Origin and Purpose The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is known in Switzerland as an all-purpose farm working dog. They were used to herd cattle, pull heavy carts, guard and be the family companion. They are assumed to be one of the oldest Swiss breeds and nearly became extinct until a resurgence in the early 1900’s. The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is a rare breed all over the world. They are thought to be used to develop the Rottweiler and St.Bernard. The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is the largest of the four breeds of mountain dogs: Bernese Mountain dog, Appenzeller Mountain dog and Entlebucher Mountain dog. They are affectionately known as a “swissy” to their families.
General Appearance The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is a large boned, well muscled dogs with impressive strength, yet surprisingly very agile. Their bodies are longer in length in proportion to their height.
Height and weight Males may range from 25-28 inches(65 cm- 72 cm) in height and weigh 110-140 pounds (41-61 kg) Females may range from 24-27 inches(60-68 cm) in height and weigh from 90-115 pounds(36-50 kg)
Coat and Colour A swissy has a tri-coloured coat, mainly black with a white chest close to the shape of a Swiss cross, a white muzzle and blaze, with white socks. The rust should be symmetrical on either side of the white on the forechest, on all four legs and under the tail. They have a double coat- an outer coat of medium length and a dense undercoat of dark grey/ black. They are easy care- wash and wear, with regular brushing to reduce shedding and trim nails regularly.
Feeding A high quality raw or kibble is recommended twice a day, watching that they do not become overweight. They generally enjoy their food and can become lazy. They do not have many health issues or allergies.
Temperament Swissies are devoted to their families and extremely gentle with children. They are confident, alert and dignified. They are also very dependable, faithful and majestic making a striking impression in public. They have a great desire to work and please their owners. They crave physical contact and attention and will not wander far from their owner. Training and Obedience Swissies are an intelligent breed, learning quickly to please. They do mature slowly and therefore require steady, reliable training to develop manners. Early socialization is recommended to balance their protectiveness and guarding instincts. Hot weather can be difficult for them and they prefer cooler environments.
Activity and Performance The Greater Swiss Mountain dog does not need a lot of exercise, yet it should be regular, since they tend to be lazy. They excel in many sports such as conformation, obedience trials, drafting and carting and can be known to pull extreme weights of well over 4500 pounds! They are also suitable for backpacking, hiking and herding.