The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was developed and bred in the Swiss Alps, hence the breed name. Due to their appearance, it is obvious that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is most likely the result of indigenous dogs mating with large Mastiff breeds brought into Switzerland by foreign settlers. At one point in history, it was said that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was one of the most popular dog breeds in Switzerland. However, by the late 19th Century, their popularity decreased drastically because the work this breed did was being done by other breeds or even machines. Yet, in the 1900’s, it is said that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was rediscovered and slowly began to win back its popularity. These dogs strive off of Raw Food Diets along with Dog Supplements and Training. The training may vary from simple obedience training to full on schutzhund training.
This breed holds the reputation as the oldest and largest of four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs, also known as the Sennenhunde. The other three varieties include the Appenzeller, the Entlebucher, and the Bernese. Each breed shares a common heritage, most likely originating from the Mastiff or Molossian dogs of the Romans. It is said that these breeds of dogs were possibly introduced when the Romans crossed through Switzerland. However, a different theory believes that the Phoenicians brought this breed to Spain around 1100 B.C. Either way, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog spread over Europeand interbred with native dogs, which eventually caused development along independent lines in remote communities. These four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs generally shared the same working ethic, dividing their responsibilities between acting as a guardian of livestock and home, herder, and draft dog. All four varieties of dogs were generally assumed to be the same breed or type up until the late 1800s. However, the truth was discovered when Professor A. Heim attempted to study the Native Swiss Mountain breeds seriously. In his research, he discovered consistent differences that allowed the breeds to be categorized into four different and individual breeds. In 1908, the Greater Swiss became a known breed when Professor A. Heim identified an amazing short-haired dog entered into a Bernese Mountain Dog contest. He believed this to be a separate breed from the rest and dubbed it the Greater Swiss. After this discovery, the breed slowly grew in popularity. It was not until 1968 that the Greater Swiss came to America. In 1985, this breed was finally admitted into the AKC Miscellaneous category and achieved full recognition in 1995.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an extremely large and heavy-boned dog breed that has equally amazing physical strength. Even with its large muscular body and heavy bone structure, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is swift enough to perform a variety of different all-purpose farm duties, which it learned from its history in the mountainous regions of Switzerland. The coat of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is fairly standard within the breed. There is a black color on the top of this breed’s back, ears, tail, and most of its legs. There is generally a rust color on the cheeks, as well as on the legs between the white and black colors. A white color takes over this breed’s feet, the tip of the tail, the chest, the muzzle and up between its eyes.
Often times, you will see symmetrical color patterns on the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. This breed has a double coat. The outer coat is dense, ranging from about 1.25 to 2 inches long. The texture of this outer coat can come in a vast range from short, fine, and straight to longer, coarse, and waiver. The under coast of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is very thick and is usually seen in a dark gray to light gray color. Due to its extremely thick coat, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed tends to shed throughout the year and even has a major shedding episode about once or twice a year. Most of the these dogs are seen in a black, white, and rust color. However, on occasion, blue, white, and tan tri-colors and rust and white bi-colors are seen as well. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an extremely large breed, with males ranging between 25.5 to 28.5 inches at the shoulders and females ranging from 23.5 to 27 inches at the shoulders. The males of this breed weigh in around 100 to 140 pounds, while females weigh between 80 and 115 pounds.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is known for its sensitive, faithful, and extremely loyal family companionship. This breed of dog is relaxed, laid-back, and exceptionally gentle with children, along with other pets. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is also known for being very watchful, forward, and cautious of its surroundings.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog comes from a history of working roots. With this background, this breed has gained a love for the outdoors, especially in cold weather. It is important that this breed of dog gets adequate daily exercise in the form of a good walk or an energetic romp. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog can live outside in mild climate conditions, however would much prefer to be inside with its family. This particular breed of dog needs plenty of space to stretch out and relax. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog needs its coat brushed about once a week, though more often when it is in its shedding phases.
This breed of dog has a life span of ten to twelve years. Overall, this breed is relatively healthy for its large size. Compared to other dog breeds measuring in around the same size, it is impressive how healthy the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is compared to others. However, there are some health concerns associated with the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The biggest health concern for this breed is CHD. Some of the more minor health concerns that this breed of dog possesses are panosteitis, distichiasis, gastric torsion, seizures, and female urinary incontinence. It is suggested that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has regularly scheduled elbow, eye, and shoulder tests to track consistent health.
Overall, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an extremely well-rounded dog breed. With its great strength and strong boned body, this breed makes an extremely impressive working dog, being able to handle multiple, intense farm tasks. However, along with these incredibly hard working traits that make it a great work dog, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog also has a variety of personality traits that make it a wonderful pet. This breed is extremely calm, sociable, loyal, friendly, and shows a true love for its family. With its gentle and caring nature, along with its hard working skill set, it is easy to see why the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has been at the top of popularity lists of dog breeds for a long time coming. link:http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/greaterswissmountain.htm