Originating in the Swiss Alps, The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest and oldest of four Sennenhund breeds. GSMDs were used for hunting, herding, and guarding in the harsh mountain weather. This multi purpose working dog needs to have a job to do. You will find them even-tempered yet outgoing. This giant dog will take up a lot of space but prefers to sit at your feet while leaning on your legs. His dream day would be pulling children on a sled in the snow followed by cuddling with his family. The Swissy is affectionate and playful with kids and devoted to his family.
A dog this size will need early training, especially to heel when walking, as they have a strong temperament to go along with a powerful physique. The young GSMD is goofy, rowdy, and will typically go through an adolescent stage when he will challenge his owner. This breed makes a vigilant watchdog with a powerful bark and fearless confidence. Swissies are slow to mature, keeping their puppy personality for four to five years.
For more on the breed check out the American Kennel Club
The breed has a life expectancy of 8-10 years.
Size & Activity Level
A Swissy can range in size anywhere from 85 to a massive 160 pounds. This large breed definitely needs daily exercise, but due to his size and dark thick coat extensive vigorous activity should be limited. This dog will not do well in hot climates, preferring a cool environment. A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog makes a perfect hiking companion who will tote a backpack with ease.
Care & Grooming
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a moderate shedder with an easy care short coat. Plan on brushing bi-weekly, more often during shedding times to avoid tumbleweeds in the house. Unfortunately, this breed will frequently encounter bone and joint issues. Keep them lean to avoid stressing joints with extra weight. Known for mouthiness, Swissies will often ingest inappropriate objects such as socks requiring veterinary assistance.