Winter is approaching, temperatures are dropping, and the layering of jackets and sweaters has already begun! While the winter season is the perfect time to sport a favorite coat or pair of boots, it is also a prime opportunity for animal lovers everywhere to dress their pets for the season. This can obviously result in extremely adorable photo shoots, but many dogs do actually require an extra layer to keep them warm. However, some dogs are naturally “dressed” for winter all year long, with a thick fur coat of their own! Here are some dog breeds that are built for the cold.
- Alaskan Malamute – We all know that Alaska is one of the coldest places in the world, so it should come as no surprise that the Alaskan Malamute is the first dog on our list. Anyone who has ever encountered a Malamute has probably noted the extremely thick and fluffy coat, as well as their likeness to a wolf. This is because this breed has descended from the Arctic Wolf, and has been bred to be a working dog. Whether it is pulling food, supplies, or people, the Malamute loves to work and stay active by helping, racing, or even searching and rescuing
- Bernese Mountain Dog – While the mountains entail colder temperatures, this particular dog breed is originally from the frigid farmlands of Switzerland. Aside from its thick and bushy coat, the Bernese Mountain Dog has a calm disposition that is ideal for obedience training, as well as tracking, herding, and carting competitions.
- Chow Chow – Much like the other dogs mentioned so far, the Chow Chow was originally bred to be a working dog; hunting, guarding boats and homes, and also pulling carts and sleds. Chow Chow lovers everywhere are familiar with their blue-black tongue, as well as the “lion mane” that they have behind their head. Much like a lion, a Chow Chow tends to be independent, and requires an authoritative owner for this reason. Be careful though, because they could become overprotective of their owner or other members of the family, and extremely wary of new faces.
- Great Pyrenees – These massive dogs commonly grow up to weigh between 110 and 120 pounds, the size of a small pony or large pot-bellied pig. Their origin of the Pyranees Mountains undoubtedly accounts for their double-coated nature, with a thick but fine undercoat lying under a long, thick, and coarse overcoat. They have been used for shepherding sheep for hundreds of years, specializing in mountainous environments.
- Keeshond – The Keeshond also has a double coat, but it’s different from the Pyrenees in that it consists of a long, straight, outer coat which covers a thick, downy, undercoat. They are much smaller than the Pyranees, weighing between 30 and 45 pounds, and have a very gentle temperament. They can make great companions, as well as watchdogs –their watchdog history reaches as far back as the 17th century!
These are just a few of the many dog breeds that have developed especially warm winter coats, and there are quite a few more out there! So this season, before you dress your beloved barker in the handmade sweater you just finished (or bought online), make sure that it won’t overheat them. While we tend to “suffer for fashion” in order to flaunt our favorite clothing, our furry counterparts are more concerned with comfortability rather than making a “statement!”