10 Cold Weather Dog Breeds That Thrive In Winter

While we know that Chihuahuas are not built for those chilly temps, there are certainly a few select dog breeds that thrive when those temperatures start to drop. The Siberian Husky might be a given, after all, they were bred to pull sleds across the frozen tundras of Alaska. Along with huskies, there are several dog breeds we will feature here on this list of 10 dog breeds that are built for cold weather. And if you happen to share your life with one or more of the cold weather dogs on this list, don’t forget to leave a comment and share your photos with us—we’d love to see them!
siberian husky

Siberian Husky

Did you know that the Siberian Husky is the dog breed most closely related to the wolf? And a little fun fact for you, although huskies often have sparkly blue eyes that mesmerize us, wolves actually do not have blue eyes past puppyhood. (So, that blue-eyed wolf you see on the Blue Buffalo bags is totally NOT a true wolf!) This medium-sized working dog breed is a favorite among many. But due to their Husky antics and high-energy temperament, sadly they often find themselves surrendered to shelters by owners who underestimated the major commitment it takes to house one of these gorgeous dogs. If you are high energy and love to spend time in the outdoors during those colder months of the year, a Husky might be perfect for you. (Hint: Always check your shelters first, you will find many purebred Siberian Huskies there in search of forever homes.)
Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a beautiful working dog breed with a thick double coat that was born to withstand those freezing temperatures. These dogs are sometimes confused on sight with the Siberian Husky, but they are actually considerably larger in size. The Alaskan Malamute was originally bred for strength and designed with the purpose of hauling heavy freight before progressing to sled work. A Malamute is bred for strength and stamina, but anyone who has one can attest that these dogs are loyal and loving to the humans that they most care about.
Newfoundland Dog


The Newfoundland is as big as he is sweet, with loads and loads of fur. If you love these dogs, then be prepared for a giant teddy bear and lots of drool, too. They are strikingly large working dogs, with males often weighing up to 150 pounds. These sweet tempered gentle giants of the dog world hail from Canada and England, where they were originally bred to pull nets and haul wood.
Samoyed dogs


These giant white fluffy dogs are a sight to behold and loved by many. This large herding dog breed was originally bred to haul sleds, hunt, and herd reindeer for the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. It belongs to the Spitz group of dog breeds, and many praise the Samoyed for its alertness, intelligence, and playfulness. These dogs not only love the cold weather, but they absolutely thrive in it.
American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog breed is a small but fierce little dog that is incredibly intelligent, loyal, and loves to be exercised both mentally and physically. Although they were originally bred as a companion dog breed out of Germany, this dog breed from the Spitz family is happiest when it’s with its people and learning new tricks. One of the cutest things about these energetic cold weather dogs is that the black lines around their lips make them appear as if they are always smiling.
Chow Chow dog

Chow Chow

This ancient dog breed from China is one of the most easily recognized dog breeds of the canine world. Many know these all purpose dogs for their thick, wooly coats and those famous blue-black tongues they have. (Little dog fact for you, the Chinese Shar-Pei also has a tongue like this, too.) The Chow Chow hails from Northern China, and in China these cold weather dogs are often referred to as Songshi-Quan, which literally translates to “puffy-lion dog”. Their dense double coat and lion mane appearance makes them ideal for those chilly temperatures.
Shiba Inu Dog

Shiba Inu

This super talkative dog breed looks almost like a dog mixed with a fox and they are without a doubt irresistibly adorable. The Shiba Inu is a small to medium sized dog from Japan, and many people admire them for their ability to be charming and fearless at the same time. These confident little dogs are very vocal, especially when it comes to vet or groomer visits. Originally bred for hunting, this cold weather dog breed does well in mountainous territory and winter weather thanks to that foxy coat of theirs.
Bernese mountain dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large and powerful breed, with males and females reaching almost 150 lbs at maturity. They are one of the four Sennenhund-type dog breeds bred from the Swiss Alps, with the intention of herding and draft work in mind. These large dogs make for great family pets, as the Bernese Mountain Dog is attentive and eager to please the humans they love. The Bernese Mountain Dog is eager to learn and very affectionate, especially by way of big, sloppy dog kisses. Want to learn an interesting fact about this ancient dog breed? They were originally brought to Switzerland by the Romans over 2,000 years ago.
Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

These impressive white dogs are large in size and very strong. The Great Pyrenees is known outside of the US as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.  This large dog breed is great at working and strong-willed, but they are also incredibly gentle, too. The Great Pyrenees makes for an excellent choice for therapy work due to their calm and friendly disposition. And it should come as no surprise that these loveable giants are great family dogs, too!


The Keeshond, AKA “Kees” for short, is a medium-sized dog breed that has a plush double coat that’s always ready for winter weather. These dogs originated in Holland and are closely related to the German Spitz dog breed. This Dutch breed of dog was once used as watchdogs on barges in 18th century for a famous political figure. But despite a love of working, the Kees is the ultimate velcro dog that not only craves your attention, they demand it! Looking for a fuzzy and loyal companion to hang with you outside by a bonfire on those cold winter nights? The Keeshond might be perfect for you then!
Do you have a dog that loves cold weather? Any dog can love the cooler temps, the above listed breeds are just ones that are genetically designed for those snowy days. If you’ve considered getting one of the breeds listed above, always do your research beforehand to ensure you have what it takes to care for one of these breeds. Because, after all, all that glorious fur requires routine maintenance and grooming and lots of cleaning.

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