Winter is on its way here. It’s time to bring out the doggy boots, coats, and cold-weather gear to keep your pup from being miserable on those chilly walks. But some breeds aren’t miserable in the snowy weather at all. To them, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. They’re happy to eat snowflakes, chase snowballs, and make snow angel-dogs while you stand there freezing. Here are ten dog breeds who love the snow.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are believed to be descended from Vallhunds–Swedish cattle dogs brought by the Vikings to Wales–so you know they’re tough. They have a double coat, the undercoat being thick and covered by the longer topcoat. And they shed pretty consistently throughout the year, especially when the weather changes. This makes them well-prepared for romps in the snow, which they’ll most likely love.
The Old English Sheepdog is known for its shaggy coat. In fact, you’ll probably have to spend lots of time grooming an Old English Sheepdog if you want to keep their fur from matting. In the warm months, they can get overheated pretty quickly, so they’ll be much happier in the winter months when their fur coats don’t make them so hot. Be careful to wipe them down before bringing them in from the snow or you’ll have lots of puddles around the house later on.
As their name suggests, the Tibetan Mastiff is from Tibet where it is, of course, very cold. They have a thick coat suited for surviving freezing temperatures, which makes them more than able to stand up to most winter walks you’ll be taking them on. They aren’t able to handle the hot months very well, though. They are able to handle a certain level of dry heat provided they have shade and water, but these pups will be happiest when the temperature drops.
The Siberian Husky comes from Siberia, of course. They were originally bred by the Chukchi, a nomadic tribe that used the dogs for transportation over the snow, as well as family pets that could curl up and keep their beds warm. Today they are still used for transportation and sledding competitions. Their thick coats and close relation to their wolf ancestors makes them perfect for being out and about in the cold weather. In fact, you may find your husky pushing his way into your refrigerator if you leave it open too long.
Pomeranians are descended from ancient breeds of the far north, which makes them a bit like a small version of the American Eskimo Dog or the Samoyed. Their undercoat is soft and fluffy, and it’s quite thick. Some owners groom the fur completely to the undercoat, which gives the Pomeranian a stuffed animal-like appearance. They do have an overcoat, too. It’s straight and shiny, and it’s a little harsh to the touch, but it protects them well from cold weather. Pomeranians can overheat easily, which means they’re right at home in the snow.
The Samoyed, like the Siberian Husky, is from Siberia where it was a valuable companion for the Samoyede people. It was bred to hunt, haul sledges, herd reindeer, and cuddle up for warmth on cold nights. Their double coat is very thick and sheds constantly. With all that thick fur, they won’t want to be out in the heat for too long, but you might have trouble bringing them back inside in the winter. Especially because their white fur blends in with the snow so well, it may be hard to spot them.
The Labrador Retriever was bred for plunging into the cold waters of the North Atlantic to help fishermen in Canada haul nets, fetch ropes, and retrieve fish from the ocean. They have a double coat, and their undercoat is water resistant, keeping them safe from the cold and wetness from snow or frigid waters. I doubt you’ll be jumping in the ocean on your winter walks, but if you do, your Labrador Retriever buddy will be right there beside you, having a blast.
The Saint Bernard has appeared in many cartoons tracking down travelers lost in the snow with a kit on his neck filled with items to combat the cold. And indeed the Saint Bernard was bred to find wayward travelers near Switzerland’s Hospice Saint Bernard. They were very good at their job, too, as their thick frame and their ability to find paths kept them warm and on course. They’re more than happy to walk with you in the snow and will probably be able to bring you back to the sidewalk if you lose track of it.
The Shetland Sheepdog comes from the Shetland Islands just below the Arctic Circle where they were bred to help farmers keep pesky birds and sheep out of the gardens. They also helped with herding duties. Their double coat sheds dirt and repels water, so even after trips through the snow and slush, they come out a bit cleaner than, say, the Samoyed. But they’re perfectly content to walk around outside in the cold weather that reminds them of their home in the wintry north.
The Keeshond has a thick, double top coat, a woolly undercoat, and a long outer coat with long fur going down the hind legs, all of which keeps it nice and warm in the winter. Keeshonds will shed their entire undercoat all at once, which can be very intense. But the Keeshond is a rare exception on this list in that its coat doesn’t slow it down in the summer, either. Instead, it insulates and protects them from sunburn, keeping them fairly comfortable. This little pup’s multi-layered coat keeps them well protected from the harsh elements, so they’re happy to walk outside year round.
Does your dog love the cold weather? Does he prefer to jump in the snow in winter? Let us know in the comments below.