Greater Swiss Mountain dog History, Facts & Care Tips

Greater Swiss Mountain is a giant dog. As the name suggests, Greater Swiss Mountain is truly a great dog breed as high as 28.5 inches and weighs almost like a midsize human. Along with being greater, Swiss Mountain dog is brilliantly muscular, enthusiastic, confident, and a very affectionate dog. 

Greater Swiss Mountain dog History: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was first bred in Switzerland. This dog breed was developed as an all-purpose farm dog. They were mainly required to pull heavy carts of 3,000 pounds or more, and to move herds of dairy cattle. Greater Swiss Mountain dog breed was also used as watchdogs, and also as family companions. The history of the Greater Swiss Mountain dog breed goes back to the time when Romans invaded Switzerland. It was almost 2,000 years ago when Romans brought with them their mastiff dogs. The mastiff-type dogs of Romans mated with local canine gene pool, and as a result, the breed of Greater Swiss Mountain came into being. 

It is known that with industrialization, the use of the Greater Swiss Mountain dog went into decline since farmers started using advanced vehicles and time-saving equipment to perform their farm work. It was because of a judge on a mere show that the breed of Greater Swiss Mountain did not go extinct. In 1908, this dog breed became a part of a dog show, and one of the judges of the show advised breeders not to let these dogs die. 

They were known as a European breed until 1968 when the Greater Swiss Mountain dogs were imported to the United States. The American Kennel Club then recognized them in 1995. Today they rank 88th among all the dogs registered by the American Kennel Club. Because of their long and old history, they are considered to be one of the oldest Swiss breeds, and it is also believed that the Greater Swiss Mountain dog’s ancestors played a vital part in the development of the St. Bernard and the Rottweiler.

Greater Swiss Mountain dog Facts: 

Since the Greater Swiss Mountain dog is known to have come with Roman’s invasion of Switzerland, it is mostly believed that they descended from the enormous Mastiff-like dog called the Molossus, which is a type of Mastiff that was used in the Roman Colosseums.

Greater Swiss Mountain dog is the best draft, guard, and herd dog since they worked as hard as horses and were always committed to their work.

The best-known fact about Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs is that they produce colossal litter; producing up to 18 puppies sometimes. 

During WWII, when Greater Swiss Mountain was used as a draft dog, their numbers were less than 400. It was afterwards that breeders bred them and their number increased. 

The Greater Swiss Mountain dog don’t do well in a hot weather. It gets difficult for them to survive the heat. This is why it is important to consider the climate you live in before keeping a Swiss Mountain dog. Or even if you keep one, make sure that in a hot climate, they have access to clean drinking water. And they also must have places where they can just go to escape the direct heat of the sun. 

Air-conditioned house is necessary for them during a hot weather. Avoid a rigorous exercise routine during the hottest hours of the day.

Despite of their huge size, they are a very happy creature and always crave human contact and companionship. They are also huge social animals with utmost kindness and love in their bosom. But their social nature must be nourished from a younger age.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can be quite overprotective of their family when new people come around.

They weight almost 85 to 140 pounds. 

Along with herding, carting, and weight pulling, they also enjoy walking, hiking, backpacking, and swimming.

Despite of being known as the Greater Swiss Mountain dog, it is also known as Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, Large Swiss Mountain Dog, Great Swiss Cattle Dog, and Bouvier Suisse.

The Greater Swiss Mountain dog’s life expectancy is approximately 10 to 11 years.

Difference between Greater Swiss Mountain dog and a Bernese Mountain Dog:

Although there are many similarities between Greater Swiss Mountain dog and a Bernese Mountain dog since both of them were originated in Switzerland when Romans invaded Switzerland and both of them were used for farm duties; there are also significant differences between them. 

Difference Between Greater & Swiss Mountain Dog you should know

The most prominent difference between both the breeds is in their appearance. Greater Swiss Mountain dog’s coat is thick but short, while a Bernese Mountain dog’s coat is thick but long. This is why a Bernese shed a lot as compared to a Swiss Mountain dog and requires frequent grooming. 

Moreover, a Swiss Mountain dog is more robust in its duties as a guard dog and it has a loud bark while a Bernese is quieter and gentler. 

Interestingly, a Bernese dog’s life expectancy is less than the life expectancy of a Greater Swiss Mountain dog. And a Bernese drools quite a lot as compared to a Swiss Mountain dog who drools much less than many dog breeds.

Are Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs Good Pets?

Yes, Greater Swiss Mountain dog makes a great pet. It is because the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is very cautious, and protective of its owners. They are very devoted and easy-going. They are excellent with children and they also don’t get aggressive when they encounter an another dog. This is why they are very good with other pets. They are such good pets that they will always prefer to live with their family under one roof; they don’t like living a kennel life. Greater Swiss Mountain dogs also take quite a lot years to get mature which makes it a plus point for you to enjoy their playful nature as well as their innocence. Their social nature makes them befriend every member of the family they live in.

A Greater Swiss dog also has the tendency to create a pack and live in a pack. They start considering their human family their pack. And they are always there to lift the spirits of their pack.