Top 10 Dog Breeds That Love Cold Weather

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
The cold doesn’t slow you down, and you want a dog that loves the winter as much as you do. Get brisk with these dog breeds that love the cold weather.

You’re the outdoorsy sort who loves nothing more than a brisk morning walk or a hike through snowy woodland. You think the best time of year is when the thermometer drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and you’re even considering winter camping. You’re not alone because there are a number of dog breeds out there who share your passion for cooler temps and snowy weather.

Right off the bat, the general rule of thumb is that the longer and thicker the coat, the longer your boy can stay out and play. Shorter fur will require you to invest in a dog jacket and for breeds with sensitive paws, boots are no longer a novelty but a necessity.

Here are the top 10 breeds that’ll be happy to join you for a frosty romp in the snow:


Native to the cold, rugged mountains of Japan, this dog was originally bred as a cold-weather hunting companion. His dense undercoat keeps him warm while a heavy, coarse outer coat protects him from the elements. Now a domesticated, loving and loyal family pooch, this dog’s physical attributes make him the perfect outdoorsy companion.

Labrador Retriever

This popular family pet’s thick, water-repellant coat is ideal for keeping him dry when retrieving water fowl from frigid lakes during fall hunting season. His stocky build and short, dense double coat provides him with an effective barrier to cold weather and icy conditions however if your pooch is typically an indoor dog wintery weather should be experienced in moderation.

Alaskan Malamute

This big boy is the largest of the Arctic dogs and shares some lineage with the Samoyed, Siberian Husky and American Eskimo Dog. His large snowshoe-type feet with thick pads make him the perfect pet for those who love to hike on icy trails and his woolly undercoat and coarse outer coat keep this dog toasty warm when walking in frigid temperatures.

Siberian Husky

This is a strong, compact version of the Arctic dog whose oft-blue-eyed features and vocalizations make him a distinct and favorite family pet. Known for curling up in the snow with his tail over his nose for extra warmth, this loving but hard working pooch has “snow shoe” feet with heavy fur between the toes and a thick double coat that make him an ideal sled dog and great cold weather buddy.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This gentle giant and lover of all things frosty is a native of the Swiss Alps where he was bred to be a working dog. A large and sturdy dog, he adores outdoor activities and his thick, long dark fur naturally absorbs the sunlight to keep him warm on cold, sunny days. Known for his slow, steady gait this dog is not one to pull a sled, but certainly will stay by your side during a long walk in the snow.

Tibetan Terrier

Time for a smaller pooch and this one fits the cold-weather-loving bill quite nicely. A mere 14-17 inches in height, this ancient breed is thought to have contributed to all other Tibetan breeds including the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. The coat of this hardy, charming companion dog consists of a soft woolly undercoat and long, full outer coat with round, flat feet that are perfect for trudging through snow.

Chow Chow

Best known for their huge lion’s ruff and blue-black tongues, the Chow Chow’s heavy woolly coat makes him a great cold weather dog with a high tolerance for outdoor living. Daily walks are sufficient to keep this big boy happy and healthy but because of his straighter rear legs and stiff gait he’s not speedy and best just walking with his owner on a snowy path than running alongside a cross-country skier.

German Shepherd

This hard-working breed is known for their guard and police work and while many happily spend their lives as outdoor dogs not all variations of the breed have the necessary double-coats. For those that do, longer haired versus shorter haired does better in cold temperatures and because Shepherds have a tendency to hip dysplasia and arthritis you’ll want to keep a constant, watchful eye on older pooches.


These beautiful, friendly, long-haired Scots were bred to be outdoor working dogs and actually come in two versions: smooth-haired and rough-haired. No surprise that the longer, rough-haired version of this gentle breed that has the thick, profuse double coat extending from his neck, chest, back of his front legs to his tail will be more enthused about romping in the snow than their smooth-haired counterparts.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

This hard-working dog was bred to retrieve water fowl during the crisp, fall hunting season so his water-repellant double coat and deep chest keep him both dry and warm on those chilly mornings. His affectionate and outgoing personality means he will always be up for outdoor playtime or a nice long walk on a frosty winter morning.

And remember that your pooch can quickly lose his scent and become lost in a snowy forest or during a snowstorm. Always keep him on leash or within eyesight and ensure he is wearing his ID tags.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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