The holiday season and the winter chill is upon us, and with it came a cold front that had East Coasters breaking out the hats and scarves. But these dogs have no concept of cold. They love it. They live for it. They were bred for it.
The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest and largest of the Arctic sled dogs, having been used for freighting in the Arctic. They have a thick, coarse coat that keeps them warm.
The breed’s Arctic origins make it well-suited for cold climates. The Keeshond has a very thick coat that kept it warm when it served as a watchdog on riverboats in Holland.
The Newfoundland has a heavy coat that protected it from the icy waters it was originally bred to work in, making it ideal for colder weather.
An ancient breed from Scandinavia with Nordic traits, the Norwegian Elkhound is used to hunting in the cold climate it came from. These traits have stayed with the breed and it makes a great cold weather companion.
Tibetan Mastiffs developed in the cold of the Himalayan Mountains and have an immense double coat that keeps them insulated.
Another breed that does well in colder temperatures is the Siberian Husky. The Husky originated in the cold climate of Northeast Asia and was also bred to be a sled dog. They have a thicker coat than most other dog breeds, made up of a dense cashmere-like undercoat and a longer, coarse top coat.
The Saint Bernard comes from the Swiss Alps and was originally used to locate freezing and helpless travelers during snowstorms, so this breed is used to being in cold and snowy regions.
(Note: Just because these dogs were bred to withstand cold temperatures does not mean it is safe to leave them outdoors on cold days. They, too, can get frostbite and hypothermia. Keep your dogs where they love to be—inside with their peeps.)