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Mountain dog breeds
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St. Bernards are used as mountain rescue dogs in mountainous areas that receive heavy snow, and where it is impossible for people to carry out rescue operations. Similarly, Maremma sheepdogs are used to control big herds of sheep or cattle, and even protect it from predators like bears or wolves.
Mountain Dogs
Mountain dogs are those that are usually used for herding cattle or sheep on big ranches or farms. These dogs are generally quite big in size, and can tolerate temperatures that are difficult for humans to function in, in the outdoors. Many of these dogs are also used in search and rescue missions in mountain ranges where it is difficult for people to carry out rescue operations. These dogs normally fall in the working category, and are bred for specific purposes.
Mountain dogs are not like our usual pet breeds such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers. They cannot sit at home and do with a medium-sized yard to play in. These dogs need a lot of space; they are outdoorsy creatures, workers to be precise, and their care, diet, housing, and training all differ. For example, a dog that is out all day herding cattle will require more to eat and a different type of food than a dog that sleeps for most of the day and plays for only an hour or two. Read the following paragraphs to know more about the different mountain dog breeds along with some of their main characteristics.
St. Bernard
St. Bernard
Country of Origin: Switzerland/Italy
Height: 26 to 28 inches
Weight: 120 to 200 pounds
Temperament: Loving, gentle, friendly, loyal, stable, stubborn, needs socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Elbow Dysplasia, Osteosarcoma, Entropion, Allergies, Heart Problems
Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years
Other Names: Sankt Bernhardshund, Alpine Mastiff
Group: Working Dogs
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Height: 23 to 27 inches
Weight: 75 to 120 pounds
Temperament: Loyal, alert, friendly, playful, needs socializing
Common Health Problems: Cancer, Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy, Gastric torsion
Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years
Other Names: Berner Sennenhund, Bernese Cattle Dog
Group: Working Dogs
Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees
Country of Origin: Spain/France
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 80 to 130 pounds
Temperament: Gentle, intelligent, calm, stubborn, independent, friendly, loyal, loving, needs early socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, Gastric Torsion, Patellar Luxation, Entropion
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Chien des Pyrénées, Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées, Montañés del Pirineo, Gos de muntanya dels Pirineus
Group: Working Dogs
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Height: 23 to 29 inches
Weight: 100 to 130 pounds
Temperament: Gentle, enthusiastic, confident, independent, intelligent, stubborn, needs socializing
Common Health Problems: Urinary Incontinence, Eyelash issues, Canine hip dysplasia, Abdominal issues
Life Expectancy: 9 to 11 years
Other Names: Great Swiss Mountain Dog
Group: Working Dogs
Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky
Country of Origin: Siberia
Height: 20 to 23 inches
Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
Temperament: Affectionate, happy, playful, energetic, can be pushy, friendly, need mental stimulation, pack mentality
Common Health Problems: Seizures, Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Corneal Dystrophy, Glaucoma, Hip Dysplasia, Ectopy
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Other Names: Chuksha, Chukcha
Group: Working Dogs
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Height: 18 to 20 inches
Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, confident, loyal, independent, territorial, needs early socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years
Other Names: Entlebucher Sennenhund, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Entlebucher
Group: Herding Dogs
Karakachan Bear Dog
Karakachan Bear Dog
Country of Origin: Bulgaria
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 85 to 125 pounds
Temperament: Alert, independent, intelligent, loyal, social, aloof, happy
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Other Names: Karakachan Shepherd Dog, Karakachanska Ovcharka
Groups: Herding Dogs, Working Dogs
Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff
Country of Origin: Tibet
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 100 to 160 pounds
Temperament: Aloof with strangers, protective, loyal, independent, stubborn, requires socializing
Common Health Problems: Hypothyroidism, Addison's Disease, Cushing's Disease, Hip Dysplasia, Cataract, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy
Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
Other Names: Do-khyi, Tsang-khyi
Group: Working Dogs
Maremma Sheepdog
Maremma Sheepdog
Country of Origin: Italy
Height: 24 to 29 inches
Weight: 66 to 99 pounds
Temperament: Calm, affectionate, loyal, intelligent, protective, aloof with strangers
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years
Other Names: Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, Pastore Abruzzese, Pastore Maremmano, Abruzzenhund, Maremmano-Abruzzese
Group: Flock Guard Dogs
Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute
Country of Origin: Alaska
Height: 23 to 26 inches
Weight: 75 to 90 pounds
Temperament: Playful, cheerful, calm, social, friendly, loyal, pack mentality
