Greater Swiss Mountain Puppy
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed was created to be a versatile working dog that could protect, herd livestock, and pull carts. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog now enjoys his life as a family pet, but his professional ancestry means he likes to keep busy.
These canines are known lovingly as “Swissy” by breed enthusiasts. Despite being purebred canines, you might still be able to locate them in shelters and breed-specific rescues, so always consider adoption! Shop not!
This robust breed excels in all canine sports, from weight pulling to agility. Despite being energetic and friendly, they are huge dogs and are not recommended for inexperienced owners. This dog may blend in perfectly with an energetic, knowledgeable, dog-loving family who has a large home.
This large, roomy crate is suggested by Petlifehealth to provide your large Greater Swiss Mountain Dog a place to rest and relax. For any outside excursions you take your dog on, you should also get this dog water bottle!
See below for a list of all Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed characteristics!
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breed
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, or Swissy as admirers refer to them, is a relatively obscure breed outside of a small but devoted fan base. But if you have one of these impressively enormous canines, get ready to draw a lot of attention. People frequently question dog breed owners “What sort of dog is that?”
The Swissy is a large dog that may weigh up to well over 100 pounds. Their size and loud, deep bark make them an excellent watchdog. However, they have a kind heart and are committed to their family and children. Although they require space to spread out (this isn’t a dog for apartments), they only require a moderate amount of exercise. Modern Swissies like having tasks to do because they were originally trained to herd cattle, pull carts, and act as watchdogs. They do well in drafting, weight hauling, herding, pack hiking, obedience, agility, and conformation contests.
Given their size when fully grown, it’s crucial to begin obedience training and socialization early on, educating the dog to get along with both people and other dogs. And be ready for a protracted puppyhood because the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog takes a long time to physically and intellectually grow and can maintain its puppylike characteristics well into their third year.
Although not everyone should own a Swissy, those who are prepared to love, train, and care for this enormous dog can benefit from fantastic company.
Greater Swiss Mountain History
One of Switzerland’s oldest canine breeds is said to be the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog ‘s ancestry is the subject of several theories. The most well-known theory is that they are related to huge, Mastiff-like dogs that Roman Legions carried to the Alps during their invasion.
The forerunners of the Swissy were guard, herding, and draft dogs. The Swissy is said to have formerly been one of Switzerland’s most well-liked breeds. However, by the 1900s, their numbers had significantly decreased, most likely as a result of other dog breeds or machinery replacing their traditional tasks on Swiss farms. Albert Heim, a dog expert, observed two dogs in 1908 at a Swiss Kennel Club celebration that were identified as “short-haired Bernese Mountain Dogs.” The Sennenhund type, a group of four breeds that includes the Swissy, is a broad group of canines that Heim recognized as belonging to the breed.
As a result of Heim’s efforts, the Swiss Kennel Club placed the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund) in the Swiss Stud Book in 1909.
Since then, the popularity of the breed has increased gradually but consistently. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was established shortly after the first Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were imported into the US in 1968.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Size
Males are 105 to 140 pounds in weight and are 25.5 to 28.5 inches tall. Females weigh 85 to 110 pounds and are 23.5 to 27 inches tall. Greater Swiss mountain dogs are powerful and heavy-boned since they were bred as herders and drafters. These powerful canines have large skulls as well. Their muzzles frequently have white stripes between their lively brown almond-shaped eyes. Swissies have thick tails that never stop wagging, triangle-shaped ears, and a sweet demeanor. However, a lot of dogs might be smaller or larger than usual. The wide chests and compact, rounded paws of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Personality
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a kind, watchful, and jovial nature. However, they aren’t laid-back, obedient dogs; rather, they are self-assured canines with their own opinions who may occasionally be difficult. Swissy dogs fare best with owners who can be compassionate, yet confident, leaders because of their daring nature.
This breed is vigilant and perceptive, constantly on the lookout for irregularities. They make a fantastic watchdog because of this and their loud bark that lets you know when they see something unusual, even though they are usually not aggressive. Numerous elements, including training, socialization, and inheritance, have an impact on temperament. Puppies with good dispositions are interested and lively, approachable, and want to be cuddled. If at all feasible, pick a puppy in the midst of the pack rather than one that is bullying its littermates or cowering in a corner.
If at all possible, meet the puppy’s parents to make sure they have pleasant personalities with whom you feel at ease. It might be useful to meet the parents’ siblings or other family members to get a sense of what the puppy will be like as an adult.
The Swissy needs early socialization, or exposure to a variety of people, sights, noises, and experiences when they’re young, much like every other dog. In order to guarantee that your Swissy puppy develops into a well-rounded dog, socialization is important.
It’s a good idea to enroll them in a kindergarten class for puppies. Regularly hosting guests, taking your dog to crowded parks, pet-friendly shops, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors can all help them develop their social abilities.
