The Greater Swiss Mountain dog breed was developed to be an all-around working dog, herding cattle, pulling carts, and standing guard.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
1) Swiss History
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was developed in Switzerland as an all-purpose farm dog. They were needed as draft dogs to pull heavy carts, as drover dogs to move herds of dairy cattle, as watchdogs, and also as family companions. They are thought to be one of the oldest of the Swiss breeds, and their ancestors played a key role in the development of the Rottweiler and the St. Bernard.
Hot weather is difficult for Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. Most of them do not handle the heat with ease, so during hot summers, or if you live in a hot climate, be sure your Swissy has access to clean drinking water and lots of places to escape the direct sun. Consider bringing your dog into an air-conditioned house when the mercury peaks. And never exercise your Swissy during the hottest part of the day.
This vigilant watchdog will sound off in a loud, deep voice to announce visitors -- or simply to let you know that your neighbor has stepped outdoors. Most Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are friendly with guests, but some are more wary, and some are shy, spooky, or aggressive. Early and ongoing socialization is essential to develop a stable Swissy.
Swissys tend to match their activity level to that of their human family, but need at least one or two walks a day. However, to keep your dog in peak condition, consider a more vigorous schedule of exercise. The working spirit and versatile background of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog makes them super partners for many different activities, including drafting, which is the pulling of a cart or wagon.
Their history as a draft dog makes Swissys natural pullers, and their strength is impressive. The average Swissy is capable of pulling a load of 3,000 pounds or more, so walking politely at the end of a leash can be a challenge. From the time he’s a puppy, it’s important to teach your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog how to behave properly when he’s on leash.
6) Playfull Mentality
Slower to mature (both physically and mentally) than many other breeds, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog remains playfully puppy-like for many years. This sounds delightful, but can wear away your patience when that "puppy" weighs over 100 pounds!
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs with very loose lips may drool, especially when food is present. And most Swiss Mountain Dogs are messy drinkers who slobber water everywhere.
8) Health Problems
The lifespan of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is short. An alarming number are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer in middle age.
Swissys are a rare breed, even today, both in the United States and their native Switzerland. During World War II, the Swiss army used them as draft dogs. But by the end of the war, in 1945, there were only about 350-400 Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs left. The first Swissys were imported to the U.S. in 1968.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have a lovely nature, but they are not pushovers to raise and train. Some Swissys are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.