8 Dog Breeds That Love the Cold Weather

When the weather outside is frightful, there are some dog breeds that seem to find the wintry conditions delightful. We’ve already covered some dogs who are built for snow, but we thought we’d share a few more who are excited that winter is coming. If you’ve started doing snow dances and have read every single winter weather prediction for your region, then one of these dog breeds might be the one for you. 

Of course, just because a dog has thick fur and Nordic roots doesn’t mean you can leave him outside in cold weather. In general, if it’s too cold for you to go outside, then it’s too cold for your dog. And cold weather is always a good excuse to enjoy some of these fun indoor activities instead.

Breeds That Love the Winter

Akita Laying in Barn

Nick Ridley, Animal Photography


It’s no wonder Akitas are usually fans of winter weather: The breed hails from the cold, rugged, mountainous Akita Prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshu, where he helped hunters bring down big game like boar, elk and Yezo bear.

American Eskimo Dog

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

American Eskimo

With his beautiful, white, fluffy coat, the American Eskimo looks like he was made for playing in the snow. And he actually was: In the 19th century, German immigrants in the United States created the breed from various Nordic breeds like the German Spitz and the Volpino Italiano.

Black Russian Terrier

Sam Clark, Animal Photography

Black Russian Terrier

A relatively new breed, the Black Russian Terrier was developed by the Russian army during the Cold War to do police and military work in climates with extremely frigid temperatures.

Chinook Dog Breed

Electricsheep, Flickr


The Chinook is a sled dog with an impressive heritage: In 1926, a team of 16 Chinooks accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on his first expedition to Antarctica. Nowadays, the breed still excels at mushing but can also be a wonderful family companion.

Finnish Lapphund dog

Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography

Finnish Lapphund

If you happen to own a herd of reindeer, the Finnish Lapphund will probably be happy to help you watch over them: The breed was developed by seminomadic people called the Sami to help them herd these arctic animals. No reindeer in your yard? That's OK — just be sure to give your Lapphund a job to do, so he doesn’t get bored.

Finnish Spitz dog

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Finnish Spitz

Thanks to his Nordic ancestry and thick, double coat, the Finnish Spitz can usually tolerate colder climates. But be prepared: That double coat tends to shed.

Norwegian Elkhound

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Norwegian Elkhound

You can probably guess what the Norwegian Elkhound was developed to do. That’s right — track elk, bear and moose in the rough and wintry Norwegian climate.

Tibetan Terrier

Alice van Kempen, Animal Photography

Tibetan Terrier

Planning to hike through mountainous terrain this winter? The Tibetan Terrier might be a good buddy to take along (overall health permitting, of course). Not only does he have a thick and protective double coat, he also has large, round, flat feet that are perfect for trudging through the snow.

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