Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

History/Evolution:

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest and oldest of the Swiss Mountain Dogs native to Switzerland. With a heritage traced to Mastiff-type dogs that ancient Romans introduced to the area, the breed is a skilled herder, drafter, and guardian of home and livestock. Although machines have taken over many of its duties, the breed has enjoyed a slow but steady growth in interest as companions. In 1995 the breed achieved recognition by the AKC.


Size:

Giant; females 231/2 to 27 inches, 85 to 90 pounds; males 251/2 to 281/2 inches; 90 to 130 pounds.

Color:

Black and rust and white.

Temperament:

Faithful, sensitive, devoted family companion. Calm and easygoing, but territorial, alert, and vigilant.

Energy level:

Medium.

Best owner:

Family with roomy, fenced yard.

Needs:

Moderate exercise, early socialization and training, an owner who is a leader; participant in family goings-on.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.