GREAT SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund)
ORIGIN: Switzerland. UTILIZATION: Originally watch- and draught dog. Nowadays also companion, guard- and family dog. CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 3 Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Without working trial. SIZE: Height
at withers for males: 65 – 72 cm, for bitches: 60 – 68 cm.
ABOUT THE BREED
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large and heavy boned dog with incredible physical strength. Historically, the Swissy was bred as a draft dog to pull heavy carts, as a herding dog to move dairy cattle, and as a watchdog and family companion. The Swiss farmer needed a strong, multi- purpose dog capable of contributing to daily life on the farm. The Swissy is a very alert, strong and athletic dog who can out power most breeds of dog. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is confident in nature and should never be shy and though athletic and very physical, the Swissy is also known to be very gentle with young children.
TEMPERAMENT AND PERSONALITY
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a happy, jovial breed with an enthusiastic nature and strong affinity to people and children. They are strongly dependent on people and crave attention and physical contact. As youngsters, they can be quite boisterous and they do require steady and reliable training to develop manners and physical self-control. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs should be very accepting of a non-threatening stranger. Whether that stranger is friendly or neutral, the Swissy should be happy and inviting on approach. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should be confident and comfortable in unfamiliar locations and be stable around strange noises and unfamiliar people. Swissys should be very accepting of other dogs and species.
Activity level in the Swissy is very variable. Swissys are capable of being quite athletic, but typically, that activity is seen in bursts. Most Swissys are active for short periods of time followed by napping. However, the Swissy adapts very easily to many different lifestyles. Swissys want to be with their owners and want to participate, and with that desire to be with their people, the activity level of the Swissy most often matches the activity level of the family.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an incredible watchdog. They tend to notice everything in their surroundings and are very quick to sound alarm. They will inform you of anything different in their environment, barking at anything that seems out of order. Faced with a threat, they will stand their ground and put on a show that will intimidate those unfamiliar with the dog. However, Swissys are not guard dogs. A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should be very bite-inhibited. He should be reluctant to bite, doing so only under the direst of circumstances.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a very dependent dog and one that needs a good leader to follow. A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should welcome an authority figure. Given a qualified leader figure, the Swissy has a fairly submissive nature and is a willing worker happy to follow through with the tasks at hand. The Swissy does not do well in a home environment without a leader.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
In 1908, at Langenthal, on the occasion of the jubilee show to mark 25 years of existence of the “Schweizerische Kynologische Gesellschaft” (Swiss Kennel Club) SKG, two short - haired Bernese Mountain Dogs were presented to the great promotor of the Swiss Mountain Dogs, Prof. Albert Heim. He recognized them to be representatives of the old, vanishing, large Mountain Dog or butcher’s dog, whose ancestors had in the past been widely spread across Europe, bred as guard, draught or droving cattle dogs. In 1909 they were recognized by the SKG as a separate breed being registered in volume 12 of the Swiss Stud Book. In 1912, the club for “Grosse Schweizer Sennenhunde” was founded in order to promote this breed and keep it purebred. The first standard was published by the FCI not before February 5th, 1939. Today these dogs are also bred in other European countries, they are especially appreciated as family dogs due to their calm, reliable temperament.