As much as we love mountains and snow is as much as we should love the mountain breeds of dogs. They are hard-working, loyal and often big cuddly babies. They are playful and often happy babies in spite of how big they are. Mountain breeds are elegant, known for being brave and highly intelligent.
Mountain breeds have a thick coat to protect them from the cold and are often big in size. Thus, they are costlier to maintain and have shorter life spans. Often due to the genetic underlying health conditions which can be heartbreaking for prospective guardians of such dogs.
Due to their big size, they also need more space and grooming. Another important aspect of raising mountain breeds is early socialization since they are often alert and can react destructively towards strangers, guests and other unfamiliar faces otherwise.
However, Mountain breeds are one of the most intelligent and hard working branch of the dog breeds. Mountain breeds are splendid and extremely affectionate and protective of their families.
Here are 10 popular breeds of mountain dogs:
1. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are one of the most attractive dogs in the world. Their blue eyes and royal demeanour, a wolf-like appearance make them one of the most sought after breeds; often people buying them without considering any other factors. A reason why they are often left at the shelters once those the guardians understand the other aspects of raising a husky. They are thus, not a good choice for people who are getting a dog for the first time. A husky needs an alpha as their leader!
Siberian Huskies are extremely loving and friendly with strangers, friends and other dogs. Huskies are active breeds and you don’t have to worry about them getting obese. A Husky loves to travel, and they make great partners at hiking and travelling. They should, preferably, be kept in colder regions.
A Siberian Husky is a good-natured dog and gets along with everyone. They need constant attention and exercising to keep their excitement under control. Huskies are easily excitable and if you commit fully to this dog, you will have a happy-active-cuddly buddy.
2. Bernese Mountain Dogs
A Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the most faithful and loving breed across and not just mountain breeds. They are big fluffy babies that will follow you around.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a calm disposition and are high on intelligence. If you are buying a dog for the first time, they can seem like a good choice for you as they are highly trainable. However, their massive size and high energy levels require proper handling. Thus, you shouldn’t go ahead and get a Bernese Mountain Breed if you are not confident that you can handle it.
These dogs shed a lot and need brushing/grooming at least three times a week for your sofas and carpets to not be covered in dog hair. They thrive in colder climates and since they are high on energy, they need more exercising.
Bernese Mountain Dogs need early training and socialization because of their size and high energy. A Bernese lives for roughly 8 years, comparatively shorter than other larger breeds.
3. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is one intelligent, majestic, and loving baby that you will instantly fall in love with. These dogs are big, white, fluffy cuddle buddies.
They need a cold climate to thrive and very early socialization to turn them into their best self! The Pyrenees is a highly alert dog who will guard you and your family at all costs.
Make no mistake, a Great Pyrenees is not one to be leashed. They have a mind of their own. As fascinating as that may sound, it also makes them hard to train and control.
They are accustomed to colder climates and are highly sensitive. Since this breed is highly intelligent, they are also naturally more sceptical towards strangers. The Pyrenees is extremely friendly otherwise. You would need to train your Pyrenees very early to make them comfortable with guests, friends and visitors, in general.
These dogs shed a lot, but drool less. A Pyr will make you feel safer and loved more than you can make him/her feel the same.
4. Saint Bernard
A Saint Bernard is one of the biggest mountain breeds. This breed is of a calm, gentle predisposition. Contrary to their size, they’re very good with children! Provided, the kids are old enough to not be knocked over by a big, fluffy Saint Bernard.
Saint Bernard dogs were primarily used by monks for finding lost travellers on mountains in earlier times. Thus, they have the ability to be a watchdog. Further, they also make incredible therapy dogs and cuddle partners.
A Saint Bernard is intelligent, extremely friendly towards other dogs & cats. But not so much towards strangers. They don’t need a lot of exercising but they need proper training and socialization. This is necessary because, given the size, you will not be able to push your Saint Bernard around and need him/her to listen to you.
This breed is known to think before it does something, thus positive training methods would go a long way in making your fluffy boy into a fluffy gentleman.
5. Entlebucher Mountain Dog
This breed is one of the smaller ones out of the mountain breeds of dogs. An Entle does not adapt well to an apartment or a new owner. They are highly energetic and need at least one hour of vigorous exercising.
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are highly intelligent, loyal and agile. Moreover, they are independent enough to tolerate being alone well. An Entle is extremely affectionate with his family and barks at the presence of strangers on his territory.
They are usually not very people friendly but love their family with their whole heart. They are very easy to groom and drool just a little. Moreover. an Entlebuncher is easy-peasy to groom and also shed less. Because of their high energy combined with high intelligence, they can be trained to gather dirty laundry, fetch things like slippers, et cetera.
