Country/Date of Origin: Switzerland/100 BC
One of four tri-colored dogs from the Swiss mountains, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest of the quartet. It was first a soldier's dog, then a butcher's dog, doing whatever was needed at the time.
This dog, of the mastiff family, has short but heavy coat which is well suited to its mountain home. It is a descendent of the dogs that invading Roman soldiers brought north as livestock guards and drovers 2,000 years ago.
Popular as a drover and draft dog, the Greater Swiss fell out of favor and was almost lost in the mid 1800s. By crossing the remnants of the breed with smooth Saint Bernards, the Greater Swiss was resuscitated. Breed type was firmly fixed again by the turn of the century.
Introduced to the United States in 1968, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995.