Top 15 Dog Breeds Suited for Cold Weather

Updated on: Mar 29, 2023
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Top 15 Dog Breeds Suited for Cold Weather

Are you living in a cold climate and thinking about adopting a dog?

Well, choosing the right breed can make all the difference! 

Some dogs are better suited to cold weather and can handle the snow and ice like a champ. 

This article will look at the top 15 dog breeds for living in cold climates!

Alaskan Malamute

| Characteristic | Description | | --- | --- | | Breed name | Alaskan Malamute | | Breed origin | United States, Alaska | | Breed group | Working | | Size | Large | | Weight | 75-100 pounds (34-45 kg) for males; 65-85 pounds (29-39 kg) for females | | Height | 23-25 inches (58-64 cm) for males; 21-23 inches (53-58 cm) for females | | Coat | Thick, double coat with a woolly undercoat and longer guard hairs | | Coat colors | Various shades of gray, black, and white | | Lifespan | 10-12 years | | Temperament | Affectionate, loyal, friendly, outgoing, independent, stubborn | | Exercise needs | High - needs at least 60-90 minutes of exercise per day | | Training needs | Moderate - can be stubborn and independent | | Grooming needs | High - requires daily brushing and regular grooming | | Health concerns | Hip dysplasia, eye problems, bloat, and other orthopedic issues | | Good with children | Yes, with early socialization and training | | Good with other pets | Can be friendly with other dogs, but may have a high prey drive |

Alaskan Malamute is such a fantastic breed for cold climates!

These pups were initially bred in Alaska for heavy-duty work, like pulling sleds through snowy, icy terrain. Alaskan Malamutes have a super thick coat that keeps them cozy in even the most frigid temperatures. They have waterproof fur, so they can also stay dry in wet conditions.

But get this - Alaskan Malamutes also have a unique heat exchange system in their paws that help them regulate their body temperature and hold onto heat. Their paws are big and shaped like snowshoes, which allows them to grip the snow and ice as they trek through deep drifts and rugged terrain.

And as if that wasn't cool enough, Alaskan Malamutes are super active and hardworking dogs that love cold climates. They have tons of energy to burn off and need lots of physical activity to stay healthy and happy. 

They are perfect for owners who love getting out and about in all sorts of weather, but Alaskan Malamutes aren't for everyone, especially novice dog owners. They're big and powerful dogs that need lots of training and socialization to thrive at home. 

Alaskan Malamute can be a bit stubborn and independent, so they need an experienced and patient owner to give them the training they need

Siberian Husky

| Characteristic | Description | | --- | --- | | Breed name | Siberian Husky | | Breed origin | Russia | | Breed group | Working | | Size | Medium | | Weight | 35-60 pounds (16-27 kg) for males; 35-50 pounds (16-23 kg) for females | | Height | 21-23.5 inches (53-60 cm) for males; 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) for females | | Coat | Thick, double coat with a woolly undercoat and shorter guard hairs | | Coat colors | Various shades of gray, black, and white, often with distinctive markings | | Lifespan | 12-14 years | | Temperament | Friendly, outgoing, independent, intelligent, and active | | Exercise needs | High - needs at least 60-90 minutes of exercise per day | | Training needs | Moderate - can be stubborn and independent, but trainable with positive reinforcement | | Grooming needs | Moderate - requires regular brushing and occasional grooming | | Health concerns | Hip dysplasia, eye problems, bloat, and other orthopedic issues | | Good with children | Yes, with early socialization and training | | Good with other pets | Can be friendly with other dogs and animals with proper socialization and training |

They're a medium-sized working breed developed for their strength and endurance in harsh, frigid conditions of the Arctic. Siberian Huskies have thick, double coats specially designed to keep them warm in cold temperatures and protect them from the harsh elements.

This unique double coat consists of a woolly undercoat and a longer, coarser topcoat that repels moisture and protects them from wind and snow. With their thick coat, they can tolerate temperatures well below freezing and withstand harsh, snowy environments.

But here's the thing - Siberian Huskies were bred to work in cold weather conditions, so they may not do well in extreme heat. That thick coat, perfect for cold temperatures, can make them susceptible to heatstroke in warmer weather

So if you have a Husky, provide plenty of shade, water, and cool areas for them to rest during hot weather.

Bernese Mountain Dog

These big, sturdy pups were initially bred in Switzerland to work on mountain farms. They were experts at pulling carts and herding cattle, and their thick double coats provided excellent insulation from the cold. 

Plus, they're super friendly and gentle, so they make great family pets and are lovely with kids.

One of the most incredible things about the Bernese Mountain Dog is its long, wavy outer coat and dense undercoat, which helps repel water and snow, keeping them dry and warm in the chilliest temps.


Samoyeds were initially bred by the Samoyede people in Siberia for herding and pulling sleds. Their thick, fluffy coat is the real standout feature that makes them perfect for chilly weather. 

The coat comprises a dense undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat that keeps them well-insulated in the cold.

They also have a muscular build and compact body that helps them navigate through deep snow and rough terrain. Plus, their feet are webbed and super strong, so they can easily walk on top of snow and ice.


Have you heard of the Newfoundland breed? 

They are big dogs that hail from Newfoundland, Canada, where it's super cold and wet. These dogs were bred to help out fishermen and do water rescue missions in the North Atlantic. 

Their coat is pretty special - it has two layers! 

