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The 17 Best Dog Breeds for Houston’s Hot Weather

The 17 Best Dog Breeds for Houston’s Hot Weather

Dogs are one of the best companions an individual could get. These pets are smart enough in helping their owners with various chores like taking care of kids, guarding properties, guiding people with disabilities, and even herding livestock on the farm.

While Houston has many parks and dog-friendly spaces like restaurants, the climate in this area can be a challenge for dog owners. 

With that, let us help you choose the right dog for you:

What kinds of dogs are suitable for Houston’s climate?

What kinds of dogs are suitable for Houston's climate

Photo from Patrick Alexander/Wikimedia Commons

If you’re planning to adopt a dog in Houston, you must choose the breeds that could live comfortably in hot places. These pets must either have genetics suited for warmer climates or bodies that regulate temperature well.

In terms of genetics, pick breeds that originate from places with warm or tropical climates. You should also look for dogs with big ears, lean builds, light fur color, long noses, small bodies, and short, single coats.

For those unfamiliar, Houston has a humid, subtropical climate with scorching, wet summers and mild winters. The city also receives an average of 2,575 sunshine hours per year and a maximum of 34.9 °C or 85.1 °F temperature outside.

The climate of the city could be challenging for dogs because they don’t sweat. 

To maintain a normal body temperature, dogs release heat by panting and through their paw pads and noses. If the surroundings are too humid or if the ground temperature outside is too hot, your furry friends may overheat, damaging their organs.

What are the best dog breeds for Houston’s climate?

To help you choose the perfect fur baby for your family, here are some dog breeds that could adapt wonderfully in warm climates like Houston:

1. Azawakh


Photo from Canarian/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Hound
Height59.69 - 73.66 cm
Weight15 - 25 kg
Life Expectancy12 - 15 years

This rare, West African canine is bred by nomad groups in West African areas as a guard dog capable of chasing gazelles at up to 65 km/h. 

With their short coat, lanky body, and long nose, the Azawakh could withstand even the driest desert heat. This breed is also an active ball of energy so you need to allow a bit of time to walk this pet around the neighborhood.

Although, you need experience as a dog owner before adopting an Azawakh. Because of their nature as hunting dogs, they could chase anything, including children, if startled.

2. Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Photo from Amélie Tsaag Valren/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Terrier
Height58.42 cm
Weight22.70 - 31.80 kg
Life Expectancy11 - 14 years

This type of dog is the biggest of all terrier breeds, which earned them the nickname of the “King of Terriers.” The Airedale Terrier serves as a companion dog for hunting and farming.

The medium-length, wiry coat of the Airedale Terrier lets the heat escape efficiently from their body. In warmer months, you could also groom the fur of these puppers to a shorter length.

If taking care of an Airedale Terrier, make sure you regularly take these pooches to the vets because they’re the type of dogs that won’t give obvious signs of discomfort when injured.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Photo from Amandajm/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Herding
Height43.18 - 50.80 cm
Weight15.88 - 22.68 kg
Life Expectancy12 - 16 years

The Australian Cattle Dog is a relative of the famous dingo, bred to herd cattle on expansive fields. This physically fit and active breed can also keep up when it comes to jogging with their owners.

These dogs could also be energetic playmates for kids. However, you need to train them well because they have a habit of nipping people like sheep.

The Australian Cattle Dog is well-equipped in dealing with heat, given that it’s bred in the Land Down Under. Just make sure that you always bring these pups water to avoid dehydration during playtime.

4. Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpie

Photo from Martin Pot/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Foundation Stock Service
Height43.18 - 50.80 cm
Weight15.88 - 22.68 kg
Life Expectancy10 - 13 years

The Australian Kelpie is a highly-intelligent herding dog that could be left alone to work on sheep farms. This breed originates from Collies from Scotland and is named after a mythological creature from Celtic folklore.

Dog trainers also find this breed easy to deal with, responding well to positive reinforcement when learning tricks. 

When taking care of an Australian Kelpie, don’t leave them alone for long periods as their boundless energy may urge them to thrash your belongings.

5. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Photo from Lilly M/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Hound
Height63.50 - 68.58 cm
Weight11.30 - 27.22 kg
Life Expectancy12 - 18 years

You could easily recognize an Afghan Hound with their long, smooth locks of fur. Their majestic appearance makes them a favorite show dog in the 19th century.

Even though this breed has long coats, they’re well adapted to temperature extremes. Aside from cold insulation, the fur of Afghan Hounds protects them from harsh sunlight.

To prevent discomfort from tangled hair, you should bathe and brush the hair of these dogs regularly to maintain their shine. If you don’t have the time, you could always take these hounds to the dog groomers for coat maintenance.

6. Basenji


Photo from ToB/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Hound
Height40.64 - 43.18 in
Weight9.90 - 10.80 kg
Life Expectancy13 - 14 years

Basenji is a famous dog breed because they yodel when howling. Because of their shallow larynx, they can’t move their vocal cords rapidly, preventing them from barking.

According to the National Library of Medicine research, the Basenji is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. 

These dogs also adapt well to living in enclosed spaces like apartments, provided that you equip them with an outlet to release their energies.

7. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Photo from Kumarrrr/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Working
Height58.42 - 69.85 in
Weight40 - 50 kg
Life Expectancy9 - 12 years

This Italian Mastiff breed is an imposing dog used as a guard dog and a hunting dog in ancient times. Today, the Cane Corso is suitable in active fields like law enforcement, military, and rescue.

The short fur of these dogs makes them suitable for hot climates. Although they could withstand arid temperatures, Cane Corsos could still overheat if it’s too humid.

This doggy isn’t for beginners. If improperly trained, these large, intelligent dogs would misbehave and disobey their owners.

8. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Photo from Ronald Müller-Hagen/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Terrier
Height23 - 33 cm
Weight5.90 - 6.35 kg
Life Expectancy13 - 15 years

The rugged, weather-resistant coat of Cairn Terriers makes them suitable for all types of weather. These energetic dogs often chase rodents and other wild animals out of the owner’s property.

You may also recognize this breed as Toto the dog from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Like the film’s Toto, this dog is also alert and active in seeking out adventures outside.

A Cairn Terrier owner also needs a small patch of soil or sandbox in their backyard, as these puppers love to dig holes in the ground.

9. Chihuahua


Photo from Canarian/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Toy
Height12.70 - 20.32 cm
Weight1.80 - 2.70 kg
Life Expectancy14 - 16 years

A famous accessory dog to the likes of  Paris Hilton and other stars, the Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. These dogs hail from Mexico and have been observed by Spanish conquistadores in the region since the 16th century.

This dog prefers hot, humid climates and has fur that allows easy temperature control. During winter months, it’s better to wrap these pooches snugly on a blanket to prevent hypothermia.

Owners also need to impose authority on Chihuahuas, as these pups could cause havoc with their fiery temperament.

10. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog

Photo from Tommy Gildseth/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Toy
Height27.94 - 33.02 cm
Weight3.63 - 5.44 kg
Life Expectancy13 - 18 years

Chinese Crested Dogs could either be a hairless variety or a powderpuff one. The hairless variety has no hair in the body except on the feet, head, and tail while the powder puffs have long locks of thin fur.

Both breeds of this canine prefer warm environments. Chinese Crested Dog owners, especially those with hairless ones, need to apply sunscreen to these canine friends to prevent sunburn.

They’re also a great cuddling companion, preferring the heat exuded by their owner’s laps.

11. Dalmatian


Photo from Lucasbosch/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Non-Sporting
Height48.26 - 60.96 cm
Weight20.41 - 31.75 kg
Life Expectancy11 - 13 years

Anyone who watched Disney’s 101 Dalmatians would be familiar with this spotted breed. These canines were originally kept as coach guards, running alongside coaches to protect the horses.

Dalmatians also have the ideal short coats and ears for hot environments. With their heat resistance and expertise as guard dogs, they became famous additions to fire departments around the world.

This breed is perfect for people with active lifestyles. These dalmatians could surely keep up with their owners when it comes to high-energy exercises and races.

12. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Photo from Snej Teeps/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Working
Height60.96 - 71.12 cm
Weight27.22 - 45.36 kg
Life Expectancy10 - 12 years

The regal Doberman Pinscher may look intimidating for some families due to their athletic build and their popularity as a guard dog. This breed, however, is super affectionate to their owners and loves cuddles.

Families find the Doberman easy to groom, needing minimal baths and just the occasional cleaning and trimmings. Their muscled body also loses heat quickly, especially during exercises.

Don’t be fooled by its attachment to the owners. If necessary, this pupper could lunge toward any danger to protect the household.

13. Great Dane

Great Dane

Photo from Томасина/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Working
Height71.12 - 81.28 cm
Weight49.90 - 79.38 kg
Life Expectancy7 - 10 years

The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds in the world, with weights almost reaching the human average. They were originally bred to hunt wild animals and protect German nobilities

Now, these giant dogs are soft when interacting with the family, particularly kids. They could also serve as guards, as the barks of the Great Dane are loud enough to scare intruders off your property.

You also won’t need to worry about these dogs when it comes to heat. Even though they’re a big breed, these puppers enjoy basking in the sun.

14. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound

Photo from Dannydulai/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Hound
Height57.15 - 69.85 cm
Weight20.41 - 22.68 kg
Life Expectancy11 - 14 years

A rare dog initially used to hunt rabbits, the Ibizan Hound is an agile breed with great jumping ability. The dog uses its abilities and lithe build when navigating different terrains.

The Ibizan Hound could be a handy companion when hiking as it prefers long hours of exercise. They also excel in dog sports like navigating obstacle courses and scent tracking.

15. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound

Photo from kallerna/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Hound
Height53.34 -63.50 cm
Weight20.41 - 25.40 kg
Life Expectancy12 - 14 years

Also known as the Kelb tal-Fenek, this Maltese dog bears the resemblance to the depictions of the Egyptian god of the dead Anubis. This breed is also said to hunt gazelles with pharaohs, hence its name.

This dog also could blush a deep rose hue on their nose and ears. They do this when they’re happy or enjoying the moment with their owners.

16. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier

Photo from Macboots/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Terrier
Height25.40 - 33.02 cm (miniature)

33.02 - 45.72 cm (standard)

Weight4.54 - 11.34 kg
Life Expectancy12 - 18 years

These rare dogs are a staple companion in barnyards and farms from the ‘20s to the ‘40s, kept for their ability to hunt rodents and other pests. The name Rat Terrier was reportedly coined by former US president Theodore Roosevelt.

This pooch thrives in warm temperatures because of its light-colored coat and big ears that help in cooling down. Just don’t hose them down in summertime as they don’t like water that much.

17. Vizsla


Photo from Darrel Birkett/Wikimedia Commons

Group (AKC)Sporting
Height53.34 - 60.96 cm
Weight19.96 - 27.22 kg
Life Expectancy12 - 14 years

Vizslas are hunting dogs that could adapt to work in various environments like fields, woods, and even on water. If you live in areas near Lake Houston, taking these furry friends to swim is a must.

These dogs also have the instinct for tracking fowl like pheasants and turkeys. In the household, these puppers are quite fond of their owners and friendly toward strangers.

Tips For Regulating Your Dog’s Internal Temperature

Tips For Regulating Your Dog’s Internal Temperature

Photo from Pdpics/Wikimedia Commons

Even heat-tolerant pooches need some protection from the elements. When the temperatures in Houston reach the extremes, here are some things you could do to protect your dog’s health:

  • Don’t leave your dogs outside during the summer and winter months
  • Provide the dogs some protection from the elements if you need to leave them outside
  • Always bring water and snacks when playing outside with your dog
  • Regularly groom your dog’s fur (but don’t shave it!) 
  • Bring your pups some frozen treats 
  • Let your dogs play in the water
  • Check the ground’s temperature before letting the pups play
  • Don’t leave your pets inside a parked car
  • Reduce exercise hours during humid days
  • Take your pet to the vet if they’re not feeling well

Now that you have an idea of what dog breed could handle the Houston heat, remember that owning a pup is a delicate responsibility. Aside from providing their basic needs, give them quality time and lots of TLC so they’ll grow up happy and healthy!

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