Whether you live in the mountains or simply enjoy visiting mountainous regions, there are many dogs that could make a perfect companion for you. Mountain dogs are perhaps the best breeds suited for rugged terrain and cold weather, and you will find five of the more popular mountain dog breeds described below.
Bernese Mountain Dogs
The Bernese Mountain Dog was developed in Switzerland where it was most often found in the Swiss Alps herding and guarding sheep. This is a dog with thick, medium-length hair that is typically tri-colored. The average size for the Bernese Mountain Dog is about 80 to 125 pounds. Although they can be quite large, Berners are gentle dogs that make excellent pets for children of all ages.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
Another dog that came from Switzerland and was developed to herd and guard sheep in the Swiss Alps is the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. These dogs are similar in appearance to the Bernese Mountain Dogs, except Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have short hair and are generally a bit larger, with adults weighing between 110 and 154 pounds. This is also a gentle dog that gets along great with other pets and kids.
The Great Pyrenees is an old breed that has been in existence since the early 1400s. It originated in Northern Spain and Southern France where it could often be found guarding flocks of sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains. This dog has thick, long white hair and can weigh anywhere from 80 to 120 pounds at maturity. It is very affectionate and gentle making it a great pet for families with kids.
Karakachan Bear Dogs
Karakachan Bear Dogs came from Bulgaria where they were most often used to guard and herd sheep in the mountains. This is another large breed that can weigh between 66 and 120 pounds when fully grown. They have short to medium-length hair that can come in a variety of different colors. This is a gentle and mild-mannered dog that interacts extremely well with other pets and children of all ages.
Saint Bernards originated in Switzerland and Italy where they were commonly used to rescue people in the Swiss Alps. This is perhaps the heaviest breed known today, with full grown dogs weighing anywhere from 140 to 264 pounds. They come in either smooth or rough-coated varieties, and they are typically orange and white. While these dogs are terrific with older kids, they are not recommended for toddlers and infants.
These are brief descriptions of just five of the most popular mountain dog breeds known today. There are many more mountain dogs that make wonderful companions and family pets. While the complete list of such dogs is a bit extensive, you will find a sample of them as follows:
- Anatolian Shepherds
- Tibetan Mastiffs
- Maremma Sheepdogs
- Entlebucher Mountain Dogs
- Appenzeller Sennenhunds
- Caucasian Mountain Dogs
- Formosan Mountain Dogs
- Estrela Mountain Dogs
- Colorado Mountain Dogs
Are you looking for a good guard dog as well? Have a look here: The Best Guard Dogs Today.