7 Rambunctious Russian Dog Breeds That’ll Keep You Warm in the Winter

Group of Siberian huskies pulling dog sleds

belyaaa / Adobe Stock Siberian huskies are winter-loving dogs with their thick double coat. If it’s a snow day, good luck your puppy comes in!

Despite its status as the largest country in the world, Russia is home to less than two percent of the world’s population. Half of the country is covered with forests and more than half belongs to the Siberian region, which has freezing temperatures for most of the year. Russia’s dog residents were bred to withstand cold temperatures and rough terrain in the past, and many Russian dog breeds remain tough, hard workers today. But if the typical Samoyed smile or the teddy bear’s resemblance to the Caucasian Shepherd is any clue, these pooches have a soft side too and are now being pampered by pet parents around the world.

Samoyed

Adult Samoyed lies in the snow during snowfall

Adult Samoyed lies in the snow during snowfall

Evelina / Adobe Stock

Originally from Siberia, the Samoyed is named after the Samoyed who raised their dogs to defend them and to herd and hunt animals. The thick, fluffy fur and characteristic, smiling appearance of these dogs make the dogs look like they’re just begging to be cuddled, something the Samoyed are certainly no stranger to.

“Because Samoyed and Samoyed tents shared tents on the cold nights, this breed values ​​the bond with their owners,” said Jerry Klein, DVM, chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Their good-natured grin is not only adorable, but also reminiscent of the Russian climate the breed originated from. These upturned lips prevented drooling and prevent icicles from forming on their fur in freezing temperatures.

Russian toys

two russian toy terriers

two russian toy terriers

tanipanova / Adobe Stock

Crisp and bouncing with playful energy, the Russian toy dog ​​has become a prestigious symbol of Russian nobility. These pampered pooches were quite celebrities, according to the Russian Toy Club of America, brought to stylish events with their owners as a status symbol.

The breed was critically endangered during the World Wars when Russia focused on breeding working dogs for the military, but luckily enough breeders stayed loyal to these cuddly companions to give them stamina. Although these dogs are now among the rarer Russian dog breeds, those who know a Russian toy know how special the bond between owner and pet can be and are rewarded with a lap dog for life.

The story goes on

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Borzoi

White borzoi dogs lay in the snow

White borzoi dogs lay in the snow

christian42 / Adobe Stock

These long-legged, long-haired sprinters, formerly known as the “Russian Wolfhound”, have been renamed “Borzoi,” which means a Russian word that means fast. Wolf hunting was a celebrated sport among the Russian aristocracy, and the jumping borzoi were bred to aid in the hunt.

“The borzoi is a large greyhound that is shaped like a greyhound and has a long, silky coat,” says Klein. “They are quiet and feline and quick, which made it easy for them to catch their prey on the hunt.”

Although fast by nature, the borzoi has a calm demeanor that lends itself well to a slower lifestyle. Families should plan to give these stylish pups plenty of exercise, however – always on a leash or in a fenced yard to ensure these speedsters stay within reach.

Siberian husky

Group of Siberian huskies pulling dog sleds

Group of Siberian huskies pulling dog sleds

belyaaa / Adobe Stock Siberian huskies are winter-loving dogs with their thick double coat. If it’s a snow day, good luck your puppy comes in!

No Russian dog is more recognizable than the Siberian Husky, which is ranked 16th out of the top 20 most popular dog breeds in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. Bred to pull sleds across Russian terrain, these social dogs fit just as naturally into family life. Nevertheless, its rich history is celebrated today.

In the 1925 Winder, musher Leonhard Seppala and others led a squadron of Siberian huskies over deadly terrain in just five and a half days to deliver a life-saving serum for people suffering from a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. While many heroic huskies were involved in the relay, the lead dog in the final part of the trip, Balto, was honored for special recognition. A statue of Balto currently stands in New York City’s Central Park.

Russian spaniel

Two Russian spaniels pose in a forest

Two Russian spaniels pose in a forest

Ann Tyurina / Shutterstock

According to the Russian Spaniel Club, the Russian Spaniel is a rarer breed that is naturally suitable for hunting, especially as a bird dog in swamps, fields, or wooded areas. Easy to train, friendly and easy to care for, the Russian Spaniel is a popular companion in Russia. Although not officially recognized by the AKC, its importance abroad continues to grow with the development of the Russian Spaniel Club in the US and Canada in 2002.

Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier jumping

Black Russian Terrier jumping

Rita Kochmarjova / Shutterstock

Don’t let the term terrier fool you – the black Russian terrier is defined by the AKC as a working dog originally bred by the Soviet government for service in the military police. Weighing up to 130 pounds, these fluffy pooches prefer their people over strangers and like to keep an eye on their families. Their history as a working breed makes them more likely to patrol the garden than to take up a corner of the couch. And her super smartness will keep you looking for fun things to do together.

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Caucasian Shepherd (Caucasian Ovcharka)

Caucasian Shepherd Dog outside in the snow

Caucasian Shepherd Dog outside in the snow

Kate Ovcharenko / Adobe Stock

The Caucasian Shepherd is affectionately known as the “Russian Bear Dog” and is aptly named not only because of its resemblance to a teddy bear, but also because of its history of bear hunting in Russia.

Big but loving, the Caucasian Shepherd is a gentle giant who is best for seasoned dog owners. They are a devoted, fond breed of dog that outsiders may not trust, and they do not do well if left alone for long periods of time. With early training and socialization, these big-boned, big-hearted dogs can become loving family pets.

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