1. The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from the farmlands of Switzerland. He's a working breed that was used to herd cattle, pull carts, and be a watchdog. This breed is large and sturdily built, and his friendly, calm temperament makes him a good candidate for conformation, obedience, tracking, herding, and carting competitions.

    The Berner has a broad head, and a strong, straight muzzle. His legs are straight and strong, and his bushy tail is carried low. His coat is moderately long and thick, with symmetrical markings of black, rust, and white. There's a white blaze on the chest and white on the head, toes, and tip of the tail.

    Bernese Mountain Dogs are very large, with males standing at 24 to 28 inches tall and weighing 85 to 110 pounds. Females grow to 23 to 27 inches and 80 to 105 pounds.

  1. The Chow Chow was originally used by the Chinese as a working dog. He hunted, pulled carts and sleds, guarded boats, and protected homes.

    The Chow Chow is a large, stocky dog with a distinctive blue-black tongue. His head is large and broad, and there's a huge ruff behind his head that makes him look a bit like a lion. His nose is black and his ears are small and erect. The Chow's chest is broad and deep, and his tail is set high, curling over the back. His coat is very dense and furry, can be either smooth or rough, and is commonly solid red, black, blue, cinnamon, or cream. Adult Chows stand between 18 and 22 inches high, and weigh 45 to 70 pounds.

    Chow Chows need adequate socialization as puppies and adults, and an experienced owner with a firm hand. This breed tends to be independent and aloof, fiercely protective of one or more members of the family, and suspicious of strangers.

  1. The Great Pyrenees is a giant breed dog, with males growing to 110 to 120 pounds and 27 to 32 inches tall, while females reach 80 to 90 pounds and 25 to 29 inches. This breed is double-coated, with a long, thick, outer coat of coarse hair lying over a thick, fine undercoat. The coat is thicker around the neck and shoulders, forming a ruff or mane that is more obvious in male dogs. The tail is plumed, and the fur at the backs of the legs is feathered.

    The Great Pyrenees is a very old breed that has worked with shepherds, including Basque shepherds in and around the Pyrenees Mountains, for hundreds of years. These dogs were bred to be agile in order to guard sheep on steep, mountainous slopes.

  1. The Keeshond is a very old breed, and unlike most dogs on this list, has always been bred to be a companion and watchdog. In the 17th and 18th centuries, they were used as watchdogs on riverboats, farms, and barges. The breed has never been used to hunt or as guard dogs, which may explain their gentle temperament.

    The Keeshond bears a strong resemblance to her ancestor, the Samoyed. Her eyes are dark in color, and her ears are erect and set high on the head. The tail is carried over the back and the feet are catlike. The double coat stands away from the body and consists of a long, straight, harsh outer coat and a thick, downy undercoat. Keeshonds weigh between 33 and 44 pounds, and range in height from 16 to 19 inches.

  1. Newfies hail from the coast of Newfoundland, where they were used as working dogs on land and in water. They carried heavy loads as draft and pack animals, pulled towlines from ship to land in rough seas, and rescued swimmers in trouble.

    The Newfoundland is a huge dog, standing 26 to 28 inches in height and weighing from 120 to 150 pounds. The breed is powerful and heavily boned. His head is massive and his neck is thick and muscular. The Newfie coat is typically black, with a thick, soft undercoat and a medium length outer coat that is coarse to the touch.

  1. The Saint Bernard is most likely descended from the Tibetan Mastiff, the Great Dane, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Great Pyrenees. In the middle of the 17th century, the Saint Bernard became popular as a rescue dog that saved people from avalanches in the snowy mountain passes between Switzerland and Italy. The dogs worked in packs searching for victims, and when they found someone injured in the snow, they would lick them and lie down with them to keep them warm. Meanwhile, another dog in the pack would head back to alert rescue teams.

    The Saint Bernard is a very large, strong, and muscular breed. His head is massive, with a broad nose and black lips. His feet are large, and his tail is broad and powerful. The coat can be either rough or smooth, and is very dense. The Saint Bernard stands 25 to 38 inches tall and weighs from 110 to 200 pounds.

  1. The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six Japanese spitz breeds. She's small and agile, and was bred to hunt in mountainous terrain.

    The Shiba is a compact breed. Males are typically 14 to 17 inches at the shoulders, females are a bit smaller. Average weight is 22 pounds for males and 18 pounds for females. Like the other winter-loving dogs on our list, the Shiba is double coated, with a stiff outer coat and a soft, thick undercoat.

  1. The Siberian Husky is an energetic, resilient breed that originates from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Huskies were bred to pull heavy loads in difficult conditions. The breed was imported into Alaska and Canada as sled dogs.

    The Siberian Husky is a strong, compact dog. A distinctive feature of many Huskies is the eyes they might be blue, brown, amber, or a combination. They can also be half blue and half brown, or one eye can be blue and the other brown. The tail is curved over the back, and the snowshoe feet have hair between the toes for warmth and for gripping on ice. The Husky has a thick double coat that can be medium-length or long (called a wooly coat).

  1. The Tibetan Terrier is an ancient breed that has contributed to all other Tibetan breeds such as the Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Tibetan Spaniel. The dog isn't actually a terrier at all, and his talents include watchdog, agility, and competitive obedience. The Tibetan Terrier was bred and raised in monasteries over 2,000 years ago, and was kept as a good luck charm, mascot, watchdog, and companion. He also herded sheep, and was used to retrieve articles that fell below mountainsides.

    This breed is medium-sized with V-shaped, floppy ears. The tail is feathered and curls up over the back. The double coat consists of a soft, wooly undercoat and a long, fine, full outer coat that comes in all colors and patterns. Adults reach 14 to 17 inches in height and weigh from 18 to 30 pounds.

  1. The Alaskan Malamute is descended from the Arctic wolf. Its name is derived from the Mahlemut Eskimos of Alaska. This breed likes to work, and has been used to pull everything from light traveling sleds to heavy loads of food and supplies. They are also skilled at carting, search and rescue, weight pulling, and racing.

    The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the Arctic dogs and is related to other Arctic breeds including the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and American Eskimo Dog. He's a solid, well-built dog with a plumed tail that curves over the back. Malamutes have wide heads and erect ears, and large snowshoe-type feet with thick pads. They have double coats of thick, coarse hair that is one to three inches in length and varies in color. Males range in height from 24 to 26 inches and weigh 80 to 95 pounds. Females are a bit smaller at 22 to 24 inches tall and 70 to 85 pounds.