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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

As published in Canadian Dogs Annual
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
23.5-28.5” (60-72 cm) 110-154.5 lb (50-70 kg) Medium-length, thick outercoat with short, thick undercoat. Symmetrical black, white, and tan markings on face. Body is black with rust and white coloured markings. Soft, floppy ears.

The oldest of the four Swiss Sennenhund varieties, the Greater Swiss Mountain dog is a descendant of the Mastiff dogs used by the ancient Romans during their conquests. Swiss farmers used the dogs as guardians, herders, and as draft and butcher’s dogs. Despite being a popular all-purpose working dog, their numbers declined dramatically and by the late 19th century only a few remained. In 1908, a man named Franz Schertenleib rediscovered the breed and implemented a breeding program based on the recommendation from Dr. Albert Heim. In 1910 the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (aka Swissy) was accepted by the Swiss registry and the breed flourished once again.


This mellow breed makes for an ideal family dog. Patient, friendly, and intelligent, the Swissy is a good companion and a good guard dog without having aggressive traits. His consistent temperament makes him good with children and other dogs. While mellow, the Swissy remains puppy-like into its second or third year. They enjoy lounging with their family, as well as engaging in group activities. Socialization from a young age is also important, since they can be naturally protective.

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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breeders