Large, sturdy, and confident, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD or “Swissy”) is a draft and drover breed robust and agile enough to perform farm work in very mountainous regions. As a working dog, Swissies like having a job to do and enjoy participating in hiking, carting, obedience trials, herding, weight pulling, and backpacking with their owners. The breed's short, dense coat is black with symmetrical rust and white markings.
Developed in the remote and isolated areas of Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was originally used for draft work, livestock management (herding and guarding), and as a farm sentinel. The breed was assumed to have died out by the late 19th century, as their work was being done by other breeds or machines, but they were rediscovered in the early 1900s.
The “Swissy” is a social dog that enjoys being a member of the family. Owners should be patient with housetraining; dogs may grasp the concept in a few weeks, but it can take many months for them to become reliable. Daily exercise is necessary but should be moderate due to their large size and dark, thick coat, which can cause them to overheat in high temperatures. Coats need to be brushed once or twice a week.
- Working Group; AKC recognized in 1995.
- Ranging in size from 23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder.
- Cattle driver.
- Apartment is ok.
- Thrive in moderate to cool climates.
- Short daily exercise.
- Regular brushing.
- Average shedding.