Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Description Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Watchful, Loyal, Loving
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is considered a generally good-natured dog, very closely associated with house and yard, who loves to be in large company. His protective behavior towards his caregiver is very pronounced. With his affectionate nature, he is a particularly popular pet. Lovingly, he likes to fit into a family with a house and a large garden.FCI Group: Pinscher – Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 35-50kg
  • Life expectancy: 11 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: Black with reddish-brown spots

Character Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

As the name suggests, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a breed of dog of Swiss origin. Its origin can be found in the Swiss Alps, where it was once used at court in the mountains as an all-round tool for farmers. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (hereinafter FCI) and assigned to Group 2.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest of the mountain dog family. He is always known by dog ​​owners as a loyal companion dog with the skills of a working dog.

He is also often used as a watchdog for house and yard.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is generally a large, sturdy, and muscular dog. While the male representatives of this breed, the dogs, have a height of 65 to 72 centimeters at the withers, bitches have a height of 60 to 68 cm. The weight is between 35 and 50 kilograms.
Despite its impressive size and weight, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is still very agile.

On long walks, he always proves his great endurance. His nature is relaxed, self-confident and very assertive. Nevertheless, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is always friendly and open to new things. When dealing with children, he always shows a very comradely side. This makes him an excellent playmate.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is also a barking dog. With it he tries to watch over the house. His barking usually has a reason. His defensive urge is also court. In an emergency, he will protect house and yard without any fear.

He is usually suspicious of strangers. However, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can also show its stubborn side. However, this does not in the least diminish its charm. On the contrary, it even underlines its character.
Its fur can be short to medium in length.

Its undercoat is soft and silky. This type of coat is also called stock hair. The color of the fur is three-colored. The basic color of the fur is black. There are also the colors white and brown-red.

The white coloring is particularly evident in the area of ​​the snout, paws, chest and tip of the tail. The brown-red color is also referred to as fire in the specialist literature.
A typical feature of this dog breed is its so-called “double eyes”. These double eyes are caused by the brown-red patches over the eyes.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has triangular-shaped, medium-sized ears.

The ears hang flat on the head when at rest. When the animal becomes aware of something, the ears are turned forward. The dog’s chest hangs low and appears broad, the tail hanging down in a relaxed state.

Diet Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

When it comes to nutrition, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has no special requirements. First and foremost, it is important that the food tastes good and that all the nutrients are included. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has great stamina and a high urge to move. It is therefore advisable to give dog food with an increased meat content. Unnecessary additives and fat makers, on the other hand, should be avoided.

In addition, the dog food should be composed in such a way that it corresponds to the weight and age of the dog. During the rearing period, it is also advisable to pay particular attention to a nutrient-rich diet for the little ones. This is particularly noteworthy as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog shows a certain susceptibility to joint problems. Particular mention should be made of HD and hip dysplasia.
As is often the case with very large dog breeds, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can also experience a torsion in the stomach.

It is therefore important not to let the dog eat too quickly and to give it enough rest after eating. Some pet owners and breeders recommend buying a raised bowl for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog because of its size.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is of course not averse to small treats. But this should also be done with measure and purpose.


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is generally very easy to care for. Its short-haired fur, which only absorbs small amounts of dirt, does not require any special care. The short-haired coat also sheds little. As a result, they require less grooming than many other dog breeds. Occasional combing once or twice a week is therefore sufficient.

However, if the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog comes home very dirty after a walk, it can easily be showered. Dog shampoo should be avoided or only used in small amounts. The teeth and mouth, on the other hand, should be cleaned at least two to three times a week. It is advisable to check the mouth at least once a week for possible inflammation. Discoloration of the gums must be clarified by a veterinarian.

The claws should be trimmed once or twice a month. The ears also need to be cleaned once or twice with a pH-neutral ear cleaner. It is important to ensure that nothing gets into the ear canal when cleaning with a soft cotton swab. Bad odors from the ear or redness could indicate an infection.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is generally very hardy.

Common ailments are therefore rather rare. What is good for the general – also physical – well-being of the dog is to give the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog an everyday task.


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a breed of dog that has always been used by farmers in Switzerland. In addition to his qualities as a guard dog, he has always been used to guard and herd herds of cows and sheep.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is probably best known for its ancestors. The larger conspecifics were once harnessed to carts. In this way, the popular Swiss cheese was brought independently from the alp to the next village and back again.

The Swiss Mountain Dogs used to belong to a single dog family. In 1908, the Swiss Albert Heim discovered the later named Greater Swiss Mountain Dog at an exhibition. Heim defined the short, three-colored coat as characteristic. It was Heim who gave this dog breed its name.
About 100 years ago, the mountain dog breed was divided into four subgroups.

According to their size, these are the Entlebucher, the Appenzell, the Bernese and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has always enjoyed great popularity because of its nature. This increasingly encouraged the establishment of their own clubs.
In 1912 the “Club for Large Swiss Mountain Dogs” was founded. In addition to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the other three mountain dog breeds are also represented.

In recent years, the number of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs has been decreasing, which is related to overbreeding in recent years.
It is interesting and worth mentioning that, according to archaeological finds, there have been dogs in what is now Switzerland since 4000 BC. From the first millennium BC, dogs were already the size of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Accessories

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a very loyal friend. It takes very little to get him enthusiastic about something. Due to his playful nature, he can also be lent for nice tricks, even without any treats.
Another thing that falls under the “Accessories” category for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and as its name already suggests, is its need for plenty of space. Keeping them in the city is therefore only recommended to a limited extent.

A large garden is therefore ideal.
The dog is very adventurous and loves balanced, long walks. A leash and a muzzle are sufficient accessories.

7.1Expert Score
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