13 Mountain Dog Breeds – A Quick Overview

There are many breeds known as mountain dogs. What they have in common is their size and their heritage as working dogs. Most are large, but not all of them are gentle giants. Some mountain dog breeds are better suited to life on a farm, while others have been bred for more specific jobs like guarding or rescue work. Here’s the list:

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog;
  2. Great Pyrenees;
  3. Caucasian Shepherd;
  4. Tibetan Mastiff;
  5. Saint Bernard;
  6. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog;
  7. Entlebucher Mountain Dog;
  8. Leonberger;
  9. Appenzeller Sennenhund;
  10. Kuvasz;
  11. Newfoundland;
  12. Anatolian Shepherd;
  13. Icelandic Sheepdog.

Most of these breeds are named for their origin mountain range or country. The Bernese Mountain Dog, for example, is from the canton of Bern, while the Tibetan mastiff hails from… well, Tibet. Others are named for their jobs, like the Caucasian Shepherd and the Icelandic Sheepdog – both used for herding sheep in the given locations.

All the listed breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club, but there might be other mountain dogs that aren’t on this list. In many parts of the world, mix breeds are just as popular as the purebreds, so don’t rule out a mountain mutt!

Size isn’t everything when it comes to mountain dog breeds. However, they’re all large or medium-sized, with most standing over two feet tall at the shoulder and weighing in at over 100 pounds. Some, like the Tibetan Mastiff, can even weigh over 150 pounds! They’re all very strong, hardworking dogs that were originally bred for outdoor jobs. Below, you’ll find a short description of each mountain dog breed.

The Bernese Mountain Dog

The Berner is one of the most popular mountain dog breeds, known for its characteristic markings. They’re gentle, loving, and make great family pets. They’re also very trainable and excel in obedience competition.

  • Males weigh 80-150 pounds and stand 25-27.5 inches tall.
  • Females weigh between 70 and 100 pounds and stand 23-26 inches in height.
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The Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog

Great Pyrenees are large, fluffy dogs that were originally bred to protect livestock from predators like wolves and bears. Today, they’re better known as loyal family companions.

  • Males weigh a minimum of 100 pounds and stand 27-32 inches in height.
  • Females weigh over 85 pounds and stand 25-29 inches tall.

The Caucasian Shepherd

The Caucasian Shepherd is a large, powerful dog that was originally bred for guarding livestock. They’re very independent and can be aloof with strangers. This breed may be too much for inexperienced dog owners.

  • Males weigh 110-170 pounds and stand 27-30 inches tall.
  • Females weigh 100-140 pounds and stand 25-28 inches in height.

The Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest mountain dog breeds. They were originally bred for guarding and are still used for this purpose in some parts of the world. They’re very independent, stubborn, and sensitive to human moods.

  • Males weigh 120-160 pounds and range from 26 to 28 inches in height.
  • Females weigh 100-125 pounds and stand 24-26 inches tall.

The Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a large, gentle dog that was originally bred for mountain rescue work. They’re known for their calm dispositions and are great with children. If you’re looking for a gentle giant, this is the mountain dog breed for you!

  • Males weigh 140-180 pounds and stand 28-30 inches in height.
  • Females weigh 120-140 pounds and stand 26-28 inches tall.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large, muscular dog that was originally bred for farm work. They’re very strong and sturdy, with a reputation for being very reliable. Give them a job, and they’ll be happy!

  • Males weigh 100-140 pounds and range from 25.5 to 28.5 inches in height.
  • Females weigh 80-110 pounds and stand 23.5 to 27 inches tall.

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest Swiss mountain dog breed. Originally bred for herding, they’re very active and need a lot of exercise. They’re also very intelligent and easy to train. Both males and females weigh 45-65 pounds and stand 19-20 inches tall at the shoulder.

The Leonberger

The Leonberger is a large mountain dog breed that was originally bred in Germany. They’re very loyal and make great family pets. They enjoy learning new tricks and excel in obedience competition.

  • Males weigh 120-170 pounds and stand 28-31 inches tall.
  • Females weigh 100-145 pounds and stand 26-30 inches in height.
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The Appenzeller Sennenhund

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a medium-sized mountain breed that originates from Switzerland. They’re very active and need a lot of exercise. They also make great family pets and are very intelligent. Both males and females range from 18.5 to 23 inches in height and 49 to 71 pounds in weight.

The Kuvasz

The Kuvasz is a large mountain dog breed of Hungarian origin. They make great guard dogs and are very loyal to their families. They’re also gentle with children, as long as they’ve been socialized properly.

  • Males weigh 100-130 pounds and stand 28-30 inches tall.
  • Females weigh 80-110 pounds and stand 26-28 inches in height.

The Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a large dog breed that was originally bred in Canada. They’re known for their sweet dispositions and are great with children. If you’re looking for a gentle giant that looks like a big teddy bear, this is the dog for you!

  • Males weigh 140-180 pounds and stand 28-30 inches in height.
  • Females weigh 120-140 pounds and stand 26-28 inches tall.

The Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is a large mountain dog breed that was originally bred in Turkey for guarding livestock. They’re very independent and can be aloof with strangers. But they’re also very loyal to their families and make great guard dogs.

  • Males weigh 100-130 pounds and stand 28-31 inches tall.
  • Females weigh 90-110 pounds and stand 25-30 inches in height.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Last but not least, we have the Icelandic Sheepdog. This medium-sized breed was originally bred in Iceland for herding sheep. They’re known for their high intelligence and activity level. Both males and females stand 17-18 inches in height and weigh 25-30 pounds.

The Many Jobs of Mountain Dog Breeds

Mountain dog breeds were originally bred for a variety of jobs, including herding, farm work, pulling carts, and guarding sheep. A more recent, but nonetheless important, job for mountain dogs is mountain rescue. You’ve probably seen news stories about Saint Bernards saving avalanche victims. They’re also used in search and rescue operations in other mountainous regions.

Today, they’re still used for some of these jobs, but they’ve also become beloved family pets. Many are also big help around the house, whether it’s bringing in the newspaper, helping with yard work, or acting as a watchdog. No matter what their size, mountain dog breeds are sure to make a big impact on your life!

What Makes Them Such Great Family Dogs?

Mountain dog breeds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate dispositions. They make great family dogs because they’re so patient with children. Many mountain dogs are also used as service or therapy dogs because of their calm and loving nature. No wonder they often work as rescue dogs and livestock guardians – when they see a person or animal in need, they’ll do whatever it takes to help.

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Despite their size, mountain dog breeds are typically very gentle. They might knock over a child while playing, but they would never intentionally hurt someone. However, they do need a firm hand when it comes to training and socialization. Some are very independent and can be stubborn at times. But with patience and consistency, they’ll eventually come around.

Other Giant Dog Breeds

Mountain dog breeds come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from the small Appenzeller Sennenhund to the large Leonberger. And they range in color from the black Newfoundland to the white Kuvasz. But not all giant dogs are mountain dogs. Some other popular giant breeds include the:

  • Mastiff – historically used to guard homes and property, hunt game, and support soldiers in battle;
  • Great Dane – originally bred in Germany as a hunting dog and guardian;
  • Irish Wolfhound – once used to hunt wolves and other large game;
  • Dogue de Bordeaux – a French mastiff that was used for hunting, guard work, and as a war dog.

No matter what type of giant dog you’re looking for, there’s sure to be a breed that’s perfect for you. Just make sure you have what it takes to train and care for one of these massive dogs!

Do you have your heart set on a mountain dog breed? Or are you considering another giant breed? Let us know in the comments below!


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