The Top 20 Dog Breeds for Warm Weather

If you are a dog owner who lives in a warm climate, you know how crucial it is to ensure that you prepare your furry friend for the heat. You must always make sure that they are well-hydrated and have a shady place to lie down if they want to. You might even put out a kiddie pool to let your dog splash around and get cooled off. Some dogs are better suited to handle the heat than others. A dog with a thick double coat meant for withstanding harsh winter weather, for example, could be miserable in the heat. If you are considering bringing a new dog into your household, especially if you live in a warm climate, you should do your research on how well the breed will handle the weather.

If you want to learn more about these breeds, especially if you are going to adopt a new dog, you would do well to read on. In this article, we will be going over the Top Twenty Dog Breeds for Warm Weather. While every individual dog is unique, many of them follow the same general trait patterns within the breed – especially regarding tolerance to the weather.

Doberman Pinscher

This breed of dog can be traced back to the late 19th century, when a tax collector named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann originally bred the first Doberman Pinschers. They often have cropped ears and docked tails – though it is illegal to do so in some countries. These dogs are marked by their intelligence, loyalty, and drive. These dogs are great warm weather companions due to their short coat. This won’t trap any heat from the sun, and also means that they can cool off easily from a breeze or even a little water. However, if you are going to have your Doberman Pinscher with you when you are out and about, be sure to train it well. These dogs were first bred for personal protection, and they will often display associated aggressive traits if not trained properly.

Dalmatian

The Dalmatian is a famous spotted breed that first originated in the region of Dalmatia in Croatia. The earliest known depictions of similar dogs from this region date to the early 17th century. These dogs even became a status symbol during the Regency period of Great Britain – the primary importers and eventual adopters of this breed. Dalmatians do pretty well in warm weather. This is due to their short, fine coat. It is important to note that some Dalmatians end up with a long coat due to a recessive gene and may not do as well in the heat. Either way, this breed makes a great family dog and will always be loyal and loving.

rat terrier

Rat Terrier

This breed has a farm and hunting background, but the earliest known rat-catching dog was “Hatch”. This dog unfortunately perished in 1545 when the Mary Rose (Henry VIII’s flagship) sunk. The wreck was brought back to the surface in 1982, and Hatch’s remains were found on-board. On a brighter note, similar dogs were quite popular on American farms during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Rat Terriers have a short coat. However, you should note that some dogs of this breed are not too fond of water, so a pool or even a sprinkler might not be a good choice. They do, however, stay cool in the summer because they are not afraid to find shade – even in very tight conditions – owing to their rat-hunting ancestry.

cane corso

Cane Corso

This Italian breed was originally created as a catch dog – that is, it would catch the prey and hold it down for the farmer or hunter. Over time, they also were used as guard dogs for livestock and property. They were also traveling dogs in their early history, being brought along to guard caravans. They were occasionally used to pull carts or wagons as well. The Cane Corso was developed in a rather warm environment, so it is not surprising that it developed in a way to handle the heat. These dogs have short, thin coats. They also come in a lot of different colors, meaning that the Cane Corso breed is one of the more varied types of dogs.

Azawakh

This interesting-looking breed originated in West Africa. They were originally bred by nomadic tribes of the sub-Saharan and Saharan regions, and can be found natively in the countries of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali. They were occasionally used as guard dogs and hunting dogs, prized for their incredible running speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. They also are pack hunters, and prefer to stick with other dogs of their breed. Owing to their desert-dwelling ancestry, these dogs have evolved a short, thin coat that helps them survive incredibly high temperatures. In fact, their coats are nearly absent on their bellies. The Azawakh breed is quite uncommon in Europe and North America – however, a few clubs are popping up here and there, showing an increased interest in the breed.

Basenji

One of the most unique breeds, Basenjis also originated in Africa. Their trademark trait is their unique ‘yodeling’ bark, which is due to their unusual larynx shape. The breed is ancient as well, predating any new breeds that have emerged since the 19th century. The best guest that scientists have to the origins of the Basenji is that they are a divergent species of the gray wolf. These dogs were often found all over northern Africa. They have even been interred with Egyptian pharaohs and look quite the same as they do in modern times. They eventually made their way to other parts of Africa – one of the most famous and earliest accounts of the Basenji was in the Congo. Their African origins led their coat to be thin, fine, and short – meaning they stay cool easier in warm weather.

