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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Country of origin:

Domestic dog

Tricolour: black, white and brown

Alert, watchful, agile, fearless, self-confident, attentive, gentle, affectionate, reserved, intelligent, devoted, hardy.

60-72 cm

58-61 kg

11-12 years

Other names:
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, Swissy


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog – an impressive-looking loyal companion who captivates with his reserved character and willingness to please his owner. This breed is not very active, but requires plenty of space. In a cramped apartment, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog may feel too confined, so it is ideal if you plan to keep it in a house with its own yard. A Greater Swiss Mastiff can be described as a workaholic – he seems to be always ready for work and is happiest when he can sleep when he is tired.

History of the Passion

„Sennenhund“, translated from German, means „mountain pasture dog“. The large Swiss Sennenhund is sometimes also called „Swissy“ for short. To this day, the origin of these dogs is not entirely clear, but three versions have been put forward. The first version states that the large Swiss Zennenshund is descended from the Molossian, which was brought to Switzerland by invading Roman soldiers in 58 BC. It is believed that the Molossians later interbred naturally with other dogs living in Switzerland, thus creating a new breed of dog. The second version states that there were dogs similar to Molossians in Switzerland before the Roman invasion, which then interbred with each other, giving rise to a new breed. The third version is very different from the first two – Mastiff-like dogs are believed to have been brought to Spain in 1100 BC and then interbred with each other and spread throughout Europe. However, it can be argued that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an old dog breed. Long bred by farmers, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was even nicknamed the poor man’s horse, as it could also pull heavy carts. In the mountainous part of Switzerland, the Swiss Great Schnauzer became most common in the 1860s. Later, around 1900, the breed was completely extinct in many regions. Fortunately, it has survived to the present day, although it is not very popular.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: appearance

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a rather large dog: males are between 65 and 72 cm tall at the withers, bitches between 60 and 68 cm (weight can vary from 58 to 61 kilograms). The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers, the chest is firm and broad, the abdomen slightly retracted. The legs are straight, parallel and very strong. Feet firm, pointing forwards, with curved toes. The tail is long, reaching the ankles.The neck is strong and muscular, rather thick, falling into the shoulder line. The head is flat and broad and the muzzle does not appear to be pointed. The nose is black, as are the lips. The teeth are strong and the bite is scissor-like. Eyes almond-shaped, medium-sized, light brown or chestnut in colour. Ears medium-sized, triangular, free-hanging. Coat is two-layered: the covering hairs are of medium length and thick, while the undercoat is soft and dense. The coat is usually tricoloured. The main colour of the hair is black, with reddish-brown patches on the jowls, chest, legs and tail, white patches on the head and between the chest and throat, and a white collar is allowed.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: character

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an energetic, loyal and intelligent dog. It thrives in high elevations where it can run for miles. It loves to explore the outdoors and may try to climb trees or fences. Its personality is largely stable from early weeks of life through adulthood – a trait that makes this breed suitable for companionship with children and senior owners alike.

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