Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Suiza FCI 58 - Swiss Cattle Dogs

Gran Boyero Suizo

Despite its impressive size and weight, The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is strong and agile.



The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an old Swiss farm dog. It is the largest of the family of mountain dogs. These served in the mountains and valleys of the Swiss Alps as a complete tool for farmers. They watched the house and the farm. If a herd of cows had to be brought from one meadow to another, they made sure everyone stayed on the road and no cow was left behind.

The great mountain dogs, from which the current one emerged Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, harnessed in front of the larger wagons and served as all-terrain and mountain tractors, more or less like the old one Unimog. It was not unusual for them to be harnessed in pairs in front of a cart full of valuable cheese, so they could independently find their way from the alpine pasture to the village, to the merchant and back. Swiss Mountain Dogs and Cattle Dogs used to be one family of dogs. What they have in common is a strong bond with the family and their farm, a sure self-awareness, a widely lost hunting instinct, a high degree of vigilance, a loving attitude towards his own people and a reserved attitude towards strangers.

A few ago 100 years, mountain dogs were divided into four breeds: Entlebucher, Appenzeller, Berne, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog – in order of size. This and the artificial fixation in a tricolorism conceived by the breeding have not been good for the health of these great dogs. So the statistics of the British Kennel Club 2014 document a life expectancy of only 8 years for Mountain Dogs and Bovine Dogs. Healthy servants could live easily 4 more years. More about this in the portrait of the respective mountain and cattle dogs.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog became a valuable companion dog, but he still has the skills of a working dog. In 1912 the Swiss was founded on “Large Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs Club”.

Physical characteristics

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a big dog, robust, strong-boned and well-muscled. Radiate sovereign calm and self-assured composure, and this is how it is. The difference between the sexes should be quite large.
The males must have a height at the withers of 65 - 72 centimeters, the females of 60 - 68. The weight is between 35 and 50 kg.

The standard establishes numerous regulations on the details of coloring, texture and pattern of its coat. Should have brush hair and be tricolor. We see detailed regulations, where white marks are allowed and where they are not. In the interest of dogs, these external characteristics should not be taken so seriously, that are only devised by your breeder. Converting these details into breeding selection criteria is not in the interest of the welfare of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, they only have an extremely small gene pool anyway. What matters is the character and physical condition of the dogs. This last, Unfortunately, not too rare a problem. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog it has better qualities than the color of its coat.

Character and skills

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog feel more comfortable in the field. He wants to be moved and you can experience wonderful stress-free walks in nature with him. As he has little hunting instinct and usually has a good ear, you can enjoy relaxed and stress-free hours outdoors with it, even without a strap. However, not a companion dog for athletes.

A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog not suitable for life in the middle of the big city. You don't need a house with a big garden, what would be ideal. He likes to have a land or a yard where he can take care of things. In all other respects, does not have any special requirement regarding its maintenance. Most important is their close integration into the human family. For a permanent or even partial stay in a kennel these dogs are completely unsuitable.

Educating the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can be trained very well. He likes to learn. It is strongly oriented towards its people, what you can use well. The Great swiss you can read the mood and wishes of your people on their faces. This in turn means that one must approach one's education with feeling and of course with consequence.. He has a pronounced sense of justice and, the other way, expect an equally fair deal. One must not only accept their occasional stubbornness, but you must like it. They challenge an intimate and mutually respectful relationship between the dog and the owner. The reward is a happy coexistence for both parties.

Care and health of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog it is very easy to care for, just brush it occasionally.

Like many large dog breeds, tends to have hip problems (HD) or elbows (ED). La endogamia, unfortunately partly strong, has a negative effect on physical fitness and life expectancy.

Nutrition / Food

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has no special demands on their diet. Like many dogs of his size, tends to churn your stomach. Therefore you should not eat too fast and let it rest after eating.. Veterinarians often recommend an elevated feeding bowl, that can be purchased in specialized stores. During the breeding season, special attention must be paid to adapted nutrition.

The life expectancy of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is relatively strongly affected by inbreeding and a breeding stock that is one-sidedly oriented to outward appearances, such as fur color details. Therefore, their life expectancy has decreased in part enormously. It's between eight and -healthily- twelve years.

Buy a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

When buying a puppy you must be careful that no ancestor appears twice in the pedigree (endogamia). Otherwise, You should look for a breeder affiliated with the Swiss Mountain Dog and Cattle Club. You can also find the dog of your dreams at the animal shelter or in an emergency initiative.

Characteristics "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, your care and if you have young children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Adaptation ⓘ

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Dog friendly ⓘ

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Hair loss ⓘ

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3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Affection Level ⓘ

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Need to exercise ⓘ

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3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Social Needs ⓘ

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Apartment ⓘ

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Grooming ⓘ

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Stranger Friendly ⓘ

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Barking Tendencies ⓘ

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Health Issues ⓘ

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Territorial ⓘ

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Cat Friendly ⓘ

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3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

intelligence ⓘ

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4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

versatility ⓘ

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4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Child Friendly ⓘ

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Watchdog Ability ⓘ

Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Playfulness ⓘ

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Images "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog"


1 – Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, tricolour by Canarian / CC BY-SA
2 – Greater Swiss Mountain Dog by jude / CC BY
3 – Big Swiss Mountain Dog and Entlebucher Mountain Dog during International show of dogs in Katowice – Saucer, Poland by Pleple2000 / CC BY-SA
4 – All Mountain Dogs: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog an the Entlebucher Mountain Dog by Shining dog / CC BY-SA

Videos "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog"

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossian breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle
  • Section 3: Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs. Without working trial..


  • FCI – Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid type dogs – Swiss Mountain Dogs and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossoid, mountain type.
  • AKC – Working dogs
  • CKC – Working dogs
  • ​KC – Working dogs
  • UKC – Guard dog

FCI breed standard "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog"

FCIFCI - Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
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