Ibizan Hound

This hound breed originated on the island of Eivissa and has been recorded in Spain and France as well. They were originally bred for hunting small game due to their high speed and excellent tracking skills. An interesting fact about hunting with Ibizan Hounds is that females are generally chosen to make up the majority of the packs, as they are considered better at the job. Many Ibizan Hounds are also entered into dog competitions frequently, particularly in the United States. They do well in this role, especially when you consider that these dogs have great physical abilities that are unique to their breed. They are great for warm weather, especially if you buy a smooth-coated one. The wire-coated Ibizan hound has a denser coat that could trap some heat from the sun.

Weimaraner

The Weimaraner’s ancient ancestry can be traced back to the 13th century French court of Louis IX. Most of the aristocrats at this time used similar dogs for their hunting expeditions. However, it was not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries that any reliable breed standards were developed for the Weimaraner. However, it is suspected that they could be the offspring of St. Hubert Hounds (also known as Bloodhounds) and the Chien-gris dogs. This breed has a beautiful, short coat. They look quite regal, especially in the lighter grey colors that they can display. In fact, this has even led to the nickname “Grey Ghost” for this breed. Because their coats are so short and thin, the breed will do great in the warmth. They do not have any undercoat at all.

Pharoah Hound

The national dog breed of Malta is the Pharoah Hound. Despite their name, they actually have no connection with Ancient Egypt. Instead, they were bred in Malta and were prized for hunting small game. The earliest known mention of this type of dog was in Della Descrittione by Maltese noble Giovanni Francesco Abela. He released this work in 1647. Pharoah Hounds are known for their pointy ears and slender, agile builds. They have fine, short coats with absolutely no feathering. This means they are perfect for warm weather, and will do great even in very hot climates. Their coats are another part of their beauty, coming in many shades of red.

Papillon

One of the oldest toy spaniel breeds is the Papillon. They have been kept by royalty since at least the 1500s, and likely date even earlier than that. The traits of the breed have also followed popular trends – when the upright-ears look became popular, breeders adjusted their litters to compensate. This led to the traditional Papillon look, due to their butterfly-like ears (papillon is French for butterfly). These intelligent, sociable dogs are excellent companions. They are also perfect no matter what sort of climate you live in. Though their coats might look quite long, they are only a single layer and it is very fine fur. Thus, a cool summer breeze (or a wind off the coast) will flow right through it, letting them cool down efficiently and quickly.

Fox Terrier

Fox Terriers – which really include the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier, two separate breeds – originated in the 19th century. They are descended from other British terriers and have also spawned divergent breeds such as the Jack Russell and Rat Terrier. The breed has been officially recognized for a long time now, with the first fan clubs established in the late 19th century. Fox Terriers were quite prized for their ability to drive out foxes during a hunt. Though both types of Fox Terriers are accomplished at this behavior, they are not equally suited for warm environments. Though the Wire Fox Terrier will do alright in the warmth, the short, thinner hair of the Smooth Fox Terrier is ideal for the warmest weather.

Chihuahua

The smallest breed of dog in the world, the Chihuahua, originated in Mexico. Though the history of the breed is not certain, it is suspected that the ancestors of the modern dogs were Tenchichi – companion dogs often kept by the Toltecs. It is highly likely that the breed was present in the area far before the Europeans arrived, discounting the idea that it could have been solely a European breed. This breed originated in a hot, humid environment. Because of this, they developed some traits that helped them survive in this type of weather. The most important is the short, fine coat that they have. It lets water and air pass easily through, cooling the skin and helping the dog minimize the effects of the sun.

Boerboel

A powerful, working dog breed from South Africa is known as the Boerboel. However, they are commonly known as the South African Mastiff as well. The term originates from the word ‘boer’, meaning farmer, and ‘boel’, an old slang term for dog. This breed’s claim to fame is that it was the only dog bred in South Africa that had the sole purpose of defending one’s homestead. However, it is uncertain how the breed was created, and how many different breeds are genetically related to these dogs. South Africa can get pretty hot during the year. As farm dogs, the Boerboels would need to be able to tolerate this heat. They have short coats, and also have little hair on their bellies. This helps them to stay cool, even in the hottest weather conditions. Their coats are also easy to groom, making them a perfect dog for summer or a warm home environment.

