How Cold Is Too Cold For A German Shepherd?

If you are taking your German Shepherd out for a jog and not sure if the temperature is too cold for the German Shepherd then it is the best choice to go through this entire article so that you will be able to clear up this confusion and treat your German Shepherd in the best way possible.

Every German Shepherd doesn’t have the same cold tolerant. This variation occurs throughout different German Shepherds. Some German Shepherds have a high tolerance for cold weather as compared to other German Shepherd. A heavy fur coat or body mass sure makes a great difference when it comes to cold tolerance.

Some specific definitions adaptations help prepare a German Shepherd for a cold tolerant that it will become easier for you to go out with your German Shepherd. When it comes to natural behaviorOpens in a new tab., strong instinct that helps them go pretty cold warm weather. These instincts help keep the German Shepherd warm even in cold temperatures.

German Shepherds have a thick fur coat

One of the major ways through which German Shepherds fight cold is by having a thick fur coat. The majority of the German Shepherds have a thin layer of outer guard layer with a thick undercoat. The outer coat of German Shepherds is dense. The purpose of this coat is to provide insulation. It helps keep the German Shepherds warm throughout the winter season. The thickness of this coat also varies among the German Shepherds. It helps ensure that the warm heat doesn’t escape the body of the German Shepherd.

Variation of coat length:

There is a variation of coat length that exists among German Shepherds. Some German Shepherds have longer and thicker coat whereas others may have a thinner coat.

  • Short length outer coat with thin undercoat
  • Long haired outer coat with thick under coat
  • A long haired dog without an under coat

Muscles help keep your dog warm:

Many people are not aware of this training helps build muscles in your German Shepherd which in turn makes it stronger. These muscles help keep the German Shepherd warm in the cold winters. Muscle help generates metabolic energy which keeps the body warm for a longer period.

Exercise is crucial:

If you do not take your dog out for exercise then chances are your German Shepherd will become lazy and feel more cold than usual. It is noticed that those German Shepherds that do regular training and exercise tend to be more active in winters compared to those German Shepherds that do not train.

Exercise helps keep the German Shepherd active and boosts blood circulation. This helps keep the body warm for a greater period in winter.

Dogs have special traits to keep themselves warm:

One of the major ways through which dogs keep themselves warm during winters is through their natural behavior and traits. These help keep the dogs warm and help them survive the cold weather.

  • Dogs have a fluffy tail which they use to cover their faces while sleeping.
  • Dogs also sleep in a curled position so that it results in minimum heat loss which helps keep their bodies warm throughout the winter night. Their bushy tail helps keep their eyes and nose warm.
  • They have a special network of blood vessels that helps keep their feet warm throughout the night. This mechanism is similar to that found in penguins.
  • German Shepherds undergo Piloerection. When the German Shepherd puffs up its guard hair and undercoat hair trap the cold air and keeps it away from the skin and the blood vessels.

Factors that decrease German Shepherds ability to withstand cold

There are some factors that can potentially decrease the German Shepherd’s ability to withstand cold. German Shepherds are capable of handling temperatures up to 20 degrees. They can also tolerate temperature as low as -10 to -15 degrees. It all depends on the type of German Shepherd.


Small dogs like puppies have a low muscle mass and are small in size. They do not have a thick undercoat and have poor mechanisms for keeping the body warm for a long time. These dogs also cannot shiver for a long time and hence catch a cold easily.

Senior dogs

These dogs usually have large muscle mass and a thick undercoat. It helps them to fight cold weather and keep their bodies warm quite effectively. But as the dog ages, it loses its undercoat hair and muscle mass. This makes it hard for the dog to survive the cold weather.

Sick dogs

Sickness can make it hard for a dog to withstand cold weather. Illness or chronic pain can lead to great problems for the dog. Illness can also lead to loss of body mass and muscle mass.

How to help your dog when it’s cold

There are several ways through which you can help your German Shepherd fight the cold weather.

Warm bed

One of the best ways to help your German Shepherd is by forming warm bedding for it. You can add blankets and cushions to help keep your dog awake throughout the night.

Water is necessary

It is crucial to make sure that your dog is hydrated. Hydration helps regulate metabolic processes which in turn keeps the body warm for a longer time.


Providing your dog with the best shelter is important especially in winters. Make sure that your dog is well fed before going to sleep. It will help keep the dog warm throughout the night. A proper doghouse will help keep the dog warm and protect it from the cold weather even when it’s raining outside.

Final words

When it comes to protecting your dog against the cold weather it is crucial to treat them with love and kindness. Taking care of their needs becomes more essential in winters. By going through this article it will become easier for you to take care of your German Shepherd and protect it against the cold weather.

Sara Sordini

Sara Sordini wants to help you and your family raise a happy and reliable dog. We add articles on a regular basis and cover several topics such as behavior, nutrition, breed info & recommended products.

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