When we discuss snow dogs or sled dogs, we talk about dogs capable of working in cold weather. These breeds are able to live in cold climates with ease. Northern dog breeds with heavy coats are recognized for their strong and muscular bodies covered with thick fur.
Snow dogs love to be outside in cold winter weather and don’t seem to be bothered by snow, slush and ice… however, you may need to prepare yourself with extra clothing like heated gloves to keep you warm. Shoes that grip the snow or your rugged outdoor dog could pull you down and drag you through the snow, resulting in painful injuries for both you and your dog.
This health article gives you 15 dog breeds ideal for cold winter weather, snow, and wind. You’ll also learn what makes your snow dog able to thrive in below-freezing temperatures without the threat of health problems like frostbite or hypothermia.
15 Snow Dogs That Love Cold and Stormy Weather
You can see which breed might work for you in your environment after reading about these ten breeds that are best suited for snowy weather. All of these breeds are large breeds which means you need to have the strength to manage them on a leash in the snow.
- Alaskan Malamute: Known for their beautiful blue eyes, the Alaskan Malamute loves the snow and frigid weather. This arctic breed is often used for sledding because your Alaskan Malamute has a wooly undercoat and a coarse outer coat to keep him warm.
- Anatolian Shepherd: This Turkish breed protects livestock in the mountains, making the Anatolian Shepherd extremely adaptable to cold weather, snow, and harsh elements.
- Bernese Mountain Dog: Snow dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog come in different colors; however, they all have a thick double coat of fur that keeps them warm in cold weather.
- Chow Chow: This breed has a very thick coat of fur that makes him look bigger than underneath. Your Chow loves to roll around in the snow and doesn’t mind the cold weather.
- Collie: This breed became famous because of Lassie, the TV dog who always came to the rescue to save the day. Your collie has a fluffy thick coat that keeps him warm in the snow and also requires lots of grooming.
- Labrador Retriever: Ice and snow don’t bother your Labrador Retriever because of his water-repellent double coat, which keeps him insulated against the cold weather. This breed is an excellent example of snow dogs that love to bury their noses in the snow, sniffing for hidden treasures.
- Newfoundland: This breed has a water-resistant double coat that protects him from cold weather and snow. Your Newfoundland loves to play outdoors in the snow and may absorb lots of moisture he will bring indoors, which will require a few towels to dry off.
- Old English Sheepdog: This breed from England has a waterproof undercoat and only sheds when brushed. With a solid double coat of fur, the Old English Sheepdog is a great outdoor dog that loves the snow and cold weather.
- Saint Bernard: Your Saint Bernard originated in the Swiss Alps and joins the list of snow dogs that have a very thick coat of fur. He does very well in cold weather; however, this breed is not suited to warm climates.
- Siberian Husky: Long trips in the snow are easy for this breed because your Siberian Husky has a thick double coat of fur. This is why Huskies are well known as sled dogs.
- Slovac Cuvac: There’s no dog quite like this Slovakian dog breed with a moderate activity level that is both courageous and loyal. The Slovac Cuvac weighs between 70 to 110 pounds and does best with an experienced pet parent. We adore this snow dog breed because although it’s an active dog breed bred to guard sheep with a good temperament. The Slovac Cuvac loves family and makes for an excellent protection dog. This breed has a double coat with a profuse outer jacket that is longest at the neck and forms a ruff. The species is large and powerful.
- South Russian Ovcharka: Another dog breed that we adore that is also large and powerful and originated from the Crimean region of Askania Nova. It was bred to guard sheep against large predators. By the end of the Russian Revolution, this excellent breed was nearly extinct, but thanks to cross-breeding with the Komondors, this breed is still around, although very rare. Affectionate, friendly, willful, and dominant, this snow breed is wary of strangers and requires a very experienced pet parent. The Ovcharka also has a profuse undercoat with a long and harsh outer coat perfect for extreme snow conditions. This dog breed is not suitable as a pet.
- Karelian Bear Dog originated from Finland and is part of the UKC group. This breed was bred to hunt, hunt bear and elk, and work alone instead of in a pack. A double-coated breed with short medium-length straight hair is the longest at the neck, back, and rump. This breed also may not be suitable as a pet.
- Kuvasz: A delightful breed from Hungary that does well in snow, the Kuvasz is an ancient dog breed that arrived in Hungary from Tibet during the 13th century. The Kuvasz was bred to hunt and guard the flock. This another muscular dog breed with a double coat with a wooly undercoat and long coarse outer coat. Great as a family pet, gentle with children, but needs an experienced dog family.
- Czechoslovakian Vlcak resembles a wolf in appearance and is highly intelligent, powerful, and active with superior eyesight and stamina. We adore this breed; not only is this breed a snow breed, but one of the best in search and rescue, tracking, obedience, military, and police work. This breed enjoys having fun next to you and taking part in all dog sports. Not great for first-time pet parents, but an absolute blast to work with and train for those experienced dog parents. This breed is just one of the most superior dog breeds around when it comes down to hardiness and versatility in harsh weather.
Now you know about the 15 breeds that love the cold weather, so you can choose a dog that’s suitable for snow, ice, and slush. The double coat of fur for all the breeds mentioned in this article is the common denominator that helps them stay warm. There are plenty more dog breeds that do well in snowy weather. That said, always visit the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) to learn more about your favorite snow dogs.