I bet one of the first associations related to mountain dog breeds is picturing large, long-coated, scary dogs with a fearless character.
Well, you’re almost there because we’re about to present you the list of the fifteen bravest, most popular hut guardians with impeccable temperament.
There’s one catch, though. Not only do these giants make excellent guardians and watchdogs, but they also make fantastic human companions full of love, affection, and loyalty towards their loved ones.
Let’s waste no words because it’s time for some pawesome mountain dog breed facts!
Mountain Dog Breeds
An interesting fact about these canines is that many of them make for some of the tallest breeds in the world. But, it quite makes sense, doesn’t it? In order to cope with severe mountain conditions – you need to be a giant!
Naturally, all of these dogs from this list are gifted with impeccable strength and great athletic potential, which is why these mountain kings have no trouble spending their entire life protecting huts and distant villages from big predators and wild animals.
But, how do these dogs act around humans? Are they aggressive and dangerous? And, do they do well in other environments? These are the questions we’re going to address throughout this article, so prepare yourself for a few minutes of fact throwing!
1. Bernese Mountain Dog
Meet an 80-to-115-pound heavy BMD! This giant mountain dog breed is anything but a reserved, independent canine that doesn’t do well with families and children. Quite the opposite… these pooches just love spending their whole time with their loved ones.
Gifted with enormous strength and great conformation, black-rust-and-white BMDs are highly affectionate and loyal to their owner. They do exceptionally well around children, which is why these dogs are preferred by numerous families all around the world.
BMD breeders breed these pooches as working dogs, herding dogs, and guard dogs.
2. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
How often do you have the chance to see a 155-pound dog? Well, according to the CSD’s growth chart – these pooches easily get there!
A medium-long, double coat, and kind, soft eyes are two trademarks of these Caucasian beauties. But, don’t let them deceive you! However cute they may look, these pooches are extremely aloof with strangers, and they can be quite dangerous.
Their main goal is to protect and serve, which is why CSDs don’t exactly make the best family dogs in the world.
3. Tibetan Mastiff
Getting a Tibetan Mastiff would be a huge mistake if you are a first-time dog owner. This is one of the most dangerous and aggressive guardian dogs in the world, which is why the breed requires experienced owners and firm leadership.
Once socialized and obedience trained, TMs are excellent companions that do well around small children, too.
One of the most recognizable traits of these Tibetan beauties are their fashionable colors. Black, brown, red, white, and chocolate brown are just some of their rich span of colors that make these pooches so adorably cute.
There’s a downside to their fashionable look, though. These pooches, however cute they may appear, are excessive shedders!
4. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
ASDs are intelligent, serious workers that require occupation for the most part of the day. These large canines are not recommended for apartment-living, nor for life in a city.
Quite the contrary – the breed needs a spacious home, or preferably, a big, fenced back yard where it can display its full potential.
Generally, all ASDs and many of their mixes make excellent guardians of their family, livestock, and property, which is why these dogs are on top of the list of the most wanted guard dogs in the world.
5. Great Pyrenees
Don’t be mistaken by their medium-long, thickly-haired coat that sheds excessively – there is a whole set of strong muscles underneath.
These white pooches have great athletic potential aside from exquisite strength, which is why GPs make excellent guardians.
The same as their other counterparts, these pooches require early socialization, and preferably, obedience training. Otherwise, you might just face a really aggressive dog with occasional behavioral outbursts.
6. Newfoundland Dog
Although they make fantastic guardians of their family and property, these Canadian boys are extremely friendly towards strangers, too.
That is why they need early training in order to perfect their guardian skills as many Newfoundlands have a way-too-friendly attitude, even towards enemies.
Aside from some minor problems, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, many of these canines live most of their life disease-free. Still, their average lifespan is not as long as it is in some other breeds as they only reach up to 10 years.
7. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Officially recognized by the AKC in 1995, GSMDs practically make the greatest mountain dogs ever!
