Australian Cattle Dog

Do Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold?

Yes!  Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold. 

Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely hearty and do very well in cold environments even at freezing or below.

Because of their double coat, they have added protection from the cold, wind, rain and snow.

Their dense undercoat provides insulation and holds the outercoat out just a little.  This allows the outercoat to shed water and block the wind, keeping it from ever touching the warm, dry skin.

It’s just like wearing insulated long johns under your raincoat!

Are Australian Cattle Dogs the Best Cold Weather Dog?

No, not really. 

Even though Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold, there are several sources listing other dog breeds that are known to have a higher tolerance to frigid weather conditions. 

Some of those breeds are:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Keeshond
  • Siberian Huskey
  • Saint Bernard
  • Tibetan Terrier
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • Newfoundland
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Akita
  • Bernese Mountain Dog

Still, Australian Cattle Dogs remain a very good choice for an outdoor cold-weather companion.  He will be happy and excited to hike, run, chase, and play with you until you’re ready to come back inside to get warmed up.  

Given his intense loyalty and desire to be at your side, he may even be willing to stay out in the cold longer than he should.

As the temperature drops and time goes by, the cold will take its toll on a body, both dog and human.  It is important to know when it is too cold, and when you have been out long enough. 

Pay attention to a few warning signs so you will know when it is time to get warmed up. 

Signs That Your Australian Cattle Dog Might Be Getting Too Cold

Your walk or playtime may start out perfectly, and continue to be fun for a while, but at some point, things could go wrong.  No matter how hearty your Australian Cattle Dog is, the cold, over time, can take its toll.

If you have been out in the cold for a long time, here are a few signs to be on the look-out for:

  • Shivering and Shaking
  • Whining, Barking, or Whimpering
  • Tail Tucked in an uncomfortable posture
  • Lifting paws off the ground
  • Acting reluctant or anxious
  • Lost desire to continue

When you start to see any of these signs you should head back inside to get warmed up again.  You can always try some indoor activities or training sessions.

Australian Cattle Dogs cold

Australian Cattle Dogs Love to Play in the Snow!

These Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold mountains and deep snow of Switzerland!  Thank you Eva!

Australian Cattle Dogs

How Cold is Too Cold?

These recommendations can be used as general guidelines only.  There are so many variables like sunlight, clouds, or wind that it is impossible to make hard and fast rules. 

  • 50-70 F  Best outdoor playing temperatures
  • 40-50 F  Still safe but stay dry
  • 30-40 F  On the lower end of safe, use caution
  • 15-30 F  Danger could develop, be vigilant
  • 0-15 F  Threatening cold, avoid prolonged outdoor activity
  • Below zero F  Short periods of exposure only
Australian Cattle Dogs cold

How Long is Too Long?

The effects that the cold has on a body increases with time.  What might seem tolerable at first will change to uncomfortable and eventually to intolerable.  Depending on the temperature, time can turn uncomfortable into dangerous.

If you dress warmly and stay dry, you can be comfortable outside for quite some time.

But, for your dog, the time from tolerable to dangerous can go by without notice.

So, to be safe, pay attention.  Watch for the warning signs.  Pay attention to your dog’s posture and actions.  Be on the lookout for signs that he has been out long enough.

A good rule of thumb is that if it is starting to feel too cold for you, chances are it is also too cold for him.  Be a good judge.

Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold


Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature drops too low.  This can happen when the dog is too cold for too long.

A dog’s normal body temperature is from 101-102.5 F. (38.3-39.2 Celsius)  A body temperature below 99 F (37.2 C) can be life-threatening.

Hypothermia will result in:

  • Weakness
  • Slowing pulse
  • Lethargy
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Lack of mental alertness
  • Fixed and dilated pupils
  • Stupor-like state
  • Loss of consciousness

These are all reasons for immediate medical attention.

Australian Cattle Dogs snow


Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold but you still should be on the lookout for overexposure.

When exposed to very low temperatures for a prolonged period of time, the tissue of the extremities can freeze and die.

The tips of the ears and tail, as well as the pads of the feet, are most at risk.  Frostbite can result in portions of the affected tissue actually falling off.  This is also a reason for immediate medical attention.

Comments from owners who say their Australian Cattle Dogs do well in the cold.

Roxanne from Quebec:

“It gets pretty cold here in Québec, Canada. Sometimes – 30°C. When its too cold Willow wears a coat and boots, but he still plays outside. He prefers cold to heat.”

Tracy from Saskatchewan:

“It’s been as cold as -50 with wind chills in southern Saskatchewan, Canada.
Gibson handles it like we do ..out to do barn chores then back in.
We don’t dress him in boots or a coat ..he stays warm enough as we do to be out for a short amount of time .”

Dave from Alberta:

I live in Alberta, Canada, I have to force her inside at -30c, she loves it, and loves deep snow. She even comes ice fishing with me. When she has km of open space to run on, she will run from one end of the lake to the other, then do it again.”