Some dogs were made to live in the cold weather. Their appearance and traits were specifically developed to withstand the harsh and frigid conditions that are currently being faced across the nation as the temperature begins to drop. So if you are looking for a companion built to thrive in the chilly winter months then the following breeds of dogs make excellent options.
- Akita: The Akita originates from the mountain regions of north Japan. They are known for their trademark curly tail and short, thick double coat that protects them from the elements of the cold. Akitas were breed to be working dogs, they guarded royalty and were used to help hunt, and are extremely powerful. The breed also grooms itself like a cat and has a habit of “mouthing,” affectionately carrying things around in his or her mouth. Training may take longer for Akitas than most breeds because of their strong will and stubborn tendencies.
- Alaskan Malamute: The Alaskan Malamute was originally bred to haul freight through the arctic and later the breed was, and continues to be, a popular choice for sled dogs.Their strong bodies, high stamina, and thick fur make them excellent contenders against the frigid temperatures. An Alaskan Malamute sports a double coat to provide even more protection against the snow, sleet and wind. Their plush undercoat sits beneath a layer of coarse fur and makes them not suitable breeds for hotter climates.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs: Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of four dogs developed in the Swiss Alps but the only variety with a long, silky coat. These mountain dogs thrive in cold conditions and were excellent working dogs when the breed was developed, often being used to drive cattle or pull carts. The Bernese Mountain dog is another breed with a double coat, making it a dog much more comfortable in colder climates.
- Chow Chow: The Chow Chow is one of the few ancient breeds of dog that still exist today. This breed, originating from China,can be highly territorial and weary of strangers. They are not as eager to please as other breeds and don’t really enjoy being fawned over. Early socialization is the key to making Chow Chows a devoted and affectionate member of the family. Chow Chows are widely known for their black tongues and puffy double coat which requires even more care when the breed sheds its undercoat.
- Great Pyrenees:
Also referred to as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the Great Pyrenees is large breed of dog with a thick, white, water-resistant coat. The breed, with keen senses and the ability to herd sheep on steep slopes, also sport a mane around their shoulders and neck making them an ideal pet for colder climates. These dogs are extremely independent and are able to make decisions on their own which can often lead to them being territorial. However, Great Pyrenees still make wonderful family pets because of their gentle and affectionate nature.
- Icelandic Sheepdog: Iceland’s only native dog breed, the Icelandic Sheepdog has adapted to colder climates through the breeds work in the rugged terrain of Iceland protecting and herding flocks. The breed is just short of being considered a medium- sized dog and their coat can either be long or short, and straight or wavy. This confident breed’s coat is also waterproof with a soft and thick undercoat.
- Newfoundland: These gentle giants are incredibly intelligent, strong, calm, and are known to be natural babysitter due to their affinity towards children. Due to their superior skills in the water, webbed feet and thick double coat, Newfoundlands excel at rescuing people from water. Hot climates are not at all suitable for Newfoundlands, their coat already makes them drool more than most other dog breeds.
- Samoyed: Characterized by their all-white coats and black features, the Samoyed is a working dog developed by the Samoyed people of Siberia. These dogs were made for hunting, hauling sledges and herding reindeer. They boast a water resistant coat that will shed excessively in the spring. Samoyeds are incredibly fond of humans and make great companions for families. They are highly active and require daily exercise and room to grow.
- Siberian Husky:
One of the most widely-known breeds designed for colder climates is the Siberian Husky. These dogs love to work and were used for centuries to pull sleds, herd reindeer and to keep watch by the Chukchi Tribe. Today the breed makes gentle and playful companions for families and remains to be a popular choice as sled dogs. Siberian Huskies have one of the thickest coats out of all breeds. It is made up of a dense, cashmere-like undercoat and a longer, coarse topcoat.
- Tibetan Mastiffs: Another highly independent dog, Tibetan Mastiffs are an ancient breed originating from Tibet, China, Nepal and Central Asia. The breed was originally developed as a guard dog, and today Tibetan Mastiffs still make great guardians for families. The breed is understanding of its family members, and also very protective of them. Tibetan Mastiffs can weigh up to 160 pounds and their extensive double coat and manes shed once a year.