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Best Cold Weather Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Most dog breeds are built to thrive in moderate climates, but several others are best suited for severe winters.

If you're a dog lover who lives in a cold place, cold weather dog breeds are the best match for you.

Last Updated on: Jul 09, 2022

No matter where you travel in the world, you’ll always come across a dog that’s native to that region. Spend some time with them and you’ll see how naturally and effortlessly they adapt to even the harshest weather conditions.

For instance, if you’re moving to the desert, Saluki is the best breed to have. For dog lovers who are moving to colder parts of the world, you should adopt breeds that are built to deal with extreme winter temperatures.

While the best cold-weather dog breeds need extra TLC, they are also amazingly extra-cold-tolerant. With their furry, double coats and large bodies, certain dog breeds are designed to withstand snow and even prevent frostbites. If you know you’re going to stay in a cold place for a while, adopting a cold-weather dog breed is a win-win for all.

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Siberian husky dog in snow

Siberian Husky

When discussing the best cold-weather dog breeds, you have to mention the Siberian Husky.

Hailing from the sub-zero temperatures of Siberia, Huskies are incredibly active, even in the coldest of regions.

This breed is inherently thick-coated to endure icy weather. No wonder they were bred as sled dogs! City dwellers who raise Huskies often take off to the mountains because that’s a Husky’s natural zone.

Full of life and energy, Huskies are a great addition to your home, especially if you live in the mountains or the woods. Some Huskies even prefer snuggling up by the fireplace once winter sets it.

While they adjust well to the cold, this breed also enjoys being indoors and around its favorite humans.

Also Read: Popular Sporting Dog Breeds


It’s often hard to spot a Samoyed in snowy regions because its thick, spotless white coat totally blends in with the natural landscape. Being the original sled dogs of the Russian Tundra, this cold weather dog breed is no stranger to chilly weather.

You might have to invest enough time in grooming its double-layered fur but Samoyeds are fun and easy-going and enjoy human company.

It’s never too cold for the Samoyed breed. They function perfectly and comfortably even in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Samoyeds have compassionate and playful personalities. Given the chance, they’ll stay snug and cozy indoors, too.

Japanese akita dog in park

Japanese Akita

Back in the day, if you lived in the mountains of Northern Japan, you’d probably have a pack of Akitas as your friends.

Native to these cold parts, this breed is known to have unique webbed-toes that help them tread along the icy-frozen grounds of the forests in winter.

These independent and strong-willed dogs make amazing watchdogs, so if you’re planning to move to the mountains, Akitas are a must-have.

While they are super affectionate with family and friends, they aren’t so friendly with strangers and other dogs. If you’re planning to adopt an Akita, be prepared to go on long hiking trips in the snow for they need to expend their restless energy by being outside and getting their daily exercise.

Saint Bernard dog in mountains

Saint Bernard

Remember the movie, Beethoven? It put the Saint Bernard breed on the map for several dog owners who love having big dogs. While it isn’t unusual to have a Saint Bernard living in an apartment, this breed is best suited to cold climates and large open spaces.

Their body is packed with cushiony fat that keeps them well insulated even in the coldest temperatures. This is probably why Saint Bernards look like cuddly teddy bears for the most part.

Sociable and energetic, Saint Bernards enjoy being goofy and mischievous. If you’re raising one, be sure to escape into the wild every once in a while.

Also Read: Most Stubborn Dog Breeds

Newfoundland dog


Native to the pristine lands of the Canadian forests, Newfoundlands helped fishermen scour the frozen waters of the Atlantic ocean.

Built to endure everything that comes from living in such a cold region, these dogs used to dive in and rescue drowning fishermen from painfully cold waters.

It goes without saying that these dogs are capable of withstanding bitter, cold weather. Purebred Newfoundlands are striking black in color and have thick, furry coats that keep them warm and snug.

Despite their big size, Newfoundlands have sweet and loving personalities. They are hardly bad-tempered, so if you’re living in a cold region, they are a delightful breed to adopt.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

Regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds to ever exist, Tibetan Mastiffs have a wise, saint-like persona. They are big in size and may seem intimidating but they’re extremely affectionate and gentle toward their human companions.

Originally, Tibetan Mastiffs were bred to be the protectors of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains.

Undoubtedly one of the best cold weather dog breeds, Tibetan Mastiffs can weigh up to 175 lbs. So, don’t be surprised if it simply knocks a human being down.

This breed is not one for rigorous exercise but they love going on walks and hikes in nature.  

German Shepherd dog

German Shepherd

A highly popular breed amongst several city dwellers, German Shepherds also do very well in the cold. They have a thick, double coat that keeps them warm and cozy through the toughest winters. You may have to deal with the incessant shedding problem thanks to their thick coat.

German Shepherds are a notorious breed and they need distractions and activities to keep them mentally and physically stimulated at all times.

Even on the coldest days, these dogs are always up for an adventure and they can walk for hours without stopping for rest.

Give a German Shepherd a mission and you’ll see it at its busiest. Curious but fun-loving, this breed is a total keeper.

German shepherd dog

After having listed some of the best cold weather dog breeds, it’s important to point out that some breeds find it extremely difficult to adapt to the cold. For instance, dog breeds that are lightweight and small like Chihuahuas can’t withstand extreme temperatures. Even tall and mighty breeds like Great Danes and Dobermans don’t do well in cold weather because they have short fur and slim coats.

If you live in the colder parts of the world, adopt a breed that’s best suited to the weather. This way, your dog can live a long and healthy life!


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

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