Common Health Problems: Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Cataract, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Heart Defects, Hypothyroidism
Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
Other Names: Mal, Mally
Group: Working Dogs
Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherd
Country of Origin: Turkey
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 90 to 150 pounds
Temperament: Alert, independent, brave, needs socializing, loyal, protective
Common Health Problems: Entropion, Hip Dysplasia, Mange, Hypothyroidism
Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years
Other Names: Anatolian Blackhead, Anatolian Karabash Dog
Group: Working Dogs
Akbash
Akbash
Country of Origin: Turkey
Height: 28 to 32 inches
Weight: 90 to 140 pounds
Temperament: Calm, alert, independent, brave, loyal
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia
Life Expectancy: 10 to 11 years
Other Names: Akbaş Çoban Köpeği, Akbash
Groups: Flock Guard Dogs, Working Dogs
Appenzeller Sennenhund
Appenzeller Sennenhund
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Height: 18 to 23 inches
Weight: 50 to 70 pounds
Temperament: Needs early socializing, intelligent, independent, confident, loyal, friendly, happy, protective, energetic, stable
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
Other Names: Appenzeller Mountain Dog, Appenzell Cattle Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhunde
Group: Herding Dogs
Alpine Mountain Schnauzer
Alpine Mountain Schnauzer
Country of Origin: Germany
Height: 25 to 28 inches
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, independent, aloof, requires socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Cataract, Glaucoma, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism
Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years
Other Names: Russian Bear Schnauzer
Group: Working Dogs
Bucovina Shepherd
Bucovina Shepherd
Country of Origin: Romania
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 150 to 170 pounds
Temperament: Loyal, reserved, calm, steady, gentle, needs socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataract, Ear Infections
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Bucovina Shepherd, Bucovina Sheepdog, Southeastern European Shepherd
Group: Mastiff Dogs
Central Asian Shepherd
Central Asian Shepherd
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Height: 24 to 32 inches
Weight: 90 to 175 pounds
Temperament: Independent, courageous, loyal, protective, territorial, needs early socializing
Common Health Problems: Elbow Dysplasia
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Central Asian Ovcharka, Sredneasiatskaïa Ovcharka, Central Asian Sheepdog, Middle Asian Ovcharka
Group: Working Dogs
Estrela Mountain Dog
Estrela Mountain Dog
Country of Origin: Portugal
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 90 to 115 pounds
Temperament: Independent, protective, intelligent, affectionate, territorial, loyal
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 9 to 11 years
Other Names: Cão da Serra da Estrela, Serra da Estrela Mountain Dog, Portuguese Shepherd
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Georgian Shepherd
Georgian Shepherd
Country of Origin: Georgia
Height: 25 to 33 inches
Weight: 120 to 190 pounds
Temperament: Alert, courageous, confident
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Georgian Shepherd Dog, Georgian Mountain Dog
Group: Molosser Dogs
Hovawart
Hovawart
Country of Origin: Germany
Height: 23 to 29 inches
Weight: 60 to 110 pounds
Temperament: Independent, devoted, aloof towards strangers
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism
Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
Other Names: Hovie
Group: Herding Dogs
Kuvasz
Kuvasz
Country of Origin: Hungary
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 70 to 110 pounds
Temperament: Courageous, independent, stubborn, affectionate, needs early socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Inflammation of shoulder joints, Skin problems, Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Hungarian Kuvasz
Groups: Flock Guard Dogs, Working Dogs
Leonberger
Leonberger
Country of Origin: Germany
Height: 27 to 32 inches
Weight: 110 to 170 pounds
Temperament: Disciplined, loyal, intelligent, calm, friendly, gentle, needs early socializing
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Bone Disorders
Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years
Other Names: Leo, Gentle Lion
Group: Mastiff Dogs
Newfoundland
Newfoundland
Country of Origin: Canada
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 100 to 150 pounds
Temperament: Calm, gentle, docile, affectionate, loyal
Common Health Problems: Subaortic Stenosis, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia
Life Expectancy: 8 to 11 years
Other Names: Newf, Newfie
Groups: Mastiff Dogs, Working Dogs
Slovak Cuvac
Slovak Cuvac
Country of Origin: Slovak Republic
Height: 22 to 28 inches
Weight: 65 to 100 pounds
Temperament: Calm, alert, courageous, loyal, confident, affectionate, aloof with strangers
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years
Other Names: Slovensky Cuvac, Slovakian Chuvach, Slovac Cuvac, Slovensky Kuvac
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Spanish Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff
Country of Origin: Spain
Height: 28 to 34 inches
Weight: 150 to 220 pounds
Temperament: Calm, noble, protective, independent, loyal
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Entropion, Heart issues
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Mastín Español, Mastín de España, Mastin de Leon
Groups: Mastiff Dogs, Flock Guardian Dogs
