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.
1. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a descendent of the Arctic wolf, and with its thick double coat and large, tough paws, it can handle the snowiest of days. Known for pulling sleds through the snow and having a love for being outdoors, the Alaskan Malamute is a terrific companion for your polar adventures.
An Akita is truly a royal pup—hailing from Japan, this breed was once only owned by the Imperial family. Statues of the Akita were also given as gifts to new parents to bring health, happiness, and a long life. This dog, originally bred as a cold-weather hunting companion with a dense undercoat and harsh outer coat, can often be independent and stubborn, but will remain protective and loyal to its family.
3. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
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.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
Originally from Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a loyal, sweet breed that would love nothing more than to go on a nice long walk through a winter wonderland. Its cheerful attitude will definitely put on a smile on anyone’s face.
5. Siberian Husky
Famous for his sledding prowess, the Siberian Husky wears a thick double coat that makes him well-suited for snow and harsh weather. If the Siberian could have his way, his owner would love snow just as much as he does. The breed tends to thrive at winter dog sports, but he’ll usually be happy to try other sports, too. Either way, he needs plenty of exercise all year round.
6. Old English Sheepdog
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.
The Newfoundland, often referred to as a Gentle Giant, would be crushed if you headed out for a snowy hike without it. Its double, thick coat and super-sweet disposition makes it the perfect candidate to go on a winter hike. And if you happen to get a bit chilly, it would love nothing more than to snuggle up tight and warm you right up! Keep in mind that this breed sheds and drools a lot, even in the winter, so if you’re a neat freak, this breed may not be for you.
8. Tibetan Mastiff
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.
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.
10. Labrador Retriever
This popular family pet’s thick, water-repellant coat is ideal for keeping him dry when retrieving water fowl from frigid lakes during fall hunting season. His stocky build and short, dense double coat provides him with an effective barrier to cold weather and icy conditions however if your pooch is typically an indoor dog wintery weather should be experienced in moderation.
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.
12. American Eskimo Dog
Originating from Germany, the American Eskimo was originally called the White German Spitz but was renamed after World War II, most likely for its white coat–not for any connection with Eskimos. Though this playful and compact and used to perform indoors with the Barnum and Bailey Circus, outdoor activity suits it much better; its coat resists soaking and thick ears stay warm in low temperatures.
13. Chow Chow
Considered one of the oldest dog breeds, the Chow Chow’s thick, furry coat will keep it warm for hours during a winter excursion, and its strong, loyal personality will keep you on your toes for many years. This breed is considered a heavy shedder in certain months, so be sure to have your brushes handy.
14. German Shepherd
The breed’s popularity grew with Rin Tin Tin, the abandoned German Shepherd pup found during WWI who went on to star in TV shows and movies. Known for their herding, guarding, and police work, German Shepherds are strong, agile, hard workers that have a lot of energy and learn quickly. This breed commonly suffers from hip dysplasia, which can likely be avoided by buying from a credible breeder.
To be considered a true Kuvasz, this dog must always sport white fur, according to the American Kennel Club. Originating in Tibet, the Kuvasz—which means “armed guard of nobility” in Turkish—was later owned by the royal family in Hungary before finding a more “common” lifestyle as a light-footed hunter and herder. The Kuvasz’s double coat makes it a perfect mountain dog, and its trainability and fearless protective instincts provide a perfect four-legged companion. A fenced-in, open yard works best for this energetic, yet possibly destructive, breed.