21 Dog Breeds That Thrive in Hot Weather & Deserts

Our beloved canines have adapted to a variety of living environments all around the world—from snowy mountain tops to desolate valleys. And some dogs are even lucky enough to adjust to almost any place on earth. Depending on where you lie on the map, you may want to know what dogs are most compatible with your local weather.

Look no further—these amazing 21 breeds can take the scorching heat. So, if you find temperatures climbing, it won’t bother these pooches. Find out about these unique, nifty dog types that will flourish in the sizzling summer sun.

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1. Vizsla

vizsla dog standing in a white sand desert
Image Credit: Barna Tanko, Shutterstock

The impressively agile Vizsla is no stranger to the heat. From Hungary, this capable breed was designed to withstand the elements. Physically speaking, these dogs have short, sleek coats that keep them cool in hot temperatures.

Because of their high energy, they make the best playmates for older kids. They also enjoy the company of other doggy companions—and can even take a shining to a cat or two. Vizsla’s are very friendly, even with strangers. So, if you’re looking for a dog who loves everyone—you found it.

Vizsla’s are very zippy, so be prepared for walks, runs, and games all the time. They aren’t so good with apartment living and require up to 60 minutes of activity per day. Not having enough room to run and play could make a Vizsla rambunctious, destructive, and even depressed.

On the other end, these dogs are fabulous in the right conditions. Very healthy, you won’t have a lot of unexpected health issues pop up. And they live an average of 12 to 15 years, so plan to have a lively buddy that keeps you young.

  • Fun Fact: All Vizsla’s lack an undercoat, which makes them bad candidates for cold environments.

2. Basenji

Basenji in a desert
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The Basenji is a spry, curly-tailed dog that is more than used to hot days. Hailing from Africa, this intelligent, active breed has so many traits that make them desirable as pets. They’re a moderate size and fit in with a variety of lifestyles.

They have a spitz-style tail, but they fall in the hound group category. The Basenji is described as a cat-like dog, behaving in a very independent manner. Because of their stubbornness, they can be a challenge to train.

Otherwise, Basenjis are curious, happy-go-lucky playmates for everyone. They aren’t very selective as to who they like. Anyone who wants to toss around a ball or romp around the house is good in Basenji’s book.

These dogs have a very healthy existence, with only minor concerns like hypothyroidism and progressive retinal atrophy. They live an average of 12 to 16 years, so they have an attractive lifespan as well.

  • Fun Fact: A Basenji is known as a “barkless dog”, meaning they rarely bark despite how alert they are.

3. Whippet

Whippet in the desert
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This interesting old breed that descends for Greyhounds. These dogs are medium-sized, but still very structurally similar. These dogs don’t fare well in cold temperatures, but their thin coat and physique make them perfect for the heat.

The Whippet is mannerly, timid, and agreeable. They do very well with only one owner in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. However, they can still be cordial with children or company. Whippets are gentle, affectionate, and passive creatures.

These dogs are a sighthound breed known for their speed and agility. However, when they aren’t running full-speed, they will gladly wind down with you to relax. They are a great fix of active and lazy, so they’re good for many households.

The whippet gene pool is typically healthy and problem-free. However, they are prone to specific ailments like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and cardiac disease. This breed usually lives between 12 and 15 years, so they will live a long, happy life with you.

  • Fun Fact: When a Whippet runs, they can reach speeds up to 35 mph.

4. Dalmatian

Dalmatians playing in the desert sand
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This famous breed is known for their appearances in childhood movies and their place in older firehouses. They are also quite compatible with hot temperatures.

Dalmatians are often hyper, even high-strung. They can suffer from anxiety, which leads to destructive behavior. However, if they are well-socialized, exercised, and stimulated, they will make remarkable family additions.

While these dogs may be depicted as friendly, fun-loving dogs—you want to proceed with caution. They are selective about other dogs—even aggressive. They tend to do best in only-dog households and may not be the kind you want to take to the dog park for a playdate.

