Top 10 Mountain Dog Breeds

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There are many breeds of mountain dog, a generic term for large, double-coated pups of Eurasian ancestry that have been typically used as working dogs on farms and ranches, or pulling sleds and carts across frozen glaciers. Independent, cold-tolerant and friendly while a bit aloof, these dogs have a reputation for hard work, fearless loyalty to their humans and fluffy cuteness. A few of the Top Breeds have become family pets and have adapted to the comforts of warm homes, where their new jobs have become pillows for the human kiddos, foot warmers for adults, and occasional pest removal.

St. Bernard

The prototypical picture of the St. Bernard with a small barrel of restorative brandy tucked under its chin is familiar everywhere, primarily because this beauty has actually saved over 2,500 travelers lost in the snow in Switzerland. These pups are great pets, gentle with children, and are sure to attract the neighbors' attention.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The beautiful fur-pups of this breed boast a long-haired, tricolor coat and are the product of cross-breeding mastiffs of Roman times with herding dogs. Like most mountain dogs, they are devoted to their humans and steady of personality. Smaller than the Mastiff and St. Bernard, they take up less space in the bed and on the couch!

Great Pyrenees

Originating in France, these elegant giants make great watch dogs because of their seemingly innate ability to suss out the trustworthiness of humans and other dogs. Calm and serene, these pups will guard their territories and homes against wildlife and other dangers. Their thick coats, while requiring regular care, protects them from the cold and the teeth of attackers.

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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Swissy was once utilized as a working dog in Switzerland, and is well-known for its skill at driving cattle. When called upon, they would even fight in battle alongside their humans. When no threat is near, they're nonetheless alert and ready to push their massive chests forward into the fray, but they can be gentle and affectionate, too.

Siberian Husky

Originating from Arctic Siberia, Huskies herded reindeer and pulled sleds across the tundra with their human packs. Many are now part of families throughout the world, and their gentle, independent natures make them easy to live with. Love a Husky means also loving their clownish "singing" and "talking" ways of expressing themselves.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Native to Iceland, these doggos arrived via Viking ships during the 9th Century. Sturdy and strong, they are chiefly herders by occupation, having served the people of this cold and sometimes unforgiving nation for many centuries. Excellent companions for solitary sheep- and goat-herders, they also help to keep their humans warm when needed.

Entlebucher Sennenhund

If you've never heard of this breed, you're not alone. This smallest of the 4 Swiss mountain dog breeds, these guys are furbulous companions, and while they're happiest when working, they can be pawsome family dogs. Smart and lively, they can be induced to play and love nothing more than a long hike in the woods.

Karakachan Bear Dog

The homeland of this black and white dog is in Karelia, a region bordered by Russia and Finland. Its name bears witness to its hunting skills, especially of the brown bear, and its courage and strength have also made it pawrfect for search-and-rescue, as well as loyal companionship. Its quiet independence makes it easy to care for.

Tibetan Mastiff

Claimed by some to be the most expensive breed, these massive, bear-like pups arose in the Himalayan foothills and remains much like its ancestors because of the isolation and resulting inbreeding. Utilized for herding and guarding by royalty and monasteries, their rarity has made them sought-after in the show and unique pet circles.

Maremma Sheepdog

Italian in origin, the pups of this breed are ultimate guards, whether for sheep or pack, including their humans. They have tremendous stamina that needs to be channeled into exercise and play, and they probably wouldn't fare well in a city apartment. Sometimes mistaken for other mountain breeds, their solid white, long coats need to be considered when you purchase furniture.