Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breed
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, also known as the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, the Metzgerhund (“Butcher’s Dog”), the Large Swiss Mountain Dog or affectionately the “Swissy,” is one of the earliest descendants of the mastiff-type dogs that came to the Alpine region with the Roman armies. Known as a “draft and drover” dog, this breed is best known for being a bold, faithful and willing worker. It was eligible for full registration as a member of the American Kennel Club’s Working Group in 1995.
Mature males in this breed should stand 25½ to 28½ inches at the highest point of the shoulder; adult bitches should be between 23½ and 27 inches in height. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs typically weigh between 110 and 150 pounds. Their short, smooth black topcoat, with rich symmetrical rust and white markings, is dense and moderate in length. The undercoat can range in color from dark gray (preferred) to light gray to tawny. Swissy’s have a characteristically long tail with a distinct white tip. The breed is closely related to the Bernese Mountain Dog, which is lighter in weight and longer in coat but marked very similarly.
The Greater Swiss was introduced to the remote and isolated areas of Switzerland centuries ago by the ancient Roman conquerors. It is the oldest and largest of the four Sennenhund breeds developed in Switzerland, which also include the Appenzeller Sennenhunde, Bernese Mountain Dog and Entlebucher Mountain Dog. “Sennenhund” means “dog of the Alpine herdsmen.” The Swissy became adapted to livestock management (herding and guarding), being a farm sentinel and was popular with butchers. These
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was designed as a draft dog and was often referred to as “the poor man's horse.” They are serious dogs who still enjoy pulling carts and sleds, but have grown to be faithful family companions. They are fiercely loyal to their families and require constant companionship to be happy. Families with children may shy away from such a large dog, but the Swissy gets along well with kids of all
The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is a large, strong draft dog with a broad chest, large head and a gentle expression. They have strong front legs that should be straight and end in rounded feet. The muzzle is blunt and ends in a black nose, and teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The eyes of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should be dark brown, and the rims of the eyes are black. The ears
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