These dogs have a generally decent lifespan, ranging from 12 to 14 years. While they are prone to allergies, deafness, and urinary stones, they don’t have many other serious issues.

  • Fun Fact: Around 30% of all Dalmatians are deaf.

5. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan hound in the AZ desert
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The Ibizan Hound is no stranger to toasty temperatures. From Ibiza, this canine with wiry, smooth fur, and lean muscle works very well in hot climates.

These dogs make for an extremely fun companion. They are known for their clown-like personalities—always goofing off. While they are playful and entertaining, they’re also quite stubborn. You have to keep a very patient, firm hand when you’re trying to teach them the basics.

These dogs are also highly independent with minds of their own. They have a major knack for high jumps and impressive nimbleness. Ibizan Hounds are much like gazelles or deer in their gracefulness.

Ibizan Hounds have a moderately long lifespan, averaging 10 to 12 years. They tend to have problems relating to hip dysplasia and autoimmune thyroiditis. Those risks are minimal compared to the good time you’ll have with an Ibizan Hound.

  • Fun Fact: You can historically trace Ibizan Hounds back to 3400 B.C.

6. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound in the sand
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Here’s another lanky hound breed that loves the heat—introducing the breathtaking Pharaoh Hound.  They have a muscular, sleek appearance with a capable frame. With their pointed, alert ears, they may seem intimidating—but they are extremely social and good-humored.

These silly dogs are practically made for family living. They’re agreeable, adaptable, and affectionate. Pharaoh Hounds will be your best buddy any time—Whether you need some fur to cry on or want someone to play with.

Pharaoh Hounds are incredibly prey-driven and won’t do well with the family guinea pig. It’s always best to keep a safe distance between small pets and these dogs. But, they are very friendly with strangers, children, other dogs—and even cats, if they are socialized early.

Pharaoh Hounds are usually problem-free in terms of health, but they can run into certain issues. They are susceptible to thyroid trouble, allergies, and cataracts. Also, because of their desire to run and chase, traffic may be a direct hazard for them.

  • Fun Fact: Because these dogs have no dark skin pigment, their ears, and nose “blush” rosy pink when they’re excited.

7. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound basks in the summer heat
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The Italian Greyhound is well-known for its incredible speeds and racing potential. They also do very well in hot climates thanks to their ultra-fine coats. These dogs are one of the oldest of all, dating back to 3000 B.C.

They are the smallest of all the sighthound breeds, and one with the keenest eye. As companions, these dogs are remarkably intelligent and quick to catch on. They are excellent companions, providing a great running buddy and afternoon napper.

Don’t let their innocent faces fool you—they are also quite mischievous. Their quietness serves them well, allowing them to slip past you unwittingly. But one flash of their sweet doe eyes, and you’ll probably let it slide.

Italian Greyhounds have a long lifespan of 12 to 15 years. This dog breed, like many Greyhounds, are prone to seizures, but not all of them will have that problem.

  • Fun Fact: Italian Greyhounds are very receptive to the tone of your voice, which makes discipline a breeze.

8. Weimaraner

Weimaraner in the desert
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The Weimaraner is an agile, smooth-coated dog with captivating bluish-gray eyes. These dogs work very well in hotter climates thanks to their thin fur. Originally from Germany, these dogs have made their way around the world.

Weimaraners tend to do best in homes that have lots of space. These dogs thrive on physical activity, so the more you can give them—the better. Wound for sound, they have a big appetite for adventure and will wear you out when they can.

These dogs are incredibly doting to owners but may not share the same sentiment for strangers—human or animal. They need to be well-socialized from an early age to prevent overly territorial behaviors.

Weimaraners live an average of 11 to 14 years with minimal complications. If they do encounter a health problem, it’s typically eyelid entropion or hemophilia A. These silver beauties will handle the heat beautifully, though.

  • Fun Fact: Weimaraner puppies are born with tiger-like stripes, which fade after they are only a few days old.

