10 Dog Breeds That Can Weather the Cold

Winter is not yet here and already frigid temperatures are taking over the United States. In fact, meteorologists are predicting that even more “polar vortex” weather conditions could be on the way. Though we are less than enthused about the cold season ahead, there are some dog breeds who might actually be looking forward to it.

From the Arctic white Samoyed to the hearty Siberian Husky, these cold-weather-loving breeds tend to have the fur, stamina and demeanor for winter. But just because these dogs can tolerate the cold, that doesn’t mean you should leave them outdoors. For one thing, any dog — even these breeds — can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia in severe conditions, but also, dogs usually prefer to spend time with their favorite humans, and who wouldn’t want to spend a cold winter’s day cuddling with one of these furry breeds?

Winter-Weather-Loving Dog Breeds

Siberian Huskies playing outside in the snow

Anna Pozzi, Animal Photography

Siberian Husky

Famous for his sledding prowess, the Siberian Husky wears a thick double coat that makes him well-suited for snow and harsh weather. If the Siberian could have his way, his owner would love snow just as much as he does. The breed tends to thrive at winter dog sports, but he’ll usually be happy to try other sports, too. Either way, he needs plenty of exercise all year round.

American Eskimo Dog

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

American Eskimo Dog

With fur that’s as soft and white as snow, the American Eskimo is typically an adaptable and affectionate breed who enjoys an outdoor adventure. Just don’t fall for his hypnotizing dark eyes and smiling face or you could find yourself succumbing to his every desire.

Komondor dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Komondor

Thanks to her thick mop of dreadlocks, the Komondor can usually withstand weather extremes. As you might expect, maintaining her unique coat can be a challenge. Her cords require daily grooming and, like mops, can attract a lot of dirt.

Alaskan Husky dog breed

Alice van Kempen, Animal Photography

Alaskan Husky

Mushers in Canada and Alaska created the Alaskan Malamute to haul logs, deliver supplies to remote locations and compete in sled dog races. Though Alaskan Huskies are primarily working dogs, they can still be affectionate and loving companions.

Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed

Eva-Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Icelandic Sheepdog

Believed to have come to Iceland on the longboats of early Viking settlers, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a Nordic breed who has pricked ears, a curled tail and a thick double coat. The Icie is generally fond of children and tends to get along with other cats and dogs. But he is a barker and will likely alert you to everything he sees and hears.

Samoyed dog breed

Robin Burkett, Animal Photography

Samoyed

Thought to be an ancient breed that herded reindeer in the northernmost reaches of the world, the Samoyed is generally a fun-loving and energetic breed who sports a beautiful white coat and a friendly smile. If you enjoy winter sports like snowshoeing, sledding or skijoring, this could be the dog for you. But he’s not limited to cold-weather activities; the breed also excels in agility or herding.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Anita Peeples, Animal Photography

Bernese Mountain Dog

Alpine herdsmen in the snowy city of Bern in Switzerland developed the Bernese Mountain Dog as a farm dog. Her signature tricolor coat is thick, wavy and, as you might expect, sheds heavily. Generally calm and patient, this gentle giant can be a great pet for families with older children. Plus, she typically has the temperament for therapy dog work.

Three Great Pyrenees dogs sitting together

Sam Clark, Animal Photography

Great Pyrenees

Bred to guard flocks from bears and wolves in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, the Great Pyrenees can usually handle cold climates and temperatures. His thick, white coat helps keep him warm (and makes him an excellent snuggle buddy).

Alaskan Malamute

Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

Alaskan Malamute

The largest of the Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute is a big, powerful breed designed to pull sleds in cold, harsh terrain. But with his sledding heritage come a few things to keep in mind: He’s a world-class leash-puller, can easily clear fences and is an expert digger. Keep these undesirable behaviors in check with plenty of exercise, consistent training and early socialization.

Saint Bernard

Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Saint Bernard

Though the Saint Bernard never actually wore a brandy keg around his neck the way paintings often portray her, it is true that the breed rescued stranded travelers in the snowy and treacherous Swiss Alps. This is generally a calm and patient dog who needs moderate exercise and can be a great choice for families with kids.

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