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12 Best Dog Breeds for Cold Climates

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on November 20, 2023

Certain dog breeds are exceptionally well-suited for cold climates, thanks to their physical attributes like dense fur coats, body fat distribution, and historical breeding purposes. These breeds not only withstand chilly temperatures but often thrive in them. Here are 12 dog breeds that are best suited for colder climates.

1. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are renowned for their ability to thrive in cold climates. Originating from Northeast Asia, they were bred for pulling sleds over vast icy terrains. Their thick double coat, erect triangular ears that reduce the risk of frostbite, and furry feet are adept at navigating snow making them ideal for cold weather.

2. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes, closely related to Siberian Huskies, are built for endurance in extreme cold. They have a dense, waterproof double coat and a strong, sturdy build that helps retain body heat. Initially used for heavy sledding in Arctic regions, they are well-adapted to snowy environments.

3. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are famous for their role in mountain rescue in the Swiss Alps. They have a dense, water-resistant double coat that keeps them warm in cold weather. Their large size and strong build also help them navigate through deep snow with ease.

4. Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are known for their impressive size and strength, as well as their thick, water-resistant coats. This breed was originally used for hauling nets for fishermen in icy waters, making them well-suited for cold, wet conditions.

5. Samoyed

Samoyeds, with their fluffy white coats, are not just attractive – their dense, double-layered coat is designed to keep them warm in extremely cold temperatures. Originally bred for herding in Siberia, they are comfortable in snowy conditions and have a smiling expression that prevents drooling and icicle formation in cold weather.

6. Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhounds are hardy dogs bred for hunting in the cold climate of Scandinavia. They have a thick, protective double coat that is weather-resistant. Their compact size and agility help them navigate snowy terrain efficiently.

7. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their imposing size and thick, heavy coat, which makes them well-suited for cold climates. Originally bred to guard livestock in the Himalayas, their dense fur protects them from harsh winter conditions.

8. Keeshond

Keeshonds have a plush double coat that insulates them against cold weather. Originally from Holland, they were bred to live on boats, so their coat is not just warm but also water-resistant. Their thick fur around the neck and shoulders, known as the ‘mane,’ adds extra insulation.

9. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred in the Swiss Alps for farm work, herding, and pulling carts. Their long, silky, thick coat keeps them warm in cold temperatures. Thanks to their strong build and high energy levels, they are well-suited to outdoor activities in the snow.

10. Akita

The Akita is a large breed from Japan known for its endurance and ability to withstand cold weather. They have a dense double coat and a strong, muscular build, providing insulation and strength in snowy conditions.

11. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs were bred to guard livestock in the Pyrenees Mountains. They possess a thick, weather-resistant double coat that protects them from the elements. Their large size and strength make them capable of moving through snow-covered landscapes.

12. Finnish Lapphund

Finnish Lapphunds, initially used for herding reindeer in Arctic conditions, have a profuse double coat that provides excellent insulation. Their coat and agile and sturdy build enable them to perform well in extremely cold environments.


These 12 dog breeds, with their unique adaptations to cold climates, are not only capable of enduring chilly temperatures but often prefer them. Their thick coats, sturdy builds, and historical breeding for cold environments make them perfect companions for those living in colder regions or for anyone who enjoys winter activities with a furry friend.

Related: 12 Dog Breeds That Love Hot Weather