A soft, thick layer underneath keeps them warm, and a longer, coarser outer layer repels water

It's like a built-in wetsuit! 

They also have webbed feet, which makes them superb swimmers

Great Pyrenees

This big guy has a thick, double coat that keeps them warm in chilly weather. The Great Pyrenees originated from the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe as protectors of sheep from predators.

What's really neat about the Great Pyrenees is their long, thick outer coat and dense undercoat. It's like they're wearing a warm jacket all the time! 

They've also got these big, webbed feet that help them walk on snow and ice, and they're super agile and steady on uneven terrain. Plus, their tails are thick and fluffy, which they can use to keep themselves extra cozy.


The Akita is a pretty big and strong dog originally from Japan. They were originally bred to hunt big game-like bears and boars, and their super thick fur helped them survive the cold, mountainous terrain of their native land.

The Akita's fur comprises two layers - a soft, fluffy undercoat and a longer, coarser topcoat. This helps keep them warm and dry in the cold weather, and they actually shed their undercoat twice a year.

They can adapt to different living situations, including apartments, as long as they get enough exercise and things to keep their brains busy.

Saint Bernard

Did you know that Saint Bernard is a big ol' pup that hails from the Swiss Alps? 

Yep, they were originally bred to help rescue lost or injured people in the mountains. So, it's no surprise they're great at handling the cold.

Saint Bernard has a fluffy double coat to keep warm in chilly temps. The outer layer is long and wavy, while the undercoat is soft and dense. This combo helps keep them toasty and dry, even in the snow and ice.

And let's not forget about those massive paws! 

They're perfect for walking on snowy surfaces and preventing the dog from sinking too deep. Saint Bernard has a muscular build and strong legs, making it easy for them to travel on challenging terrain and carry heavy loads.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff was originally bred in Tibet and the Himalayas for two main reasons: to guard homes and protect livestock from predators. They're pretty big, with a thick, long coat perfect for insulation against the cold. 

Their undercoat is incredibly dense, which helps keep them warm even in freezing temperatures. In order to keep their flocks safe from predators, Tibetan Mastiffs are capable of fighting with wolves and snow leopards. 

That's why they're also great for guarding homes in colder climates!

These dogs can adjust to changing weather conditions and handle extreme temperatures like a pro, making them very adaptable.

But it's essential to remember that Tibetan Mastiffs need plenty of exercise and socialization to stay healthy and happy. They can also be protective, so starting them early ensures they're friendly with people and other animals.

Norwegian Elkhound

Have you ever heard of the Norwegian Elkhound

It's a pretty cool medium-sized dog breed that originally comes from Norway. These dogs were bred to hunt elk, bear, and other large game in rugged, cold environments. 

And you know what's awesome? 

The Norwegian Elkhounds have a thick, waterproof coat that helps keep them warm and dry in cold weather. The coat comprises a dense, woolly undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat that helps repel water and snow.

Shiba Inu

This small to the medium-sized breed of dog comes from Japan. They have a thick coat, which helps them stay warm in colder temperatures

Fun fact - Shiba Inus were initially bred to hunt in the mountains of Japan, so they're pretty tough and can handle different types of weather. 

They're also super active and love to play, which helps them generate body heat and stay warm in colder temperatures.

Finnish Spitz

So, the Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized dog that originally came from Finland. They were bred to be hunting dogs in chilly, northern areas where they helped their owners hunt birds and small game.

Finnish Spitz is so well-suited to cold weather because of its thick and dense coat. Their coat has a soft undercoat and a coarser topcoat that helps protect them from harsh cold temperatures.

Plus, it stands away from the body, which traps air and provides extra insulation.

These energetic dogs have a muscular build, making them great companions for owners who love cold outdoor activities. They're also highly intelligent and easy to train. They can handle even the most challenging environments and terrains. 

Canadian Eskimo Dog

Did you know the Eskimo Dog is perfect for living in chilly areas because of its fluffy, thick white coat? 

This breed was created to be a watchdog and a companion, so it had to be tough enough to handle extreme weather conditions. The Eskimo Dog has two layers in its coat: a soft, dense undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. 

The undercoat gives it insulation, while the outer coat helps to repel snow and water. This double coat keeps the dog warm and dry when the weather is cold and wet. The white coat of this breed reflects sunlight, which helps to keep them cool in hotter weather too.


Did you know the Maltese are tiny pups from the central Mediterranean area?

Even though they're often considered a sunny weather breed, their long, silky coat can help them stay cozy in colder temps. This fur comprises two layers - the outer layer includes long, straight hairs, and the inner layer is softer woollier hairs. 

This combo helps trap body heat and keeps them warm in cooler weather!

Border Collie

Thanks to their thick, weather-resistant coat, these pups are tough and can handle chilly weather. It has a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat, making excellent insulation against the cold. 

Border Collies are known for having tons of energy and endurance, so they can handle longer walks and outdoor activities even when it's chilly out.

While Border Collies can handle the cold, they might not do as well in extreme winter conditions as an Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky would.


Even if you reside in a cold climate, you can still enjoy the company of a furry buddy.  But despite these dogs being cold-tolerant, ensuring they have proper shelter and protection from extreme weather conditions is still essential. Even with their thick coats, exposure to extreme cold, wind, or moisture for too long can be uncomfortable and dangerous. So chill and enjoy your furry friend!

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