The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is a favorite among breeders because of its’ popularity as a house pet and a working animal. This breed of dog originated on farms in mountainous ranges and was used to herd cattle and sheep. It is also an excellent guard dog and will fiercely protect its’ owners if it feels threatened.
This dog is a sturdy boned, well muscled animal with great strength. This dog is extremely agile despite its’ large body size and is capable of maneuvering the roughest mountain terrains. The best Greater Swiss Mountain dog breeders will produce dogs which measure between 23.5 – 28.5 inches in height. The dog’s proportions should be slightly longer in length than height.
Swiss mountain dog breeders
Greater Swiss Mountain dogs carry an animated but gentle expression. The eyes are big and almond shaped and should be brown. The best breeders will not sell dogs with blue eyes because this is a dog show disqualification. The ears are medium shaped and triangular. When angry the ears will tilt forward. The skull is flat and broad.
This dog originally came from Rome. The greater Swiss Mountain dog was brought to Switzerland by breeders. The dog was bred with local Swiss dogs to form a dog more suited for mountainous ranges and as a dog capable of performing many tasks necessary for farm life.
By the early 19th century machines has replaced most of the work that Greater Swiss Mountain dogs once performed. As a result, the dogs were no longer needed and lost popularity; to the point where they almost became extinct.. In 1910, the famous dog expert Dr. Albert Heim became interested in the dog and he encouraged breeders to make the dogs more available.
The breed was brought to America by breeder J. Frederick Hoffman after he saw the dog in Europe. Interest in the Swiss Mountain dog has been slow but steady. The Greater Swiss Mountain dog club was formed in 1968. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1993 and gave it full Working Class status.
People thinking about owning a Swiss Mountain dog should make sure they go through a reputable breeder. This breed of dog requires a good deal of attention and room to exercise. This is not a good choice of dog for people living in small apartments.