12 Best Dog Breeds for Cold Climates

Certain dog breeds are exceptionally well-suited to cold climates due to their physical characteristics, such as thick coats, body fat distribution, and historical breeding goals. These breeds not only withstand low temperatures, but often thrive in them. Here are 12 dog breeds best suited for cold climates.

1. Siberian husky

Siberian Huskies are known for their ability to survive in cold climates. Originally from Northeast Asia, they were bred to pull sleds across vast icy terrain. Their thick double coat, triangular ears that reduce the risk of frostbite, and fluffy paws that are adept at walking on snow make 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, durable construction that helps retain body heat. Originally used for heavy sledding in arctic regions, they are well adapted to snowy environments.

3. St. Bernard

Saint Bernards are known for their role as mountain rescuers in the Swiss Alps. They have a dense waterproof double coat that keeps them warm in cold weather. Their large size and sturdy build also help them navigate through deep snow with ease.

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4. Newfoundland

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

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5. Samoed

Samoyeds with their fluffy white coats aren’t just attractive – their thick, double-layered coat is designed to keep them warm in extremely cold temperatures. Originally bred for pasture in Siberia, they are comfortable in snowy conditions and have a smile 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 double protective layer that is resistant to weather conditions. Compact size and maneuverability help them move efficiently in snowy terrain.

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7. Tibetan Mastiff

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

8. Keeshond

Keeshondas have a plush double coat that insulates them from cold weather. Originally from Holland, they were bred to live on boats, so their fur is not only warm, but also waterproof. Their thick fur on the neck and shoulders, known as a “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 fur keeps them warm in cold temperatures. Thanks to their strong construction and high energy level, they are well suited for active recreation in the snow.

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10. Akita

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 that provides insulation and strength in snowy conditions.

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11. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs were bred to guard livestock in the Pyrenees Mountains. They have a thick, weatherproof double layer that protects them from the elements. Their large size and strength allow them to move across snowy landscapes.

12. Finnish Lapphund

Originally used to herd reindeer in arctic conditions, Finnish Lapphunds have a thick double coat that provides excellent insulation. Their fur, flexible and strong build allow them to perform well in extremely cold environments.


These 12 dog breeds, with their unique adaptations to cold climates, are not only able to withstand cold temperatures, but often prefer them. Their thick coat, sturdy build, and historic breeding for cold conditions make them ideal companions for those living in colder regions, or for those who enjoy winter fun with a furry friend.

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