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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

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Physical Characteristics


Breed Group:

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a member of the Working and Guardian Dogs Group.


Male: 105-140 lb.; female 85-110 lb.


Male: 25.5 – 28.5 inches; female 23.5 – 27 inches.


The coat is black and rust. White feet, chest, tail tip, muzzle and blaze. The undercoat is dart gray to light gray to tawny.


This breed sports a double coat. The undercoat is thick. The dense outer coat has hairs 1-1 ¾ inches long.



This strong breed is bold and vigilant. Although territorial, this dog wears a gentle and animated expression.

Country of Origin:



This breed may trace its origins to the Mastiff or Molossian dogs that the Romans introduced while in Switzerland. Another possible link indicates the Phoenicians brought them to Spain approximately 1100 B.C. This breed is one of the oldest and largest of four Sennenhunde (Swiss Mountain Dogs) varieties. As a product of interbreeding with native dogs, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog functioned as a herder, guardian of livestock and home and draft dog. In 1908, Professor Heim, an avid fancier, studied and encouraged the revival of this breed.


Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, Great Swiss Cattle Dog, Large Swiss Mountain Dog. Nicknames: Swissy, GSMD, The Poor Man’s Horse.


This devoted family companion has a calm and easygoing nature. This breed is sensitive and attentive.



Early training should make this dog aware of its place in the family. An attentive learner, this breed takes to training well.


Moderate daily exercise, such as a walk or a romp will keep this dog happy. This breed likes being active in the cold weather. Activities can include pulling, tracking and competitive obedience.


The Swissy is slow to mature, taking 2 to 3 years. Owners must devote plenty of time and attention. As a loyal family member, this dog can be territorial. This breed possesses a pack instinct and will be upset if a member is missing. Owners should introduce visitors to the dog. With its watchdog ability, this breed barks at intruders and noises. Households should be in cool climates.


No breeders listed at this time.

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