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?
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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).
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
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.