But this high energy level is matched by a very few mountain breeds. So, if you plan to buy one, make sure that you can provide adequate rigorous exercising that is needed for this puppy/dog.
Suitable for a cold climate and highly sensitive, an Akita is one fearless and loyal breed. They are brave and fearless and thus, great guardians of their family! However, on the other hand, this makes them hard to train.
An Akita needs an experienced trainer and an experienced human guardian too. This breed is also a messy one. They shed a lot and you would need to clean up the drool every day.
An Akita is only friendly with their family and are highly sceptical of anyone else, including other dogs and cats. However, the general health of this breed fairly good.
They hate being alone, without their family. An Akita would also talk to their family members often, grunting and mumbling. But they go quiet in front of strangers. Akitas also love carrying things in their mouth, including but not limited to their human guardians’ wrist.
One unique thing about this breed is that, even though you should provide early training and socialization as properly as possible, they will always be wary of strangers.
7. Tibetan Mastiff
Don’t go on this breed’s size. They’re massive but gentle, patient and incredibly sophisticated. A Tibetan Mastiff is a royal-looking, big, fluffy dog.
Tibetan Mastiffs are suited to colder climates with a thick layer of coat. They are highly sensitive and wary of strangers. Although they’re very friendly with the family as well as other dogs. So, if your Tibetan Mastiff is wary of specific people, trust their gut.
This breed is mostly clean. They drool less but shed a lot. They need brushing; every day, especially in their shedding season. A Tibetan Mastiff is an alert breed with a mind of his own. Now, this also makes them stubborn. Albeit they will obey you, they will not look at you for guidance at all times. They can get territorial and will not listen to you if they think they are right.
Therefore, they are not for novice owners. They need early training and socialisation to help them have a decent social life. A Tibetan Mastiff also needs a big home, preferably with a yard as this breed can jump over the fence. Also, a Tibetan Mastiff often barks at night, so prospective guardians might want to keep that in mind.
8. Maremma Sheepdog
A Maremma Sheepdog is a highly alert dog who will protect their family at all costs. This is perhaps the reason why they are extremely apprehensive of strangers and bark to warn them. However, they are very well behaved with the family and the kids as well. Moreover, they are friendly with other dogs and cats, too.
They tend better to colder climates. A Maremma Sheepdog needs at least two hours of exercising. They are healthy and don’t shed as much, but regular brushing is needed.
Like most other mountain dogs, and especially because it has characteristics of a guard dog, they are intelligent and not as obedient. They have a mind of their own, like the Mastiffs. Since they also have more energy, they need authoritative training since childhood to train them appropriately. They also need early socialization to help avoid the dog getting triggered by any stranger whatsoever.
A Maremma is one loyal and protective breed and their thick, fluffy coat makes them extra cuddly. Also, this breed tolerates being alone well. They are independent and smart.
9. Australian Shepherd
This breed needs a big house. They can accustom to both hotter and colder climates though. An Australian Shepherd is highly energetic and needs exercising and/or activities.
They are lively, friendly and affectionate towards their family. The dog needs a job to do to burn up their energy levels. Mind you, a job that not only caters to their physical needs but also stimulates their mind. Otherwise, they become destructive and may bark. A lot.
They are highly intelligent and athletic. They need brushing once a month and shed less. You don’t have to worry about them drooling too much either. However, an Australian Shepherd doesn’t like to be alone. They need their family. Also, they need confident leadership as well as early socialization.
Australian Shepherds are generally healthy, but like all breeds, suffer from genetic disorders. Random Trivia: Australian Shepherds are not from Australia but are from the United States of America.
10. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
More often called the Swissy, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a big mountain dog who is well-built and well-muscled. Contrary to how big they look, they are patient and intelligent.
They make great therapy dogs and are extremely easy to groom. Also, they drool less. This breed is known to balance their alertness and patience. They need brushing just once a week.
Swissies need moderate exercising / activities as they were historically working dogs used to having a job. They are highly devoted to their families and would prefer a big house. Owing to their size, they aren’t a great fit for apartments.
Due to the size, they also need early training and socialization; as they are highly sensitive and can be wary of strangers. They aren’t a great choice if you have small kids though. A Swissy is big in size, thus they can knock over small children.
There are other mountain breeds, too. Thus, it would be easy and is is highly advisable to get the breed that is from your area. Most of the mountain breed of dogs would be your big, fluffy protectors. Most of them would also need bigger spaces; larger than an apartment. Owing to their size, it is also preferred that you have a yard if you want to have a mountain breed in your home.
Getting of the mountain breed would not be regrettable, if only you take a few parameters in consideration. At the end of the day, all a dog needs is a loving home and lots of affection!