15 Mountain Dog Breeds That Love the Outdoors

From massive and powerful to small and agile, mountain dog breeds come in a variety of packages.

While some end up on the list of the largest dog breeds, mountain dog breeds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They also come from different parts of the world – you can find Russian dog breeds and German dog breeds on our list. Some make excellent family companions or guard dogs, while others are known for their athletic and herding skills. What they have in common, however, is that their history can be traced back to a mountain region and many continue to serve as working dogs in mountainous regions.

While it’s true that all dogs – regardless of breed – have their own personality, since these dogs were bred to thrive in the wild, many mountain dog breeds benefit from targeted socialization. In addition, some breeds can be more difficult to train, and therefore require an experienced human owner or behavioral training course to ensure they are living their best life.

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1. Great Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an energetic, majestic breed built for herding sheep in the Swiss Alps, hence the name. This hardworking breed is particularly known for their unwavering loyalty and deep affection for their family. The fact that they are so eager makes them easier to train compared to some of the other mountain dog breeds on our list. Note that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is one of the four types of Swiss Mountain Dog. The other three include the Berner Sennenhund, Appenzeller Sennenhund and Entlebucher Sennenhund, which we have also described below.

Breed overview
Height: 25 to 27 inches
Weight: 85 to 140 pounds
Life expectancy: 8 to 11 years

Leonberger dog poses in front of a beautiful mountain view

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2. Leonberger

The Leonberger is a powerful breed of mountain dog that looks like a lion and can weigh an impressive 170 pounds. While somewhat intimidating, this breed is known for its majestic grace and unwavering friendliness, and is also known for being extremely patient with people and other animals. Even so, they are not easily fooled! The intelligence, vigilance, and impressive judgment of this breed make them exceptional watchdogs.

Breed overview
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 90 to 170 pounds
Life expectancy: 7 years

Bernese Mountain Dog stands gracefully next to some flowers

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3. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are strong but gentle giants that come from the beautiful Swiss farmland. They are medium to large in size and are valued for their soft, sweet nature as well as their intelligence and their keen willingness to learn during training. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also says they are known for their patience with children and their love for their own families. They look pretty adorable with their thick coats, floppy ears, and big pink tongues. Unsurprisingly, they are considered to be one of the best dogs for first-time owners.

Breed overview
Height: 23 to 28 inches
Weight: 70 to 115 pounds
Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years

Appenzeller Sennenhund outside in nature

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4. Appenzell Mountain Dog

The charming, medium-sized Appenzeller Sennenhund, also known as the Appenzeller Viehhund or Appenzeller Sennenhund, is known for its agility, liveliness and lean muscle structure. This breed is another that tends to thrive while exercising thanks to their intelligence, adaptability, and eagerness to obey their owners. For this reason, Appenzell Mountain Dogs can serve as fantastic guard dogs, driving dogs, farm dogs or house dogs. They are mainly black with a white chest and red, coppery markings around the face and paws.

Breed overview
Height: 19 to 22 inches
Weight: 48 to 70 pounds
Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

A Saint Bernard dog sitting in a meadow in the mountains

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5. St. Bernard

Famous for his tall build and gentle manner, the St. Bernard is one of the most popular Swiss mountain dog breeds. They are a lovable, agile type of pooch with a muscular build that makes them great workers. This breed comes in two coat lengths – long and short. Both coats share the same characteristics, including red or yellow spots on the back and body and black spots on the face and ears.

Breed overview
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 120 to 180 pounds
Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

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6. Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is the descendant of an ancient breed of shepherds from Turkey. They look pretty unique with their short, gold-colored fur and black face markings. While this Mountain Dog breed is described as loyal, independent, patient, and intelligent, they are not quite as affectionate as the other breeds on this list. Yet the Anatolian is still loving and gentle. They also protect everyone who lives under their roof, including other pets.

Breed overview
Height: 27 to 29 inches
Weight: 80 to 150 pounds
Life expectancy: 11 to 13 years

Newfoundland dogs sit in the forest

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7. Newfoundland

Gloriously oversized, the Newfoundland dog is a lovable, patient, big old sissy from a pooch. Known as one of the best dogs for children, this mountain dog breed is especially affectionate with their own family members. As one of the largest dog breeds in the world, you might feel intimidated by their presence. However, the AKC notes that Newfoundland dogs are infallibly cute by nature and respond better to gentle guidance than to aggressive or direct orders.

