While most dogs, like us humans, prefer a warm climate, some of them thrive in cold weather and definitely don’t need to be dressed in winter. In this post, we are introducing 5 dog breeds that we think are best suited for cold climates.
1. Siberian Husky
Our number one breed must be the Siberian Husky, a dog made for enduring cold weather and harsh conditions. Huskies were bred in Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads over long distances, which made them indispensable to their people. Admiral Robert peary for instance trusted Huskies with his life in search for the North pole in the early 20th century. Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs, sporting a dense double coat and a peculiar pair of eyes in ice blue, dark blue, amber or brown colour. Heterochromia is quite common among Huskies, so don’t be surprised if you come across with a brown and blue eyed specimen. The Husky is a very intelligent and agile dog, which makes it the perfect candidate for obedience trials and sled-racing. Although a pair of glowing, ice blue eyes might seem irresistible to some potential owners, we only recommend the Siberian Husky to people who can provide the dog with lots of mental and physical stimulation.
2. Alaskan Malamute
Second on our list is the Alaskan Malamute, which is just as good at enduring cold weather as the Husky, but its working abilities are limited to pulling heavy loads over shorter distances. If you were looking to get an Alaskan Malamute as a pet dog, you should be aware that they are one of the most difficult breeds to train. Over the centuries of living in the harshest environments, they had to rely on their intelligence and resourcefulness to survive and are not so keen to obey orders. At the same time, Malamutes are particularly fond of people, which makes them great family pets, even if they get stubborn at times.
3. Bernese Mountain Dog
The only European breed on our list is the Bernese Mountain Dog. It is a heavy dog with a distinctive tricolor coat and a white “Swiss cross” on the chest. Berners have historically been used for guarding property and herding stock in the Swiss Alps, but today they are mostly sought for their friendly nature and good companion qualities. This easy going and kind hearted breed is recommended to any family with children, provided that they are prepared for loosing their pet in only 7 years, which is the average life expectancy of the Bernese Mountain Dog.
4. Akita Inu
The Japanese Akita is another great choice for a cold climate. A large and powerful dog, it is not recommended for the first time dog owner. However, they make perfect family pets: the breed is supposed to have a natural affinity with children, just like retrievers have one with sticks and balls. The best way to illustrate the Akita’s devotion and loyalty to its family is the story of Hachiko. Hachiko used to accompany his master to the train station every day and come back to meet him again in the afternoon. One day the master never came, but Hachiko waited and returned every day for the rest of his life.
5. Chow Chow
If you are looking to have a somewhat smaller dog, who still doesn’t need to be dressed in winter, the Chow Chow may be your best bet. Its dense double coat protects it from the coldest weather and gives it the look of a lion, which is probably why the Chinese call it Songshi Quan, literally meaning “puffy-lion dog”. Being extremely protective of their territory, Chow Chows make perfect guard and watch dogs, but may not be appropriate for the first time dog owner.
Many other dog breeds will do just fine in cold weather, but with the ones on this list, you’ll definitely save the money you’d spend on your Chihuahua’s winter wardrobe.
We have been experiencing a steady growth in the number of enquiries for Caucasian Mountain Dogs or Caucasian Shepherds as they are also known. We’ve been trying to figure out what the increase in popularity can be attributed to, but we can only guess.
One of our guesses is that the Caucasian Shepherd breed has been featured in a National Geographic show 3 years ago in the US and this has had a long lasting effect on the popularity of the breed. Clips of the show, such as the one below, are available on Youtube, generating hundreds of thousands of views as we speak.
We also think that the increased demand for the Caucasian Ovcharka is partly due to the unfortunate tendencies of the global economy. In a crises, when people loose their jobs and crime spreads like wildfire, more and more people search for new ways of protecting their property. And one of the best ways to guard a property is undoubtedly having a Caucasian Shepherd around.
When people enquire about Caucasian Mountain Dogs, before we recommend one of our beautiful Caucasian Shepherd puppies, we always ask them about their previous experience of owning dogs and do not recommend the Caucasian to the first time dog owner at all.
Unfortunately, many people think that the Caucasian Mountain dog is a family pet and we have to tell them that it’s not. This breed is not for the ordinary person, but for someone who has dedicated a large part of his life to dogs.
Caucasians easily grow 70 centimeters tall and weigh 80 kilos or more. The reason why they are so good at protecting live stock, sheep for instance, is because they are not afraid to attack a pack of wolves or even a bear. They have an extremely strong guardian instinct and will exhibit a threatening behaviour towards all strangers. They won’t hurt whoever they consider family, but we still don’t recommend the breed to families with children. With such a strong herding and guardian instinct and powerful body, it is best not to take that risk.
We only recommend Caucasian Mountaing Dogs to people who are experienced dog owners and are able to display strong leadership so that the dog always knows who is in charge. Otherwise the Caucasian will naturally assume the alpha role for himself.
This breed needs extensive socialization to teach him that not all strangers are enemy. The earlier this process is started the better.
Obedience training of the Caucasian Shepherd is also an absolute must and it takes an experienced and strong handler. As opposed to most other breeds, puppy school is probably not a good option for the Caucasian. It doesn’t always tolerate other dogs and if it gets out of control, can be very difficult to stop even at a young age.
In summary, the Caucasian Shepherd is the ultimate guard dog. It is capable of protecting huge industrial estates from intruders and doesn’t mind being on its own as long as it has a job to do. It is the perfect dog if used for its natural purpose, but it’s definitely not for the every day dog owner.
The Rottweiler breed has had its fair share of bad press and is among the few most misunderstood breeds so we’ll try to clarify some facts about the breed.
One of the least known Rottweiler trait is their sensitivity to human emotions and behavoir. This is also related to another typical Rottweiler trait, being very observant. For instance if you are out in the park with your Rottweiler on your side and a stranger approaches you, your Rottweiler is likely to observe that person, wait for your reaction and relate to the stranger on this basis. So if you treat the person as a friend, your Rottweiler will also pull a friendly face, but if you become alert and nervous, he will be on his guard too. Few other dogs have this capability.
One of the least desirable traits of the Rottweiler today, but it wasn’t always the case. A high prey drive means that the rottweiler likes to chase anything that moves fast. This was actually a very positive trait when Rottweilers were used for herding live stock, or when they were fighting alongside Roman legions. But today, their prey drive is considered a disadvantage, especially, because they try to herd children if not trained properly.