Dog Health & More
The Greater Swiss Mountain dog breed was developed to be an all-around working dog, herding cattle, pulling carts, and standing guard. These days, the Swissy enjoys life as a family pet, but because of his working heritage, he enjoys being busy. This powerful breed excels in all sorts of dog sports, from agility to weight pulling.
Additional articles you will be interested in:
The handsome, alert, and powerful Greater Swiss Mountain Dog — or Swissy, as his fans call him — is relatively unknown outside of a group of dedicated enthusiasts. But if you own one of these large, striking dogs, be prepared to turn plenty of heads. Owners of the breed are often asked, "What kind of dog is that?"
Topping out at well over 100 pounds, the Swissy's size, paired with his deep, loud bark make him a good watchdog. But he's a gentle fellow at heart, devoted to his family and loving with kids. Although he needs room to stretch his legs — this isn't an apartment dog — he needs only a moderate amount of exercise.
Originally bred to herd cattle, pull carts, and serve as a watchdog, the modern Swissy likes to have jobs to do. He excels in obedience, agility, and conformation competitions, and does well in drafting, weight pulling, herding, pack hiking, and versatility. The Swissy has also served as a therapy dog and search and rescue dog.
Since he's so large when fully grown, it's important to start early with obedience training and socialization — teaching the dog to be friendly with other dogs and people. And be prepared for a long puppyhood: the Swissy is slow to mature, both physically and mentally, and can stay puppyish until he's three years old.
While the Swissy isn't the right breed for everyone, those who are willing to love, train, and care for this large dog will enjoy wonderful companionship.