Do you live in an area where you're more likely to spend time in a snowsuit than a bathing suit? If so, your next furry companion should be one that can handle the elements. Here are 10 cold-weather dogs that love a good romp in the snow and would make great pets.
Dog breeds that love cold weather
This breed originated in Northern Siberia, which has some of the harshest weather on the planet. To help it survive the brutal temperatures, this dog possesses a gorgeous, thick, white double coat. Samoyeds were bred for herding and pulling sleds and boats. This dog is also known for its sweet upturned mouth, giving it a happy and smiling appearance. However, the smile is not just for looks: The upturned mouth actually helps keep icicles from forming on a Samoyed's face.
As the name implies, this breed originated in Newfoundland, Canada. The Newfie, as Newfoundlands are sometimes called, were bred to be companions for Canadian fishermen. They are strong swimmers that can withstand icy waters and freezing weather, and they are powerful dogs that could haul heavy fishing nets to shore for their owners. This massive breed possesses a double coat that is water-resistant, and they also have partially webbed feet. Today, Newfies are often used as water-rescue dogs, as they are strong enough to save a human from drowning.
3. Siberian Husky
In 1925, 20 mushers and their teams of dogs — including two famous Siberian Huskies, Balto and Togo — worked together to transport lifesaving serum more than 670 miles to Nome, Alaska. The dogs had to battle brutal temperatures that were well below freezing. Fortunately, Siberian Huskies were bred to endure such temperatures by the Chukchi people who lived in northeastern Asia, where it can get bitterly cold. This breed possesses a dense double coat, which includes lots of very fine, twisted hairs that can trap warm air against their bodies.
Keeshonds are working and companion dogs that were often used to guard river barges in Holland. Because winter temperatures in Holland can get downright brutal, this breed possesses a thick, luxurious double coat. These cold weather dogs are medium in size, weighing about 35 to 45 pounds and measuring about 18 inches at the withers for a male, 17 inches for a female. Keeshonds are known for the charming spectacle-like markings around their eyes. Because they were bred specifically to be guard and companion animals, Keeshonds love spending lots of time with their owners.
5. Alaskan Malamute
Originally bred by the Mahlemut tribe that lived in northwestern Alaska, these are dogs that can tolerate freezing weather. The Malamute is a powerfully built canine that is well muscled and heavy-boned. The Mahlemuts used these dogs to pull their sleds, carry packs, and hunt game such as seals and polar bears. The Malamute's wooly undercoat is protected by a thick topcoat of coarse guard hairs.
6. Saint Bernard
This large and beautiful breed originated in a monastery located at the Great St. Bernard Pass, which sits at 8,000 feet above sea level in the Western Alps. Severe winter weather and deep snows made this a particularly treacherous area. Monks living at the monastery bred these cold-weather dogs to help find travelers who may have gotten lost or were buried under avalanches. In fact, these dogs are reported to have saved approximately 2,000 people during a period of 200 years. They did so not only by locating people buried in the snow but by lying on top of them to provide warmth with their dense double coats.
At first glance, you may not think Akitas are dogs that are good in the snow. However, before this Japanese breed got its official name, they were simply known as "snow country dogs." It is believed that Akitas originated in the cold, mountainous region of northern Japan. They are powerful and muscular dogs that are heavy-boned and have a thick double coat. Packs of Akitas were originally used to hunt big game, including boars and Yezo bears. These are also fiercely loyal. In fact, an Akita named Hachiko became famous for showing up at a train station every day for nine years in search of his owner, who — unbeknownst to him — had died.
8. Great Pyrenees
This all- or mostly white dog was bred to protect sheep in the snowy Pyrenees Mountains that sit between France and Spain. The Great Pyrenees has a long, thick double coat that is said to be weather resistant. This is not a herding breed. Instead, the Great Pyrenees was bred to guard its wooly charges against threats, such as wolves or thieves. These are large dogs that can weigh between 85 to 115 pounds or more.
9. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog was bred to work in Switzerland's cold weather. They are a hard-working and versatile breed that were used by farmers for a variety of tasks, including driving cattle and guarding property. However, Bernese Mountain Dogs are probably best known for their ability to pull carts laden with milk and cheese to market for their owners. This is a beautiful tri-colored dog with a thick double coat.
10. Tibetan Terrier
Do you live in a snowy climate? Then you'll want to check out the Tibetan Terrier. This breed originated in the mountains of Tibet and were raised in monasteries where they were used as companions, herders and watchdogs. The Tibetan Terriers are dogs that are good in the snow for two reasons: They are blessed with two coats, and they have large, round, flat feet that work like snowshoes. The shape of this dog's feet is actually one of the primary identifying characteristics of a Tibetan Terrier.
If you love winter and are in need of a furry companion, make sure to check out these dog breeds that love cold weather. These pups will gladly accompany you on all of your snowy adventures.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.
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