Dogs are adaptable companions, but the climate in which you live can significantly impact how comfortable your pup will be daily. The best dogs for hot weather have the right kind of coat (or no fur at all!) and a body structure that is better suited for hot temperatures. It's not surprising that many of these breeds originated in warm climates with many generations of adaptation and selective breeding to suit their environment.
A dog's build can tell you a lot about how well it can handle the heat. The most obvious is its coat. Just like a long, black fur coat worn by a person in midsummer seems unreasonable, the same can be said for a double-coated, dark-furred pooch. Dogs that fair best in warm temperatures have short hair, no hair, or a single coat—and it's usually a lighter color, like white, tan, or gray. Dogs with long noses are generally better suited for warmer temps. Their long snouts process warm air, cooling it down by the time it's breathed in. Also, dogs with big, erect ears tend to cool down a lot quicker than dogs with droopy ears that trap warm air.
These 12 dogs are the best dogs for hot weather, uniquely adapted for tropical temperatures.
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This pocket-sized pet is an adaptable dog breed that does well living in warm weather climates. The Chihuahua’s thin coat and petite size don’t provide much protection against the cold, so this breed tends to be more comfortable as the temperature rises. The breed originated in Mexico's hot desert, so they’re no stranger to warm weather.
Group: Toy (AKC)
Height: 6 to 9 inches
Weight: 2 to 6 pounds
Coat and Color: Smooth coats or long coats; seen in many colors, either solid or a combination of two colors including black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red
Life Expectancy: 12 to 20 years
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The dog from Down Under is an active, hearty breed with a drive to work despite the hot sun or warm temperatures. Australian cattle dogs have a short double coat that keeps the breed relatively cool during a long, hot day herding livestock and provides insulation and protection when nightly temperatures plummet. The breed is also called a "blue heeler" and is a highly active breed that loves to expend energy no matter the weather, making them an excellent medium-sized dog breed for hot weather.
Group: Herding (AKC)
Height: 17 to 20 inches
Weight: 35 to 50 pounds
Coat and Color: Smooth, hard double coat; color is usually blue, blue mottled, or blue speckled; also comes in a less common red speckled variety
Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
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This graceful and athletic dog breed was developed thousands of years ago in the Balearic islands, near Spain’s coastline. They likely descended from Egyptian hounds brought by Phoenician traders. As sighthounds, they were bred to sprint in pursuit of prey under the hot sun. So the Ibizan hound is well-adapted for warm weather.
Group: Hound (AKC)
Height: 23 to 28 inches (male); 22 to 26 inches (female)
Weight: 50 pounds (male); 45 pounds (female)
Coat and Color: Short coarse hair that can be smooth or wiry; comes in solid red, solid white, or white and red patterns
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
04 of 12
These large dogs fare well in hot climates since those flowing locks are a single coat of hair. This breed’s native homeland of Afghanistan is known for hot weather by day and cold temperatures by night. These dogs are no stranger to temperature extremes. The drawback: Be prepared to spend time regularly grooming the coat each week to keep it free of snarls and debris.
Group: Hound (AKC)
Height: 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder
Weight: About 50 to 60 pounds
Coat and Color: Coat is long, thick, and fine; any color or combination of colors, including brindle and domino
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 yearsContinue to 5 of 12 below.
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The silky coat of the Yorkshire terrier may be long, but it's fine. A thin texture means that it’s not a great insulator against the cold. Additionally, its single coat is hair and not fur. As a result, it doesn’t trap heat and will help these pint-sized pals stay cooler when the temperature rises. Smaller dogs can usually handle the heat a little better than larger ones.
Group: Toy (AKC)
Height: 8 to 9 inches
Weight: 5 to 7 pounds
Coat and Color: Long, straight, and silky coat; standard color combinations are black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, and blue and tan; puppies may not display their final coat color until age 3 or older
Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years
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Chinese crested dogs are mainly hairless. They likely developed in Asia from imported hairless African dogs accustomed to hot temps. The exposed skin of a Chinese crested—or any hairless, short-haired, or sparsely haired dog—can quickly become sunburned. Use a sunscreen or take other precautions to protect your dog from the harmful effects of the sun.
