Unlike their owners who can relax in front of the AC on hot summer days or sweat profusely when stuck outside, dogs don’t have it easy when it comes to cooling down in hot environments. Thanks to their beautiful but thick coats, many breeds, such as Newfoundland and Samoyed, have great trouble keeping cool during summer. Likewise, brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldog and Boxer, who are unable to pant effectively due to their short snouts and flat faces, can’t cool themselves properly in high temperatures. If you live in a warm climate or your summers are particularly hot, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with dog breeds best suited to hot weather – preferably, before getting a new furry companion.
Here are 10 breeds that stay comfortable in warm climates and make for wonderful summer adventure companions.
Originally bred as a hunting dog for the climate of Africa, the Basenji is a compact, intelligent and curious dog that does more than well in hot environments. This sweet-faced dog is rather unique: it doesn’t bark, but it’s not silent either. Instead, the breed vocalizes its emotions through a range of sounds – you’ll often hear the Basenji yodel, growl, whimper, whine, even scream when the situation calls for it. The Basenji is also very energetic – thanks to their athletic and muscular build, as well as their natural inquisitive and alert nature, they enjoy various outdoor activities. The Basenji also excels at a number of canine sports, including tracking, lure coursing and agility competitions. This should tell you a lot about this breed’s physical activity requirements – if you cannot devote quite a bit of time on training, play and sports with your furry companion, the Basenji is not for you.
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Thanks to their short coat, these dogs not only like hot weather, they’re also easy to take care of. The breed is often compared to cats because they groom themselves often and fastidiously, which is great news for pet parents who cannot spend a lot of time on pet grooming. A weekly once-over with a soft bristle brush is all it takes to keep this handsome dog neat and clean.
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German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer comes from a temperate climate, but its short hair and slender body make it perfectly suitable for hot weather. This friendly, smart and enthusiastic dog thrives on vigorous physical activity and positive training, so it’s a perfect match for likewise active and upbeat people. The German Shorthaired Pointer is actually built to hunt and work long and hard both on land and in water, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the breed loves all kinds of physical activities. From running and swimming to organized dog sports – whatever gets this noble dog’s heart and fun going is great. Ideally, you will also be into sports and exercise yourself, as the German Shorthaired Pointer loves nothing more than to burn its endless energy with their human parent.
Similarly to Basenji, this breed doesn’t require a lot of grooming. This is thanks to their short hair which should be regularly but quickly brushed. They do shed though, and during certain times of the year, more brushing may be necessary. An occasional bath is also recommended.
Small, short-haired, playful and elegant, the Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds and one that is perhaps best suited for warm climates. This miniature and slender breed is also very bright, which, coupled with its playful nature, makes a dog that loves to have fun on its own terms. It’s no wonder why – the Italian Greyhound was originally bred to be a companion and a jester, meaning while the breed is affectionate and intelligent, it’s not wise to ignore it – these dogs have clever ways to get what they want! Generally, the Italian Greyhound takes well to training but since they can be quite stubborn, it can take time to housebreak them. That said, this dog should preferably always be inside a house or apartment as they’re sensitive to cold temperatures.
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Thanks to their short haired coat, grooming sessions are a piece of cake. Only occasional brushing and baths are recommended, although regular teeth brushing is a must as the breed is prone to periodontal disease. Of course, regular nail trimmings are needed as well, but nails should never be over-shortened. The Italian Greyhound has a hare foot, so two middle nails can be left slightly longer.
One of America’s oldest native breeds, the Foxhound is a sweet-tempered, low-maintenance dog who happens to thrive in both cold and warm climates. This breed is well-known for their loyalty, strength, speed and work ethic; in other words, it’s a perfect companion for similarly energetic and active folks. The American Foxhound is also a fantastic family dog as they’re incredibly friendly to children, affectionate with their human parents and even super-friendly with other dogs if exposed to them early on. That said, they really don’t adapt well to apartment living – these are high-energy dogs who need plenty of physical activity, including running, in order to be healthy and happy. They need yards – preferably big ones – and outdoor spaces they can call their own. Also, they can be quite stubborn and destructive if not trained on time, which doesn’t translate well for apartment conditions.
On the plus side, coat care and maintenance is easy as it gets. Because they have short coats that lie close to the body, all they need is a quick weekly brushing session with either a bristle brush or a grooming tool. They don’t really need to be bathed unless they get particularly dirty from running outdoor running.
With a sleek, reddish short coat, and lean, graceful body, the Vizsla makes for a perfect companion for those living in warmer climates. Originally bred to work as a retriever and pointer alongside humans, this dog is the happiest when working, exercising or simply spending time with their people. In fact, Vizslas form such deep and tight bonds with their human families, that they absolutely hate being alone. Speaking of families, they’re not only incredibly affectionate with their human parents, but friendly to children of all ages too. They’re also friendly towards strangers and other dogs and super-easy to train thanks to their high intelligence. In other words, Vizslas are dream dogs! Of course, not everything is rainbows and unicorns with this breed – for one, because they’re so intelligent, some can be manipulative and find all kinds of creative ways to get into trouble. Also, because they’re highly curious, they also tend to excessively bark when faced with unusual situations (which can be perfectly usual situations for you!). Thankfully, these behaviors can easily be controlled with early and consistent positive training. For Vizslas, having ongoing socialization, training and exercise routine is crucial – you simply have to encourage this breed’s full use of brain.
