Cold Climate Dogs
Your dog should enjoy roughing it just as much as you do in the bitter cold and wet snow. As a trail veterinarian for the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, and John Beargrease sled-dog races, Bernadine Cruz has experience working with arctic dogs. “In general, a dog that thrives in a snowy climate has a dense coat that insulates them from the elements,” she explains. Because they can navigate cold terrain with their robust, hairy paws, northern dog breeds frequently have a strong foundation.
These are the greatest snow dog breeds for cold-weather locations if you live in the mountains or are seeking a pet to keep you warm on those chilly winter camping vacations. Would you rather work up a sweat in the sun?
10+ Cold Climate Dogs
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The Alaskan Malamute is the ideal cold-weather dog since it was bred to carry big burdens, run, and wander. “The Alaskan Malamute is a great cold weather breed because of its origin—they come from Alaska and are the oldest and largest of the Arctic sled dogs, having been used for freighting in the Arctic,” explains Gina DiNardo, vice president of the American Kennel Club. They are kept warm by their thick, tough coat.
The Anatolian Shepherd is a dedicated mountain dog; it is a hardy, courageous breed that is nonetheless quick and nimble enough to endure challenging hikes. This breed, which was developed in Turkey more than 6,000 years ago as a flock guard, is calm but fiercely protective; it should be clear from the start who is in charge and will thereafter warmly accept outsiders that the owner introduces.
The two characteristics that make chow chows particularly resistant to cold weather are their black tongues and woolly coats. According to Pat Foose, co-owner of Colorado-based Pendleton Chows, “If you love the outdoors and are owned by a Chow Chow, then you should take him or her everywhere you go in the snow.” “Chows are happiest when around their humans.”
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
During the Second World War, farmers, ranchers, merchants, and even the Swiss utilized the Swissy, sometimes known as the “poor man’s horse,” as a draft dog. This big and robust breed, which may weigh between 85 and 140 pounds, has a calm disposition and low activity requirements, yet it will happily herd, cart, trek, and backpack.
The Great Pyrenees would joyfully set off on a challenging, difficult journey. Historically, they were employed to herd sheep on high mountain slopes in France. These graceful and serene canines, who weigh between 80 and 100 pounds, were once known as the Royal Dog of France. According to Carrie Stuart Parks, president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America, “they are the gentlest of the guarding breeds, the longest living overall of the giant breeds, and are easy to care for.” They enjoy the winter. They are protected from all but the harshest arctic conditions by their thick, double coat.
This incredibly friendly dog is protected from extreme cold and moisture by its thick fur and downy undercoat, and its color pattern frequently gives it the appearance of having “spectacles.” “The Keeshond has a very thick coat that kept it warm when it served as a watchdog on riverboats in Holland,” adds DiNardo.
The Keeshond served as the mascot for the Dutch Patriot Political Party at one point. Keeshond is sociable, intelligent, and energetic, but is also content to relax at home and be a good pet. These dogs require a good deal of activity or they will literally wind up spinning in circles.
Newfies are the ideal family dog since they are calm and friendly as well as protective. This breed, which weighs up to 150 pounds, is placid and gentle. Newfoundland is perfect for colder weather because of its thick coat, which shields it from the chilly seas where it was originally bred to operate.
Despite their prowess in the water, these Canadian dogs are still frequently utilized in mountain rescues because of their sturdy build and double coat. They also drool a lot, despite the fact that these gentle giants seldom ever growl.
When the adored, extremely slobbery, trouble-making Beethoven hit the big screen in 1992, Saint Bernards gained (more) notoriety. Although not all Saint Bernards create such havoc, they do weigh between 120 and 200 pounds.
Although Saint Bernards don’t have a lot of energy and aren’t very lively, they make up for it with their love for people and their readiness to work—the powerful canines will go great distances through heavy snow to look for stranded tourists.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up every day to the “Samoyed Smile”? These affectionate yet active dogs make wonderful friends, but they require a lot of mental and physical activity. According to DiNardo, the Siberian Samoyed was originally developed to pull sleds, hunt, and herd reindeer. Now, its small stature combines with an athletic grace to create a powerful, enjoyable breed.
Another breed utilized for dog sledding is the Husky, which is from Northeast Asia. Cruz, a trail vet for several sled dog races who has dealt with arctic dogs, says, “The huskies that I have worked with have been very vocal.” They do shed, but to what extent depends on the surroundings and general health. They do require a lot of activity to maintain their physical and mental wellness.
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