Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Adopt a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Today!
The Dog Search is temporarily unavailable.

Please take me to Adopt a Pet.
Ads by Google
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

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.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

Back to Top

Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund

AKC Group: Working

Breed Club: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America

Rescue Club: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America Rescue

Back to Top

Body Type:

  • A heavyset tricolor dog with a distinct mastiff build
  • Height: 23 1/2 - 28 1/2-27 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 130-135 pounds
  • The distinctively long tail is carried low. It is not altered
  • The ears hang slightly forward and are held next to the face. They are not altered


  • A very dominant "take charge" animal although pleasant to be around
  • Cautious with strangers
  • Loyal and steadfast
  • A serious nature is innate
  • Good with children
  • Does not fawn
  • Learns slowly but it retains what it is taught


  • Short coat is a double one. The outercoat is dense and shiny and the undercoat is thick
  • Color is very important. There is only one permissible: jet-black, with deep tan or rust markings on all legs. A white blaze on the head extending between the eyes and a white chest marking known as a cross are essential. White paws and a white tip on the tail are essential
  • Minimal grooming needed

Health Concerns:

  • Prone to hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Serious metabolic bone diseases
Back to Top
Tasty Tidbits:
  • If used to guard cattle, the Greater Swiss is a tyrant
  • Keeping all its charges in line with a firm paw
  • It is said that it can recognize every one of the cattle in its charge and cut them out of a mixed herd
  • A remarkable memory
  • This is a shorthaired dog that can take the cold weather

Dog Breed Groups

By Continuing to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies to improve your experience. Learn more