Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


Basic Information

Breed Group
Black and Tan,Blue,Red,White
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large dog and one that's not that dissimilar to the Bernese Mountain Dog having the same charming coat colour and markings. They are known to have calm and trustworthy dispositions which is paired to a willingness to please. Today, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is still very highly prized in their native Switzerland for being a good family pet and with more breeders producing excellent examples of the breed here in the UK, these handsome large dogs are starting to find their way into the hearts and homes of many people over here and elsewhere in the world too.

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The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is thought to be a descendant of dogs left in Switzerland by the Romans over 2000 years ago and it’s thought they have some Molosser in them. The dogs the Romans bought with them were crossed with local herding breeds and the result was a very distinct type.  There are in fact four types of Sennenhund dog breeds which the Swiss classified by their coat colour and size, with one of them being the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Appenzeller, with all dogs being very similar looking.

However, other people believe these dogs are descendants of dogs the Phoenicians took with them when they travelled to Spain in 110 BC and that these dogs later found their way to the Swiss Alps. A third theory is that they are descendants of dogs found in Europe during the Neolithic Period of history.

Over time the breed was developed in the remote valleys of the Swiss Alps where they were used to herd and guard livestock and to pull milk wagons which they often did in pairs, but Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were also kept as watchdogs and family pets on remote farms. The breed was first recognised in their native Switzerland in 1910 when they were referred to as the Grosser Schweizer Sennehund.

In the 20th century, the breed's popularity grew throughout Europe, although these handsome dogs are still considered quite a rare breed both in their native Switzerland and elsewhere in the world. A breed club was set up in American in 1968 and later in 1995, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was accepted into the American Kennel Club and the breed is Kennel Club in the Working Dog group.

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