Giant Dog Breeds
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Bringing home a mountain dog is a big deal, in every sense.
So it really helps to get to grips with what to expect before making puppy plans.
Mountain Dog Breeds
These breeds of dog were bred to work in mountain locations, and some still do so even today.
Guarding livestock, herding or even supporting human search and rescue teams!
Mountain Dog Mixes
There are several mountain dogs to choose from, but when you open that up to mixes the possibilities are endless.
Just remember that your mountain dog mix could end up being a lot more like one parent than the other.
Or an interesting combination of the two!
Make sure you like both breeds, so it won’t matter which your puppy ends up being more like.
Some mixes combine rather smaller breeds with them, so the potential size range is dramatic!
Mini Mountain Dogs
A way to get a mountain dog breed without having to give up half your home is to search out a miniaturized version.
Unfortunately however, these dogs can come with some unexpected problems.
Or a very different look or temperament to the one you were expecting!
Because few mini breeds are actually a purebred variety of them.
Mountain Dog Temperament
The temperament of mountain dog breeds varies a surprising amount.
They tend to either be naturally friendly and sociable, or loyal and protective.
And this comes from the purpose they were bred for.
Dogs like Bernese Mountain Dogs and Newfoundlands are generally happier in crowds than those that were bred to guard herds of mountain dwelling cattle or sheep, like the Great Pyrenees.
Either way, when you are bringing home a giant breed of dog it’s really important that you devote a lot of time to socialization.
Taking your puppy to meet lots of different people in plenty of locations, and making sure you have regular visitors to your home.
All within the first few weeks they are with you.
This gives you the best chance of your puppy growing up as a confident, friendly dog.
Mountain Dog Breeds’ Health
Most Mountain dogs are very large breeds.
And there are a few health conditions which they have in common, and others that are only related to a few breeds.
Things that are in common to many include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Heart problems
They also tend to have relatively short lifespans when compared with other breeds.
Although this varies quite a lot between breeds.
A large study of dogs’ lifespans from 2010 put the Mountain Dogs they studied at an average lifespan of between 7 and 12 years.
- Leonberger 7 years
- Bernese Mountain Dog 8 years
- Pyrenean Mountain Dog 9.5 years
- Estrela Mountain Dog 10 years
- Newfoundland 10 years
- Tibetan Mastiff 12 years
But the sample sizes were quite small for some of these breeds.
And the range of age at death was very expansive.
What you can be confident about is that they won’t see the very long lifespans you get with some smaller breeds.
However, you can improve your dog’s chance at staying fit and healthy for as long as possible.
Actions like giving them appropriate amounts of exercise and providing them with the right diet help.
And so does getting your puppy from a breeder that has health tested both of their parents.
Finding a Mountain Dog Puppy
It’s important to do plenty of research before you decide where you get your mountain dog breed.
Shelters are a good option, but finding the mountain dog breed you are looking for at a shelter isn’t a certainty.
Most shelters do charge an adoption fee, but they are usually much less than a breeder would charge.
Another pro of getting your dog from a shelter is that shelters often pay initial vet fees, ensuring that your mountain dog is ready to be taken home.
If you want to get one of the mountain dog breeds from a breeder, be prepared to spend potentially over a thousand dollars.
One of the benefits of going through a breeder is that you can have a thorough look at the health and temperament history of the dog’s parents.
Make sure to meet both the parents if possible, and to check how they are with you.
They should be comfortable around strangers, and have a clear strong bond with their owner.
The breeder should also provide you with full health certificates for both parents, for any conditions common to that breed.
All mountain dog breeds should have good hip scores and a clear eye test as a minimum.
Best Mountain Dog Breeds
Mountain dogs contain some of the most iconic and wonderful breeds of dog in the world.
But they come in a large size, and usually with a very high maintenance coat.
They need plenty of socialization as puppies, and require dedication to positive reinforcement training.
If you are bringing a mountain dog home as a pet, be aware that they can accidentally hurt children through their size alone.
If you think you can give one of these giant dogs would suit your lifestyle, then our favorite mountain dog breeds as pets are:
What’s your favorite mountain dog breed?
Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below!