Best Dogs For Florida: Which Dog Should You Get?

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Some humans like to live in a warm climate, and some prefer to live somewhere cool. Dogs are the same way.

Some dogs are happy living in a hot climate like Florida, while others can’t keep themselves cool enough to enjoy life.

Read on for the best dogs for Florida living, based on if you prefer a dog who is calm, athletic, family-friendly, or better suited for apartment living.

Best Dogs For Florida

Best Calm Dogs for Florida

Some dogs are naturally calmer than others. These calm dogs are either low energy or only have bursts of energy while still needing daily exercise.

They are happy to sleep and snuggle the warm days away with their person making them the best dogs in Florida for those who are looking for a calm dog. .

Great Dane

a Great Dane running up the side of a hill

Though a giant, powerful dog, the Great Dane is a great choice for a calm dog. Often referred to as “gentle giants,” Great Danes get along well with people and animals.

The Great Dane is a great choice for a dog in Florida as they have a natural tendency to conserve energy and won’t overexert themselves.

Great Danes need to feel that they are loved and will return that affection willingly. This breed is trustworthy, courageous, and loyal to their human family.

Great Danes are playful and easy to train, though they also have a stubborn side.

· Weight Range: One hundred to one hundred and twenty pounds for males and females

· Energy Level: Average; requires twenty to forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: High

· Coat: Short and flat; Allowing for Great Danes to keep themselves cool in hot weather

Italian Greyhound

closeup picture of an Italian Greyhound

This small breed dog is a playful and cheerful dog that is always willing and eager to please his humans.

Because he doesn’t have much of a coat, he is always willing to sunbathe outside and relax with you.

Although the Italian Greyhound enjoys sunbathing and relaxing with his owner, he also is a fast runner and enjoys getting exercise.

This breed is great for people who like to balance walking with relaxing.

Originally bred as a lap dog, the Italian Greyhound is perfect for a small, calmer dog in Florida.

· Weight Range: Seven to fourteen pounds for males and females

· Energy Level: High; also easily tired

· Social Needs: High

· Coat: Short and flat, Low grooming needs

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)

Pronounced: show – low – itz – QUEENT – ly

The Xoloitzcuintli is more commonly known as the Mexican hairless dog, is adapted to warm temperatures and hot sun. This small dog enjoys being a lap dog and lazing in hot weather.

This intelligent breed is even-tempered, playful, and affectionate and requires only a moderate amount of exercise.

When the Xoloitzcuintli gets exposure to the sun, sunscreen should be applied to protect his skin.

There is also a coated version of the Xoloitzcuintli, that is not as well suited to the hot Florida weather, but can tolerate fine as long as he has a cool place to go.

· Weight Range: Ten to thirty pounds for males, and ten to twenty-five pounds for females

· Energy Level: Average; requires less than twenty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: Moderate

· Coat: Flat

Best Athletic Dogs for Florida

For many people living in Florida, being active is natural, and they want a dog who can keep up with them. Of course, not any dog can handle being highly active in the hot Florida climate.

The following dogs are both incredibly active and capable of being active regardless of how hot it is outside making them the best dogs for Florida for those who want an athletic and active pet.

German Shorthaired Pointer

a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy laying in green grass

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a great addition to any athlete who lives in Florida.

With a short water-resistant coat, this dog can easily regulate his temperature allowing him to withstand heat and humidity.

The German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to water retrieve. This dog is a great athlete, as he is hyper and energetic and loves to jump.

Their heavy, durable nails can withstand dirt and rocks, and their short, flat, water-resistant coat regulates his temperature and is also dirt resistant.

The German Shorthair pointer is a great dog for anyone who loves to run, hike and enjoy water activities.

· Weight Range: Fifty-five to seventy pounds for males and forty-five to sixty pounds for females

· Energy Level: Very energetic, needing more than forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: High, likes to be with his human more often than not

· Coat: Short and flat, allowing for temperature regulation and resisting dirt

Australian Cattle Dog

an Australian Cattle Dog standing outdoors panting

An athletic breed, the Australian Cattle Dog, is well suited for any climate, including Florida’s hot climate.

The Australian Cattle Dog requires a lot of physical activity, making him a great choice for someone who enjoys hiking and running.

This breed is a dominant pack leader who is loyal and protective.

This medium-sized dog also has a short double coat, which allows the dog to keep himself cool during long hot days and warm if the nightly temperature plummets.

