14 Dog Breeds That Can Handle Hot Weather
No matter how far out Porter dangles his tongue or how much panting he does to stay cool, he just might not be cut out for hot weather. It ain’t his fault! There are breeds meant for colder climates due to thick coats (think: huskies and Akitas) and brachycephalic breeds that have trouble regulating body temperature due to their short noses (think: English bulldogs and Boston terriers).
In general, the pups that handle hot weather well will have roots in warmer climates, short coats or a physique that effectively cools air as they breathe. Fun fact for dog nerds: Most of the canines on our list fall into the sporting, hound, terrier, working and herding groups. So, without further ado, here are the 14 breeds that can best handle heat.
Australian Cattle Dog
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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 and Greyhound
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. Similarly, the Greyhound is aerodynamically designed for high speeds, which also means their long noses and large lungs can seamlessly distribute cool air throughout their bodies.
American Water Spaniel
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
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.