This handsome canine belongs to the working dog category. It has only recently been registered as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club in 1995. It ranks 78th among AKC’s registered list of canine breeds. The following article will explore other features of this Swiss breed.
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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Appearance
The Swissy has a striking appearance, similar to a large, powerful and athletic dog. Its sturdy build and muscular body make it great for farm duties. Male dogs weigh as much as 140 pounds with a height of 26 to 29 inches, while the female weighs on average between 85 and 110 pounds at a height of 24 to 27 inches from the ground.
This dog has almond-shaped eyes and medium-sized ears. The muzzle is large, straight and not as pointed as other dogs’. This dog usually has a black nose, but you might come across brown-nosed dogs too, although they are quite rare. With long, sloppy shoulders and strong hindquarters, the Swissy is a visual treat for the eyes!
It comes equipped with a double-coat. The topcoat is thick, reaching as much as 2 inches in length. However, the undercoat might not always be as dense as the topcoat. This canine is tri-colored with black, white and rust colors.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Grooming
These dogs shed minimally during most of the year, but during periods of outbursts, shedding may be excessive as the undercoat peels off. Hence, brushing once or twice in a week is the recommended drill. You must bathe your dog once every month to keep it clean and get rid of loose hair.
Tartar buildup needs to be avoided at all costs, so brushing must be done often. Do it once or twice a week and keep an eye out for gum disease or bad breath.
Moreover, their nails must be clipped once or twice a month, and make sure they remain clean at all times.
Ear infections and diseases are common in Swissies, so have their ears inspected and cleaned every now and then. If you spot redness or bad odor within the ear canal, it should raise red flags. Wipe their ears using a damp cotton ball in order to mitigate the risk of infections.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Temperament
The Swissy is gentle and affectionate by nature. However, stubborn behaviors are commonplace with this canine. It features a blunt personality and lives by its own rules. It possesses qualities of leadership, confidence, and kindness.
It is also quite observant and aware of its surroundings. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog makes for an excellent watch companion and guard dog. As little pups, they tend to be playful, fun-loving and attention-seeking. They get along really well with people and other pets, but early socialization is still vital.
Their temperament takes influences from a number of factors such as heredity, training, and socialization. Thus, you can make or break these personality traits, provided that you begin early while they are still cute little pups.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Training
As for training, the Swissy does well in obedience classes, agility competitions and activities that entail drafting, pulling weight, hiking, and herding. It may also be trained to become therapy and service dog.
Early socialization is mandatory to help the dog become familiar with new people, places, sounds, and situations. Obedience training may begin as early as possible to help the dog take on several roles at once since it seems to have great potential for learning.
The best way to approach this canine for training is via incentives. You may offer delicious dog snacks and treats to keep the GSMD interested throughout the session. Try not to use a harsh tone and negative reinforcement while training because it is already quite the stubborn fella.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog History
It’s among Switzerland’s oldest breeds. Also known as Swissy, the dog dates back to 1908 when a canine researcher called Albert Heim discovered dogs similar to Bernese Mountain Dogs that looked like they belonged to the Sennenhund family. In 1909, the dog was recognized as a separate breed in the Swiss Stud Book with the name of ‘Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.’
Its ancestors were brought to the Alps by Roman invaders and were Mastiff-like dogs. They were used as herding, guarding and draft dogs at the time.
It was much later in 1968 that this canine made its way to the United States of America, leading to the formation of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club. The AKC recognized and registered the dog as part of the working group.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is also known by the following names:
- Grand Bouvier Suisse
- Great Swiss Mountain Dog
- Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund