Dog Breeds Best Suited for Living in Tropical, Hot Weather

Australian Cattle Dog with Beautiful Eyes

Flip flops, sand castles, beach chairs and umbrellas with drinks. . . these all sound good to YOU but how would your furry friend feel about a warm weather climate?

While many humans long for the beach and warmer weather in the pits of winter, not all dogs are cut out to handle those kinds of temperatures. We searched the web for some shareable tips on dogs able to handle the heat; dog that are great for hot weather.

Believe it or not, the type of body style your dog has determines whether a tropical climate will work well for it or not. There are three main considerations to keep in mind.

Facial Structure:

A dog needs to be able to pant in order to eliminate body heat. It’s how they “sweat.” Because of this, breeds with pushed in noses do not tend to do well in the hot weather.

So, if you have your heart set on an English Bulldog, Pekingese, Pug or Boxer, you will not want to have them living in an extremely warm locale.

Size:

Just as much as the facial structure matters, so does size. English Mastiffs and St. Bernards are not great with the heat. Dogs really need to be able to get exercise and the large breeds just can’t do it in a constantly warm environment.

Coat:

For tropical living, you will also need to take your dog’s coat into consideration. If you have a thick haired or double coated dog, it will really struggle in the heat. And, on the opposite side of the spectrum, a dog with too little or too thin of a coat is highly susceptible to sunburn.

Just like us, our furry friends can be greatly damaged by the sun’s rays hitting their skin. They even sell suntan lotion just for dogs. (In case you decide to take them for a short trip to the sun.)

Dog Outside on Pavement

There are a lot of great dogs out there for island living that do meet the qualifications above. Here’s our top 15 best dog breeds suited for hot weather and some fun information about them:

1. Beagles:

Beagles make great warm climate pets. They meet all the criteria above and are very friendly with all people and other dogs.

They are, however, not fans of any non-canine animals so be extra cautious to keep them on their leash or in a fenced area. Once they see another animal, they will quickly try to bolt and chase after them.

Beagle on the Rocks

2. Basenji

These dogs could be fun pets if you will live near a beach. I cannot stress this enough- they have TON of energy. So much so that they can be completely nosey and get themselves into a lot of trouble if not properly trained and watched.

That energy and the fact that they groom themselves can make them a really great companion for warm weather living, but you must give them firm training to ensure they become the pet you are looking for.

See our article “Is the Basenji Right for You?” for more on this cute breed.  

Basenji Laying on Pavement Outside

3. Terriers

Terriers come in many breeds and pretty much all of them are adaptable to warm climates. Terriers typically enjoy humans and playing with kids. You do need to watch out for “Small Dog Syndrome” with these guys, though.

They need to be properly trained and have firm knowledge of the fact that their humans are the pack leaders so they don’t become snappish or destructive.

Some good examples of a great warm-weather Terrier breed are the Yorkshire Terrier, the Scottish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier.

Airedale Terrier on Beach

4. Doberman

It certainly helps that the Doberman hates the cold. With a thin, short coat, the Doberman is an eager-to-please and loyal breed that requires a firm handler to establish rules and a pack leader structure. For more Doberman facts, check out our fun facts

Doberman Profile when they're Sitting Down

5. Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas make great warm climate dogs because of their thin coats and small size. Though they are affectionate and enjoy socializing, but be careful, Chihuahuas need to know you are the boss in their relationship.

Without a strong human to guide them, the Chihuahua can become dominant and develop “Small Dog Syndrome” as mentioned in number 3 above.  

If your Chihuahua has an extremely thin coat, as some do, be sure to get a vet approved sunblock for them.

Sleeping Chihuahua on Sheets

The Retrievers:

6. Golden Retrievers

Goldens are one of the most loved family pets. Did you know they have a water-resistant coat and webbed feet? This makes them born to swim and therefore great for seaside living. Because they are so friendly, they are also great to take for walks where you might encounter others. 

Golden Retriever on the Hillside

7. Labradors Retrievers

Labradors are also amazing family dogs. They are playful and will play in the water for hours. These dogs have a lot of energy and will need to be trained firmly from puppy hood. They also tend to have a water resistant coat so they dry fairly quickly.

Labrador Retriever in Ocean with Owner

8. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The largest of the retrievers, Chesapeakes are loving, attentive and protective. They also have a thick water resistant coat which is great because these dogs love to swim. Just be mindful, though they may look similar to Labradors, Chesapeake’s tend to be aloof and aren’t as friendly to strangers. They also can be more aggressive and more head-strong than other retrievers.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppy Swimming in Lake

Herding Dogs

9. Australian Cattle Dog

A medium-sized, short-coated breed, this dog is used to herding livestock in the heat of Australia. They form strong attachments to their owners, but be mindful, they do have a tendency to herd and nip at small running children.

Austrailian Cattle Dog Can Stand the Heat

10. The Collie

There are endless variations of “the Collie” in the Collie family, such as the Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Welsh Sheepdog, Rough Coated Collie and Bearded Collie, among many more.

Dedicated, hard workers who are best suited for active families, this breed can handle the heat—just be mindful that they don’t dehydrate.

Collie Playing in the Water with Tennis Ball in Mouth

11. The Koolie

Not to be confused with the Collie, the Koolie dog is native to Australia where they spend their days being the right-hand to shepherds. Highly energetic and eager-to-please, this breed will run in circles till the job is done. 

Three Koolie Dogs in the Brush

The Sighthounds

12. Greyhounds

The Greyhound is built for speed with long legs, a deep chest, and a very sleek coat. This coat makes them dry off easily at the beach but they also have very thin skin so you will need to take much care to keep them from injuries.

They tend to be lovable and funny and they bond quickly to their human families and other household pets. Be sure they mix well with everyone before the adoption process.

Greyhound on a Rock Outside

13. Whippet

The Whippet is a sighthound that basically looks like a small Greyhound. Because they tend to be affectionate, calm and playful, the Whippet makes a great family pet. They have a short sleek coat so this makes them easily adaptable to warm climates.

If their coat seems thin, be sure to protect them from sunburn with short times outdoors and/or some doggy sunblock.

Whippet Running Full Speed across the Grass

14. Vizsla

The Vizsla is also a sighthound. Because of their high energy level, these dogs would not make great apartment pets unless you can frequently take them out for play times and long walks/runs.

These guys are known to be extremely affectionate and playful so they rank high for family pets. Because of the typical sighthound coat, the Vizsla is plenty comfortable in hot weather.

Viszla in the Backyard

15. German Shorthaired Pointer

Last, but not least, the German Shorthaired Pointer would make a great warm climate friend. These guys have extremely high energy needs.

If you work 24/7 and don’t have time for dog parks, long walks or a yard for running, this is not the dog for you. But, if you can challenge the German Shorthaired Pointer’s physical and mental energy, he will make an amazing companion as they are very affectionate.

German Shorthair Pointer Profile

Now that you’ve decided you and Fido are going to head for greener/warmer pastures, be sure to check out our article on how to ship your dog in a move.  

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