Top 10 Mountain Dogs for the mountains, snow and cold. St. Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Siberian Husky, etc... Top 10 Mountain Dog Breeds

Top 10 Mountain Dog Breeds

Top 10 Mountain Dog Breeds


Top 10 Mountain Dog Breeds


#1. St. Bernard

The breed that has been credited with saving more than 2,500 travelers lost in the snow was named for the Hospice du Grand St. Bernard in Switzerland, where the monks have bred these large dogs since the 17th century. The Saint needs lots of room indoors and out for regular daily exercise. This dog is great for children who won’t be bowled over by its size, and it’s an excellent watchdog.

Country of Origin: Switzerland
Group: Working
Use today: Companion
Life Span: 8-10 years
Color: White with red or red with white, sometimes red-brown.
Coat: Short and close-lying or medium length and wavy.
Grooming: Brushing several times a week to reduce shedding – and, for the longhaired variety, to keep free of mats.
Height: Males, 27.5 inches; females measure 2 inches less.
Weight: 120-200 lbs.


#2. Bernese Mountain Dog

Regarded by many as the most beautiful of the four breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Bernese is the only one with a long coat. Its ancestry traces to mastiff-type dogs of Roman times, which crossbred with local herding dogs to produce offspring smaller in stature but just as trustworthy and devoted.

Country of Origin: Switzerland
Group: Working
Use today: Herding
Life Span: 7 to 10 years
Color: Black with tan and white markings.
Coat: Long, slightly wavy outer hair; profuse, soft undercoat.
Grooming: Weekly brushing; bathe weekly to monthly. Regular ear cleaning. Clip nails every two weeks. Clean teeth to remove plaque.
Height: 23 to 27? inches.
Weight: 75 to 110 pounds.

#3. Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is an elegant, longhaired, gentle giant. Owners credit the Pyr with the ability to sense danger, thus determining the trustworthiness of individuals it encounters. A calm dog with dignity, the Pyr has guarded families and flocks in the Pyrenean mountains for centuries.

Country of Origin: France
Group: Working
Use today: Livestock guardian, companion
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
Color: White with or without wolf-gray, badger or tan markings. Black eye rims
Coat: Profuse, thick double coat
Grooming: Brush weekly, bathe when needed. Regular teeth cleaning. Special attention to nail cutting.
Height: Males 27 to 32 inches; females, 25 to 29 inches.
Weight: Males 100 to 125 pounds; females, 85 to 115 pounds.

Lean more about these Mountain dogs in The Dog Encyclopedia.

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#4. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

he Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, or Swissy to its friends, is one of the four breeds known as the Swiss Sennenhunde (others being Bernese Mountain Dog, Appenzeller and Entlebucher). The versatile Swissy drove cattle, protected their people and even fought in battle.

Country of Origin: Switzerland
Group: Working
Use today: Companion, herding dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Color: Tri-color: black with bronze markings on cheeks, above the eyes and on all four legs, a white blaze on the face and chest, and white feet and tail tip
Coat: The top coat is dense, 1½ to 2 inches long. The undercoat may be thick and sometimes showing.
Grooming: Brush weekly
Height: Stands 25.5 to 28.5 inches at the shoulder.
Weight: 120 to 140 pounds.

#5. Siberian Husky

Believed to have descended from the Chukchi sled dogs of the Siberian Arctic, which had bred true for 3,000 years, these quick dogs were used to haul sleds and herd reindeer. They were able to travel great distances and work for long periods on little food.

Country of Origin: Siberia
Group: Working
Use today: Sled dog racing
Life Span: 12-plus years
Color: Black and white, gray and white, red and white, or solid white.
Coat: Thick outer coat with plush undercoat.
Grooming: Twice annual shedding requires extensive bathing and brushing to remove fur.
Height: Males, 20 to 23.5 inches; females, 20 to 22 inches
Weight: Males, 45 to 60 pounds; females, 35 to 50 pounds

#6. Icelandic Sheepdog

The only dog native to Iceland, the Icelandic Sheepdog (also known as the Iceland Dog or Icelandic Dog) was brought to the country in the 9th century by the Viking settlers. This herding dog has adapted to the cold climate and extreme terrain of Iceland, making him invaluable to the people who live there.

