Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog, or Great Swiss Mountain Dog, is a large breed of dog originating in Switzerland. They are known for their strong, muscular build and distinctive black, white and rust tricolor coat. They are friendly, confident and intelligent dogs, making them popular as family pets and working dogs.

General details

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a large breed, usually weighing between 36 and 64 kilos, and measuring between 60 and 72 centimeters at shoulder height. They have a life expectancy of 6 to 8 years, up to 11 years, with proper care. According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), they belong to Group 2, which includes Pinscher and Schnauzer type dogs, Molossers, mountain type dogs and Swiss Cattle Dogs.

Breed history in brief

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog originated in Switzerland and has a history as a herding and draft breed, used for pulling carts and guarding livestock. However, its exact origin is unknown. Among the possible theories, the most accepted one considers that it descends from the Molossus, an extinct breed of dog, which accompanied the Roman legions in their invasion of the Alps more than 2000 years ago. By the early 19th century their numbers had declined due to lax breeding and their replacement by machines. They have been recognized as a breed since the late 19th century and were first imported to the United States in 1968. Their popularity grew throughout that century, although they remain a rare breed. Despite their history and size, they have become popular as family pets and are known for their loyalty and protective nature.

Breed characteristics

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has a strong, muscular build. The chest is deep, the head broad and the neck muscular. It has floppy ears and a short, thick tail. Its expression is friendly and confident. The coat of this breed is double and thick. The coloring pattern is tricolor: black, rust and white. They are black on the upper back, ears, tail and most of the legs. They have a rust color on the cheeks, above the eyes, and also appears on the legs between black and white. White is found on the muzzle, the feet, the tip of the tail, on the chest, and up from the muzzle to pass between the eyes. There are other tricolors, such as blue, white and cinnamon; and white and rust bicolor. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a friendly, confident and intelligent breed. It is known for its loyal and protective nature and makes an excellent companion animal. They are confident and bold, but also gentle and patient with children. They are not usually aggressive, but will protect their family if necessary, so they can be used as guard dogs. They are very trainable and excellent working dogs.

Common health problems

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is generally a healthy breed, but like all breeds, it can be prone to certain health problems. Some of the most common health problems in this breed are hip dysplasia, volvulus-gastric dilatation, entropion, epilepsy and distichiasis.

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