These pages are dedicated to our three generations of Swissys, "Keygan", his son "Hobbs", and his son "Rumble" and the wonderful breed they represent.
ABOUT THE BREED . . . .
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund) is a tri-colored breed developed as an all around working dog by Swiss farmers in olden times. It is a large mastiff-type breed built for heavy draft work but possesses adequate energy, agility and stamina to drive livestock and carry a weighted pack for up to ten miles a day. The typical male Swissy is about 27 inches tall at the withers and, with good substance and in good condition, weighs from 110 to 120 pounds. Females are typically an inch shorter and about fifteen pounds lighter. While GSMDs generally do well with children, they are natural pullers and are quite strong; early leash and boundary training is important and adult handling is necessary.
The breed standard calls for a bold, willing and faithful working dog that is alert and vigilant. GSMDs usually get along well with people and other animals, however like most breeds, proper socialization and training from 3 to 18 months of age is needed to build confidence in a variety of environments and to establish behavioral expectations. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a sentry breed and will alert his owner to strangers and changes in his environment. He does this by standing his ground and barking or "barooing" at the offending object or person. GSMDs want to be with their people; they will not thrive as a backyard dog that has little interaction with their humans.
GSMDs only need weekly brushing to stay tidy; however, they have a thick undercoat that sheds year round and collects on carpets, floors and furniture. Nails, ears and teeth should also be part of a regular grooming routine. They do not drool but are messy drinkers. Water should be plentiful and meals (at least two per day) should be given on a regular schedule. Digestive sensitivities are quite common so premium feed or a RAW diet is required to maintain good health. In addition to joint problems common to other giant breeds, the most common major health concerns are epilepsy, bloat and splenic torsion. Potential owners should be familiar with these conditions, query breeders about these illnesses in their pedigrees, and should discuss emergency intervention plans for bloat and splenic torsion with their veterinarian.