Rough Collies

Can Rough Collies Tolerate Cold Weather?

By Abigail Bodeley on Jan 4, 2024 Reviewed by Mick Ford

Can Rough Collies tolerate cold weather?

Can Rough Collies Tolerate Cold Weather

Table of Contents

Are Rough Collies good in cold weather? Do Collies like cold weather?

Double-coated dogs, such as Rough Collies, are specifically bred to deal with colder climates. These dogs have natural woolly coats — natural, because these are the same type of coats you see on a wolf, minus the coloring.

Double-coats consist of a dense, soft undercoat, concealed by a longer topcoat equipped with guard hairs that can be rather coarse. The woolly coat is an extension of the natural coat.

Rough Collies shed twice a year — most double coat dogs shed once or twice a year but some breeds in this category can shed year-round, especially in warmer climate.

Coat growth in all dogs is controlled by several factors —:

  • Seasons
  • Environment
  • Nutrition
  • Hormones

In dogs, the rhythm of shedding occurs independently in each hair follicle.

The coat is thickest in winter, and normally, some shedding occurs in spring and summer. Hair growth is slow in summer, with the rate increasing as temperatures get cooler in autumn and winter.

These patterns may be altered by the environment too, for instance, a double-coated dog living in a house may shed hair all year due to central heating simulating summer.

Although there is a huge variation in the length of these double-coats, other breeds that fit this coat type include the Alaskan Husky and Alaskan Malamute, Belgian Sheepdog, Chinook, Finnish Spitz, German Spitz, Great Pyrenees, Lundehund, Newfoundland, Norwegian Elkhound, Saint Bernard, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Siberian Husky and many others.

How cold is too cold for a Rough Collie? What temperature can Collies tolerate?

32°F is the lowest temperature Rough Collies can comfortably tolerate. You will need to limit your Collie’s outdoor exposure if the temperature dips below this.

Your Rough Collie’s individual tolerance will still be influenced by other factors, such as:

  • Duration of exposure — whereas brief periods of high heat can be dangerous, similar durations of cold temperatures will not be life-threatening
  • Age — especially if 6 months or less, or elderly
  • Health — including coat health
  • Weight — especially if obese
  • Shelter — whether the dog is out in the rain/sleet, whether it has good shelter and bedding available
  • Acclimatization to cold temperatures

Some common signs of hypothermia in Rough Collie’s include:

  • Whining and barking
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Hunching with a tucked tail
  • Lifting alternate paws off the ground

Can Rough Collie live outside? Can Rough Collies sleep outside?

Duration of exposure to any temperature extremes is primary concern when your Rough Collie lives (and sleeps) outside when assessing appropriateness but generally, Rough Collies can live (or sleep) outside in cool or cold weather as long as:

  • They have a healthy untrimmed coat (and are, of course, in superb health)
  • They are not left out in the rain (good shelter and bedding is provided)
  • They are acclimated to cold temperatures

Rough Collies can live (or sleep) outside in warm or hot weather as long as:

  • They have a healthy untrimmed coat (and are, of course, in superb health)
  • Plenty of water is provided
  • Dog is in a shaded area protected from the sun

A Rough Collie should NOT live (or sleep) outside in all weather conditions if:

  • They are obese (more vulnerable in hot weather)
  • They are less than 6 months of age
  • They are elderly

Be careful with hot weather because even brief periods of high heat can be very dangerous, whereas similar duration of exposure to cold temperatures would not normally be life-threatening.