13 Cold Weather Dog Breeds that Love the Winter

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13 Cold Weather Dog Breeds that Love the Winter

For some of us, winter can be a real drag. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dark. It lasts for what feels like a lifetime. 

But for dogs bred specifically to endure harsh weather conditions, winter brings with it a sense of adventure and excitement. These snow-loving pups will be happy to brave the elements with you, while keeping you warm with furry snuggles all winter long. 

Why not embrace the cold this year with a hardy canine companion by your side? Here are 13 dog breeds that thrive in the winter (beyond the obvious Siberian Husky).


1. Tibetan Terrier

Without question, the crowning glory of the Tibetan Terrier is his voluminous, water-resistant double coat. And while his stylish locks are certainly runway-worthy, what makes the breed’s coat so remarkable is its capacity to retain heat. Underneath that long, silky topcoat lies a thick, wooly undercoat that helps the Tibetan Terrier stay warm and cozy, even on the most frigid days. 

But long hair isn’t the breed’s only winter-proof feature. Tibetan Terriers also have what the American Kennel Club refers to as “snowshoe feet:” large, flat, round paws that made travel across the snow-capped mountains of their homeland possible. 

Looking for someone to trudge through the snow with you? The Tibetan Terrier will happily oblige. 


2. Alaskan Malamute

Image by Brando via Flickr

Not to be confused with the slightly smaller Siberian Husky, The Alaskan Malamute is built for colder weather. One look at this dog, and it’s not hard to picture him fearlessly pulling a sled across the perilous tundra. 

Malamutes sport a long, heavy coat that makes winter not just tolerable, but preferable. If you live in an icy climate, and you’re looking for a canine who’ll accompany you on wintry walks, this could be the breed for you.


3. Newfoundland

Image via Pixabay

Newfies are famously fond of the cold. A trait that made easy work of their original role as rescuers aboard Canadian fishing boats. Thanks to their water-resistant coat, sturdy build, and webbed feet, Newfoundlands became literal “lifesavers” of the North Atlantic. 

These gentle giants are no stranger to subzero temps, and they’re always up for their next winter adventure!


4. Akita

Image by Monika via Pixabay

A symbol of good luck in Japan, the Akita is one dog we’d like to have around. Originally, the breed assisted hunters in the rugged northern regions of Japan. As such, Akitas were bred specifically to endure less-than-pleasant weather conditions. Kept warm by a thick undercoat and a rough outer coat, Akitas are some of winter’s biggest fans. 


5. Saint Bernard

Image by Claudia Wollesen via Pixabay

It’s an image we’ve all seen: a burly Saint Bernard lumbering across the Alps to rescue stranded travelers, brandy keg fixed to his collar. While these brave dogs didn’t actually tote barrels of booze around their necks, they did successfully rescue hundreds of people who would have otherwise perished along Switzerland’s treacherous Saint Bernard Pass.

The giant breed has come a long way from their hard-working days in the snowy Swiss mountains. Nowadays, Saints enjoy a simpler life as a companion animal—they’re as friendly as they are massive, making them the perfect snowy day companion for families with kids.


6. Norwegian Elkhound