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 are triangular, medium-sized, and pendant in shape. The tail is long and should reach to the hocks. The thick, double coat comes in a distinct pattern of three colors: black with rust and white markings. The rust markings appear over each eye, on the cheeks and on either side of the chest. Show dogs should have symmetrical markings. White appears on the tip of the tail, a blaze on the muzzle and on the chest. Some may have white patches on the neck.
Size and Weight
Males should stand 25.5 to 28.5 inches at the shoulder and females should stand 23.5 to 27 inches. Males typically weigh between 110 and 145 pounds and females tip the scales from 85 to 105 pounds. Show dogs are judged on their proportion, and Greater Swiss Mountain dogs should be slightly longer than they are tall, with a length to height proportion of 10:9.
Coat and Color
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has an average-shedding double coat. The undercoat is thick and the outer coat is dense and stands one to two inches in length. They shed lightly throughout the year, but twice a year they will blow their entire undercoat. The Swissy has distinct color markings, with a black outer coat and white and rust markings on the face and body. The rust markings appear over each eye, on the cheeks and on either side of the chest. Show dogs should have symmetrical markings. White appears on the tip of the tail, a blaze on the muzzle and on the chest. Some may have white patches on the neck.
Grooming the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is easy. Brush once or twice per week to keep shedding under control, though Spring and Fall will mean brushing several times per week. Bathe only as needed, which typically amounts to every four to six weeks.
Check the dog's ears regularly for signs of irritation, infection, or wax buildup. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser. Brushing teeth weekly (or more), can keep tartar from building up, promote gum health, and keep bad breath at bay. If the dog does not wear down his toenails naturally, trim the nails once per month. If they make a clicking sound on hard floors, they are too long.