21 Dog Breeds That Can Handle Hot Weather (and 6 That Absolutely Can’t)

As the temperature climbs and summer gets sweaty, we must think about our dogs! Canines regulate heat differently than humans. While we can sweat to stay cool, dogs pant to release heat. Preventive Vet says that as the moisture on dog tongues and noses evaporates, air circulates through their lungs so their bodies slowly cool down. Some pups take the heat better than others. In general, dogs that can handle hot weather have roots in warmer climates, short coats or physiques that effectively cool air as they breathe. Fun fact: Most of the canines on our list fall into the sporting, hound, terrier, working and herding groups.

Even if your dog is one of the 15 on our list who thrive with rising temps, it’s imperative you offer them plenty of shade and water on hot days. Cooling dog beds work wonders in the summertime, too, especially if you don’t have air conditioning or your dog has thick fur and needs extra help staying cool.

Also, while panting is totally normal, excessive panting or shortness of breath could mean your dog has allergies or even asthma! Though asthma is rare in dogs, it can happen. Spring and summer can churn up irritants in the air that’ll make your dog sneeze or wheeze, so be on the lookout, even in hot weather pups.

5 Pool Safety Tips for Dogs

australian cattle dog sitting on a car
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1. Australian Cattle Dog

  • Height: 17-20 inches
  • Weight: 35-50 pounds
  • Personality: Alert, Loyal
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Activity Level: High
  • Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Let’s start with dogs bred on a continent known for its hot weather: Australia. The Australian cattle dog is actually related to the dingo, a wild dog that lives in the outback. These pups are highly intelligent and natural herders. Jogging partner, anyone? Just be aware that they may be uninterested in or stand-offish with strangers, so teach them good manners early on.

australian kelpie looking impossibly happy
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2. Australian Kelpie

  • Height: 17 - 20 inches
  • Weight: 25 - 46 pounds
  • Personality: Smart, Playful
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Full disclosure: In writing this article, I became obsessed with Australian kelpies. In the 1800s, breeders in Australia mated several types of working collies, eventually producing the Australian kelpie. These dogs can withstand high heat without tiring and need—or rather, love—tons of exercise. In fact, an Australian kelpie named Abbie is the top surfing dog in the world because that is a thing, apparently. (I…love these dogs.)

australian terrier standing on his hind legs
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3. Australian Terrier

  • Height: 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Personality: Affectionate, Lively
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Shedding Factor: Low
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15 years

Again, these Aussie doggies are made for hot climates. The small yet mighty Australian terrier was bred in the 19th century to work hard for its humans getting rid of pests. They like to dig and chase stuff and can adapt to any climate—they’re also super-loyal companions and make excellent family-friendly pets.

litle chihuahua looking tough
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4. Chihuahua

  • Height: 5-8 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Personality: Charming, independent
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Shedding Factor: Low
  • Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Another breed used to high temps is the Chihuahua. It’s probably the centuries spent in the Mexican sunshine that made these tiny cuddlers so keen on heat. In fact, even on cold summer nights it might be good to offer them sweaters. Chihuahuas are known for being almost cat-like because they are stubborn, yet sweet.

ibizan hound on a frozen puddle
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5. Ibizan Hound

  • Height: 22-28 inches
  • Weight: 45-50 pounds
  • Personality: Affectionate, loyal
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Low to Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 11-14 years

A little farther north, the Ibizan hound was bred in Spain to chase and fetch rabbits. Similar to the Pharaoh hound, who also does well in heat, Ibizans enjoy activity and need it to blow off steam. Their portraits have also been found in ancient Egyptian artwork, so, yeah. I guess they’ve experienced warm weather for a while.

italian greyhound looking like dobby the elf
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6. Italian Greyhound

  • Height: 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 7-14 pounds
  • Personality: Sensitive, Alert
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Coat: Smooth, short, variety of colors
  • Life Expectancy: 14-15 years

Though its name indicates otherwise, Italian Greyhounds are thought to have originated in Greece and Turkey, but they became hot commodities during the Renaissance in Italy. They’ve got super-short coats and can run a ton without tiring. If you want a quiet, teeny tiny breed to carry with you throughout the day, an Italian Greyhound is your best bet.

dogs that can handle hot weather: american water spaniel
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7. American Water Spaniel

  • Height: 15-18 inches
  • Weight: 25-45 pounds
  • Personality: Charming, active
  • Shedding Factor: Low
  • Activity Level: Moderate to High
  • Life Expectancy: 10-14 years

Even though American water spaniels constantly look like someone just permed their ears, they are stoked for outdoor activity of any kind. Sure, they hail from the upper Midwest where it gets pretty chilly, but their webbed toes (!) and enthusiasm for any water activity also make them ideal sports for just about any climate.

american hairless terrier in the woods
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8. American Hairless Terrier

  • Height: 12-16 inches
  • Weight: 12-16 pounds
  • Personality: Affectionate, curious
  • Activity Level: Low to Moderate
  • Shedding Factor: Hypoallergenic
  • Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

OK, this one is the trickiest on our list because although they can handle the heat (they have no fur and can therefore remain much cooler on hot days), American hairless terriers are prone to sunburn (which can totally happen!). Native to Louisiana, these pups are super playful and curious. Just be sure to slather some pet-safe SPF on them.

border collie on a windy day
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9. Border Collie

  • Height: 18-22 inches
  • Weight: 30-55 pounds
  • Personality: Energetic, Smart
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Seasonal
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The motto for border collies might as well be, “Work hard, play hard.” They are some of the lithest pups out there, with boundless energy, so give ’em a job to do, even it’s just chasing after a stick. The American Kennel Club calls them “a very healthy breed.”