Tatra Mountain Sheepdog
Tatra Mountain Sheepdog
Country of Origin: Poland
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 80 to 135 pounds
Temperament: Territorial, protective, intelligent, independent, needs early socializing, loyal
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Owczarek Tatrzanski, Owczarek Podhalański
Groups: Herding Dogs, Flock Guardian Dogs
Tornjak
Tornjak
Country of Origin: Croatia
Height: 22 to 28 inches
Weight: 60 to 110 pounds
Temperament: Alert, calm, loyal, peaceful, protective
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: 9 to 10 years
Other Names: Bosnian and Herzegovinian Sheepdog, Croatian Mountain Dog, Bosnian Shepherd Dog
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Šarplaninac
Šarplaninac
Country of Origin: Macedonia, Serbia
Height: 22 to 28 inches
Weight: 85 to 120 pounds
Temperament: Independent, reserved, aloof towards strangers, protective, needs early socializing
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years
Other Names: Illyrian Sheepdog, Macedonian-Yugoslav Shepherd Dog, Yugoslav Mountain Dog, Yugoslav Shepherd Dog
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Romanian Mioritic Sheepdog
Romanian Mioritic Sheepdog
Country of Origin: Romania
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 110 to 145 pounds
Temperament: Calm, well-behaved, stable, affectionate, alert, courageous, loyal
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Other Names: Mioritic Sheepdog, Mioritic Shepherd Dog
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Pyrenean Mastiff
Pyrenean Mastiff
Country of Origin: Spain
Height: 28 to 32 inches
Weight: 180 to 200 pounds
Temperament: Stable, calm, powerful, loyal, affectionate, protective
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Eye problems
Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years
Other Names: Perro Mastin del Pireneo, Mastí del Pirineu, Mastin d'Aragon
Group: Working Dogs
Karst Shepherd
Karst Shepherd
Country of Origin: Slovenia
Height: 22 to 25 inches
Weight: 55 to 85 pounds
Temperament: Good guardian, protective, independent, aloof, wary of strangers, courageous, stable
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Kraski Ovcar, Krasky Ovcar, Karst Sheepdog, Krasevec
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Country of Origin: Georgia, Armenia
Height: 25 to 28 inches
Weight: 100 to 180 pounds
Temperament: Assertive, stubborn, brave, aggressive, needs early socializing and proper training to avoid behavior issues
Common Health Problems: Currently not known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Caucasian Sheepdog,
Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Mountain Dog, Russian Caucasian
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Icelandic Sheepdog
Country of Origin: Iceland
Height: 12 to 16 inches
Weight: 20 to 30 pounds
Temperament: Energetic, lively, agile, brave, cheerful, curious, playful, affectionate, friendly
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Iceland Dog, Islandsk Farehond, Friaar Dog, Iceland Sheepdog, Icelandic Spitz
Groups: Herding and Nordic Watchdogs
Carpathian Shepherd Dog
Country of Origin: Romania
Height: 23 to 30 inches
Weight: 70 to 100 pounds
Temperament: Loyal, courageous, devoted, well-mannered, protective
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Other Names: Romanian Shepherd Dog, Rumanian Sheepdog, Câine Ciobănesc Carpatin, Romanian Carpatin Herder, Câine Ciobănesc Carpatin
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Portuguese Cattle Dog
Country of Origin: Portugal
Height: 20 to 25 inches
Weight: 50 to 75 pounds
Temperament: Protective, intelligent, courageous, assertive, wary of strangers, loyal, aloof, needs proper training
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: Unknown
Other Names: Cão de Castro Laboreiro, Castro Laboreiro Dog, Portuguese Watchdog, Dog of Castro Laboreiro
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Kuchi
Country of Origin: Afghanistan
Height: 27 to 33 inches
Weight: 85 to 130 pounds
Temperament: Extremely protective, can get aggressive, aloof, loyal, wary of strangers
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: Unknown
Other Names: Afghan Shepherd, Sage Kuchi, De Kochyano Spai, Jangi Spai
Group: Herding Dogs
Moscow Watchdog
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Height: 25 to 27 inches
Weight: 100 to 120 pounds
Temperament: Companion dog, loyal, independent, needs socializing, proper training important
Common Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia
Life Expectancy: 10 to 11 years
Other Names: Moskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka
Group: Mastiff Dogs
Alentejo Mastiff
Country of Origin: Portugal
Height: 25 to 29 inches
Weight: 100 to 135 pounds
Temperament: Independent, protective, wary of strangers, affectionate, alert, courageous, loyal, calm, confident, stable
Common Health Problems: No major health issues currently known
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Other Names: Rafeiro do Alentejo, Portuguese Mastiff, Portuguese Watchdog, Mutt of Alentejo
Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
The personalities of mountain dogs are very different; they are independent thinkers, self-reliant, and confident, and can handle a situation on their own very well. Many herding dogs have been known to take on wolves and bears who tried to come too close to their flock. They are protective and fiercely loyal, and are certainly a handful for inexperienced dog owners. If you ever wish to have a mountain dog as a pet, research the breed thoroughly, and make sure that you can provide all the necessary requirements for having a dog like this.