Greater Swiss Mountain Health
Although Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are often healthy, they are susceptible to some health issues like all breeds. It’s crucial to be aware of these diseases if you’re thinking about getting a Swissy dog even if not all of them will affect them.
The following health issues might occasionally affect Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs:
- Hip Dysplasia: The thighbone does not fit securely into the hip joint due to this hereditary problem. Dogs can exhibit lameness and pain in one or both of their hind legs, although not all of them do. (X-ray screening is the most accurate method of issue diagnosis.) In any case, as the dog aged, arthritis might appear. Hip dysplasia in dogs should prevent breeding.
- Elbow Dysplasia: This condition is degenerative, like hip dysplasia. It is thought to be brought on by aberrant growth and development, which leads to a weak and deformed joint. The degree of the illness varies; the dog may only experience arthritis or they may become lame. Surgery, weight loss, medical supervision, and anti-inflammatory drugs are among forms of treatment.
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD): This orthopedic disorder, which is brought on by abnormal cartilage formation in the joints, often affects the elbows but has also been observed in the shoulders. The dog’s elbow becomes so painfully stiffened as a result that they are unable to bend it. As young as four to nine months old, dogs can already show signs of the condition. High-protein diets or overfeeding of “growth formula” puppy food may hasten its development.
- Patellar Luxation: Likewise called slipping stifles. The kneecap is the patella. Anatomical portion dislocation is referred to as luxation (as a bone at a joint). Patellar luxation is a painful condition in which the knee joint (typically of the back leg) moves in and out of position. Although many dogs with this illness have quite normal lives, it may be devastating.
- Gastric Torsion: This life-threatening illness, sometimes known as bloat, can affect big, deep-chested dogs like the Swissy. This is particularly true if they only eat one substantial meal per day, eat quickly, drink a lot of water thereafter, and engage in strenuous activity right afterward. Older dogs are more likely to get bloat. When the stomach is bloated with gas or air and twists, GDV develops (torsion). The regular flow of blood to the heart is hampered because the dog is unable to belch or vomit to get rid of the extra air in the stomach. The dog has a dip in blood pressure and shock. The dog might die if not given timely medical care.
- Splenic Torsion: The spleen rotates, which causes it to enlarge and become engorged with blood, leading to this disorder. The signs might include vomiting, fever, pale gums, and discomfort, however they are not usually visible. A veterinarian must treat splenic torsion right away, and the spleen must be surgically removed.
- Cataracts: Cataracts result in opacity on the eye’s lens, impairing vision. The dog will appear to have hazy eyes. Cataracts often develop as people age, and they occasionally need to be surgically removed to enhance eyesight.
- Distichiasis: In this syndrome, the glands on the upper or lower eyelids produce additional eyelashes (cilia). In contrast to developing on the skin’s surface, a hair follicle grows deep within the glands. As the hair develops, it travels through the gland’s duct before emerging from the gland orifice along the smooth edge of the eyelid. These eyelashes frequently brush on the cornea, resulting in discomfort, tears, and even corneal abrasions.
- Entropion: Rolling of the eyelid inward is known as entropion. It often impacts the bottom eyelids of both eyes, irritating the eye and impairing vision. It typically happens before a dog gets a year old, and surgery to fix the issue is typically postponed until the dog is an adult.
- Panosteitis: This syndrome, also known as Pano, results in self-limiting lameness. The dog may begin to hobble on one leg, then another, before stopping at approximately five to twelve months of age. Typically, there are no long-term consequences. If the dog is in discomfort, rest and limited exercise may be required for a while.
- Swissy Lick: The dog will begin frantically licking or ingesting anything in sight as a result of this strange illness. Although the reason is uncertain, it seems to be connected to excruciating stomach discomfort. Gas and acid-reducing medicines are used to treat it. Younger dogs are more likely to contract Swissy lick, although older dogs can also contract it.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Care
Living in an apartment or condo is not for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog . A house with a sizable, securely fenced yard is perfect for this huge, working dog since it needs space to wander. However, you won’t need to join up for a marathon; they only require little activity.
Due to its Swiss ancestry, this breed thrives in cold regions and enjoys playing in the snow. On the other hand, they are susceptible to heatstroke. Limit your trips to chilly early mornings or nights during hot times and avoid letting them exercise vigorously. Use fans or air conditioning to keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day. If you’re rearing a Swissy puppy, you must exercise great caution. The Swissy develops quickly between the ages of four and seven months, like many big breeds, which makes them vulnerable to bone diseases and damage.
Maintain a high-quality, low-calorie food for your Swissy puppy to prevent them from developing too quickly. Wait until they are at least two years old and have fully developed joints before allowing them to jump frequently, run and play on hard surfaces like pavement, or lift weights. Both common playground activities and puppy agility training are acceptable.
