How Cold Is Too Cold for German shepherd

Being a double-coated breed, we all come across the situation where we think German shepherds get cold or not. If yes, then how cold is too cold for a German shepherd? Known as one of the most popular breeds globally, due to its diverse qualities, we all want to pet a German shepherd. But with other requirements, we must keep in mind the temperature tolerance.

It is of utmost importance that you take note of weather conditions before you bring a German shepherd to your home. After all, their survival and growth depend on the weather conditions. If they are left at a temperature beyond their acceptance, you are putting their life at risk. Typically, temperature below 40°F is considered too cold; however, for German shepherds, this also depends on factors such as age, physical health conditions, etc.

Keeping your German shepherd healthy, strong, and fit requires that you provide a suitable temperature, and if you are taking outside, you must consider putting on a jacket if required.
Naturally, having a fur coat does not mean that you ignore the temperature tolerance level and put their lives in danger. So, let’s discuss in detail how we can prepare German shepherds for winters and how cool they can put up without any risk.

How cold is too much for a German shepherd?

Originating from bitterly cold climate areas, German shepherds do feel cold just like any other creature. Though they have a higher tendency than others, on average, temperature up to 40°F is considered normal, and below that, it’s too cold. Apart from that, for an adult and healthy German shepherd, 20° F should be easy to handle, and below that, it is too icy.

Given that, we can see that temperature ranges from 20° F to 40° F is going to be too cold for some while moderate for others. It is because each dog is different, no matter if they belong to the same breed. Temperature below 20° F is extremely cold for all, and you should not at any cost bring a German shepherd outside without appropriate gears.

Other than that, the ability to cope with extremely cold temperatures also gets affected based on their age, physical health, and as well as any other medical conditions. Puppies and senior dogs cannot bear the temperature, which adult German shepherds can do. Similarly, the sick or malnourished German shepherd will also suffer from their ability to bear cold.

There are some dogs without an undercoat, so it is also going to severely affect their capacity to endure a freezing environment.

How to find if your German shepherd is feeling too cold?

In order to keep your shepherd healthy and strong, you must know when your dog feels frigid due to coldness. If you are not able to identify early, the German shepherd can fall sick. So, it’s imperative you keep a lookout for the following signs.


Shivering is a sign that tells if anyone feels too cold, and the same applies to German shepherds. Warm-up as soon as you see your German shepherd shivering. Keep in mind that dogs also shiver when they feel excited, so when you warm up, make sure the temperature is really cool, and it’s not the excitement.

Continuous roaring and barking

If this happens just after you have left the German shepherd outside, check out the temperature, and if you feel like it’s chilly, it’s a sign they are feeling cold. Prepare them with jackets or winter accessories, and then you can leave the shepherd outdoors.

Shallow breathing and lack of energy

The signs of German shepherds feeling cold are mostly the same as humans. So, the easy way to determine is to check out yourself. If you are feeling frigid and snowy, it is going to be the same for a German shepherd. So, do not let them stay outside for a long duration.

How nature helps German shepherds to stay warm in the cold?

German shepherds have a strong tendency to bear cold as compared with other large breeds. This is because it is provided with natural characteristics that help shepherds to stay warm. When determining the temperature tolerance, it is necessary that you consider these points as well. So, let’s explore what are those features German shepherds born with.

High-density double coat

Not only retaining the body heat but also helping in providing warmth during cold, having a thick double coat layer on the skin makes German shepherds bear extreme temperatures. Moreover, the type of fur on the skin prevents water from sinking in. The water-repellent quality helps the inner coat to stay dry and warm.

Strong muscles

A German shepherd is a resilient and active breed that has a larger body mass and strong muscles that help stay warm in winters. When German shepherds walk or perform an exercise, the muscles generate heat, and the inner coat sustains it, keeping the body cozy and comfortable.

How can you help German shepherds to stay warm in cold weather?

Even though German shepherds have a tremendous natural tendency to bear cold, you also need to ensure they stay warm. Besides, you have to take extra care of puppies, seniors, and already sick German shepherds as well. Following are the things that you can help with.


A dedicated doghouse for your German shepherd will not only help stay warm in extreme weather conditions but also will keep him protected from other external factors. Providing an added layer of insulation, shelter is significant for their growth. As per the conditions of your area, you can add further accessories such as bed and winter clothing.

Balanced diet

This is something crucial no matter the weather conditions. However, it becomes imminent in the cold. Staying warm requires energy, and it is supplied with a stable diet and correct nutrition.

Keep them well-groomed

In addition to providing wintry clothes, keeping your German shepherd well-groomed also helps in providing the warmness they need. It includes keeping their paws trimmed and not trimming the hair too short, especially when it’s wintertime.


Taking care of your German shepherd is as of the essence as taking care of yourself. Winters affect each one of us, including the dogs. Therefore, you must do everything possible to help your German shepherds to stay warm in these situations, in addition to providing winter clothes. Even after that, do not leave them outside for too long unattended. If you belong to cold areas, what else have you tried to keep your shepherd warm?