Dogs are adaptable companions, but the climate where you live can have a big impact on how comfortable your pooch will be on a daily basis. 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.
Many of these breeds originated in warm climates and thrive under these conditions. Here are the best dogs for hot weather and what makes them uniquely adapted for tropical temperatures.
Some breeds are more tolerant to warm weather than others, but you should always use common sense and follow basic safety precautions when the temperature rises. Never leave your dog in a hot car, always make sure your dog has access to fresh water, and don't leave your dog outside for extended periods unsupervised.
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This pocket-sized pet is an adaptable dog breed and 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 the hot, dry desert of Mexico, so they’re no stranger to warm weather.
Height: 5 to 8 inches
Weight: Up to 6 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Prominent ears and alert expression; short or long coat in many different colors, including black, white, fawn, blue and more
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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 but also provides insulation and protection when nightly temperatures plummet. Blue Heelers—as the breed is sometimes called—are a highly active breed that loves to expend energy no matter what the weather is, making them an excellent medium sized dog breed for hot weather.
Height: 17 to 20 inches
Weight: 35 to 50 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular and compact body with a short double coat with white ticking; upright, alert ears
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This graceful and athletic dog breed was developed thousands of years ago in the Balearic islands, near Spain’s coastline. As sighthounds, they were bred to sprint in pursuit of prey under the hot sun. So the Ibizan hound is well-adapted as a dog breed for warm weather.
Height: 23 to 28 inches (males); 22 to 26 inches (females)
Weight: 50 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Slender, athletic body with long legs and deep chest; upright ears and slender snout; coat can be short or long
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These large breed dogs do well in hot climates, since those flowing locks are actually a single coat of hair. In addition, this breed’s native homeland of Afghanistan is known for hot weather by day and cold temperatures by night. So these dogs are no stranger to temperature extremes that from the hot sun. However, be prepared to spend time regularly grooming the coat each week to keep it free of snarls and debris.
Height: 25 to 27 inches
Weight: 50 to 60 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Slender build with a long snout; long, silky single coat in black, fawn, cream and moreContinue to 5 of 12 below.
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The silky coat of the Yorkshire terrier may be long, but its fine, thin texture means that it’s not a great insulator against the cold. Additionally, the single coat is hair—not fur. As a result, it doesn’t trap heat and will help these pint-sized pals stay cooler when the temperature rises. Combined with the dog’s small size, Yorkies need to be kept warm so they will do well even in hot climates.
Height: 7 to 8 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Short and compact body with docked tail; long, silky hair that is black and tan or blue and tan
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The Chinese crested is believed to have been developed in Asia from imported hairless African dogs. So the heritage of this breed makes it no stranger to heat. Keep in mind, though, that the exposed skin of a Chinese crested can easily become sunburned. Make sure to use sunscreen or take other precautions to keep your dog from the harmful effects of the sun.
Height: 11 to 13 inches
Weight: 8 to 12 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small frame with long legs and elegant way of moving; hairless variety may have tufts of fur on head, feet, and tail
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The largest of the terrier breeds, the Airedale is another medium-sized dog breed for 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.
Height: 23 inches
Weight: 50 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Sturdy yet athletic in appearance; tight, curly coat in black and tan; 'beard' is typical on the muzzle
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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. So this breed tends to enjoy living in a warm weather climate. However, keep in mind that black dogs tend to become warmer faster and never leave your dog unattended in the hot sun.
Height: 28 to 32 inches
Weight: 110 to 175 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long and lean muscled body; large head with expressive eyes; smooth, short coat in colors including black, blue, brindle, fawn, and harlequinContinue 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. Just keep a watchful eye and make sure they don’t overexert themselves in extreme heat.
Height: 23 to 25 inches (males); 21 to 23 inches (females)
Weight: 55 to 70 pounds (males); 45 to 60 pounds (females)
Physical Characteristics: Athletic build with long legs; tail may be docked or long; short coat in solid liver or liver and white
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The slender frame and thin, short coat of the Italian greyhound don’t provide much protection against the elements, so this is another of the best dog breeds for warm weather. These dogs generally carry very little body fat and often need sweaters, coats, and more to combat cold weather. On the other hand, they’ll feel much more comfortable in warm, sunny climates.
Height: 13 to 15 inches
Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Dainty body with deep chest and long legs; thin tail; short, smooth coat in variety of colors including black, blue, fawn, and more
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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 exercise needs of the greyhound can generally be met with short bursts of high-speed activity and a leisurely walk or two.
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long legs and athletic, thin body; long and narrow head with pointed muzzle; short, smooth coat in many different solid and brindle colors
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The Xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Mexican hairless dog, is well-suited for hot weather. This breed is closely connected with the ancient Aztec civilization and is no stranger to warm temperatures and hot sun. Keep in mind that there is both a hairless and coated version of the breed; however, even a coated Xolo will generally tolerate heat well.
Height: Standard: 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder; Miniature: 14 to 18 inches; Toy: 10 to 14 inches
Weight: Standard: 30 to 55 pounds; Miniature: 15 to 30 pounds; Toy: 10 to 15 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Well-built and muscular body; not overly thin or fragile; pointed muzzle and upright ears; hairless variety may have a small amount of short, coarse hair on top of the head, the feet, and at the end of the tail; coated variety has a short, smooth coat all over the body
While it's true that many different dog breeds adapt to various conditions, canines from cold weather climates may have a harder time adjusting to hot weather environments. For instance, dogs like a Siberian husky or Bernese mountain dog might be uncomfortably warm in tropical climates. Also, brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs may overheat more easily.