Borzois have their origins in 17th-century Russia, where they were favorites of Tolstoy and the Romanovs. The elegant sighthound, bred for hunting and its signature long coat, can run up to 40 miles per hour—a feat that’s truly impressive to watch.
Elegant and beautiful, English setters have uniquely speckled coats described as “belton,” which come in a range of colors. Merry, polite, and playful, these hunting dogs are often regarded as one of the best canine companions for families of all lifestyles.
Bred to be working dogs and companions, Leonbergers may look intimidating but they’re actually sweet and gentle, and do well with children of all ages. The breed requires lots of room to run and play as well as plenty of daily exercise, so they wouldn’t do well in a city or small suburban house.
Another working dog, Greater Swiss mountain dogs are immensely strong and best known for their tri-color coats. Faithful and family-oriented, these pups like plenty of activity and enjoy being part of a family.
Bred to protect flocks and deter predators in the mountains between Spain and France, Great Pyrenees are massive, muscled guardians. However, in their day-to-day lives, the dogs are mellow and calm, only leaping into protective mode when they sense a major threat.
The oldest of the French dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux has been around for thousands of years. Known for their short, fawn-colored coat, stubborn wills, and sweet souls, these dogs need obedience training early on to ensure they don’t rule the roost.
The oldest Arctic sled dog breed, Alaskan Malamutes are thought to be direct descendants of Paleolithic wolf-dogs. A true pack animal, the breed is incredibly loyal to their family and enjoys giving and showing affection. However, their propensity for leadership means they need a strong, firm owner.