Best Dog Breeds for Living in Nordic Countries

greenland-dogIf you live in or are planning on moving to a Nordic country and want to get a pooch to keep you company, you need to make sure you choose a breed that will thrive in a country that experiences extremely cold weather. Most Nordic dog breeds are heavy-coated breeds that are suited for the cold Nordic weather. The breeds from this region are also mostly hunting and working dogs as they are expected to contribute to the everyday lives of locals.

Here are a few of the best dog breeds if you’re living in a Nordic country.


The Akita hails from Japan but was originally bred as a cold-weather hunting dog. They have a dense undercoat and a thick, harsh fur that keeps them warm. This breed was bred as a hunting companion for the cold parts of Japan. If you choose an Akita it will be protective and loyal until the end but will have a tendency to be stubborn and independent at times.

Siberian Husky

A breed that might be most recognised as a cold-weather dog with its distinct appearance is the Siberian Husky. As its name suggests, this breed originated in Siberia as a working dog and would help humans travel and carry goods long distances over the cold conditions by pulling the sledge.

Siberian Huskies can withstand cold weather due to their double coat fur layer, which keeps them very well insulated.

This breed is agile and intelligent but does require a lot of exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.

Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund (a medium-sized Spitz) is traditionally used for herding reindeer in Finland but due to its easygoing, calm demeanour its recently become a very popular companion dog. The breed is prominent in Finland and other Nordic countries but has recently started to become prevalent even outside of its native land. If you’re looking for an active, intelligent breed with a calm nature then you will want to consider this breed.

Saint Bernard

Get your very own Beethoven and enjoy unconditional love. This breed became famous after the 1992 film hit the screen but Saint Bernard’s were already being used as a way to find humans trapped in the snow and mountains for decades beforehand. The dogs would track down hikers and skiers even in the coldest and harsh conditions in the Swiss alps with their thick fur coat keeping them warm.

They may not be the most lively and playful of breeds but they will make up for this with slobbery affection. They may look muscular and hard on the outside but they’re really just big old teddy bears.

Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound is used to hunting in cold climates in Scandinavia and the breed has many Nordic traits. Their double coat, which has a smooth outer layer and a woolly under layer, keeps them warm and dry.

They were originally bred to hunt elk but they have now become a popular hiking companion because of their energy and lasting endurance. They are a very protective breed and are always ready for adventure.

Greenland dog

The last breed on the list is the Greenland Dog also known as the Greenland Husky, and as the name suggests originates from Greenland. Similar to the Husky, the Greenland Dog was developed as a sledge dog and was also used for hunting seals and polar bears.

As the breed is so used to being a working dog they can struggle with the adaptation to being a companion animal and require a firm and experienced trainer.