9. Chihuahua

chihuahua dog posing on a beach
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Generally short-haired and cold-sensitive, the Chihuahua much prefers the heat. These dogs hail from Mexico, so they were developed in a notoriously warm climate. You may recognize these little dogs right away, as they’ve received quite the fandom over the years.

Bold and bossy, these little dogs have quite a reputation for being spoiled. Chihuahua’s are tiny, but they act much bigger than their size. They tend to only bond with one person and have been known to show aggression—even biting—towards other people and animals.

But if you are lucky enough to be their person, they are quite a Velcro dog, constantly attached to you. These dogs love anything that involves having you around. You may see chihuahuas in fancy purses or backpacks all decked out in accessories. They truly do live the high life.

Speaking of living, these dogs have a very long lifespan, averaging 15 to 20 years. So, if you want a chihuahua for a companion, expect to have them for an exceptionally long time.

  • Fun Fact: In 2014, a wild pack of feral chihuahuas ran wild in an Arizona town creating terror.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog runs along the coast
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Equipped for extreme highs and lows in temperature, the Australian Cattle Dog is versatile. They’re known by a few names, commonly the Blue Heeler in the US. They are related to the famous native Dingo of Australia but have lost much of their wild roots.

These dogs are physically hardy and capable, having small, thick frames. They were originally skilled in farm work like herding cattle. But these days, they mostly find themselves in the home keeping a family company.

These dogs are alert, playful, and attentive. Australian Cattle Dogs are very swift, so you can teach them basic commands with minimal effort. They make terrific playmates for kids and they can give adults a pretty good workout, too.

They have a lifespan that ranges from 13-15 years. While they are generally a very healthy breed, they can suffer from deafness and hip dysplasia.

  • Fun Fact: An Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey was the oldest dog to date—living to the ripe old age of 29 years, 5 days.

11. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound lying on the sand
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Don’t let their long, flowy hair fool you—the Afghan Hound can live comfortably in hot climates. Their elegant fur actually serves a purpose, which is protecting their skin from extreme sun exposure.

While Afghan Hounds look very poised and dignified, they have another angle to them as well. They can be aloof, even totally put off by strangers or other people. They like things to be well-balanced without chaos.

These dogs were originally hunters and they still have that desire in their DNA. These days, though, they much prefer being with their families. They make sweet companions, but don’t allow them to become timid. Socialization is a must.

These dogs live 12 to 14 years. They can run into a series of health issues—mainly thyroid disorders, juvenile cataracts, and hip dysplasia. They also require regular brushing to maintain their gorgeous, silky coat.

  • Fun Fact: The Afghan Hound can run up to 40 mph, which is as fast as purebred racehorses.

12. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier dog sitting on the sand
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Little and hardy, the Yorkshire Terrier can handle hot areas, too. This toy breed is tiny and stylish, with hair you can dress for any occasion. They’re an English dog,

The spirited little Yorkie crams lion-like bravery into a tiny body. These dogs are sassy, mouthy, and cute to boot. Because they have naturally long locks, you can groom or style them up any way you choose. They’re hypoallergenic, too, so everyone can enjoy them.

Beware—these dogs are quite vocal. From a passing stranger to random noise in the house, these dogs get wound for sound on the drop of a dime. But on the plus side, they make pretty good watchdogs.

They have a longer lifespan, too. They live 12 to 16 years on average. They do suffer from some serious health issues sometimes like cancer and live shunt. And while they may not trigger allergies in humans, they commonly suffer themselves.

  • Fun Fact: Yorkies are one breed that is prone to reverse sneezing, causing them to honk like a goose.

13. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested stands on the sand
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The Chinese Crested much prefers warmer weather—possibly due to their nakedness. Chinese Cresteds tend to have a sweet disposition—slightly meek. But they are very aware of their surroundings and can have a loud mouth most of the time.

Apart from their barking tendency, they’re usually very mild dogs with an affectionate nature. Chinese Cresteds don’t need to be covered in hair to have interesting patterns. Their skin comes in all sorts of color and pattern varieties. When fully furry, they are covered in plumes of silly, solid-colored hair.

Because these dogs don’t have fur to protect them, they can have all sorts of skin-related issues. Just like humans, they can get acne, sunburns, and rashes. While they can tolerate the heat, they do need a layer of protection from sun rays on hot days.

Chinese Cresteds have a lengthy lifespan averaging 13 to 15 years. They can run into a few health issues like seizures, eye problems, and deafness.

  • Fun Fact: Every litter of Chinese Crested dogs has one pup who has full hair. These dogs are called Powderpuffs.

14. Cane Corso

Cane Corso
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Bold and brilliant, the Cane Corso handles heat like a champ. This fierce-looking breed comes from Italy, where they are quite revered throughout history.

This giant dog breed is not for the faint of heart. You need a firm hand so your Cane Corso can learn the ropes. If you let them believe they’re the alpha, you’re going to run into behavioral problems. Since they are upward of 85 pounds, you don’t want that.

When they are properly socialized, these magnificent creatures are loving and soft-hearted. They’re very protective, too, especially of little ones. Because of their temperament, they should be raised with kids and other pets early on.

Cane Corsos live an average of 10 to 12 years, which is normal for a dog of their size. They commonly run into health issues like hip dysplasia and eye problems.

  • Fun Fact: Rumor has it, Cane Corso’s used to fight lions in old Roman times.

15. Xoloitzcuintle

Xoloitzcuintle standing on a natural landscape
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Otherwise known as the Xolo, the Xoloitzcuintle is a hairless dog breed from Mexico. Rather than panting to cool down, Xolo’s sweat through their glands like humans. That trait makes this breed ideal for hotter environments so they can maintain their body temperature.

These dogs are serious, alert watchdogs, noticing every last detail in their surroundings. They tend to be quite aloof with outsiders—and not the most nurturing with small children. However, when they bond with a family, they are affectionate, loyal companions.

Xolo’s are quiet, and enjoy being around the same energy. Even though they are considered a small breed of dog, they aren’t over-zealous or overbearing. They do, however, require a good amount of exercise. They are fairly easy to teach and they rarely bark.

Sometimes, they are born with hair while littermates are totally hairless. They also come in toy, miniature, and standard sizes. Xolo’s are quite healthy with no major genetic health concerns. The average Xolo lives 15-18 years, making their lifespan attractive for potential owners.

  • Fun Fact: Xolos were thought to have magical powers, keeping evil spirits out of homes. It’s no surprise Pixar picked a Xolo to play a spirit guide named Dante in their hit children’s movie Coco.

16. Calupoh

Calupoh dog
Image Credit: Bruce McKay, Wikimedia Commons

The lovely Calupoh is no stranger to the heat. These Mexican dogs, otherwise known as the Mexican Wolfdog look intense, and their personalities coincide with that. They are closely related to their wolf cousins both in structure and temperament.

These dogs look very threatening, and they stay true to that. They are incredibly intelligent and territorial. They may bond with you as their person, but they may never share the same sentiment with strangers. They are easily trained, but they can be somewhat unpredictable.

If you socialize this dog well, they make excellent additions to families of any size. They are quite tolerant and protective of children, but never leave a small baby unattended with them. Their instincts may misjudge this baby as prey.

The Calupoh has a lifespan of 12-14 years. Genetically they are very healthy dogs with no real complaints just yet.

  • Fun Fact: The Calupoh is a gray-wolf hybrid that dates all the way back from the 15th century.

17. Potcake Dog

Potcake Dog resting on her mat
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From the Caribbean Islands, the Potcake Dog is a native mixed breed that is considered a street dog. Tourists are often encouraged to adopt these dogs in an effort to reduce the homelessness of the breed.

These dogs vary quite a bit in looks. Because they are a genetic combination of so many dogs over the years, their patterns may be scrambled up. You never quite know what you’ll get.

