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Hello! My husband and I are thinking about what breed to get after we retire in a few years. My top two favorites are the American Eskimo and the Keeshond. I read that their long double coats actually insulate them from heat as well as cold, but I wonder how one would do on a 1 1/2 to 2 mile brisk walk when temperatures are 85 degrees or higher? I'm sure the Eskie could take a bit higher temperature, as the white coat would deflect the sunlight. But how high a temperature do you think each breed could handle?
 

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Wherever you read that from, I'm sorry to tell you, they're exaggerating, misinformed and or outright lying. Do your walking with your longhaired spitz-type in the early morning or late in the evening when it's cool; the coat does NOT insulate them from the heat, it traps heat close to the body. It will be like you wearing your winter jacket out in the 85 degree heat, and can cause heatstroke. They are not at all made for hot weather. The long fur can prevent sunburn but that isn't at all keeping them cool.

And remember, if you can't keep your hand on the pavement for long because it's too hot, it's too hot for dog paws!
 

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And I can't edit now. A lot of people will claim those glorious thick coats I love so much on all spitz type dogs protect them from the heat, but if that were true, why is it we don't see one single long furred, double-coated animal naturally in hot climates? They all have very short, sleek fur.

It is absolutely possible to have a keeshond or husky or eskie in say, even florida or texas or southern california! We just need to be a bit more careful about WHEN we choose to walk them. Direct noon heat would be cruel, but nice and early in the morning or around sunset or even later are better. Just keep track of how heavily your dog is panting, bring water with you for the dog, and take frequent breaks if it seems they're getting too hot.
 

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i wouldn't walk with any dog during the hottest hours of the day.
having longer walks before sunrise or after sunset and just a short pee-braek at noon is better.
The Spitze I know are okay with central european summer weather (up to 40-45°C) though, when they can choose where they can be in the house and have always contact to water.
 
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Thank you for the quick responses! Fortunately, we live in the San Francisco Bay area, with a mild climate. Even on hot days, the mornings and evenings are usually cool, although this summer has been hotter than usual. I prefer to walk in the evenings, myself.
 

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We have a lot of dark furniture, mostly. And I don't relish trying to clean tear stains off of white fur. Nothing at all to do with their sizes or personalities. A kee's inevitable shed would just.. be less glaringly visible all over everything we own.
 

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I always thought that the thick coats did insulate them from hot outside temperatures, but that when exercising it traps the body heat created better aswell. So without the ability to lose heat quickly through their paws and panting from a high temperature difference (body temp. to outside temp) they would overheat. So I though the insulation factor would only work if the dog is not exercising. But I could be wrong about this...
 

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Insulation does work both ways, it stops heat transfer. The problem is that the coat protects them from the cold by conserving their own body heat. Which it also does in the summer as well.

Try putting on a heaving coat in the middle of summer and walking out of the air-conditioning into the heat and compare that to walking outside in a tee shirt.

The heavy coat will actually keep you cooler and be more comfortable.....for the about 60 seconds or so it takes for your body to elevate the temperature inside the coat to above that of the outside air.
 

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I concur, a dog like the Keeshond isn't made for heat, but it should be able to handle weather similar to the summers in Northern Europe (France, Germany, etc) which means it would do fine in most states except probably the desert southwest.

Also realize that a dog can't sweat, so whenever you are being active with a dog in the heat make sure you bring lots of water for it to drink, and don't be afraid to actually wet the dog down!
 

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A double coat will actually keep a dog cooler IF you don't trim it... This is because the fur traps AIR close to the body (not specifically heat), acting sort of like a Thermos-- hot or cold. This is why it is frowned upon to "shave" double-coated dogs. Coyotes, jackals and such actually do have a double coat, it is just not very long.

That said, 85 is pushing it for a keeshond. Even an eskie will get hot in that weather but to an extent it will depend on how temperate, cold or warm your region usually is. A dog that lives in texas or florida will adjust to 85 better than a dog that lives in Alaska.

Walk your long haired dog in mornings or evenings, and carry water with you. You should be fine.
 

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Yeah, and that AIR ... is body temperature, and then gets insulated in the heat, and then rises with the dog's body temperature. Fur isn't a built in air conditioner. Coyotes and jackals living in hot areas may have an undercoat but their fur is very short and thin compared to their cold-living cousins.
 

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Coyotes are most active at night anyways when it is cool.

And activity matters. Seeing coyotes and jackals moving about at a trot for a few minutes at a time = no big deal. Trotting for a significant length of time akin to a dog being walked for a half hour is something that isn't seen very often unless there is a critical food/water/safety issue being addressed.

I know that actual, working sled dogs even when there is snow on the ground are sometimes only allowed to pull the sled for a short period if time on 'warmer' days...and we are talking when it is just above freezing...and instead are exercised or travel happens at night when it is cooler and they won't overheat as often.

Double coat may allow a non-active dog to not heat up as quickly, but an active dog generating it's own heat is an entirely different matter.

Finally, it depends a lot on how the dog is acclimated. The temperature it lives in has an impact on both how it's undercoat grows as well as it's metabolism. There are/were some fairly shaggy sheepdogs used in hot areas of Australian. Of course it is telling that over time all the stock-working dogs that developed in the hotter areas for the most part shifted to lighter coats.
 

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As the owner of a long-haired, double-coated dog, I will say that 85 will be too hot for either breed. On really hot days like that, we either go out early morning or late evening when it's cooler. We also do pool/water play. When you get your dog you will be able to tell what they can and can't handle. As long as you take the proper precautions, I think either breed would manage in a warmer climate.
 
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I concur with the walking early mornings / evenings. However, the major thing about a double coated dog is grooming, particularly during the warmer weather & shedding phase.

I'll use the analogy a friend did with double coated dogs - think of yourself wearing a nice winter coat with an inner insulation you can take out but you leave it in as the weather gets warmer. Not only are you hot but you're also uncomfortable - A double coated dog that doesn't get groomed regularly / properly to help with the shedding / blow out is not going to be a happy camper.

I don't know what your views are on it, or some of the other forum goers with double coated dogs, but some people actually shave their double coated dogs during the warmer weather. I never have shaved Coffee [a Laika, a double coated dual purpose hunting / guardian (he is actually a hunting/sledding type) breed] nor will I. I just brush / groom like crazy during spring / early summer.
 
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