Golden Retriever Vs. Saint Bernard: Which Breed Is Better For Cold Weather?

Are you considering getting a furry friend but not sure which breed can handle the harsh winter climate? Look no further! In this blog, we will compare two cold-weather-friendly dog breeds: Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at their physical characteristics. How do these two breeds cope with cold weather, and which one has the upper hand? We’ll also examine their temperaments, exercise needs, grooming requirements, and health concerns.

So, if you want to make an informed decision and find the perfect companion for your cold winter days, keep reading. We’ll help you figure out which breed is best suited for your lifestyle and cold weather needs.

BreedWeightHeightCoat TypeCold Weather Tolerance
Golden Retriever55-75 lbs21.5-24 inchesThick, water-repellent double coatFair to good
Saint Bernard120-180 lbs25.5-27.5 inchesThick, rough or smooth coatExcellent
Two dogs sitting outside in the snow - a golden retriever and a St. Bernard.

Physical Characteristics: How Do Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards Cope with Cold Weather?

Both Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards have physical characteristics that help them cope with cold weather. Golden Retrievers have a waterproof double coat that keeps them warm and dry in snowy conditions, while also providing insulation against the cold. Saint Bernards have a thick, dense coat that offers insulation and protection from harsh winds.

Additionally, both breeds have a strong build and large size, which allows them to generate and retain body heat more efficiently. Golden Retrievers have muscular bodies and powerful legs, which help them move through snow, while Saint Bernards have a stocky build and large paws, which provide stability on slippery surfaces.

Overall, both breeds are well-suited to the cold weather, but they do have different physical characteristics that make them unique. Depending on your living situation and the type of cold weather conditions you experience, one breed may be better suited than the other.

Temperament Comparison: Which Breed is Better Suited for Cold Weather?

When it comes to cold weather, temperament is an essential factor to consider when choosing the ideal dog breed.

Both Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards have a sociable personality, but Saint Bernards are more confident in extreme weather situations. They have a high tolerance level for cold and love being outdoors, making them an excellent fit for people who enjoy outdoor winter activities.

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Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, have a friendly disposition but may not tolerate extreme cold as well as Saint Bernards, making them more suitable for moderate cold weather conditions. However, with proper care and attention, both breeds can thrive in cold weather environments.

Exercise Needs: Which Breed Requires More Exercise in Cold Weather?

When it comes to exercise needs in cold weather, Saint Bernards require less exercise compared to Golden Retrievers.

While both breeds enjoy outdoor playtime and activities, Saint Bernards have a slower metabolism and are more content with a lower activity level. Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, have a higher energy level and will require more exercise to keep them healthy and happy in cold weather.

It’s essential to provide your Golden Retriever with regular exercise, such as daily walks, running, or playing fetch, to keep them from becoming restless or destructive in the house. In contrast, Saint Bernards can typically get by with more relaxed exercise, such as short walks or light play sessions.

Ultimately, when it comes to exercise needs in cold weather, it’s vital to consider each breed’s individual needs and activity levels to ensure they are getting the appropriate amount of exercise.

Grooming Requirements: Which Breed Demands More Grooming Attention in Cold Weather?

When it comes to grooming requirements, both Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards have different needs in cold weather.

Golden Retrievers require a moderate amount of grooming attention, while Saint Bernards need more grooming due to their longer and thicker fur. In cold weather, Saint Bernards’ fur tends to collect snow and ice, making them more susceptible to matting and tangling.

Therefore, regular grooming, including brushing and trimming, is crucial to ensure their coat stays healthy and manageable.

Saint Bernard in the snow

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have a water-repellent coat that sheds seasonally, requiring weekly brushing to keep their coat shiny and smooth. Regardless of your breed preference, ensure to dedicate the necessary grooming time to keep your dog healthy and comfortable in chilly weather.

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Health Concerns: Which Breed is More Prone to Cold-Related Health Issues?

When it comes to cold weather, both Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards are built to withstand it. However, they do have some differences in terms of how prone they are to cold-related health issues.

Golden Retrievers may be more susceptible to conditions like hypothermia and frostbite since they have a thinner coat than Saint Bernards. Additionally, their short hair may not provide as much insulation against the cold. To prevent these issues, it’s essential to keep your Golden Retriever warm and dry during cold weather by using coats and blankets.

On the other hand, Saint Bernards have a thick coat and are less likely to experience hypothermia or frostbite. However, they may be more prone to respiratory issues, given their larger size and tendency towards weight gain. To prevent this, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and keep them active through exercise, even in colder weather.

In summary, both breeds are well-suited for cold weather, but Golden Retrievers may need extra protection against the elements, while Saint Bernards may require extra attention to respiratory health.

Cold-weather comparison.

Training Requirements: Which Breed is Easier to Train for Cold Weather Conditions?

When it comes to training for cold weather conditions, Saint Bernards tend to have an advantage over Golden Retrievers. This is because Saint Bernards were originally bred for rescue missions in the Swiss Alps, which required them to be trained for harsh weather conditions. They have a natural instinct to locate and dig out people buried in the snow, which makes them highly trainable for cold weather scenarios.

Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, were bred for retrieving ducks and birds in temperate climates. While they can adapt to cold temperatures, they may require more training to acclimate to harsh winter conditions. However, with consistency and patience, Golden Retrievers can be trained to handle cold weather just as well as Saint Bernards.

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Overall, both breeds can be trained for cold weather, but Saint Bernards may have a slight advantage due to their breeding history. It’s important to keep in mind that training for cold weather conditions will require time, effort, and patience from the owner, regardless of the breed.

Owning Considerations: Which Breed Fits Your Lifestyle and Cold Weather Needs?

When it comes to choosing the right breed for cold weather, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle and needs. If you’re an active person who loves hiking and running in the snow, then a Golden Retriever could be a perfect fit. However, if you prefer staying at home and cuddling with a giant furry friend, a Saint Bernard might be a better option.

Additionally, if you live in an apartment with limited space, it might not be fair to both you and the dog to get a Saint Bernard, which requires a lot of room to move around. Similarly, if you have allergies, a Golden Retriever’s shedding could be an issue. In general, understanding your lifestyle, needs, and limitations can help determine which breed is best suited for you.


When it comes to choosing a dog breed that can cope with cold & harsh weather conditions, the decision can be overwhelming. Both Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards are wonderful dogs, but which breed is better for cold weather?

From analyzing both breeds’ physical characteristics, temperament, exercise needs, grooming requirements, health concerns, and training requirements, it is safe to say that Saint Bernards are best suited for extreme cold weather while Golden Retrievers can handle moderately cold weather with ease.

However, when it comes to owning considerations and lifestyle needs, it’s essential to consider factors such as living space, activity level, and personal preferences before making a final decision. Ultimately, selecting either breed is a matter of personal inclination.

No matter which breeds you choose, the key is to provide them with love, proper care, and of course, lots of playtimes in cold or warm weather conditions!

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