AKC Group: Working
One of Switzerland’s oldest dog breeds, the most popular theory of origin suggests they came from Mastiff-like dogs that were brought into the Alps by the invading Romans. They were used to herd and guard livestock. By the 1900s, the dog’s job was being done by other breeds or a machine and their numbers began to dwindle. In 1908, a canine researcher, Albert Heim, recognized a pair of the breed as being a larger version of the Sennenhund type. (The Sennenhund is a family of four breeds that includes the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.)
Size: 23.5 to 28.5 inches tall; 85 to 140 pounds.
Color: Black and rust with white feet, chest, tail tip, muzzle, blaze and (maybe) the collar. A rust color should always be present between the black and white markings.
Life span: 10 to 12 years.
Health problems: Bloat, epilepsy, digestive disorders, hip dysplasia and distichiasis.
Dedicated, faithful and loving, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog makes a wonderful companion. They are great with children and usually great with smaller companion animals. however, they do like to chase and should never be allowed to do so. Eager to please, protective, loyal and affectionate, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will never fail to sound the alarm. This, coupled with non aggressive tendencies, make a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog an effective watchdog.
Greater Swiss Mountain dogs are a mass of muscles and heavy bones, yet they have a gentle expression. Thanks to their original work in the mountains, these dogs are as agile as a dancer. Brush him weekly. He sheds seasonally twice a year and will require more attention. Extremely intelligent, Greater Swiss Mountain dogs excel in athletic/sporting pursuits. Obedience is a great first step. Training shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you have previous experience training other large breeds.