These family-friendly hounds definitely live up to their name, standing at 70 cm high, there are many 'great' things about them. As a calm, intelligent breed, the whole household will fall in love with your Great Swiss Mountain Dog puppy. Bred to be working dogs, they are easy to train and love to get involved in all sorts of sports and activities. Devoted, affectionate, and laidback, whether you're out on a hike, or staying in for the night, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will be the perfect companion. Some highlights:
Calm: These dogs are great with children and other animals, making them an ideal family pet
Watchdogs: as protective and intelligent companions, they will alert owners to any danger
Grooming: the sleek, short coat is easy to maintain
Easy-going: they make a great pet for first-time owners
These large puppies aren't for everyone. Some downsides to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog:
Separation anxiety: as they become so devoted to the family, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs don't like being left alone
Small Space: they don't like being tied up or stuck in small environments, so they're not ideal for those in an apartment
Drooling: these puppies will drool, so it can be a hassle to clean up
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have been working hard across the world for over 2000 years. They were bred to be versatile working dogs, able to turn a paw to herding livestock in the Swiss Alps or guarding homes and barns. They were still pulling carts up until cars came into popular use. They even helped out during World War II, and since then have slowly grown in popularity due to their lovely personality, not just working ability. Although they're still classed as a rare breed, those that own them or meet them are always adoring fans.
The first thing you'll notice is their size, coming in at up to 70 cm, they're firmly in the large breed category. Their coat is a distinctive tri-colour pattern with a black base, topped with white and tan markings.
When fully grown, these hefty dogs come in at 65-72 cm for males and 60-68 cm for females.
An adult Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can weigh between 60-70 kg for a male and 50-60 kg for a female.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a distinctive tri-colour pattern that starts with a black base on the top of the body, then tan and white markings down the legs, front, and face.
Despite their size, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies are actually very calm and gentle, making them an ideal pairing for kids of all ages. They're easy to train, so can pick up simple commands from a young age, so you won't be waiting till adulthood for them to obey you. They are very protective of their family, so without proper socialisation, they can be wary of strangers and other dogs, but it does mean they will be cautious to alert you to any danger or intruders.
They make ideal guard dogs. Their devoted nature combined with an intelligent and alert attitude means they'll pick up on any dangers before you do.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs keep opinions to themselves and only bark when necessary, so you shouldn't be stuck with any noise complaints. However, without proper training, some dogs can alert owners too often if they're not used to new sounds, sights, and smells.
As Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies are both highly intelligent and eager to please, training should be easy. With proper socialisation and good practice, they'll be following your commands in no time.
As with any puppy, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will be happy and excited to engage in play. As they age you can expect the breed to mellow out, although they can still be mischievous when the mood takes them.
A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will be a great companion to a child of any age. They are loving and calm, so can tolerate young children. However, as they are big dogs, it's always recommended to watch over any play sessions with small children.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs do still have a prey drive, so might chase smaller animals. Proper training and socialisation is the best way to make sure everyone gets along.
A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will be totally smitten with you, so they'll struggle being left alone for long periods of time. It's recommended to have someone around most of the day as they can become destructive if bored.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies will love swimming and spending time in the water. However, if a dog shows reservations, it's always best to follow their lead and never force them into a situation they're not comfortable with.
The average lifespan of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy is between 8 and 11 years.
Although they don't like being cooped up, that doesn't mean they need to go on long runs. Moderate daily exercise is enough to keep them satisfied, as long as they have somewhere to stretch their legs during the day.
Although there aren't any specific ailments that are associated with the breed, as with any large dog, there are certain things to watch out for:
These are large dogs, so a small space won't suit them. It's recommended to have a yard or somewhere for them to wander during the day. Apartments aren't really suitable for a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can do well on a variety of diets, from dry foods to raw meals. They are large so do require up to 5 cups of food a day, but be careful of over-feeding as it can lead to digestive problems.
It's not hard to keep the short, sleek coats looking their best. A bath when they blow their over-coat twice a year is helpful, as well as occasional brushing.
Although they have short fur, they are prone to shedding, so you will find a build-up of dog hair pretty quickly.
As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £1000-£1,500 for a well-bred Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy Food, insurance: £60-£100 per month
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy buying advice:
As with other rare breeds, you can expect to find amateur breeders looking to make money who don't care about the welfare of dogs or puppies. A dam can only produce 4 litters, so try to check up on the breeder first and visit the puppies if you can.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/greater-swiss-mountain-dog/ https://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/greaterswissmountaindogs.html https://www.gsmdclub.co.uk/ https://www.greaterswissmountaindog.org/gsmd/Welcome.html