10 Best Dogs for Cold Weather

Some dogs are better suited to cold climates than others. Even though equipped with long fur, many dogs aren’t prepared for artic temperatures at all. It takes more than long fur to keep out the cold. We’ve put together a list of the best dogs suited for cold weather.

This Collie is shaking off the snow and ice

Here are the 10 Best Dogs for Cold Weather in Order of Most Popular in 2019…

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are herding, guarding and police work dogs. They are strong and agile hard workers with lots of energy and they learn quickly. This breed can suffer from hip dysplasia though, so be sure to buy from a credible breeder. The German Shepherd is ranked number 2 in overall popularity for 2019.

Siberian Husky

From Northeast Asia, the Siberian Husky was bred to pull sleds. They have a thicker coat than most dogs made up of a velvety, soft undercoat and a longer, coarse topcoat. They require lots of exercise to stay mentally and physically fit and are very vocal. They are intelligent, outgoing and friendly but more of a pack animal than a family pet. The Siberian Husky ranked 15th in popularity for 2019.

The Siberian Husky is one of the best dogs for cold weather

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog from Switzerland is a gentle, intelligent, and affectionate dog, able to carry heavy loads. They have good endurance for long walks and hikes, although they have low exercise needs. When active, they are endowed with strength, speed and agility. The Bernese Mountain Dog ranks 23rd in popularity overall.


The Newfoundland can weigh upwards of 150 lbs. as adults. They have been used and are still used today in water rescues. Their thick fur and hefty bodies are made to handle harsh artic conditions of bone chilling water. They possess a calm nature and are great with kids. They make a wonderful family pet as they are affectionate, loyal and faithful. The Newfoundland ranked 40th in popularity overall.

The Newfoundland is one of the best dogs for cold weather

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu from Japan is a muscular, sturdy dog with a double coat of thick fur. One of the six spitz breeds, they are a small, alert dog originally bred for hunting. They are known to be confident, spirited, vocal and ready to explore, often described to “romp”. They are ranked 45th on the 2019 popularity chart.

Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard comes from the Swiss Alps and was long used to locate lost travelers during snowstorms. These dogs have a reputation as being one of the best dogs for cold weather and a rescue dog for avalanche victims. They make great family pets as they are known for their devotion to humans, especially children. They are very large dogs; weighing in between 120 – 200 lbs. They are super affectionate and have low activity needs. The Saint Bernard ranked 48th in overall popularity in 2019.

The Saint Bernard is great for snow rescues

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the Alaskan sled dogs. While this dog looks similar to the Siberian Husky, it is distinctive by its longer coat and larger size. They are native to Alaska and make great pets for places with cold weather. They enjoy spending time with humans and are loyal to their owners. They were bred to haul heavy loads in a team of other dogs, run and roam. They are ranked 64th.

The Alaskan Malamute is a great snow sledding dog

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees was used to herd livestock in France and were once referred to as the Royal Dog of France. They are big dogs, weighing in at 80-120 lbs. as adults. They love the winter and their thick double coat with a long outer coat protects them from artic climates. While their independent and hard-working nature make them wonderful working dogs, they are also good family dogs as they are affectionate, gentle and patient. They came in ranked 69th on the Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2019 list.


The Keeshond was originally bred as guard dogs for the river boats in Holland. They are a medium sized dog, very friendly and feisty. Their thick double coat, with a downy undercoat, keeps them warm in cold and damp conditions. They learn quickly and make a good family pet for an active family, as they need lots of exercise. They are ranked 88th.

The Keeshond is a feisty dog made for cold temperatures

Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound is an elk hunting dog from Norway dating back to Nordic times. They are agile, with high endurance and need lots of exercise. They have a double coat with a smooth outer coat and wooly undercoat, which causes extreme shedding in the spring. They make good protection animals. The Norwegian Elkhound comes in ranked 93rd in popularity and rounds out our list.

The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the best dogs for cold weather

All ten of our best dogs for cold weather made the top 100 of the most popular dogs list in 2019. Some of these dogs are high energy, hunting or sledding dogs and some are lower energy and better at hauling heavy loads or locating lost travelers. One thing all of these dogs have in common is a double coat of fur which keeps them protected from artic temperatures. This makes them a good choice as a pet for cold climates. They may not be happy in a hot, dry area though, so consider carefully your living conditions when choosing a breed.

PlexiDor Dog Doors has a convenient solution for access to the outdoors for any of these amazing dogs. From the Saint Bernard at upwards of 200 lbs. to the Shiba Inu at 20 lbs, we have a dog door right for your pet. Contact our Customer Service department today or call 888-PETDOOR with any questions. We are always happy to help!