The Snow Never Bothered Them Anyway: 7 Cold Weather Dogs

Spoiler alert: It’s not just a heavy outer coat that makes a dog well suited for colder temperatures! You need to take paws, undercoat, and temperament into account as well. If you live in a cold climate, and more importantly like to spend time outside, make sure to get a dog who can handle those temps and all the outdoor adventures you’ll undoubtedly have together (like these 7 cold weather dogs)!

1. Alaskan Malamute 

Alaskan Malamute - cold weather dogs
I dare you to make me carry YOUR stuff. | Clayton Caldwell

Let’s start with the most obvious first, shall we? Malamutes (and their Husky cousins) are born and bred for cold weather. While they’re often confused for each other, their original purposes were opposite: Malamutes were bred to pull heavy loads over short distances, and Huskies light loads over long distances. While we’re guessing the only loads they’ll be pulling as your pet is their ball and/or toy of choice, both have coarse, thick coats that’ll keep ‘em warm no matter how long you’re playing in the snow

2. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog sitting in snow - cold weather dogs
The gentlest of giants. | Dagmar Klauzova

Ah, the love of the gentle giant. Bernese Mountain Dogs, originally bred in Switzerland, are large in size but soft at heart. They have, in fact, one of the gentlest temperaments you can find in a breed! Their exercise needs are low, though don’t be fooled by perceived laziness. These pups are strong enough to carry supplies and gear for multiple people.

3. St. Bernard 

snow-covered St Bernard
Roll over, Beethoven. There’s a new pup in town! | Claudia Wolleson

The Bernie’s sister breed is a St. Bernie! The St. Bernard is similarly tempered, though a bit slobberier. Consider them the cold weather Lassie, as they’re often used as search dogs in colder climates.

4. Samoyed 

Samoyed dog in mountains - cold weather dogs
Be careful, they blend right in on a snowy day! | Jf Brou

If Santa had a dog, it would be a Samoyed. Know how we know? Samoyeds were originally bred in Siberia to herd reindeer! Watch out Rudolph! These playful puppers need a lot of mental and physical exercise, so if you’re a snow sports family, consider bringing a Samoyed Smile into the mix. 

5. Keeshond 

Samoyeds’ cousins, the Keeshonds, are similarly affectionate, though not as energetic as a Samoyed. Your Keeshond would be equally happy with a brisk snowy hike or lounging by the fire on a winter afternoon (and equally prepared for either with their thick under and overcoat). 

6. German Shepherd

German Shepherd smiling near water
Cold weather? Not a problem. | Nigel Tadyanehondo

A little surprised to see this breed on here? German Shepherds definitely don’t have the sheer mass of fur that the others on this list have, but their density of muscle and hair prepare them nicely for colder climates. Incredibly smart, this breed learns quickly and loves to be active. 

7. Tibetan Mastiff

Double the size of one’s normal dog, but double the coat too! Yup, that’s right, Tibetan Mastiffs have not one but two coats of fur to keep them insulated, guaranteed to make them more comfortable in frigid temperatures (and probably you, too). Bred originally in the Himalayas, these dogs do well in warm and cold temperatures (get you a dog that can do both, and all that). 

How does your pupper do in cold weather? Bark at us in the comments and tag #SidewalkDog in pics of those cold weather dogs!

Featured photo: Yuki Dog

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