The Swissy has to be socialized, or trained to be sociable to other dogs and humans, from an early age, just like every other dog. The best ways to socialize and train your Swissy are puppy school and obedience lessons.
Every week, you should examine their ears for redness or an unpleasant smell that might be an infection. To help avoid infections, clean your dog’s ears when you examine them using a cotton ball soaked with a mild, pH-balanced ear cleanser. Simply wipe the outer ear; avoid inserting anything into the ear canal.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Exercise
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires moderate exercise. A walk around the block or a romp in the woods generally will satisfy their daily exercise needs. This breed is much better suited for the person looking for a hiking companion than the person wanting a bicycling or marathon-running partner.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have plenty of energy and will enjoy 30 minutes of walking a day. They love the Great Outdoors, so include them on hikes or long walks in nature. However, they’re not suited for jogging. This working breed was originally used by farmers, herdsmen and merchants and was bred for a variety of tasks, including guarding and drafting (pulling carts). Swissies have a 3,000-pound pulling capacity! Dog sports including drafting, weight hauling, herding, agility, dock diving, conformity (dog shows), and more can benefit from their abilities. They’re willing to do anything if it means spending more time with you. Check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is physically fit and capable of the exercise before you give it a try.
Due to their poor heat tolerance, Swissies should not be overworked in hot weather. Instead, exercise your dog during the cooler hours of the day.
Regarding puppies: Large-breed dogs, like the Swissy, require longer to mature and need special attention to maintain their developing growth plates and joints. Till they are completely grown, at roughly 2 years old, keep puppy exercise more low-key (like walks) and steer clear of more rigorous activities (like dog sports).
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Training
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is highly motivated by food and responds favorably to training using food incentives. However, they may also be very stubborn, so their owners must be more tenacious than they are. It is not advised to train this breed with any kind of harness-style equipment. They are a breed of draft animals, and when a harness is used (other than for draft labor), they tend to pull even harder. Early socialization and puppy training sessions are advised for all dogs.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog’s intelligence and strength are best brought forth via diligent and committed training. Swissies are a huge breed that takes time to intellectually and physically grow. They are very independent and clever, which might appear as stubbornness. They require a composed and assured leader who recognizes the importance of teaching young puppies with regularity and care. Swissies are a preferable choice for someone with previous dog experience because first-time puppy owners may become discouraged with the difficulties in training this breed.
Quality contacts with humans, other dogs, and unfamiliar situations should take precedence over quantity when it comes to socializing your Swiss dog during training. Starting when they are puppies, take them on walks so they may meet and sniff the people and other dogs they encounter. This will help them become acclimated to meeting new people and other canines.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Food
The amount of food your adult dog consumes is influenced by their size, age, build, metabolism, and degree of activity. Like people, each dog is unique, thus they don’t all require the same quantity of food. A very active dog will require more than a couch potato dog, which should almost go without saying. The kind of dog food you purchase also matters; the better the food, the more effectively it will nourish your dog and the less you will need to shake into the bowl.
Instead of putting food out all the time, keep your Swissy in good form by weighing their food and feeding them twice a day. Give him the eye exam and the hands-on test if you’re not sure whether they’re obese.
Start by glancing down at your dog. There should be a waist visible. Then lay your hands on their backs with the fingers stretched out and the thumbs along the spine. Without exerting much pressure, you should be able to feel but not see their ribs. If you can’t, they should eat less and exercise more.
Your dog’s specific nutritional requirements must be discussed with your veterinarian. A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog adult should typically have four to five cups of premium dry food day, split into two meals.
Puppies from large breeds like the Swissy require calm, steady growth to help them avoid orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia. Feed them food intended for adult dogs or a diet for large-breed dogs as they grow up. Any diet you adopt shouldn’t place an undue emphasis on calories, protein, or fat; 22 to 24 percent protein and 12 to 15 percent fat are ideal percentages.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Grooming and Coat Color
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a thick undercoat and an outer coat that is one to two inches long and dense. With the exception of twice-yearly “blow-outs,” when the undercoat comes out, the breed sheds very little the most of the time. With a unique black outer coat and white and rust patterns on the face and body, the hue is distinctive.
Since the breed is naturally tidy and has a short coat, grooming a Swissy isn’t too difficult. The Swissy just has to be brushed once or twice per week and given a wash as needed (often once or twice per month or so) using a light dog shampoo. When your Swissy is still a puppy, start preparing them to be groomed and inspected. Look into their mouth and constantly handle their paws since dogs are sensitive about their feet. Lay the framework for simple veterinarian checkups and other handling when they are adults by making grooming a rewarding experience full with praise and incentives.
Check your pet’s feet, nose, mouth, eyes, and skin for sores, rashes, or infection-related symptoms including redness, soreness, or inflammation when you groom them. Clear eyes without any redness or discharge are ideal. You may identify any health issues early on thanks to your thorough weekly exam.