Thanks to their short and silky coats, Vizslas don’t require complicated grooming routines: occasional brushing and bathing is all it takes to keep them clean and happy. Because their ears flop down, it’s also important to regularly check and clean them.
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If you’re looking for the ultimate hot weather dog, the Pharaoh Hound is it. An ancient dog breed that was at one time the choice of kings, the Pharaoh Hound is an elegant, friendly and smart dog that thrives in warm climates. While highly intelligent, this breed is not one of the easiest to train though – like all hounds, the Pharaoh can be aloof and almost too independent. They love to run and hunt, so whenever they get the chance to escape, they will do it. That being said, if you start early with obedience training and socialization, this dog will be well-behaved and friendly towards strangers and other dogs. Because of their noble independence, the Pharaoh Hounds do well with equally independent owners – if you cannot spend hours with your dog every single day, that’s ok with this dog.
One of the most interesting things about the Pharao Hound is their ability to blush – you may notice light to deep rose color on their nose and ears when they get happy or excited. Grooming is easy – you can choose between light daily brushing or heavier weekly brushing. Pharaohs don’t have a typical dog odor so they don’t require regular bathing either.
Powerful, loyal and intelligent, the Doberman Pinscher is one of the best dogs for hot weather. With their magnificent physique and sleek, short coat, these dogs love running and swimming, especially in the summer. While they may be feared by many people due to their muscular and powerful build, Dobermans are truly noble and affectionate dogs. They’re highly intelligent and therefore easy to train if you start with the obedience training early on, which makes them well-mannered adults who are not only friendly with their human family, but with other people too (although, early socialization is crucial for this). That said, the Doberman is a formidable guardian – alert, smart and incredibly loyal, this dog would fight the world for their owner. They can also be very needy – if you don’t have time for daily cuddles, play sessions and exercise routines with your pet, this is not a breed for you.
Dobermans are easy to care for thanks to their short, silky coats. A quick daily brushing and an occasional bath are all it takes to keep this breed clean and neat. As for their teeth and ears though, they should be regularly brushed and cleaned.
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Originally bred to hunt rabbits on the Mediterranean Island of Ibiza, the Ibizan Hound is a lithe, even-tempered and smart dog that loves hot weather. Because they’re generally sweet-natured and intelligent, these dogs make for excellent pets. They’re pretty easy to train and housebreak, which makes them perfect for apartment dwellers. Although friendly with their human family, Ibizan Hounds are watchful of strangers. This is not to say they’re unfriendly, simply careful about who they put their trust in. They’re also athletic and highly energetic –plenty of daily physical activity is required to keep this breed healthy and happy, so unless you can dedicate at least a couple of hours on walks and play sessions, this may not be the breed for you.
Because they have short coats, Ibizan Hounds don’t require complicated grooming. Quick and light daily brushing and very occasional bathing are recommended, but their ears and teeth should be washed and cleaned regularly.
Elegant, muscular and unique-looking, no dog resembles a Dalmatian. On one hand, they are graceful and charming, on another, goofy and always up for shenanigans. Thanks to their short hair and lanky build, they also tolerate hot weather really well. However, before you get a Dalmatian this summer, ask yourself if you are the right fit for it? These dogs are ridiculously energetic – they love to run, swim, hike, chase balls… basically, as long as it’s a fun physical activity, a Dalmatian will love it. So, unless you’re active yourself, or you can spend quite a bit of time exercising and training your dog, this breed is not a good fit. Dalmatians who don’t get regular exercise become not only unhappy but start developing destructive behaviors too.
That being said, this is a delightful, happy dog breed that is a joy to own. They’re affectionate with their human family members, intelligent, relatively easy to train, and friendly with other dogs if exposed to new situations and animals early on. They’re also easy to take care of as their short-haired coat requires only occasional baths and weekly brushing. Because their ears flop down, you should clean and check them regularly.
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Small, sturdy and friendly, the Beagle comes in two varieties: those standing under 13” and those standing above 13” to 15”. Both varieties are fun-loving, curious, easygoing, and as it happens, tolerable of hot weather. This is thanks to their smooth and short coats, which become thinner in the spring and summer. That said, Beagles do have a double coat so may not be suitable for extremely hot climates. Nevertheless, they shed year-round, especially in the spring, which helps them cool themselves in the summer heat. Regular brushing sessions can further help your Beagle feel nice and cool during summer months. When it comes to grooming in general, this breed is easy to care for – they don’t need to be bathed often (unless they get into something super messy), just brushed with a medium-bristle brush once a week.
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The Beagle is first and foremost a playful, lighthearted dog, so regular physical activity is a must. If they don’t get enough exercise and proper playtimes, they have a tendency towards destructive behaviors – howling, digging, excessive barking, trying to escape… the Beagle can truly be a mischievous escape artist if not trained on time and walked and exercised regularly.
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- Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Summer, WebMD
- Dr. Marty Becker DVM, Beat-the-Heat Tips for Your Dog, Plus Breeds Who Are Most at Risk in the Sun, VetStreet
- Heat Safety Tips, The MSPCA–Angell