Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund general features, temperament, health

Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund dog breed face

FCI# 58, Origin: Switzerland 2.3 Molossoid Breeds. Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.

Height: 23,5-28,5 in, Weight: 130-135 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Short straight coat with undercoat.

Color: Black with red and white markings.

Ease of training: High, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 10-11 years.

Breed: Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog) was pulling loads for merchants, was looking after the cattle for butchers and guarding the yards and farms for the peasants. He could often be seen with the travelers, because they had to transport across the country their heavily loaded carts, and a dog of this size is well suited for this kind of work.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have a relatively short coat, which is also very convenient and practical. It is easy to care for this kind of coat, it dries quickly and it is not hot for the dog in warm weather. Also the black dogs were always preferred as a guardians.

When the merchant had to leave the cart unattended for some time, he never had to worry, as long as the cart was guarded by the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Thieves and robbers - hunters for an honest man's wallet - were feared only by the impressive appearance and size of this dog.

Probably the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog would not have been separated as a special breed, but in the late 19 th century the Swiss Cynological Society, founded in 1883, started a serious proper selection work with the Bernese Mountain Dog (Bernardine). This is due to the fact that before this period, similarities between the Bernese Mountain dog and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog were very obvious.

The Bernese Mountain Dog in the early 19 th century has become very famous thanks to the stories of Barry, who saved many lives. Outside of Switzerland, these dogs were sold at a very high price, and all the others, similar to the Bernese Mountain Dog, were sold just as expensive, because they reminded of Barry in appearance.

Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund dog breeds

Similarity was possible due to the fact that both of these farmer's dogs came from one large district. But the breeders have selected only the red-and-white dogs as Bernardine. Today, the similarity is less, because immediately after the separation of Bernardine in a separated breed, the selection has taken a different course - breeders were selecting the larger, rough dogs with big heads.

Franz Schertenlieb - the breeder of Bernese Mountain Dogs - discovered a short-haired Bernese Mountain Dog and in 1908 took him to an exhibition in Langenthal. Professor Albert Heim saw in this representative a new type of Mountain Dogs. He was sure that it is a different breed, and gave it a name - Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

Breeding of the Greater Swiss began rather slowly, because the experts had a very little material to work with - these dogs were not so easy to find. So up until 1936 people were bringing the dogs, they found somewhere, and those dogs were recorded as representatives of the breed. And it was still going on, meaning the short-haired Bernese Mountain Dog, because among the pups of one litter were still born both: the short-haired and the long-haired puppies.


Beginning with the 1912 breeding in Switzerland was under the control of the Club of Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.  Until 1922 in a book of pedigrees were recorded no more than eleven dogs. Breeding had a very small base, which led to the widespread use of inbreeding. Therefore, in 1956, it was to have some inter breedings with Bernese. As a result of mating a Bernese male with the Greater Swiss Mountain dog female there were born six short-haired puppies with beautiful and correct color of their coats.

During the Second World War, the Swiss army was using dogs as a pulling animals. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was particularly suited to perform these tasks. Because these dogs were almost on their own and without a conductor they were bringing ammunition and supplies to the front in the bags tied to their backs.

General Features: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a sturdy, lively and pretty big in size. Height at the withers - about 70 cm, weight - about 59 kg. The teeth of the Greater Swiss must meet the scissors bite. His hips are strong and powerful. Paws are small and round. Eyes - light brown or brown with an intelligent and attentive expression. Ears triangular, drooping. The tail of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is omitted, never twisted in the ring. The coat of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is stiff, must not be longer than 5 cm. The coat comes in black or bronze color with a symmetrical reddish-brown and white markings. Nose and lips must be black. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is very faithful, brave, intelligent, friendly with children.

Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund dog breed photo

Temperament: Great Swiss Mountain Dog  is known as a very intelligent and confident dog. Mentally well-balanced and calm. After throwing a glance at the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, you can immediately understand - in front of you is a noble and courageous animal!

They grow up quite slowly. Externally, a dog may look already very large and stately, but the soul still remains naughty and playful child.

Great Swiss Mountain Dog can be stubborn. If he does not want to go somewhere or he is tired of something, he may just sit or even lay down - and then nothing will make him to move. Nothing works here - neither treats, nor persuasion. Only the strong and inspiring words can make him to keep going. For such a behavior of your pet you should have enough patience and treat your Greater Swiss with love and understanding.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a very good guard, you can fully entrust him the area of ??????the house and not be afraid that someone in your absence would encroach on your property. He welcomes visitors, barking, barking accompany them to the door of the house, and then also keeps his distance.

With his formidable voice, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is gaining a certain authority and respact. As soon as someone from the family welcomes the visitor, the dog immediately starts his friendly welcoming too.

It is worth remembering that, like the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Greater Swiss is primarily a family dog, which must constantly communicate with all family members. It is not possible for him to be constantly left alone in the yard or stay always in the kennel.

Health problems: Generally for the dog of his size the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a very healthy breed. Still in some lines this dogs may be prone to the different dysplasias. Also some Greater Swiss are prone to epilepsy.

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