Great Swiss Mountain Dog

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , , ,


Size: Large     Weight:     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: 3 Colors


Life Expectancy: 8-11 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Not good for warm climate.

Breed Details


The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a working type of dog developed in the Swiss Alps, Switzerland. They are known also known as the Grosser Schweizer Sennenund, the Metzgerhund (Butcher's Dogs), the Large Swiss mountain Dog or commonly termed as "Swissy". These breeds are the largest and oldest of the four Sennenhound Breeds. They are known as a "draft and dover" dog for being a bold, faithful and willing worker.

This breed is calm, sociable, active, dignified and enjoys being part of the family. They have a large, sturdy and muscular appearance. They can be agile and vigorous to perform farm works in a very mountainous regions. As a working dog, they can serve multiple tasks like, guarding, herding, carting and tracking. They prefer cold climates.


The coat of these breeds comes commonly in tri-colors, with combinations of black, rust or tan and white. White markings can be seen on the chest, tail tip, feet, and sometimes appears to be like a white collar on the neck.


The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has a double, tri-colored coat. The outer coat is dense, short, straight and fine to longer, waiver and coarser, and the under coat is thick. It is fairly easy to groom and sheds averagely.


The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is happy, naturally enthusiastic, sociable, calm and has a strong affinity to people. These dogs can get along with children of all ages. They are eager to please their owner, loyal to their families and requires constant companionship to be happy. These dogs are alert and vigilant which makes them a great watchdog. They are an excessive barker and can even let everyone in a three-block radius know that a stranger is approaching. They are known to chase small animals but with proper training they can be taught not to. They can be territorial in nature so introducing newcomers to them is advised. Nevertheless, they are not aggressive guard dogs and can be trusted to be polite to house guests. They will respond to the family's initiative and will accept strangers, once properly introduced and when the family has shown that they are accepted.


These dog is relatively healthy for their size, however breed health issues may include bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus), eyelash issues, epilepsy, digestive disorders and hip dysplasia. The average life span of a Great Swiss Mountain Dog is 8-11 years. They have a short, thick double coat that is fairly easy to groom and sheds averagely. Their coat will need to be brushed on a regular basis to remove any dead hairs. Bathing should be done when necessary to keep them clean.


Training a Great Swiss Mountain Dog should be done as early as possible, or even the moment they get home. They can be a great challenge to train even to experienced owners. They are willful and independent and training them can be difficult due to the late maturity of this breed. On their adolescence stage, they will behave like a typical teenager, testing your boundaries and patience whenever possible. Training these breeds should involve a lot of treats to probably motivate these headstrong animal. Their training should be firm and consistent and needs not to be harsh. They can be difficult to handle, control and may charge so the owner should be confident. These breeds must learn to follow directions from their owner and understands that the human sets the rules. Training should start with early socialization, which requires to take them to daily walks or maybe having other pets in the house.


The Great Swiss Mountain Dog will need daily walks, to let them run and roam around at a large yard. They are strong, rugged and has a muscular body. They will need lots of exercise, but don't require a lot of running to be happy. These large dogs can be rambunctious to live in an apartment or condominium so they may require a lot of space to move and extend their puppyhood. Several long walks will suffice the exercise they need. As a "draft and dover" dog they are designed to pull carts in the Swiss Alps. Putting a backpack on them will make them feel purposeful on strolls through the neighborhood. On winter time, they are hooked up to a sled to pull kids around the yard and keep them busy for hours.

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