· Weight Range: Thirty-five to forty-five pounds

· Energy Level: Very energetic; requiring more than forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: Moderate; can become easily bored

· Coat: Short double coat for temperature regulation

Ibizan Hound

an Ibizan Hound on a leash next to their owner

Pronounced: eye – BEE – zuhn

Originating in the Balearic Islands near Spain’s coastline, the Ibizan Hound was bred to be used to sprint after prey under the hot sun, making them a good dog for an active lifestyle in Florida.

The Ibizan Hound has a thin body and coat, which keeps his body cool while running around in the hot sun.

This breed’s personality is unique in that he can be a little reserved, even with his own family.

While the Ibizan hound enjoys receiving pampering from his humans, he will give up his soft bed to go running. This breed is gentle and incredibly easy-going.

· Weight Range: Forty-five to fifty-five pounds for males and forty to fifty pounds for females

· Energy Level: Average; needs at least forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: Low

· Coat: Short and flat, allowing for easy temperature regulation in hot weather

Whippet

a Whippet resting in grass

The Whippet is a dog that is easy to travel with and loves spending his time out in the sun.

The Whippet is also extremely fast and requires many exercises, making this a great breed for people who like to lead an active life in Florida.

The Whippet is a gentle and docile dog that is very devoted to the humans who train him.

This breed requires a trainer who will be patient and not rough as they are an overly sensitive dog.

Since the Whippet was bred to be a racing dog, he is a great companion for someone who is an avid runner or hiker.

The Whippet’s thin coat and agile body mean he can keep himself cool with relative ease.

· Weight Range: Twenty-five to forty pounds for males and twenty to thirty-five pounds for females

· Energy Level: Average; requires more than forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: High

· Coat: Short and flat, allowing for temperature regulation in the heat

Basenji

a closeup picture of a Basenji

Pronounced: buh – sen – jee

The Basenji is a breed that is continually active and needs to be taken for a run daily. This dog is great for hot weather climates and doesn’t require much for grooming.

This breed has long legs in comparison to its size, making it a great runner. Its large ears help it to dissipate heat and manage well regardless of the climate.

The Basenji are known to be dogs that don’t bark, though it does growl and “yodel.” While this breed is affectionate with its family, it can be aloof to people it is not familiar with.

This clever dog is not easy to train, but if you are willing to put the time into training him, he will be a faithful companion.

· Weight Range: Twenty-one to twenty-four pounds for males and twenty-one to twenty-two pounds for females

· Energy Level: Very energetic; requires more than forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: Moderate

· Coat: Short and flat, allowing for temperature regulation

Best Family Dogs for Florida

Families in Florida want to ensure that they are adopting a dog who can keep up with their lifestyle without worrying about it.

The dog is at risk of heat exhaustion from the hot climate. The following dogs are the best dogs in Florida, while also being great with kids and the family lifestyle.

American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel loves heat and is smart, obedient, and affectionate. These traits make him a great family dog for any family who lives in Florida.

The American Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a stocky, strong build.

Though not a large dog, the American Water Spaniel still needs both mental and physical exercise.

These dogs have a wavy coat with curls that protect them against water, weather, and things getting stuck in it while they are out playing.

American Water Spaniels are active by nature and love to swim.

· Weight Range: Thirty to forty pounds for males; twenty-five to forty pounds for females

· Energy Level: High energy; required twenty to forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: Moderate; enjoys social activities

· Coat: Double coat allows temperature regulation

Golden Retriever

a Golden Retriever standing on a rocky beach next to water

One of the most popular family dogs, the Golden Retriever, is a great choice.

This breed is amazing with kids and is also able to moderate his temperature effectively, making Florida a suitable home for him.

The Golden Retriever is a very friendly dog, meaning he isn’t a great guard dog, but he is an excellent family or companion dog.

He is very playful, gentle, and eager to please.

The golden retriever loves to spend time outdoors, both in and out of the water.

This breed webbed feet and water-resistant coat allow him to spend hours on the beach, swimming and play with his owners.

· Weight Range: Sixty-five to seventy-five pounds for males and fifty-five to sixty-five pounds for females

· Energy Level: Average

· Social Needs: High

· Coat: The medium straight coat is water-resistant

Labrador Retriever

a Labrador Retriever sitting down

Another retriever breed, the Labrador Retriever, is a playful and fun-loving breed that thrives in hot climates, especially with beaches.

