Best Dog Breeds for Cold Climates

Posted by Billy Francis

Prospective pet parents residing in colder climates or who participate in pet-friendly winter activities should think carefully about which dog to add to the pack. Dog breeds like the Chihuahua from Mexico’s hot desert and the Australian cattle dog are more suited to warm climates, while canines with thick or double coats, like many on our list, thrive in the cold. Your pooch might adapt to any weather, but these breeds are known to take cold weather in stride.

Due to exposed paws, noses and stomachs, all breeds can feel the chill at times, especially as they get older, so keep an eye on your dog for signs of cold like trembling and shaking when you’re out in the elements. Don’t forget to equip your pup with a pair of winter boots and wrap him up in a jacket before you head out.

Siberian Husky

“You call this cold?” Photo by iStock/mediaphotos

In the early 20th century the Siberian Husky was imported to Alaska to compete in long-distance races, and still today they love taking part in a variety of winter sports. This medium-sized breed is built for the cold with a double coat, including an insulating undercoat and a coarse top coat that protects the skin. In 1925, a diphtheria epidemic was threatening the town of Nome, AK. The only serum known to prevent the outbreak was in Anchorage, 537 miles away. Balto, a Siberian Husky, and a number of other sled dogs built to endure the freezing temperatures were brought in to save the day. For his heroism, a statue of Balto was erected in New York’s Central Park.

If you’re planning a trip to magical New York this winter with your snow pup, spend the night next to Central Park at Loews Regency New York Hotel. Huskies of all sizes are welcome to stay and receive a doggy gift package at check-in.

Great Pyrenees

“Running into winter like…” Photo by iStock

Originally bred to protect livestock from wolves in the French mountains, the Great Pyrenees could become your ideal winter companion. This devoted breed makes a great family dog and is known for being gentle and loving to family members of all ages, although they can be protective against unfamiliar animals. Thanks to their thick double coats that feel like your favorite comforter when stroked, they can handle temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods of time and 30 degrees Fahrenheit for longer stretches.

Take your cold-weather dog on a winter hike at Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail. Then, rest up at The Hotel Telluride nearby.


“Snow is the only way to go.” Photo by iStock/bruev

The Keeshond is the key to your canine woes when temperatures drop. This Dutch breed was bred to guard family farms and river barges from vermin and other intruders. Nowadays, this striking furball will make a great addition to your home come rain, sun or snow. Keeshonds are medium-sized and have a thick recognizable double layer of fur made up of a wooly undercoat and an outer guard coat, which would have been useful on the chilly barges of Holland. If you want to take your new furry best friend snowshoeing, you’re in luck! This highly-trainable breed loves to learn new things.

Visit a place that celebrates your dog’s Dutch heritage in Holland, MI. Stroll along a secluded strip of the dog-friendly Lake Michigan shoreline at Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Then, put your feet up with your pup at Residence Inn by Marriott Holland.


“In my happy place.” Photo by iStock/RyersonClark

Separated by the Strait of Belle Isle, Newfoundland and Labrador make up Canada’s easternmost province. We can thank the rugged region for Newfoundlands, one of the oldest working dog breeds, and the Labrador retriever, the world’s most popular pup. Labs may be more popular, but Newfoundlands are our choice for suitability in cold climates. The “Newfie” is built for lower temperatures with a double coat designed to keep water out and warmth in.

The gentle giants of the canine kingdom need a cozy place to lay their heads at the end of a long day. Learn all about the ins and outs of Newfoundland’s most populated city with St. John's Walking Tours, then spend the night at Holiday Inn Express & Suites St John's Airport which offers affordable pet-friendly accommodations in a convenient location.


“The next time somebody calls me a mop I’m gonna flip!” Photo by BringFido

If you want a unique partner for snowy adventures, look no further than the magnificently mop-like Komondor, also known as the Hungarian sheepdog. This unique breed’s incredible fur stems from a need to blend in with the sheep in their flock and to protect their bodies from wolves if they ever got into a duel with one. The older the dog, the longer the cords, and the more protection against the cold.

Komondors love nothing more than running freely off-leash. Let your mop run amok at Shawnee Mission Park in Kansas, one of the world’s largest dog parks. When your dreaded dog starts to feel dog-tired, head to your room at the nearby Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Overland Park West.

Shiba Inu

“I could do with it being a bit colder.” Photo by @mochashibaa

Shiba Inus might be a smaller breed with less obviously thick fur than other pups on our list, but their fox-like double coats are still designed to protect them from the cold. This small-to-medium breed comes from Japan, where it was originally used to hunt small game like birds and rabbits. People who live in places that feel the chill will be happy to have the lively presence of a Shiba Inu to force a walk on wintery days and bring a ray of sunshine into their home.

Catch the northern lights with your newest four-legged family member at Acadia National Park, one of the most pet-friendly national parks in the country. At bedtime, curl up with your pup at Days Inn Bar Harbor.

Does your dog love cold weather? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by iStock/Kit_Leong.