Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is considered to be a generally good-natured dog, very close to home and farm, who loves to be in great company. His protective behavior towards his caregiver is very pronounced. With his affectionate nature, he is a particularly popular pet. Lovingly, he likes to fit into a family with a house and a large garden.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog, as its name suggests, is a dog breed of Swiss origin. Its origin can be found in the Swiss Alps, where it was once used at the court in the mountains as an all-round tool of the farmers. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, (hereafter FCI) and is assigned to Group 2.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest of the Mountain Dog family. He is always known by dog owners as a faithful companion dog with the skills of a working dog. He is also gladly used as a guard dog for house and yard.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is generally a large, robust and muscular dog. While the male representatives of this breed, the males, have a height at the withers of 65 to 72 centimeters, bitches have a height of 60 to 68 centimeters. The weight is between 35 and 50 kilograms.
Despite its impressive size and weight, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is still very agile. During long walks he always proves his great endurance. His nature is calm, self-confident and very decisive. Nevertheless, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is always friendly and open to new things. When dealing with children, he always shows a very companionable side. This makes him an excellent playmate.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog also belongs to the barking dogs. With this he tries to watch over the house. His barking usually has a reason. His defense urge is furthermore yard. In case of emergency he will protect house and yard without any fear. He is usually suspicious of strangers. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog can also show his stubborn side. However, this does not diminish his charm in the least. On the contrary, it even underlines his character.
His coat can be short to medium length. Its undercoat is soft and silky. This type of coat is also called stick coat. The coloration of the coat is tricolored. The basic color of the coat is black. In addition, there are the colors white and brown-red. The white coloration is mainly seen in the area of the muzzle, the paws, the chest and the tip of the tail. The brown-red color is also called brand in the technical literature.
A typical feature in this dog breed are his so-called "double eyes". These double eyes are caused by the brown-red spots above the eyes.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has triangular shaped, medium sized ears. The ears hang flat to the head when at rest. When the animal becomes alert to something, the ears are turned forward. The dog's chest hangs low and appears broad, the tail hangs down when relaxed.
The right food
In terms of nutrition, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog does not make any special demands. First and foremost, it is important that the food tastes good and contains all the nutrients. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has great endurance and a high urge to move. Therefore, it is recommended to give dog food with increased meat content. Unnecessary additives and fatteners, on the other hand, should be avoided.
In addition, the dog food should be composed so that it corresponds to the weight and age of the dog. During the period of rearing, it is also recommended to pay special attention to a nutrient-rich diet for the little ones. This is especially worth mentioning because the Great Swiss Mountain Dog shows a certain susceptibility to joint problems. In this are especially HD and hip dysplasia.
As is often the case with very large breeds of dogs, gastric distention can also occur in the Great Swiss Mountain Dog. Therefore, it is important not to let the dog eat too hastily and to give it plenty of rest after eating. Some pet owners and breeders recommend buying the Great Swiss Mountain Dog a raised food bowl because of its size.
Small treats is the Great Swiss Mountain Dog of course not averse. But this should also be done with moderation and purpose.
Great Swiss Mountain Dog Care
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is generally very easy to care for. Its short-haired coat, which absorbs only small amounts of dirt, does not require special care. The short-haired coat also does not shed much. Thus, it requires less grooming than many other dog breeds. The occasional combing once or twice a week is therefore sufficient.
If the Great Swiss Mountain Dog nevertheless comes home heavily soiled after a walk, it can be showered without further ado. Dog shampoo should be avoided or used only in small quantities. The teeth and mouth, on the other hand, should be cleaned at least two or three times a week. It is advisable to check the mouth at least once a week for possible inflammation. Discoloration of the gums must be clarified by a veterinarian.
The claws should be trimmed once or twice a month. The ears also require cleaning once or twice a year with a ph-neutral ear cleaner. Care should be taken that when cleaning with a soft cotton ball, nothing gets into the ear canal. Foul odors from the ear or redness could be an indication of infection.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is generally very robust. Common ailments are therefore rather rare. What is good for the general - also physical - well-being of the dog is to give the Great Swiss Mountain Dog an everyday task.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a very loyal friend. To inspire him for one thing, it takes quite little. Due to his playful nature, he also likes to be lent for nice tricks, even without any treats.
What still falls under the heading of "accessories" with the Great Swiss Mountain Dog, and as its name already reveals, is its demand for a lot of space. Keeping it in the city is therefore only recommended to a limited extent. A large garden is therefore ideal.
The dog shows itself as very enterprising and loves balanced, long walks. As accessories are sufficient for this leash and muzzle.
Origin & History
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a breed of dog that has always been in the service of farmers in Switzerland. In addition to its qualities as a guard dog, he was always happy to guard and drive the herds of cows and sheep.
However, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is probably best known for its ancestors. The larger conspecifics were once harnessed in front of carts. On this way, the popular Swiss cheese was independently brought from the mountain pasture to the next village and back again.
The Swiss Mountain Dogs were formerly assigned to a single dog family. In 1908, the Swiss Albert Heim discovered the later named Great Swiss Mountain Dog at a dog show. Heim defined the short, three-colored coat as characteristic. It was Heim who also gave this dog breed its name.
About 100 years ago, the classification of the breed of mountain dogs was made into four subgroups. According to their size, these are the Entlebucher, the Appenzeller, the Bernese and the Great Swiss Mountain Dog. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has always enjoyed great popularity because of its nature. This increasingly encouraged the formation of their own clubs.
In 1912 the "Club for Great Swiss Mountain Dogs" was founded. Besides the Great Swiss Mountain Dog, the other three breeds of Mountain Dogs are also represented. In recent years, the number of Great Swiss Mountain Dogs is decreasing, which is related to overbreeding in recent years.
It is interesting and worth mentioning that according to archaeological findings there were dogs on the present territory of Switzerland already since 4000 BC. From the first millennium BC dogs already had the size of a Great Swiss Mountain Dog.