With a loving, kind, and playful personality, the Labrador Retriever is considered one of the world’s best family dogs.

The Labrador Retriever is an intelligent dog that is easy to train.

They are protective of their families and homes, making them a good choice if you want a dog that will alert you to strangers on your property.

Labrador Retrievers need a lot of oral fixation, so chew toys are a must.

· Weight Range: Sixty-five to eighty pounds for males and fifty-five to seventy pounds for females

· Energy Level: Average, requiring an average of forty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: Medium

· Coat: Short flat double coat, allowing for moderating of temperature

Best Apartment Dogs for Florida

A common theme in Florida is retirees who are looking for a dog to keep them company.

The following dogs are great choices for retirees and those who are living in apartments.

Their small sizes and high intelligence mean that they can adapt to both the smaller space and Florida’s high heat.

Chihuahua

a Chihuahua laying down in a pink sweater

Pronounced: chuh – waa – wuh

The chihuahua is a faithful and protective dog who does great in Florida’s hot climate, whether you have a yard or live in an apartment.

Because the chihuahua is such a small dog, he is suitable for life in an apartment, as long as he has time and space to exercise.

The toy dog, the chihuahua, gets easily attached to his humans and is highly intelligent.

Because of this intelligence, it is important to ensure that the chihuahua is well trained.

He is at risk of developing small dog syndrome, which means he will become snappish and untrustworthy.

The chihuahua originated in Mexico’s hot deserts, making hot climates the most comfortable for them.

· Weight Range: Two to six pounds for males and females

· Energy Level: Very energetic

· Social Needs: High

· Coat: Can be short or long; is flat and straight

Yorkshire Terrier

a Yorkshire Terrier running on a trail

Prone to cold and chills, the Yorkshire Terrier will thrive in a hot climate like in Florida.

These small dogs make an excellent apartment dog as they don’t require a lot of space to exercise.

These dogs are great for those who are looking for a dog they can dote on. The Yorkshire Terrier is affectionate and loves to be the center of attention.

The Yorkshire Terrier can be snappy towards children if anyone is rough with him, making him a good choice for someone who doesn’t have small kids living in their home.

· Weight Range: Five to seven pounds

· Energy Level: Very energetic, but small size makes their energy needs easy to meet

· Social Needs: Moderate

· Coat: Long, thin coat makes these dogs susceptible to cold and preferring the hot weather

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested heritage is believed to be developed in Asia from imported hairless African dogs, making it a great dog for hot climates.

It’s small size also makes him ideal for living in an apartment.

With an affectionate personality, the Chinese crested is a great apartment dog who loves to cuddle.

It is important to bear in mind that the Chinese Crested dog is susceptible to sunburn, meaning he will need sunscreen applied to keep him safe.

· Weight Range: Five to twelve pounds

· Energy Level: Average; requires less than twenty minutes of activity a day

· Social Needs: High

· Coat:

  • Hairless varieties have long hair on their head, feet, and tail
  • Powder Puff has long straight hair all over their body

Caring for Your Dog in A Hot Climate

While you may have adopted one of the best dogs for hot weather living, there are still some precautions that should be taken to ensure your pet doesn’t suffer from heat exhaustion.

The most obvious is to ensure that your dog has access to water and shade. Just like you need to drink water while you are out on hot days, your dog does.

Another consideration is exercising or playing outdoors with your dog in the morning or evening when the sun is less intense. This will help them avoid the peak temperatures in the day.

If you cannot do this, ensure that you watch your dog for signs of heat exhaustion and cool him off as soon as you can if you see the signs.

The most common signs of heat exhaustion in your dog include the following.

  • Less responsive to commands
  • Glazed eyes
  • Excessive drooling
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • In severe cases: convulsions, collapse, or vomiting

The best ways to cool your pet off include getting him out of the sun, giving him plenty of fresh water and letting him rest.

living in a hot climate doesn’t mean that you can’t also enjoy a dog’s company in your life.

By ensuring that you are adopting a dog that thrives in hot weather and taking appropriate precautions against heat exhaustion, you and your dog can live a long, happy life together.

Resources:

AKC – Golden Retriever

How To Keep Your Dog Cool

AKC – Chihuahua

Hill’s Pet – Ibizan Hound