contact with conspecifics.

Which dogs need a garden

But there are dog breeds where a garden or a large property is useful or better. In my opinion, these include the Boerboel.

The South African Boerboel is the only dog breed that was bred specifically to guard large farms.

dog needs a garden

So, ideally, the boerboel has a garden or a large plot of land where he can move freely and live out his guarding instinct.

The St. Bernard also loves to be outside and lie in the garden or yard. Keeping your dog in an apartment is therefore not recommended.

Consequences if your dog is only in the garden

If you let your dog exclusively in the garden or you exercise him far too little, it can lead to undesirable misbehavior.

This is simply because you do not keep your dog species-appropriate and in the long run he gets bored and frustrated.

The following symptoms can then occur:

  • Your dog may start barking at the garden fence. Every passer-by with or without a dog is barked at and accosted.
  • Your lawn or flower bed is dug up.
  • Your dog becomes aggressive with time
  • Your dog becomes a barker. Not only when someone runs past your fence but for all kinds of reasons. For example, if there are birds in the garden or another dog barks in the distance. He will start barking about anything and annoy you and especially your neighbors.

Frequently asked questions

Can a dog stay alone for 8 hours?

If you teach your dog sensibly and slowly, many dogs can stay alone for 8 hours. However, it should not be the rule that you leave your dog alone for 8 hours a day.

Does a dog need a coat?

Depending on the temperature, especially dogs with short fur and without undercoat need a coat in winter. On short walks you can usually do without a coat.

Older dogs with weak immune systems or puppies are more likely to need a coat in cold or wet weather.

Does a dog need variety in food?

Frequently changing foods means stress for your dog and tends to have a negative effect. A dog does not need variety in food.

How can you recognize good dog food?

Good dog food can be recognized by a high meat content and no or as few artificial additives as possible. Also information such as “animal by-products” or “animal protein” indicates slaughter waste.

Because if you use good fresh meat, you write it on the package and don’t need to rewrite the garbage in the feed.

Conclusion: Does a dog need a garden?

No, a dog does not normally need a garden. If your dog is well exercised outside in nature every day and has enough exercise and activity, he will lie contentedly in his dog bed and sleep afterwards. A garden is no substitute for a walk. But a garden can be a great asset that makes life easier in many situations.


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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