Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

About Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Life Span
Getting a puppy home


Greater “”than what?”” Well, standing as high as 28.5 and weighing as much as a giant human, a Greater Swiss can easily outnumber you.

The Swiss people are very strong, yet agile enough to move a herd across the slopes of a mountain. The coat is an attractive tricolor – black, red and white. The head and muzzle usually have a white mark (“”spot””), which establishes a sweet expression. Many large mountain-dog breeds are described as “”majestic””, but the Swiss practically invented the term.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


The Swiss people descend from the war dogs brought over the Alps by the veterans of Julius Caesar. The Swiss used these mastiff-types when breeding their alpine mountain dogs, or cenhunds. Of these, the Swissis are the oldest and largest (or, “”elder””).

In remote hilly areas, they are topped by all the surrounding farm-and-pasture hands, specializing in weighted loading of meat and dairy, which come to market in cleverly crafted dogcarts. The Greater Swiss is closely associated with the Bernese Mountain Dog and is a constituent breed of St. Bernard and Rotweiler.

General Appearance

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a draft and drover breed and should appear structurally as such. It is a strong, triangular colored, big, powerful, strong looking confident dog. It is a heavily bonded and well-bred dog that, despite its size and weight, is agile enough to carry out all-purpose agricultural duties of the mountainous regions of its origin.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


This breed requires minimal grooming, they shed none to minimal and are low droolers


This breed is prone to allergies, is not very intelligent and not suitable for apartments
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time


It is basically a “wash and wear” breed, but they are double coated and blow off their undercoat, usually twice a year. When this is happening they benefit from a good bath and blow-out, followed by a thorough brushing with a rake or shedding tool. In the rest of the year, there is an occasional practice of bathing and brushing. They require regular nail-trims and ear and teeth cleaning.


GSMD is very food driven and responds well to training using food rewards. However, they may also have a stubborn streak, so their bosses need to be more assertive than they are. Use of any type of training equipment is not recommended on this breed. They are a draft breed, and use a harness (other than draft work) only to pull them so hard. With all dogs, recommended initial socialization and puppy training classes.


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires moderate exercise. A walk around the block or a romp in the woods will usually meet your daily exercise needs. This breed is much better for a person looking for a hiking partner than a person who is cycling or running a marathon.


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can thrive on a variety of diets, combining kibble to raw. The most serious issue with feeding GSMD is over-breastfeeding, which leads to many digestive problems, including loose stools, and also leads to obesity, which is one of the biggest health problems of the breed.


GSMD does not have any breed-specific disorders, but can cause health problems that affect large-breed dogs. This may involve orthopedic issues, although overall the orthopedics of GSMD is very good for a large breed. Splenic torsion, unrelated to gastric torsion, occurs more frequently in this breed than in other breeds. Owners should be aware of the possibility of bloat and know the symptoms, and what to do. Urinary incontinence is quite common in puppies and spayed bitches. Epilepsy can occur in any lineage; Genetic markers have not yet been identified for this. Overall GSMD is a very healthy breed. More information about the health of the breed can be found on the website of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America.

Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip evaluation
  • Elbow evaluation
  • Shoulder evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
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