Breed overview
Height: 26 to 28 inches
Weight: 100 to 150 pounds
Life expectancy: 9 to 10 years

Caucasian Shepherd Dog sitting outside

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8. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Bred to deal with wolves among sheep, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog has been hailed for centuries as a fearless, courageous, and always loving guard dog who wants to protect his family and herds. Although they are quick to come to the rescue against enemies, they are very kind and protective of their own family members. While the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is traditionally kept as a working dog, it has become a perfect family companion for many.

Breed overview
Height: 23 to 30 inches
Weight: 99 to 170 pounds
Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Kuvasz dog sits in the sun with a view of the mountains

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9. Kuvasz

The royal Kuvasz is a famous mountain dog from Hungary. Her beautiful, all-white fur, along with her muscular body and gentle eyes, are one of her most distinctive features. Despite their size, they are surprisingly agile and fast – especially when dealing with predators. While the Kuvasz breed has long thrived in the wild, it is slowly becoming a loving house companion. Still, they require plenty of exercise and thorough training under the gentle hands of an experienced owner.

Breed overview
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 70 to 115 pounds
Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog in the mountains

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10. Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog

Weighing around 150 pounds, the Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog is a humble large dog that looks even taller thanks to its all-white, fluffy fur. This lovely mountain dog breed is known for their exceptionally calm and patient demeanor, which makes them a good choice for families. While they love a good cuddle session, these dogs are also smart, independent thinkers who don’t mind being alone.

Breed overview
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 85 to 150 pounds
Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Siberian Husky stands on a rock with a view of the mountains

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11. Siberian husky

As compact and powerful sled dogs, Siberian Huskies are strong, fast, and energetic friends. Because they are pack dogs, huskies get along with other animals as well as they do with people. They’re playful and adventurous too – there’s a good chance you’ll find them chasing small animals in the back yard or sniffing around on their favorite dog toy. Their thick winter fur is usually odorless, and owners agree that their natural cleanliness is a huge benefit. They are also one of the few breeds of dogs with blue eyes.

Breed overview
Height: 20 to 24 inches
Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Two Tibetan Mastiff dogs sitting outside

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12. Tibetan mastiff

The huge, adorable Tibetan mastiff was originally bred as a protector of livestock and property in Tibet, hence its name. Today, this large breed of mountain dog that looks like a bear is a great watchdog. And surely any intruder who crosses the path of this imposing giant will surely think twice before entering it! Though massive, this breed is still an ideal family companion who loves its people very much; the AKC states that they are great with kids.

Breed overview
Height: 24 to 26 inches
Weight: 70 to 150 pounds
Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

two Colorado Mountain Dogs walking outside

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13. Colorado Mountain Dog

The Colorado Mountain Dog is a newer breed that was founded in 2005 and raised to protect cattle on small farms. They were specially bred for their size and temperament towards mountain lions, wolves, and other small livestock predators. In addition to this temperament, they were also bred to an extremely humane breed and both humans and cattle can feel comfortable on the farm. While this pooch isn’t on the list just yet, this is how the AKC decides on new dog breeds.

Breed overview
Height: 26 to 29 inches
Weight: 80 to 120 pounds
Life expectancy: unknown

An Icelandic Sheepdog outside on a farm

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14. Icelandic Shepherd Dog

The playful and friendly Icelandic Sheepdog is one of the smaller breeds on our list. What they lack in size, however, they make up for in curiosity and cuteness! The AKC says this mountain dog breed is a loyal friend who loves their people – to the point that they want almost nothing more than to spend time with you. They are just fine with children and even with other animals in the house. As for their looks, they have a unique, fox-like appearance, complete with pointy ears, a curly, bushy tail, and a nimble, dainty frame.

Breed overview
Height: 16 to 18 inches
Weight: 25 to 30 pounds
Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Entlebuch mountain dog playing outside

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15. Entlebuch Mountain Dog

Known for their loyalty, enthusiasm and intelligence, the Entlebucher Sennenhund is a cattle keeper who originated in the Swiss Alps. Her name translated means “laughing dog” which was given because of her cheerful personality which is quite contagious! This breed of mountain dog is very affectionate to adult family members and they do very well with other canines as well. To make them laugh, you should give this breed plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Breed overview
Height: 16 to 21 inches
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Life expectancy: 11 to 13 years

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