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Great Swiss Mountain Dog

 

dog photos - Border Terrie

 

Description

Originating from the Swiss Alps, the Great Swiss Mountain dog is the largest and probably the oldest of the four Sennenhund breeds which were thought to be descendants of Roman Mastiffs, brought to the area more than 2000 years ago.  Even though the four breeds are of different sizes they share the same markings and is thought that they may have contributed to the development of the St. Bernard.  As the Saint Bernard became popular the Great Swis Mountain Dog lost favor making it almost extinct.  The dog was rediscovered at a dog show in 1908 by one of the judges who publicized the breed thus encouraging people to begin breeding programs.  It possesses many talents such as tracking, watchdog, guarding, carting and competitive obedience.

 

Temperament

The Greate Swiss Mountain Dog is loyal, adoring and excellent companion for children.  He is steady, watchful and protective, but not aggressive and just loves to please.  Great with other pets and generally not dog aggressive, this dog can be territorial and should be introduced to any newcomers.  These dogs make excellent, courageous, alert watchdogs who will bark at strange noises and intruders.  Needing to be part of the family, these dogs prefer to be with his people all the time.

 

Appearance

Height:   60-72cm  (23-28in)

Weight:   59-61kg  (130-135lb)

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a large, strong and muscular build where its body is slightly longer than it is tall. With front legs which are straight and strong with rounded, compact feet it has a chest that is broad and deep. Their eye color varies from hazel to chestnut which wear an expression of attentiveness and intelligence. It has pendant, triangular, medium-sized ears and a long tail.  Their beautiful tri-color double coat (black with rich rust and white markings) is lined with a dense undercoat and they have rust markings including a spot over each eye, rust on the cheeks, and on either side of the chest.

 

Grooming

A fairly easy dog to groom and regular weekly brushing is recommended with bathing as required.  This breed is an average shedder. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.

 

Life Expectancy

10-11 Years

 

Health Concerns

As with many large deep-chested dogs, they are prone to bloat and hip dysplasia and also can have distichiasis, a condition in which extra eyelashes grow along the edge of the eyelid. These extra lashes can curl inward and scratch the eye and although the condition may not pose any problem, it sometimes may require surgical correction.

 

Suitability

These dogs prefer the cooler climates and will do okay in a small yard if sufficiently exercised with daily long walks.

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