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Brown dog panting

For some folks, 70-and-sunny is the floor, not the standard, so they choose a place to live, like Florida or parts of the Carolinas, accordingly. Should prospective pet parents choose their dog breed accordingly, too?

It’s true that many dog breeds can adapt and thrive in any weather. But some pups were tailor-made for spots where every season seems to be summer. We dug into the details and found the best dog breeds for hot climates.

1. American foxhound

George Washington owned American foxhounds — one of the oldest dog breeds developed in the U.S. They’re also the state dog of Virginia. In this southern state, temperatures typically reach about 86 degrees in the summer. Their short coats keep them cool in warm weather. Ditto for their long snouts, which help them process the air so it’s cool when they breathe it.

A foxhound standing outside.

Facts about the American foxhound

  • Breed groupHound breed (American Kennel Club)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — Very vocal
  • Life span — 11-13 years

2. Afghan hounds

Think only dogs with short coats can thrive in warmer climates? The Afghan hound proves otherwise. Though Afghan hounds have long coats, their silky fur flows. Afghan hounds also have a single coat well suited for hot days in their native Afghanistan. The caveat: The coat requires frequent brushing and grooming.

Afghan hound close up

Facts about the Afghan hound

  • Breed groupHound breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 12-18 years

3. American water spaniels

American water spaniels were bred to navigate the Midwest’s icy water, hence the thick curly or wavy coat. But don’t cross American water spaniels off the list of dog breeds under consideration if you live in a place with hot temperatures. These double-coated dogs have waterproof fur, making them worth consideration for pet parents who feel beach days should be any day. As the name implies, American water spaniels love water retrieving and outdoor activities like hiking.

American water spaniel

Facts about the American water spaniel

  • Breed groupSporting breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 10-14 years

4. Australian cattle dogs

The Australian cattle dog’s ancestors were well-accustomed to working long days in hot temperatures. These dogs have a short double coat that’s ideal for warmer climates. Australian cattle dogs, also known as blue heelers, have high energy, which makes them great hiking partners.

Australian cattle dog on a snowy path

Facts about the Australian cattle dog

  • Breed groupHerding breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 12-16 years

5. Border collies

Border collies have longer coats. However, their love of open spaces and outdoor activities makes them a strong contender for a pet parent in a warmer climate. These playful and friendly pups were bred for herding and participate in search and rescue — they’re an active bunch. Leaving out fresh water is a great way to ensure this dog breed with a longer coat stays cool in warmer weather. (This step is actually an important thing to do for any dog, regardless of the weather.)

Border collie side profile

Facts about the Bordier collie

  • Breed groupHerding breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — Very vocal
  • Life span — 10-17 years

6. Chesapeake Bay retriever 

Chesapeake Bay retrievers love to make a splash — they were bred to hunt ducks. And, fun fact, the breed shares a trait with a duck: Webbed feet, making them stellar swimmers. These larger dogs have short, waterproof coats. Though they originated in the colder climates of the Mid-Atlantic region, their perpetual love for watersports makes the Chesapeake Bay Retriever a breed ready to dive into summer fun.

Chesapeake Bay retriever with bird

Facts about the Chesapeake Bay retriever

  • Breed groupSporting breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 10-13 years

7. Doberman pinscher

Doberman pinschers are large dogs with playful spirits, ready to partake in games of fetch and long walks. Their short fur does well in warmer weather. Dobermans are gentle giants, making them ideal for families with hearts set on soaking up the sun together.


Facts about the Doberman pinscher

  • Breed groupWorking breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 10-12 years

8. German shorthaired pointer

The German shorthaired pointer’s coat is slightly water-resistant and short, making them ideal for warmer climates, especially along the coast. Bred to hunt, these dogs naturally love the outdoors and hiking, making them fine companions for al fresco fun.

German shorthaired pointer with stick in water

Facts about the German shorthaired pointer

  • Breed groupSporting breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 12-14 years

9. Great Dane

The Great Dane is a large dog with numerous characteristics ideal for withstanding the heat: Short hair, a long muzzle, and a lean build. Great Danes are also known for their ability to conserve energy. While they’re playful, they’ll happily retreat to snuggle in the shade during high temperatures.

Great Dane on a walk

Facts about the Great Dane

  • Breed group —  Working breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — Medium
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 7-10 years

10. Ibizan hound

The Ibizan hound may have big ears, but they’re erect, not droopy. This trait helps them cool down faster than their droopy-eared peers. The breed, developed centuries ago near Spain’s coastline, is likely a descendant of Egyptian hounds used to withstand extreme heat. Hunters by nature, this dog breed is ready for outdoor fun, even if the mercury is rising.

Ibizan hound dog portrait

Facts about the Ibizan hound

  • Breed group —  Hound breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — Medium
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 11-14 years

11. Italian greyhounds

The smallest dog breed in the sighthound group, Italian greyhounds, are small dogs with playful personalities. Their long snouts, lean build, and short fur coats make them ready for fun in the sun. The fact that the breed has so little fat makes them need extra care in colder climates, like sweaters. Indeed, Italian greyhounds are hot-weather dogs at their core.

Italian greyhound indoors looking at camera.

Facts about the Italian greyhound

  • Breed group —  Toy breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — Medium
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 14-15 years

12. Pharaoh hounds

One of the oldest dog breeds, the Pharoah hound originated in Ancient Egypt, where extreme heat was standard. Their lean build, aerodynamic nature, and short fur primed them to hunt in warm temperatures during ancient times — and romp in it now. Their large ears are erect, allowing them to down more easily.

Pharaoh hound dogs in a a field

Facts about the Pharoah hound

  • Breed group —  Hound breed (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 12-14 years

A few breeds to avoid

Dogs are an adaptable species. However, you may want to avoid certain breeds if you live in very warm climates. For example, the Siberian husky was bred for cold climates and has a long, thick coat to prove it. Saint Bernards are also prone to heat exhaustion. Generally, flat-faced dogs with short snouts (brachycephalic breeds ), like bulldogs and pugs, are at a higher risk for heat stroke. If you live in a warm climate, keep them indoors in the air conditioning as much as possible, limit walks to early mornings and late evenings, and provide plenty of cool water.

It is important that owners of these breeds are able to quickly recognize signs of heat stroke in these dogs. This includes heavy panting, pale or bluish color of gums or tongue, or extremely red gums.

Dr. Dwight Alleyne

A dog may not check all of these boxes, but these traits typically help a pup withstand warmer climates (and even enjoy them).

  • Coat. A short, light coat will be more comfortable in warmer climates than a dark, thich one.
  • Ears. Erect ears cool faster than droopy ones.
  • Snout. Long muzzles help dogs process heat more easily, so the air they breathe is cooler.

Top tips for caring for dogs in the heat

Though some dogs do better with the heat than others, it’s still important to take some precautions if the weather is very hot.

  • Provide plenty of access to fresh water. Staying hydrated is important for overall health and preventing dehydration, especially in the heat.
  • Watch the temperature. On brutally hot days, walk in the early morning before sunrise and evening after sunset.
  • Find shade. A shady spot can provide protection from the sun.
  • Never leave your dog in a parked car. The car heats up fast and can become dangerously hot in a matter of minutes .

Speak with your vet for more insights on how to help your dog stay safe in the heat.