whippet pup
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10. Whippet

  • Height: 18-22 inches
  • Weight: 25-40 pounds
  • Personality: Calm, Playful
  • Activity Level: Moderate to High
  • Coat: Smooth, short, variety of colors
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Look at these tiny speed demons! Whippets have super short, thin coats and deep chest cavities, which make chilling out at high noon under the sun a piece of cake. They hail from England and make great pets for people who need a low-maintenance breed.

doberman pinscher sitting patiently
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11. Doberman Pinscher

  • Height: 24-28 inches
  • Weight: 60-100 pounds
  • Personality: Intelligent, alert
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: High
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Dobermans already look super cool, but on top of that they’ve got short coats, powerful muscles and lots of athleticism (which means exercise in the sun is no big deal). These are working dogs which means training them is important (because they are highly intelligent and must learn boundaries) and they are incredibly loyal.

vizsla dog on a hike
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12. Vizsla

  • Height: 21 - 24 inches
  • Weight: 44 - 60 pounds
  • Personality: Devoted, intelligent
  • Activity Level: Moderate to High
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Stamina is a trait many of the dogs on this list possess, but maybe none as much as the Vizsla. Crazily enough, this breed almost went extinct after World War I. But they triumphed and now enjoy long days playing with their owners and frolicking through fields (or yards if you don’t have a field).

weimaraner waiting at the door
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13. Weimaraner

  • Height: 23-27 inches
  • Weight: 55-90 pounds
  • Personality: Friendly, obedient
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Breeders often refer to these stunning dogs as fearless animals—they are huge fans of running (again, joggers take note). Weimaraners also have that signature short, silver-gray coat. It exudes a certain regal quality.

dalmatian on a boat
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14. Dalmatian

  • Height: 19-24 inches
  • Weight: 45-70 pounds
  • Personality: Reserved, athletic
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate to High
  • Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

There are 101 reasons (we couldn’t resist) to love dalmatians, not the least of which is their overall terrific health and endurance. That spotted coat is also incredibly dense and short, which makes staying cool a cinch.

dogs that can handle hot weather: greyhound on the sand at the beach
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15. Greyhound

  • Height: 27-30 inches
  • Weight: 60-70 pounds
  • Personality: Independent, sweet
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Low to Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

The Greyhound is aerodynamically designed for high speeds, which means their long noses and large lungs can seamlessly distribute cool air throughout their bodies. As gentle dogs, they also make great pets for seniors.

6 Dog Breeds That CAN'T Handle Hot Weather

As mentioned before, there are breeds bred for cold weather who have trouble in the heat. Unsurprisingly, these dogs evolved in cold climates and have thick, dense fur designed to keep them warm on the tundra. Even though these breeds shed as the seasons change, they may not enjoy being outside for long stretches when it’s humid or hot. Brachycephalic breeds are also not cut out for hot weather because their snouts are shortened, which makes panting to stay cool more difficult for them. Monitor all of these dogs more closely when temperatures rise to make sure they don’t overheat. They may become extra lethargic or ask to go back indoors faster than usual. Indulge them - and maybe feed them some frozen peanut butter once they get inside. 

dogs that can handle hot weather malamute

1. Alaskan Malamute

  • Height: 23-25 inches
  • Weight: 75-85 pounds
  • Personality: Playful, Obedient
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 10-14 years

These are big dogs used by the Inuit people to haul sleds around the arctic. So, yes, they were made for snowy weather. Alaskan Malamutes also have boundless energy, so if they want to run around and play hard on super hot days, be sure you make them drink plenty of water, spend time in the shade and watch for heavy panting.

dogs that can handle hot weather: boxer
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2. Boxer

  • Height: 21-25 inches
  • Weight: 50-80 pounds
  • Personality: Active, Playful
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: Low to Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Boxers are brachycephalic dogs who love to be active no matter the climate. While they need their exercise, they don’t do well when temperatures are high because it becomes harder to stay cool. One thing you don’t want to do with brachycephalic dogs is let them swim in deep water to cool down, as their short noses could pose a drowning risk. Instead, try sprinklers and plenty of water to drink.

dogs that can handle hot weather: bulldog

3. Bulldog

  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 40-50 pounds
  • Personality: Protective, Sweet
  • Activity Level: Low to Moderate
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 8-10 years

Like Boxers, Bulldogs need extra attention in high heat. They aren’t super active, but they are sweet dogs who get excited to see people they love. Don’t skimp on walks because Bulldogs need to avoid putting on too much weight, but avoid staying outdoors for long periods of time when it’s very hot.

dogs that can handle hot weather: chow chow

4. Chow Chow

  • Height: 17-20 inches
  • Weight: 45-70 pounds
  • Personality: Serious, loyal
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate to High
  • Life Expectancy: 8-12 years

The Chow Chow coat is so thick (and gorgeous!) that the American Kennel Club even recommends using cool air when you blow dry these pups post bath. Basically, keep them out of high heat to keep them comfy.

dogs that can handle hot weather pekingese
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5. Pekingese

  • Height: 6-9 inches
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Personality: Confident, Loyal
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Shedding Factor: Moderate
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

These tiny feisty pups have both copious amounts of fur and shortened noses, which means double trouble in the heat. Pekingese aren’t super rambunctious as it is, but it’s especially important that they don’t engage in intense exercise outside when it’s very hot.

dogs that can handle hot weather siberian husky
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6. Siberian Husky

  • Height: 20-24 inches
  • Weight: 35-60 pounds
  • Personality: Loyal, energetic
  • Activity Level: High
  • Shedding Factor: High

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Like Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies come from cold, wintry climates and run the risk of overheating in hot weather. They definitely shed a ton—especially as summertime approaches— which is helpful to staying cool. But, you’re going to want to keep an eye on Huskies on hot days. 

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Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...