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.