Group: Toy (AKC)
Height: 11 to 13 inches
Weight: 8 to 12 pounds
Coat and Color: Soft, silky hair only on the head, feet, and tail, the rest of its body is hairless with grayish-pink skin; a less famous coated "powderpuff" variety has a silky coat with white and gray coloring
Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years
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The largest of the terrier breeds, the Airedale is a medium-sized dog that tolerates warm weather. These dogs have a fuzzy coat, but the hair is short and wiry. The lack of an undercoat allows for heat to escape, especially if you have the dog’s coat stripped when the temperature rises.
Group: Terrier (AKC)
Height: 22 to 24 inches
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Coat: Hard, wiry, dense, straight, short topcoat, with a softer undercoat
Coat Color: The head and ears are tan, and the body is a mix of tan and black or dark grizzle
Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years
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The Great Dane is one of the best large breed dogs for hot weather. With a natural tendency to conserve energy, these couch potatoes aren’t likely to overexert themselves when the weather is warm. This breed tends to enjoy living in a warm-weather climate. However, if your dog has a darkly-colored coat, it can heat up quicker. Make sure your dog has shady spots to retreat from the sun and never leave them unattended long.
Group: Working (AKC)
Height: 28 to 32 inches
Weight: 110 to 175 pounds
Coat and Color: Short hair in brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (white with black patches), or mantle (black and white)
Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 yearsContinue to 9 of 12 below.
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For a hunting dog or active canine companion, even when the weather is warm, the German shorthaired pointer is an excellent choice. These dogs have short fur with no undercoat. They love to swim, so they won’t hesitate to take a dip in a lake or pool to cool off. Keep a watchful eye on them and make sure they don’t overexert themselves in extreme heat.
Group: Sporting (AKC)
Height: 23 to 25 inches (male); 21 to 23 inches (female)
Weight: 55 to 70 pounds (male); 45 to 60 pounds (female)
Coat and Color: Short, thin coat; commonly in solid liver or liver and white
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
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The slender frame and thin, short coat of the Italian greyhound don’t protect against the wintery snow and ice; this is another excellent dog breed for warm weather. These dogs generally carry very little body fat and often need sweaters, coats, and more to combat cold weather. They feel much more comfortable in warm, sunny climates.
Group: Toy (AKC)
Height: 13 to 15 inches
Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
Coat: Short and smooth
Coat Colors: Gray, black, fawn, chocolate, tan, cream, red, sable, or a combination
Life Expectancy: 14 to 15 years
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Like the smaller Italian greyhound, this full-size sprinter is one of the best large breed dogs for warm weather. Greyhounds have a short, thin coat and lean body mass. These attributes mean that it’s easier for them to regulate their temperature in hot weather versus cold weather. In addition, the greyhound only needs a couple of short bursts of high-speed activity and a leisurely walk or two.
Group: Hound (AKC)
Height: 27 to 30 inches
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Coat and Color: Coat is short and smooth; common colors include black, blue, fawn, red, white, various shades of brindle, or a combination of any of these colors
Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
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The Xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Mexican hairless dog, is well-suited for hot weather. This breed is closely related to dogs from the ancient Aztec civilization and is no stranger to warm temperatures and hot sun. There are hairless and coated varieties, and even a coated Xolo should tolerate heat well.
Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)
Height: Standard: 30 to 55 pounds; Miniature: 15 to 30 pounds; Toy: 10 to 15 pounds
Weight: Standard: 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder; Miniature: 14 to 18 inches; Toy: 10 to 14 inches
Coat and Color: Tough, smooth skin that usually has dark pigmentation; tufts of hair on the top of the head and sometimes on the feet and tail, too; coated variety has a short, smooth fur covering and they come in a range of colors including black, gray-black, slate, red, liver (brown), or bronze
Life Expectancy: 14 to 17 years
Breeds to Avoid
While it's true that many different dog breeds adapt to various conditions, canines from cold weather climates may have a more challenging time adjusting to hot weather environments. For instance, dogs like a Siberian husky, Alaskan Malamute, or Bernese mountain dog might be uncomfortably warm in tropical climates. Also, brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs like pugs or shih tzus may overheat more quickly.