The Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs was developed in Switzerland mountains, but because these regions were more or less isolated from the rest of the world, we can not be sure about the breeds certain origin. The theory, which is mostly accepted says, that they are descendant of the Molosser, which was a mastiff type of a dog of Romans, who came to the Swiss Alps more than 2000 years ago.
This is not the only Swiss Mountain Dog, or Sennehund if you wish. The Sennehund is a farm dog developed in Swiss Alps and there are 4 very similarly looking varieties. The first is the Greater Swiss Mountain dog, than there is the famous longhaired Bernese Mountain Dog, Appenzeler Mountain Dog and Entlebucher Mountain dog.
Great fact about this breed is its versatility. They were bred to be amazing all purpose farm dogs. They had to be strong, because they were often times used to pull heavy sleds. Other purposes were herding and watching over the farm. And than, they also make excellent family companions, which is a purpose, for which they are mostly used today.
4) Dog Sports
This dog breeds is not extremely hyperactive, but they definitely need several daily walks to remain healthy and happy. They are also great adepts for two dog sports – the drafting, which is the pulling of a cart or wagon and weight pulling, which is the canine version of a tractor pull.
5) Strong Temperament
This is definitely a gentle, loyal and lovely dog breed, but they are also pretty independent, willful and kinda dominant. They are definitely not pushovers to train and they require firm and consistent training, which begins as early as possible.
6) Slow to mature
Mentally and physically, Greater Swiss Mountain dogs remain puppy like for many years, definitely longer than average dogs. They will be very playful and little bit crazy for long time, and even though it might sound cute, it might be little bit problematic from time to time. Just imagine a 100 pounds giant with a puppy like mentality.
7) Winter Lovers
Greater Swiss Mountain dogs prefer colder climates, hot weather is little bit difficult for them. If you are living in a region with hot summers, make sure to not over do it with the exercise or long walks during the day time, make sure your dog has access to water all day long and prepare some cool zone for him where he can hide from the sun.
8) Good with kids
Thanks to their gentle and patient personality, this breed makes great companion for children. They like to play with them and be in their presence. But never forget that this is a large dog who can accidentally knock over a small child. Its important to always supervise younger kids around any dog.
This is a robust, strong and muscular giant dog breed with average height between 60-72 cms, which is 23-29 inches. There is no breed standard for their weight, but typically, they weigh between 45-70 kgs, which is 100-155 pounds. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
Just like almost all the giant dog breeds, the lifespan of Greater Swiss Mountain dog is not the highest, only between 8-11 years. They can suffer from some more or less serious health issues, most commonly from hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, epilepsy, patellar luxation or distichiasis.