Clear blue skies surrounding a giant fireball are what Westerners would describe summer. But, we in India paint a different picture. Heat, humidity and perspiration are three things that come to mind when I think about summer. In cities like Chennai, summer is perhaps the only season, with occasional monsoon spells. But, having said that, we make the most and enjoy every bit of the heat. We stay indoors, consume large amounts of ice creams and sherbets, and invest in light-fabric clothing. For humans, summer may not be that much of a problem. But, for the four-legged adorable furballs we call ‘dogs’, it sure is.
We want to have the fanciest dogs in our homes. But, we tend to forget that most of them were not made to withstand Indian weather. We’ve all heard those horror stories, be it a French Bulldog experiencing Mumbai weather or a Jack Russell Terrier caught in the Kolkata rains. Last year, my neighbour brought home a Husky. If you don’t know what a Husky is, let me tell you. Husky or Siberian Husky dogs are descendants of the Alaskan wolf. Huskies are primarily found in Siberia and other cold regions around the North Pole. Given the freezing temperatures of these places, the Husky has a thick double coat of fur which keeps them warm. My neighbour did great harm exposing a Husky to a tropic climate where the temperature always in the mid-30s. So, what did he do? He put two air-conditioners in a carpeted room, which is now home to his Husky. The A/Cs are always turned on and to ensure that there are no power cuts, he also installed an industrial generator.
Dogs must be cared for indeed. But, this kind of financial catastrophe could be avoided by choosing a dog that can handle Indian weather or more specifically, Chennai weather. With that in mind, here are a few dog breeds that can survive the sweltering Chennai weather.
Rottweilers are a breed of domestic dogs that exhibit calm, confident and courageous attitudes. They have an inbuilt desire to protect the home and family. Their thick black and shiny coat helps them to tolerate the warm weather but we suggest that your Rottweiler remain indoors if the temperature is over 38-40°C.
Dachshund is a short-legged, long bodied type of dog. Dachshunds are very playful by nature but can sometimes be stubborn too. Training a dachshund is often a challenge for first-time dog owners. But, once trained, they have a great ability to follow your commands. Given their shiny coat, dachshunds are able to stay comfortable during warmer temperatures.
Pomeranian dogs are often known as toy dogs, since they are tiny and cute. During the 80s and 90s, Pomeranians were the most popular and most affordable dog breed in India. They are generally very friendly and playful, but can be aggressive to other dogs in proving their intelligence. Pomeranians have a protected coat which enables them to withstand warmer temperatures and they love playing outdoors during the summer.
If you’re looking for a loyal guard dog, look no further. The Doberman Pinscher lineage makes the best guard dogs. They are intelligent, alert and very loyal. With a thin and short coat, Doberman aren’t fond of colder climates. They will thrive in warmer climates and in summers.
They found a way into our hearts via those adorable commercials for Hutch (now Vodafone). Pugs are cute, lovable dogs. While they are often seen as a lazy breed due to their long nap hours, they are highly sensitive than most other dog breeds. Pugs often “shadow” their owners i.e. they follow their owners everywhere and always stay very close to them. While Pugs can tolerate warmer climates, we suggest that they stay indoors during the noon and afternoons when the temperature is usually higher. If the temperature is above 35°C, it is recommended that your dog stay indoors.
German Shepherds are working dogs. They are often used and trained by the police departments and tend to be very loyal to their owners. They don’t become friends with strangers easily but once they become a friend, they shower you with endless love. Even though German Shepherds love water and cooler weather, they are also well-suited for warmer climates and have the ability to adapt themselves. Having said that, German Shepherds cannot tolerate extreme of anything – heat or cold.
Golden retrievers are good family pets. They are kind, lovable, intelligent and calm dogs. This is why they cannot act as guard dogs. They have a furry protected coat which makes them best suited for warm and sunny weather.
The most popular dog breeds, Labradors are usually trained as therapy dogs. Their extremely friendly and caring nature has benefited autistic and blind people. They have a high sense of smell which helps them track down their path of origin. Their slight oily coat helps them adapt to hot and cold weather and are the perfect breed to enjoy summer with.
Poodles are a highly energetic, intelligent and a sociable breed. They love playing games and are very active. Marking and hunting skills are observed easily by poodles than in other breeds. While poodles can adapt themselves to warmer climates, it is suggested that they stay indoors during the noon and afternoons when the temperature is usually higher. If the temperature is above 35°C, it is recommended that your poodle stay indoors.