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.
Let us share a letter with you that we received from a kind family some time ago:
We hope you enjoy our special story about two Euro-Puppy bernese mountain dogs:
That’s right! When you view the photos,
you are NOT seeing double…Stanley’s REAL brother has joined
our family. Now there are over 200 pounds of canine fur living
at our house…YIKES! If you think you are surprised, our heads
our still spinning! Through an amazing twist of fate, we discovered
that one of Stanley’s littermates was in need of a new home.
The story is incredible….It involves two countries, three
states, three families, and two brain tumors (yes, you read
that right). The odds of all of the things that transpired over
the course of a mere 4 day period are astounding. We would have
had better odds of hitting a major Powerball jackpot than discovering
this one dog.
Parker is just as handsome and loving as his brother, Stanley.
Parker and Stanley were both born in Budapest, Hungary on
October 1, 2002 (also, Tim’s birthday!). They were both exported
to the U.S. the week before Thanksgiving on separate flights
to their new homes: Stan to ours, and Parker to New Jersey.
Parker went to a married professional couple with no children.
He was left all alone 12 to 14 hours a day, while his owners
were at work in New York each day. The owners decided to place
him up for adoption using a private advertisement. A woman
in Maryland read the ad and hoped to adopt him. This woman
happened to write to an email group she found of bernese owners
around the world, seeking guidance and advice regarding this
adoption. I, as part of this email group, read her posted
messages and the responses she received. Ultimately, she became
unsure as to whether or not the timing was right for her family
to adopt. At that point, she stated some facts about the dog’s
history including his place of birth and birthdate, and I
began thinking there was a remote possibility that this dog
may be related to Stanley. This was Thursday, October 30th.
I talked with Tim, and we decided that if this was indeed,
Stan’s brother, we needed to help him. I contacted the woman
in Maryland who had been considering adopting him. Strangely,
she herself is a 2 and a half year survivor of malignant brain
cancer…..are you getting goose bumps yet???? (Zoltan, my
57 year old Mom has been surviving with brain cancer, too,
for over a year and a half, which is why that piece of information
Here is an excerpt from a letter the woman in Maryland posted
to the worldwide berner internet group on Sunday:
I received some tremendously encouraging and intelligent
and caring emails about my decision to adopt Parker, the 1
yr old Berner up for adoption via his first family. I gave
it some serious thought and had decided to get him this weekend,
then something flipped me for a loop and I had to completely
revisit my decision….
….I received a wonderful, caring and heart-wrenching email
from a fellow Lister, Jennifer Torigian. She shared personal
details and expressed her desire to help me find out more
about Parker, because she felt that the birthdate of her dog
and Parker was more than a coincidence. And it WAS!!!! …..(We
later confirmed that they are truly bood brothers from the
same litter!) Stanley and Parker are both hale, hearty and
have gorgeous calm temperaments.
After reading Jennifer’s email, it dawned on me almost immediately
that this was the right family for Parker. I felt it very
very deep in my gut – and I trust my gut, having learned the
price of ignoring it. I immediately set about writing back
to Jennifer and we marveled out how much our life experiences
were similar, and it became obvious to me that she was a warm,
open and caring woman who had a big enough heart to take Parker
into their home and have him spend the rest of his life with
his own brother. It gave me goosebumps, folks, honest to god.
At the last possible moment, right until I was to finalize
arrangements to pick Parker up in New Jersey, I notified the
owners that I had found, by one in a billion chance, a family
who had Parker’s brother, Stanley .The sire and dam and breeder
were all the same, and indeed, Parker was a full brother to
Stanley. The owners were surprised, somewhat taken aback and
yet, they decided to follow my recommendation and trust my
gut instincts and agree to the switch in new adoptive home
– and thanks to Jennifer’s wonderful Dad and her husband,
Tim, Parker is on his way home as I write this and probably
spending his first hours with his new family.(Sunday, Nov
I’m so excited, I feel like I’m going to explode. I know
in my bones this is the right thing to do for Parker, and
that if I had followed my own desire to have him here, he
wouldn’t have had quite as PERFECT a home as he will now.
He will have the benefit of a full time at home mom, two adorable
and gentle girls as his best friends and a brother whom he
can romp with, enjoy vacations with and grow old with – and
all within a warm family setting.
I hope everyone on the List can appreciate the incredible
FATE involved in this decision and that all the coincidences,
some of which I feel are private to Jennifer and I (i.e. the
brain tumor thing), add up to a situation where Parker was
meant to go to their family and I was meant to be the facilitator.
When I sat down with my husband and we considered the sheer
likelihood of this being merely a fluke, we couldn’t agree
that it was – we considered it a “sign” if you will.
I’m not much for religious faith and don’t practice any religion
but if I did, I’d think this was a message to me. I believe
in fate to some extent and this is fate.
I want to thank the generous hearts of the Nelson family
who gave up Parker hoping for a better life for him, and to
the Torigian family for acting so quickly and taking up the
challenge of driving 8 hours to make sure that Parker has
a new family this coming week. Woo Hoo!!!!
Baltimore County, MD
So, that’s the story of how Parker found his way to our home.
Sorry so long, but it’s all so complicated, I couldn’t decide
how to shorten it more! I know the picture quality stinks
in the attachments. If it ever stops raining, we can get some
nice shots outside of the “Brothers from Budapest.”
Parker has been here for just a week now, and it’s as though
he has always been with us. Right from the start it was an
incredibly smooth transition. Our vet said they KNOW they
are littermates because of something called “scent-mediated
kin recognition.” When they sniffed each other, they
knew they were brothers.
I thought their breeder might enjoy knowing that these two
boys are living happily together. They were born Oct 1, 2002.
Hope you can share our special story with their breeder.
• More than five million puppies are born every year in the United States.
• In America, about one family in three owns a dog.
• Sadly, statistics indicate that eight million pets lose their lives in animal shelters each year due to overpopulation.
• The average dog lives 8 to 15 years.
• People have been keeping dogs as pets for the past 12,000 years.
• Anyone can buy a dog, but it takes a kind owner to set its tail wagging.