Best Dog Breeds for the Cairns Climate

With a tropical climate and perfect weather, its important to chose the right dog for your Cairns family. Here are some of our favourite breeds who don’t mind the sun.

With average temperatures of 31° celsius in summer and 26° celsius in winter, there is no denying Cairns is a warmer region. If you’re considering buying or adopting a dog and you live in Cairns, you’d be wise to take the climate into account before you make a decision.

To help you out, we’ve listed the 4 best dog breeds for the Cairns climate.

5 Best Dog Breeds for the Cairns Climate

1. Border Collie

Border collies are considered to be one of the most intelligent and athletic breeds of dog. These working-class pooches are loyal and don’t mind a hotter climate, but do need to be kept occupied.

When considering a border collie, you’ll want to have a property with plenty of room as border collies love to run and need a fair amount of daily exercise. However, they are easy to train and thrive on praise.

Pros of owning a border collie in Cairns:

  • Don’t mind living in a warmer climate, like Cairns.
  • Highly intelligent, so easy to train and teach tricks.
  • Known as a healthy breed of dog.
  • Easy to groom.

Cons of owning a border collie in Cairns:

  • Very active, so needs space.
  • Can be destructive if not exercised enough.
  • Compulsive behavior, such as nipping, is known if not trained.
  • Will need a secure yard and high fences as they are known to be escape artists.

2. Golden Retriever

Perhaps one of the most popular breed of dog in Cairns, golden retrievers are caring, kind and intelligent, making them a perfect family pet. Their loving nature makes them extremely safe around kids.

Golden retrievers are known as natural swimmers, so would love to join you at one of your local dog friendly Cairns beaches. While they are happy to live in almost any climate, you will want to keep them inside on particularly warm days.

Pros of owning a golden retriever in Cairns:

  • Intelligent and easy to train.
  • Adapts well to other pets.
  • Known as a calmer breed.
  • Not known to be a barky dog.

Cons of owning a golden retriever in Cairns:

  • As with all larger breeds, they eat a lot.
  • Can easily become overweight and restless when not exercised enough.
  • Tend to shed quite a bit, especially in warmer weather.
  • Goldies are companion animals, so don’t like to be left alone for prolonged periods of time.

3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Similar to golden retrievers, Chesapeake Bay retrievers love warmer weather and long walks on the beach. They are known as an obedient breed and prefer a dominant master, but you will need to have patience as, like any puppy, they can be slow learners.

However, Chesapeake Bay retrievers are not the breed for Cairns apartment owners. This breed needs plenty of room to run around.

Pros of owning a Chesapeake Bay retriever in Cairns:

  • Loves being outdoors and active.
  • Has a dependably kind nature.
  • More of a guard dog instinct than golden retrievers.

Cons of owning a Chesapeake Bay retriever in Cairns:

  • Can be destructive when bored.
  • May show signs of aggression if not socialised enough.
  • Can be territorial to other animals.

4. Chihuahua

If you’re only allowed small dogs where you live, or you want a pet who enjoys a lot of affection, then you may want to look into adopting a Chihuahua. Suitable for apartment life, Chihuahuas are notoriously faithful and protective of their owners.

However, you’ll want to be cautious as an untrained and undisciplined Chihuahua can quickly become destructive and disobedient.

Pros of owning a chihuahua in Cairns:

  • Small, so good for apartment living.
  • Can easily be trained to use a litter box.
  • Easy to groom.

Pros of owning a chihuahua in Cairns:

  • Easily injured.
  • Feels the cold easily.
  • Can bark a lot.

5. Australian Kelpie

Australian kelpies, along with cattle dogs, are primed for working long days in the sun, so are one of the best dog breeds for the Cairns climate. However, this does mean they don’t tire easily and need a lot of exercise — which can be a good thing, depending on your lifestyle.

The kelpie is a fiercely loyal and independent dog, known for being easy to train. They tend to be friendly with other animals and children, although they are a herding animal, so have been known to herd other pets.

Pros of owning an Australian kelpie in Cairns:

  • Excellent guard dog.
  • Easy to train.
  • Fairly independent when given enough space.

Cons of owning an Australian kelpie in Cairns:

  • Sheds heavily during warmer months.
  • Does prefer larger, open yards.
  • Requires a lot of exercise.

How to Care for a Dog on a Hot Day

Even dogs who don’t mind warmer weather will need some care on a hot day. Keep in mind these tips for caring for your dog on those warm Cairns days.

5 Tips for Caring for a Dog on a Hot Day

1. Make pupsicles.

You love an ice-block on a hot day, so why wouldn’t your dog? As well as being tasty for your pooch, they’re also super easy to make.

The easiest pupsicle is freezing your dog’s favourite fruit or treats in some water. Or, mix up a low-sodium beef bullion cube in some water and freeze this for your dog to enjoy.

2. Hydrate!

Always keep a bottle of water available for your dog to drink from. Dogs should drink around 30 to 50ml of water per kilo of body weight per day, but may need a little more on a hot day.

There are even some collapsible dog bowls out there so you can keep one handy wherever you are. Remember, if you’re at the beach, keep your dog from drinking the salt water as this can make them sick.

3. Use a hose mister.

Most dogs love water. If this is your dog, consider purchasing a hose mister as they will allow your dog to get nice and wet, but not use much water. You may even want to do this near your plants so they catch some of the spray.

However, if you there are tight water restrictions in place, you can purchase bottle water misters with a fan attachment for all the fun with less of the waste. 

4. Avoid exercise in the middle of the day.

The best time to exercise your pet in summer is either early in the morning or in the evening. These times tend to be cooler for both you and your pet.

Before you go for a walk, test your palm on the paths. If you can’t keep your hand there for at least two seconds, it is too hot for your dogs sensitive paw pads. 

5. Know the signs of dog heatstroke.

Heatstroke is incredibly dangerous for both humans and animals. Things like overexercising, lack of shade and inadequate water can all lead to heatstroke, which only increases on a hot day.

The top signs of heatstroke include:

  • The tongue being unusually bright red.
  • Distressed breathing or panting.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Very red or whitish gums.
  • Agitation.
  • Profuse drooling.
  • Weakness or muscle tremors. 

BONUS: Keep your dog groomed.

Even the best dog breeds for the Cairns climate will need regular grooming to keep them looking and feeling amazing during the hot weather. You can find your nearest groomer on Localsearch!

Find the best Dog Groomer in your area

I'm located in


      Sarah Russo

      UX Content Writer

      Sarah Russo is a UX Content Writer at Localsearch with a decade of experience in traditional and digital marketing. She has written for and assisted in the social media and marketing strategies for many different industries, including real estate, medical, health and fitness, trades and beauty. When she isn’t nose deep in data, SEO research or her content strategy, Sarah is a gym junkie, foodie and gamer with a brain full of random facts that come in handy far more often than you would think. As a digital marketing all-rounder and lifestyle specialist, her articles provide insight into marketing, advertising and branding for small businesses on the Localsearch Business Blog, as well as some handy lifestyle tips on the Localsearch Blog.