Initially bred for herding cattle, these majestic canines are extremely dependable and loyal to their owner, which is why many breeders today breed these dogs for companionship purposes, too.
Extremely energetic, agile, and able to protect and cuddle at the same time, these pooches are everything you’re looking for in a dog… and more!
8. Appenzeller Sennenhund
Much smaller than the rest of their mountain counterparts, Sennenhunds are dogs of great energy and enviable adaptability.
They are known for their impeccable intelligence, which is why these dogs are easily trained and adapted to all kinds of environments. They may not be the easiest dogs to potty train, but they’re pretty close!
Still, they do require both mental and physical training as inadequately-trained puppies might be self-destructive and aggressive. If properly trained – these pooches have a great way with children and other dogs, but they still may be aloof with strangers.
9. St. Bernard
Here comes Beethoven! You have probably heard about the glorious St. Bernard dog throughout movies or TV shows. Big, fashionable, strong, and dependable… these pooches make one of the most desirable mountain dog breeds in the world!
Even though they don’t rank high on the AKCs list, these puppies are highly desirable due to their calm, loving temperament, and great nanny skills.
There are two downsides of having a St. Bernard as a pet, though. The first is their high level of drooling. The second one is a plethora of major diseases they are susceptible to, such as dilated cardiomyopathy.
The fun fact about these dogs is that St. Bernards can reach up to 180 pounds in weight, which is pretty amazing!
These Bulgarian princes may not be on the list of the best family dogs in the world, but they still do make pretty good pets!
Once socialized and obedience trained, these pooches do great around people of all ages. Still, they don’t do quite well in closed spaces and small apartments, which is why these dogs are recommended for people who live in the country.
Also, having a Karakachan means having certain experience in dog ownership. First-time owners may have a lot of trouble making a decent pet out of this breed.
11. Mountain Cur
Famous for their loud barking, these pooches make excellent hunters and guard dogs. The breed is quite favorable for crossbreeding, which is why we have many popular Cur mixes, such as the Cur Pitbull.
The thing that makes this breed one of the best in the family is their high level of intelligence. They are easily trained, controlled, and directed, which is a bonus in the hunting business.
You may not see this pooch often, but Kuvasz dogs were (and still are) highly appreciated and preserved among Hungarian royalty.
Highly trainable and loyal to their owner, these Hungarian boys make quite decent family dogs, with a great set of guardian skills.
They may not be among the non-aggressive dogs by default, but their impeccable intelligence and eagerness to please make them low-maintenance in terms of socialization.
13. Spanish Mastiff
The size and scary look of this Spanish giant negatively correlates with its temperament. Namely, SMs are extremely calm and intelligent dogs that don’t display so many behavioral outbursts.
Still, they may be aloof with strangers as these dogs are naturally protective of their family.
What makes them one of the best mastiff breeds in the world is their constant need to please their owner, and their low tendency of displaying aggression.
14. Estrela Mountain Dog
These Portuguese herding boys are probably one of the kindest mountain dog breeds in the world. Also known as dogs with rose ears and a long, wavy coat – EMDs are extremely affectionate towards their entire family.
They just love spending time with their loved ones, which consequently makes them naturally protective.
Still, the breed is not recommended for novice owners.
Last, but not the least – Akbash puppies also come from Turkey. Unlike their Anatolian counterparts, these pooches are significantly larger, but at the same time, they make better family dogs.
Categorized among white dogs, these pooches have a strong, determined look that makes them intimidating to enemies and other predators.
There are a plethora of mountain dog breeds that we don’t come across that often on the street. The reason behind that is simple – these pooches don’t do well in cities and small apartments.
They would rather spend their days in the country where they can move freely and do their tasks undisturbed.
In order to get one for yourself, you need to think twice. Do I have a big enough back yard? How busy am I to parent a dog like that? Am I experienced enough? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself prior to purchasing these dominant dogs.