Whippet

Whippets have an interesting historical tale. They were first descended from greyhounds during the early days of England but were considered unsuitable for hunting due to their small size. However, as time went on, the sport of dog racing caught on. This is where Whippets hit their prime – they even became known as “the poor man’s racehorse”. This use continues to this day, as they still frequently compete in dog races. By nature, these dogs are hunters. They were even used for ratting at some points during their history. These dogs have a distinctly fine and short coat, which is perfect for hot days. They can come in any color – in fact, any color is accepted by most Kennel Clubs. The most important feature that these dogs are judged on is their speed and agility

Standard Schnauzer

This breed, named after the German slang term for “moustache” due to their distinctive, bearded snout, originated in the 15th and 16th centuries. Standard Schnauzers started off as a working breed and were generally used by peasant farmers for herding and guarding their homesteads. As time went on, they began to become appreciated as showdogs and even search-and-rescue dogs. In the US, a few have also been used as drug or bomb dogs. Though they have a wiry coat, it is also only a single layer. This means that it won’t trap too much heat in the sun. However, you should always keep your dog well hydrated whenever they are in direct sunlight or another heat source. Despite this, many Standard Schnauzers participate in outdoor events that test their skill at tracking, herding, and obedience – proving their viability as warm-weather companions.

The standard poodle is a popular breed

Poodle

The Poodle – actually an overarching breed for the Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodle breeds – has a disputed and uncertain history. The best guess that dog professionals have is that this breed came from Germany, where they were known as Pudelhunds. However, some conflicting ideas are out there as well. The only certainty in the equation is that art depicting poodle-like pups was created by the German artist Albrecht Durer in the 15th and 16th centuries – the earliest known examples of such work. This breed is great for summer due to the lack of a double coat. They only have a single coat, and they shed minimally. Plus, their coat can be trimmed into all sorts of ‘clips’ – what you wish to do in this venue is up to you, but most dog shows specify a certain way that Poodles must be displayed in order to compete. Whether you participate in dog shows or not, the Poodle could be a great addition to your household if you live in a warm climate.

Plott Hound

One of the most uncommon breeds in the United States is the Plott Hound. This is interesting, seeing as this breed is actually the state dog of North Carolina. They have excellent tracking and hunting abilities and originated from German boarhounds that a colonist brought with him. They were bred once with another breed, but these dogs were eventually given away and the original breeding practice continued. Plott Hounds are quite rare. But if you do manage to get one, you can be sure that the sun or the heat won’t bother them much. They often have fine, short hair that lets them shrug off a hot sun or other heat. This is also great if they decide to get in the water, as their fur will easily let them cool down without blocking the flow of water.

Harrier

These dogs, similar to the English Foxhound (but smaller), were first created by Sir Elias de Midhope in the 13th century. Over time, they were spread out as a desirable hunting dog, and eventually were found all over England and Wales. Interestingly enough, the Harrier breed is still not recognized as a distinct one in England. However, it has been on the books in the states for over 120 years. These dogs, like all the other dogs on our list so far, have short coats. They also require a lot of exercise, and love to be outdoors. These things combined make them a good contender for a warm-weather pet – but you need to make sure they don’t wear themselves out or become dehydrated. You must keep an eye on this rambunctious breed.

Greyhound (Picture here is of an Italian Greyhound)

Considered one of the fastest dogs on the planet, the Greyhound is usually used for racing. They originated as hunting dogs and were used for their keen eyesight for open-plains hunting. Their incredible speed was crucial to this role as well, seeing as they could hit around 40 miles per hour in a straight line. In modern times, they are used in competitions and racing nearly exclusively. They also make great pets. Because they lack an undercoat, these dogs do not overheat easily. They also have a lack of body fat. However, extreme temperatures of any kind – whether it is extreme heat or cold – can adversely affect these dogs. Thus, they must live most of their lives inside. Despite this, they will tolerate heat much better than, say, a Malamute or a Husky.

Dogo Argentino

This Argentinian breed was originally created to hunt big game, and also be capable of being a loyal guardian and pet. It is based on a Cordoba Fighting Dog crossed with many other breeds – Great Danes, Boxers, Spanish Mastiffs, Old English Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, etc. – to get the desired traits. These dogs can hunt game but are also used as police dogs and for search-and-rescue purposes.  These dogs have been bred to get along with other dogs and pets. They generally do well in all settings, as they are a highly-adaptable breed. In addition, the Dogo Argentino can do well outdoors due to their short, thin coat. It was likely a great advantage in the Argentinian heat, especially in the earlier days of the breed.

Now that you are better-informed on the best breeds for warm weather, we hope that your new dog decision is made a bit easier. Whichever breed you choose, you must always ensure that you take good care of your dog, especially in warm weather. Make sure you keep an eye on them for signs of heat stroke – it can happen faster and easier than you might think. Always provide fresh, clean drinking water and try to keep your dogs near a shady spot so that they can lie down if they need to.
If you have any additions you think should be made to this list, please let us know in the comments! There are a lot more great dog breeds out there, and we would love to hear about the personal experiences of our readers.


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