Country of Origin: Iceland
Group: Herding (United Kennel Club), Miscellaneous Class (American Kennel Club)
Use today: Herding.
Life Span: 10 to 15 years
Color: Chocolate brown, gray, black, and various shades of tan, ranging from cream to reddish brown. White markings always accompany the predominant color, usually a blaze or partially white face, collar, chest, socks, and tail tips.
Coat: Short- or longhaired, weather-resistant double coat with a straight or slightly wavy outercoat and thick, soft, dense undercoat.
Grooming: Brush once weekly; more often during shedding.
Height: Males, 18 inches; females 16 1/2 inches
Weight: 25 to 35 pounds

#7. Entlebucher Sennenhund

The smallest of the four Swiss Mountain dogs, the Entlebucher is smooth-coated and bobtailed. Its good herding instincts make the Entlebucher is a trustworthy watchdog and companion with a lively and attentive character.

Country of Origin: Switzerland
Group: Herding
Use today: Herding, carting, companion
Life Span: 10 to 14 years
Color: Traditional tricolor of black, white and tan.
Grooming: The Entlebucher’s needs are easily met with a weekly brushing of the smooth coat, plus regular nail clipping and ear cleaning.
Height: 16 to 20 inches
Weight: 55 to 65 lbs

#8. Karakachan Bear Dog

This Nordic hunting dog originated in the province of Karelia, which is divided by the Russian-Finnish border into two almost equal parts. For centuries, it has been used by local farmers to hunt squirrel, partridge, mink, duck, lynx, wild boar, moose and more, but it is this dog’s ability to hunt the brown bear that won the breed its fame and name. The Karelian Bear Dog is courageous, independent and self-sufficient, yet it forms a strong bond with its owner.

Country of Origin: Finland, Russia
Group: Northern Breed (United Kennel Club); Foundation Stock Service (American Kennel Club)
Use today: Sled dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, hunting companion.
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
Color: Black, usually with sharp-edged white patches or marks on the head, neck, chest, belly, and legs. Brownish-black, matte black, and shiny black are all acceptable.
Coat: Double coat of medium length, with the hair on the neck, back and buttocks slightly longer, and the hair on the head, legs, and ears slightly shorter. The outer coat is coarse, straight, and stands somewhat away from the body. The undercoat is thick, soft, and dense.
Grooming: Comb the all-weather coat regularly to reduce shedding and to remove loose hair from the undercoat.
Height: 22 to 24 inches for males, and 20 to 22 inches for females.
Weight: Males, up to 65 pounds; females, up to 50 pounds.

#9. Tibetan Mastiff (The World’s Most Expensive Dog)

This dog was bred in the Himalayan foothills to guard flocks, and it has remained relatively unchanged because of its isolation and the need to produce a large, strong working animal. Because of its inborn protective instincts, the Tibetan Mastiff was also used as a guardian for mansion and monastery.

Country of Origin: Tibet
Group: Working (AKC), Guardian (UKC).
Use today: Pet, show, flock guardian.
Life Span: 10 to 12 years.
Color: Black, black and tan, brown, brown and tan, blue-gray, blue-gray and tan, and various shades of gold. Tan markings above eyes, on lower part of legs, and tip of tail; white star on chest and minimal white markings on feet accepted.
Coat: Long, straight, and thick with heavy undercoat.
Grooming: Weekly brushing to keep mat-free; daily brushing during heavy shedding season.
Height: Males, a minimum of 26 inches; females, a minimum of 24 inches.
Weight: 90 to 150 pounds.

#10. Maremma Sheepdog

The Maremma Sheepdog has all of the attributes essential for an effective guard: strength, independence, stamina, courage and a strong sense of “ownership.” It is an independent dog that enjoys plenty of exercise and is best suited to a country home.

Country of Origin: Italy
Group: Guardian (United Kennel Club)
Use today:
Life Span:
Color: The coat color is white with some yellow or pale orange permitted on the ears only.
Coat: Profuse and long, never curly.
Grooming: Brush two to three times weekly to keep clean and mat-free.
Height: Stands 23.5 to 29 inches.
Weight: 65 to 100 pounds.

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