An imposing appearance – that’s how you could describe the Swiss Mountain Dog, which can be up to 72 centimeters tall. Its size and strength made it a popular working dog in the past. Today, however, he is mainly kept as a family and guard dog. And he prefers to never leave his family’s side: Calm, good-natured, and loyal, he keeps his pack together and defends them when it matters most.
The ancestors of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog were strong “butcher’s and butcher’s dogs” that were kept by craftsmen and farmers throughout Central Europe: they pulled wagons, herded cattle, and guarded property. The Swiss Mountain Dog made its appearance for the first time in 1908 at a dog show. Just one year later, the breed was officially recognized by being entered in the Swiss dog studbook. Today, the Swiss Mountain Dog is popular throughout Europe and is mainly kept as a family dog.
Nature of the Swiss Mountain Dog
The strong dog from the Alps is self-confident, alert, and fearless and therefore predestined for guarding property. Due to its size and muscular physique alone, it is still ideal today for deterring uninvited guests. However, the strong four-legged friend is extremely affectionate towards his family: he is always available for a pet and he is playful, relaxed, and patient with children. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog needs the contact and attention of its caregivers and is absolutely not a kennel dog.
Training and keeping of the Swiss Mountain Dog
The Swiss Mountain Dog is said to have a certain stubbornness, which can often make you laugh but can also make you despair every now and then. Consistent, loving training is particularly important for a dog of this breed and size. He is willing to learn and tries to please his owner. We recommend attending a dog school in order to work with your four-legged friend on commands and rules for everyday life.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is not an extreme athlete, but loves long walks through nature and is very persistent. It is not a suitable companion for joggers or cyclists. Relaxed forays through fields and meadows are more in line with his ideas. Since they do not have a strong hunting instinct, walking off a leash is usually not a problem for a well-behaved Swiss Mountain Dog. A large plot of land with a courtyard or garden is ideal for keeping them. However, keeping an apartment is also possible with sufficient exercise and species-appropriate employment.
Grooming of the Swiss Mountain Dog
Thanks to short hair, grooming is not time-consuming: brushing once or twice a week is sufficient.
Peculiarities of the Swiss Mountain Dog
Like many large dog breeds, the Swiss Mountain Dog is prone to joint malformations such as hip dysplasia (HD) and elbow dysplasia (ED). Buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Because responsible breeders try to counteract these malformations by mating HD- and ED-free parents. However, these diseases cannot be completely ruled out because they are genetic.