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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Characteristics: The noble and easygoing Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a breed of large dog classified as a member of the Working Dog Group (AKC:1995).

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, is characterized by its muscular, powerful, tri-color appearance and alert expression. Other characteristics include chestnut brown to hazel eyes that are medium sized, almond shaped eyes; medium sized, triangular-shaped ears, rounded at the tips; a heavy, pendulous tail and a strong, driving gait.

The temperament of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can be described as Good-natured, Protective, Fearless.

The coat type of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is described as short, dense, thick coat in black, white & red colors.  Due to its characteristics and qualities, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog demonstrated the desired traits of a Watch dog, Herding and guard dog and is known by its nick name the "Swissy". The origin of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed was in Switzerland where it was developed in the Ancient Times.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breed Group and Type - Working Dogs Group (AKC:1995): The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is one of the many breeds that belong to the Working Dogs Group (AKC:1995).

Other names for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is known by the nickname of the "Swissy". Other names for this breed of dog include the GSMD, Poor man's horse and the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund.

Origin of the name: The origin of the name "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD)" derives from its large size (it is the greater of all the Alpine dogs) and its place of origin in the Swiss Alps.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog History and Origin: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog originated in Switzerland and dates back to the Roman Era, over 2000 years ago. The ancestors of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were believed to be the mastiff or molosser-type dogs that were used as guard dogs acting as  sentries for the Roman Legions and for protecting and controlling livestock. The Romans conquered Switzerland around the 2nd century BC and the Roman dogs were interbred with cattle herding dogs and sheepdogs in the villages of the Swiss Alps.

These early Swiss dogs were called 'Sennenhund' in reference to people called Senn or Senner, the names given to the alpine herdsmen who worked in the Swiss Alps.

There were four  Sennenhund breeds in Switzerland: The Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), the Appenzeller Sennenhund (Appenzeller), the Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain Dog) and the Entlebucher Sennenhund (Entlebucher Mountain Dog). The 'Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund' , meaning the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, was the largest of the Sennenhund alpine dogs.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was a versatile farm dog working in the capacity of as herding and guard dogs in the pastoralist societies of the Swiss Alps. The herds of livestock moved by the herdsmen and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs included large flocks of sheep, as well as cattle, pigs and goats.

The livestock was moved between pastures according to the season from the higher pastures in summer to the lower valleys in winter (this seasonal movement is known as the Transhumance). The products of transhumance flocks and herds were milk, butter, cream, cheese, and yogurt. The huge Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were used as cart dogs (draught dogs) taking the products to  market as a convenient, and inexpensive, alternative to the horse.

The butchers of the towns and villages also used the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs in a hauling capacity and the breed were often referred to as 'Butcher's Dogs'.  

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog History: The early 1800's brought the Industrial Revolution to Switzerland which led to a decline in the large sized Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. By the beginning of the 1900's mechanized vehicles were introduced and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs became in danger of extinction. The plight of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs was recognized by a man called Franz Schertenlieb.

This enthusiastic dog lover entered his Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs in the 1908 in the Jubilee show of the Swiss Kennel Club (SKC). His dogs were seen by an influential expert in dogs called Dr. Albert Heir who initiated a selective breeding program to safeguard and revitalize the breed. In In 1912, the club for the "Grosse Schweizer Sennenhunde" was founded in order to promote the breed.

During World War II (1939 - 1945) , when Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were used as haulers and guard dogs by the Swiss army. Following WW2 the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was successfully introduced to many countries in Europe and the first Swissy was introduced to the United States in 1968.    

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Modern History: The modern history of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs moved on and although the breed is still quite rare it still used as a working dog and also enjoyed as an agreeable family pet and sociable companion. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1995.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Height: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD) breed is classified as a large sized dog. The height to the shoulder of a male is 23.5 - 28.5 (60 - 72 cm). The height to the shoulder of a female is slightly less.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Weight: Not surprisingly for a large sized canine, the weight of a male Swissy is 130 - 135 pounds (59 - 61 kg). The weight of the smaller female Swissy is slightly less than the male.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Coat Type: The coat type is described as a short, dense, thick coat.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Coat Colors: The colors of the Swissy breed include black, white & red or rust colors. N.B. The term "Red" refers to reddish shades of orange, brown, and tan colors.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Grooming - LOW Grooming Needs: The grooming requirements of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is fairly minimal, one grooming session per week is generally enough to maintain a healthy coat and reduce the risk of skin infections. Casual brushing is all that's generally required although more intense grooming and brushing is required during the shedding period, in order to remove dead hairs. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs enjoy self grooming to keep themselves clean. Grooming Requirements should include bathing the Swissy on a monthly basis and making regular inspections of the nails, teeth, eyes and ears.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Litter Size: The litter size of the Greater Swiss Mountain breed ranges from 5-10 puppies. Greater Swiss Mountain puppies for sale can be obtained reputable breeders and from rescue centers. The cost of Greater Swiss Mountain puppies varies depending on location, pedigree history and the dog breeder.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Temperament and personality: The temperament and personality of the popular Greater Swiss Mountain breed is described as Noble, Good-natured, Protective, Fearless and Easygoing.

Greater Swiss Mountain Exercise Requirements - HIGH Exercise Requirements: The exercise requirements of this breed is high. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires regular daily exercise consisting of approximately one to two hours each day. This large, powerful dog has a lively, graceful gait with strides of a moderate length and requires a brisk walking speed or jogging by the owner to meet the dogs exercise requirements.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Diet: A fully grown Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD) should be fed twice a day. A diet consisting of a premium dog food can be balanced with fresh food eaten by the family. The question is What Can Dogs Eat?. Check out our comprehensive list of what dogs can and what dogs cannot eat.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Health Problems: Potential health problems of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs include Gastric Torsion, Eye problems, Hip Dysplasia . Resolving health problems can prove to be expensive and it is always wise to obtain pet insurance or dog health insurance when buying a dog. Is the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed said to be Hypoallergenic? Answer: No.

Greater Swiss Mountain Lifespan: The life expectancy of dogs vary according to the size, breed and any serious health problems. The typical lifespan of the Greater Swiss Mountain breed is 10-12 years.

Greater Swiss Mountain - Male Dog Names: Male names are most often chosen to reflect favorite names of the owner or the strength, size, coloring and country of origin of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs breed. To give you some inspiration regarding good male Greater Swiss Mountain names our small selection might be of help with naming boy dogs. Out top male dog names are: Ben *** Felix *** Buster *** Rufus *** Cody *** Sam *** Shadow *** Gaius *** Rogue *** Sabre *** Tucker.

Greater Swiss Mountain - Female Dog Names: Greater Swiss Mountain Female Dog names tend to be softer, prettier and reflect the temperament of girl dogs. Our top choice of good female Greater Swiss Mountain Dog names are Helga *** Bertha *** Mara *** Persis *** Sadie *** Candy *** Princess *** Dixie *** Sugar *** Empress.

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