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Approximately the size of Europe, the American south abounds with goodness. Whether you want to reside in a small or big city, you will find the right corner for you. There are endless beaches, mountains, scenic byways, hiking and camping spots, beautiful neighborhoods, good schools, hunting areas, you name it.
Today, we are talking about the dog breeds that are ideal for the Southern United States. Essentially, you are looking at canines that can handle the heat. If you reside in Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, or any of the southern states, you know winters are short while summers are long. Most months of the year are hot and humid. This means you need a dog that won’t struggle to survive down there. He should also be able to help with a few things like hunting or herding livestock. Here is a list of 10 southern dog breeds.
1. Australian Shepherd
This hunting dog breed from the Aussie is a great choice for American southerners. From obedience to agility and good tolerance for the Southern heat, the Australian shepherd is perfect for this part of America. When it comes to herding talent and work ethic, very few beat him. He will watch over cattle and sheep like a pro. Being slender and agile, he can move stock with ease. He is very alert and wary of strangers approaching you or the livestock. Besides herding, the Aussie also does very well in the show ring.
Bred to work alongside hunters in Africa, the Basenji thrives in hot and wet climates. His moderately big ears remain erect when the temperatures rise and help the body remain nice and cool. This super-cool breed is smart, driven, and very athletic. The only challenge of owning one is that he can be hard to train. He can be headstrong and stubborn, not to mention very independent. If you are from the south and have plenty of experience with owning canines, this dog can make your life great down there.
3. German Short-Haired Pointer
Here’s another breed to pick when you are going out to hunt in the southern heat. The German short-haired pointer has an excellent short water-repellent coat. Not only does it keep the dog cool in blazing temperatures but it also repels dirt. The breed was developed to hunt and thus has lots of energy. You can take him for a steep hike all day and you won’t hear a word of complaint from him. He can navigate virtually all terrains. His speed and agility are also out of this world. Whether you are going hunting or hiking in one of Louisiana’s camping spots, this dog will not disappoint you.
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4. Border Collie
Border Collies are also perfect for the southern culture and climate. They are very energetic, athletic, and smart—that’s why they are perfect herding dogs. The high energy can be a turn-off for laid-back apartment dwellers but if you have space and plenty of work for your canine friend, it will work to your advantage. A border collie has a strong herding instinct and will naturally enjoy watching cows, goats, and sheep as they graze. Their double coats come in handy in warm or hot temperature conditions as they shield the skin from the heat. During winter, the coat also provides protection from the cold.
5. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian shepherd is not the only popular herding dog from the south. The Australian cattle dog just so happens to be another. The name says it all. This breed was bred to herd livestock. He possesses all the key characteristics for a good herder. These include the ability to adapt to any climatic condition, tenacity, alertness, stamina, and agility. His amazing energy makes him a good hiking buddy. He can go up the hill without flinching even if you do. What more can a southern native want in a dog?
6. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever is a beloved dog across the country. According to the AKC, he is America’s favorite dog breed. Blame it on his family disposition. No doubt, the lab is a perfect family dog. No matter your family setup, he will love everyone and add value to their lives in so many different ways. He is truly affectionate, loyal, and fun to be around.
When it comes to working, the Labrador has what it takes to track and retrieve prey. He was a hunter for centuries before becoming America’s lap dog. His ability to track game has made him one of the chosen breeds for hunters, the visually-impaired, and a number of military operations. People from down south love the lab because of the reasons above and the fact that he can handle long winter months.
7. Golden Retriever
Like the Lab, the Goldie also does well in warm climates, thanks to his moderately dense coat. As long as he has enough water, he can thrive in the southern heat quite well. This breed is as friendly as they come. He will want to follow you everywhere you go. Unless he is unwell or hungry, he will never say no to you. He will go on long walks with you, play a game of fetch, take you camping, and go hunting. Speaking of hunting, the golden possesses great skills that make him valuable out there. He is specially designed to hunt small game such as birds and waterfowl.
8. Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman is a heat-friendly canine. You’d imagine that since he is covered in black fur, he suffers from heat strokes but he’s pretty comfortable living in warm areas. This is due to the fact that he has a short coat, big ears, a long muzzle, and a leggy build. All these combine to make up for the dark coloration. Dobermans are great working dogs that always enjoy having something to do. They can also lounge around the home if you let them be. They are easy to train and intelligent, making them great for first-time owners.
Another big-eared dog with a short coat, the Hungarian Vizsla is well suited for the southern climate. Granted, Hungary features a fair climate but this breed is also content living in an area with warm – hot summers. If you love to hunt, he’ll make a great hunting buddy. His pointing ability is spot-on. He can run faster than most dogs. He’s a natural retriever. He can swim enthusiastically. The list could go on and on. In short, a hunter from Mississippi will find the Vizsla to be agreat buddy to have around.
10. Rat Terrier
While not all terrier dogs are perfect for the southern vibe, the Rat terrier certainly fits the profile. He has a small body that helps him release body heat when the temperature rises. That means he can still be outdoors even during the hot summers. His big set of ears and a short coat help with radiating heat to the air as well. The rat terrier can, well, hunt rats among other small game. He can also just sleep at home and wait for you to bring the rat to him.
There it is – the list of 10 southern dog breeds. If you are planning to relocate to the southern states, it is in your best interest to have a dog that adapts to the climate and culture over there. This list is a great place to begin.
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Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.