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List of Mountain Dog Breeds with Brief Information

Mountain dogs are working dogs that are bred for a variety of purposes. This Buzzle article provides a list of mountain dog breeds in existence today. Most of the dogs listed here are used as herders or working dogs, while some are also an integral part of rescue missions.
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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 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
Saint Bernard dog
  • 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 dog
  • 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 sennenhund
  • 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, Entelbuch 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 dog
  • 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, Appenzel 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 dog
  • 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 Ovtcharka, Sredneasiatskaïa Ovtcharka, Central Asian Sheepdog, Middle Asian Ovtcharka
  • 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 puppy
  • 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 dog
  • 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 dog
  • 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 dog
  • 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 dog
  • 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 cuvak dog
  • 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
Polish tatra 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 dog
  • 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
Sarplaninac dog
  • 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 shepherd dog
  • 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 puppy
  • 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: Krazski Ovcar, Krasky Ovcar, Karst Sheepdog, Krasevec
  • Group: Flock Guardian Dogs
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian sheepdog
  • 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.
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Published: August 18, 2014
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