But one thing is for certain, Potcake parents seem extremely happy with the friendly, grateful disposition of the breed. They are loving, intelligent, and all-around fun.

These dogs live an average of 10 to 12 years. While not much is definitive about the health issues of Potcake Dogs since they’re a mixture of possibilities, their street survival genes seem to keep them pretty healthy.

  • Fun Fact: Their name comes from locals feeding them the rice that sticks to the bottom of pots.

18. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
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Impressively sturdy, the Doberman Pinscher can tolerate the warmer weather quite well. In fact, they prefer it since they don’t do so well in the cold. These dogs look intimidating—and in some cases, that notion is right.

Dobermans are fiercely protective and loyal to their household. They’re known for their guard dog tendencies, making them perfect lookouts for potential threats. They’re also very playful and goofy with those they love.

Dobermans are fairly active and love to learn. Because of their desire to work, they need stimulation and socialization. You won’t want your dog’s natural instincts to turn into aggression or destructiveness.

These dogs are fairly healthy and live an average of 10 to 13 years. They’re prone to bleeding disorders.

  • Fun Fact: The Dobermans docked tail and cropped ears helped them in fights so those parts wouldn’t be pulled or torn.

19. Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpie dog at the beach
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The gorgeous Australian Kelpie is born for hot weather. These Australian natives descended from the wild dog of Australia—dingoes. So, they were born to withstand the elements.

Kelpies are incredibly devoted to their families. They love being a part of everything you do. They aren’t the kind of dog you can lock in a kennel all day. They want in on the action, constantly ready for a new adventure.

Kelpies may be a bit high energy if you don’t have an active lifestyle. They’re herding dogs, so you may find that they try to herd your other animals and even your kids. It’s instinctual and may give you a few laughs.

These dogs are quite hardy and adaptable so they rarely run into health issues. Regular vet visits should do the trick to get ahead of any issues. They live roughly 10 to 14 years.

  • Fun Fact: These dogs were named after the Celtic folklore Kelpie who was part human, part horse.

20. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier Smiling
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Rat Terriers are an American breed that has a pretty straightforward name—they hunted rats. Their short coats help them stay cool in the heat.

Rat Terriers come in two breed sizes: miniature and standard. But even though they may differ in size, temperament generally stays the same. These dogs are alert, playful, and happy with healthy athleticism.

These dogs are escape artists, too. So make sure all of your fences are properly enforced before turning away from these spunky pups. They make awesome choices for children as they can match their energy.

Rat Terriers can live an impressive 15 to 18 years on average—so prepare to have a friend for a long time. These dogs can suffer from health issues like allergies or patellar luxation.

  • Fun Fact: Rat Terriers were stars, appearing in Shirley Temple movies.

21. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier dog standing on trail
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The cute Cairn Terrier can adapt to pretty much any living situation, including hot and cold climates. They also fare very well with both novice and experienced dog owners. So, versatility is a major perk to this breed.

These dogs are highly alert, quick on their feet, and ready to play at a moment’s notice. They’re not so good at being alone, though. So always make sure your pal has company, otherwise, they may show their distaste by chewing up your favorite shoes.

Cairn Terriers are smart as can be and catch on very quickly to new concepts. They’re a breeze to train, even though they can be a bit spirited. They tend to make the best friends for kids of all ages, dealing with pokes and tail-pulls like a champ.

These dogs are hardy, sturdy dogs that don’t suffer from too many complicated illnesses. If they do, it could be globoid-cell leukodystrophy or hypothyroidism. Cairn Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

  • Fun Fact: Toto in the Wizard of Oz was a female Cairn Terrier named Terry.

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Conclusion

As you can see, the types of dogs that can thrive in hot weather or deserts differ drastically. You can pick practically any look, personality, or size that suits you. Keep in mind that if you live somewhere where winters are bitter and summers are boiling, make sure the dog you choose can also handle the cold.

It’s incredible just how adaptable and ever-evolving dogs truly are. Which heat-friendly dog was your favorite?


Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock