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Best Dog Breeds for Country Living

Read time: 5 mins

28 Sep 2023

When it comes to living in the countryside, there's no denying that it offers a unique and idyllic lifestyle. Wide-open spaces, fresh air, and a slower pace of life are some of the many perks of country living. For dog lovers, the countryside can be a paradise for both humans and their furry companions.

But, not all dog breeds are ideally suited to country living. In this article, we will explore the best dog breeds for country living, delving into what makes a good country dog, whether dogs are truly happier in the countryside, and which breeds are best suited for outdoor living.

What is a Good Dog to Have in the Country?

In the heart of the countryside, life can be quite different from the bustling urban environment. It's essential to choose a dog breed that can thrive in this unique setting. So, what makes a good country dog?

Energy level

Country living often means plenty of open spaces for your dog to roam and explore. Therefore, a good country dog should have a moderate to high energy level. Breeds that love to run, play, and have the stamina for long hikes or walks are excellent choices.


While there are exceptions, larger dog breeds tend to adapt better to country life. Their size provides them with better protection from wildlife, and they can handle rougher terrain. However, this doesn't mean that smaller breeds can't thrive in the countryside, but it's something to consider.


Country living can be peaceful, but it also presents various challenges, including encounters with wildlife and other dogs. An ideal country dog should have a temperament that allows them to adapt to these situations calmly. They should be friendly and sociable but also protective when needed.

Are Dogs Happier in the Countryside?

Now, you might be wondering if dogs are genuinely happier in the countryside compared to urban environments. Well, it's safe to say that dogs do seem to thrive in the countryside for several reasons:

Freedom to roam

One of the most significant advantages of country living for dogs is the freedom to roam. They can run through fields, explore wooded areas, and enjoy a sense of freedom that's hard to replicate in the city. This freedom can lead to happier and more fulfilled dogs.

Cleaner air and less pollution

The air quality in the countryside is often superior to that of urban areas. Dogs can enjoy fresher air, which can positively impact their overall health and well-being. There's also less exposure to pollutants and toxins commonly found in cities.

Reduced noise and stress

Country living tends to be quieter, with fewer loud noises and disturbances. This can significantly reduce stress levels in dogs. In contrast, urban areas can be noisy and bustling, which can sometimes lead to anxiety in our canine companions.

Natural exercise

The countryside offers a natural playground for dogs. They can engage in activities like swimming in ponds, hiking in the hills, or chasing wildlife, all of which provide excellent exercise opportunities. This natural exercise can lead to healthier, happier dogs.

What Dog Is Best for Living Outside?

While most dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, some breeds are better suited to outdoor living in the countryside than others. Here are a few breeds that excel in outdoor environments:

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are known for their love of the outdoors. They have boundless energy, making them perfect companions for long hikes or days in the field. Their friendly and sociable nature also makes them great additions to any country household.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are not only intelligent but also highly adaptable. They thrive in various environments and excel in outdoor activities like agility training and herding. Their protective instincts can also be valuable in a rural setting.

Border Collie

Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence and agility. They are excellent herding dogs and can keep a watchful eye over your livestock if you have any. Their boundless energy requires ample exercise, making them great companions for outdoor enthusiasts.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are friendly, affectionate, and adaptable dogs. They are well-suited for families living in the countryside, as they enjoy outdoor activities and are known for their gentle nature.

Siberian Husky

If you live in a colder, more remote area, a Siberian Husky might be a fantastic choice. These dogs are built for cold climates and have the endurance for long hikes or sled-pulling activities.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are known for their herding abilities and agility. They thrive in active environments and enjoy the freedom of the countryside. They are also highly intelligent and trainable.

The countryside can be a wonderful place for dogs to call home. They have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom, cleaner air, and natural exercise that rural areas offer. 

However, it's essential to choose a breed that matches the lifestyle and energy level of your household. Whether it's a Labrador for long hikes or a Border Collie for herding, the right breed can make country living a truly fulfilling experience for both you and your four-legged friend. So, embrace the beauty of rural life, and you'll likely find that it's not only humans who thrive in the countryside but also our faithful canine companions.