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As with humans, not all dogs are created equal in the hair department. This begs the questions: do some dogs feel the cold more than others? The answer’s, yes, of course. We’ve put together a list of dogs who are less likely to safely tolerate dropping temperatures. Other factors that affect a dog’s resistance to cold are age, health and weight.

Chihuahua: this small breed of dog needs help keeping warm in winter with soft beds, extra blankets and coats for outdoor activities. This includes the long-coated variety. Since they’re low to the ground, make sure to dry their bellies when they come in from outside and on the coldest days make use of indoor grass patches.

Jack Russel, Fox Terrier and Rat Terrier: small in size and a thin coat makes it difficult for this breed to retain body heat on cold days.

Grey Hound: tall and slender, with short hair and a lower fat to muscle mass ratio, Grey Hounds battle to retain  body heat and can be at risk of hyperthermia if they spend too much time outdoors without the necessary protection. Winter coats, boots and super absorbent towels should be the order of the day.

Saluki: similar to the Grey Hounds, these long, slender dogs are powerful and muscular but lack the body fat and the sort of coat that retains heat on cold days.

Yorkshire Terrier: while this breed usually does have a long coat, the hair is relatively thin and offers very little protection against the cold.

Whippet: keep your whippet extra toasty as temperatures drop.

Miniature Pinscher: another breed with low body fat and a thin coat that feel the cold.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: staffies, much like the Pitbull, have a hard time regulating body temperature and should be kept warm in winter.


Usually pitbulls have the body mass that may seem as if they’d do well in winter, but this category of dog is known for battling to regular their body temperature. Another danger, is that pitbulls are often kept outside as watch dogs. They should never be forced to spend a winter without adequate protection from the elements.

Puppies and kittens

Of course, puppies and kittens, regardless of the breed, should never be outside on those winter days as their size and growing bodies are highly susceptive to the cold. Make sure they don’t wander too far, dry them off well after outdoor play and keep them especially warm at night.


Long haired

Long haired dogs are sometimes ‘fashionable’, but there can be many problems associated with such breeds. Ticks and fleas are more common and they can be difficult to both detect and remove due to the long hair.  Long hair can also hide unhealthy skin conditions and they can develop to a more serious stage before they are noticed. They require more grooming, maintenance and care than short haired dogs. It is important to check the dogs coat regularly and establish a grooming routine to prevent matting and also to get the dog used to being groomed. Breeds include the Shit-zu and Red Setters.

Smooth Coat

The coat on these breeds is sleek and shiny; it appears more like a skin than a coat. These breeds do not need to be brushed every day, however, it is still beneficial as it helps to keep the oil evenly distributed over the coat and makes sure the coat is free of shed hairs and dirt. The basic tool for grooming a smooth coat is a bristle brush. These include the Weimaraner and the Great Dane.

Short haired

Short hair breeds will generally drop less hair and require less grooming, but there is still a need to get rid of dead hair and debris within the coat and this can be done by using a slicker brush or a soft brush. Short haired breeds with a dense undercoat will also require the undercoat to be groomed out on occasion using a brush known as a shedding rake to prevent mats from forming. These include breeds such as the Beagle and the Labrador retriever.

Wire Haired

These coats should be rough and bristly. The outer guard hairs that are straight in other breeds are harsh and kinked. One way to groom wire haired dogs is to pluck out or strip straggly hairs using fingers or a stripping knife. This will stimulate the dog’s skin allowing healthy new hairs to grow. These include the Fox terrier and the Border terrier.

Single Coats

Dogs with single coats have the outer guard hairs, but lack the inner layer of undercoat. Single coated breeds should never be groomed when their coats are dry as this may cause the coat to break. It is advisable to spray the coat first with water or conditioner. Matting in single-coated breeds is a big problem. These breeds include the Afghan Hound and Maltese Terrier.

Woolly or Wavy

The wavy coat is characterised by curls. This type of coat tangles and knots easily and has a tendency to become dry. Before brushing the coat should always be sprayed with some sort of conditioning spray to avoid breakage. This includes Poodles.


Most of the herding and working breeds, as well as many of the sporting dogs have double coats. Such coats developed because of the purposes for which they were bred. Most double-coated dogs were intended to remain outside and work no matter what the weather. Double coats consist of outer guard hairs, with an inner layer of shorter, finer coat called undercoat. This undercoat can be fine or downy, thick or thin. These include the Samoyed, Rough collie and Old English sheepdog.


These breeds have curly coats that are allowed to mat forming ‘cords’, similar to dreadlocks. These cords create a weather resistant shield in herding and some hunting breeds. Dogs with corded coats require baths to keep their coats clean and odour free. Corded coats take hours to dry following each bath. This includes the Hungarian Puli and the Komondor.

No coat or hairless

The skin of these breeds must be maintained just as other breed’s coats are groomed.  They need regular baths and moisturiser and possibly sunscreen in hot climates. These breeds include the Chinese Crested and the American Hairless Terrier.