7 Dog Breeds Born for the Snow
There's a certain type of dog who can't seem to get enough of the fluffy white stuff, regardless of whether you have two inches or two feet!
Inspired by the cold winter months, we rounded up seven breeds who appear to be born for the snow; they're known for everything from an impressive working heritage in the chilly mountains of China to saving lives during a 1925 diphtheria outbreak in Alaska. Check them out in the gallery below.
With his arctic white fur and warm grin, the Samoyed was built for wintry weather. Legend has it that the Samoyed people and their dogs were driven north by other tribes until they were at the edge of the world, in a vast land of ice and snow. But it's not just a story; in real life, the Samoyed has proven he can handle the cold. In more modern times, the breed took part in Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.
Originally bred as sled dogs by the Chukchi people of Northeastern Asia, the Siberian Husky rose to fame in America when these dogs raced across the frozen Alaskan wilderness to deliver life-saving diphtheria serum to the town of Nome in 1925. We're sure you've heard of the most famous of these fast, double-coated dogs: Balto.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The large Bernese Mountain Dog hails from the snowy city of Bern, Switzerland, near the Swiss Alps. Berners helped farmers by pulling carts, driving livestock to fields or market, and serving as watchdogs. They're thought to have descended from Mastiff-type dogs who came to Switzerland with Roman armies 2,000 years ago.
Named for the Mahlemut, an Inuit tribe in Alaska, the Alaskan Malamute was bred to pull sleds in harsh climates. The breed is possibly the oldest and definitely the largest of the Arctic sled dogs. If you dream of participating in the Iditarod this March, you’ll certainly want an Alaskan Malamute on your team.
The white-as-snow Great Pyrenees is a powerful and brave breed with a long lineage as a flock-guarding dog in the French and Spanish Pyrenees mountains. Instead of herding livestock, it was her job to protect them from wolves and other predators. And with all that fur, it's no wonder the Great Pyr likes to cool down with some winter weather!
If you’re going for a long journey in the snow, be sure to have a Saint Bernard by your side. In the mid-1700s, the monks of Hospice du Grand St-Bernard in Switzerland used the giant breed to help locate and recover lost travelers in the snowy Alps. The greatest Saint Bernard of all was Barry, who found more than 40 people in the Swiss Alps between 1800 and 1812.
He looks like a teddy bear, but the dignified Chow Chow is not a cuddly canine. He hails from the chilly northern regions of China and was developed as an all-purpose dog capable of hunting, herding, pulling carts and guarding the home.
More on Vetstreet.com:
- 5 Cold Weather Hazards to Protect Your Pet From
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- 5 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds