English Polski
Great Swiss Mountain Dog

About the breed

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a beautiful dog with an impressive, sturdy body. It has a tricolour coat. The predominant black colour of its outer coat is very shiny. Its white and rust markings are symmetrical. 
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are, above all, the dream dogs for families, as they love children and treat them with great patience and care. Our two Swiss dogs and our little boy make a unique team. They have come to accept our son as a member of their pack. We experience no problems such as their jealousy or dominance over the little boy. 
Rania and Hanka are extremely devoted to our family and take every opportunity to show their feelings towards us. They love being close to us and follow us everywhere. Including longer trips. They just adore travelling by car and are always ready to go before we are. They intuitively feel that we’re just about to leave and so they wait next to the car to make sure we don’t forget to take them with us. 
Despite their large size, they are gentle and friendly. But they are also excellent guard dogs. They are confident towards strangers, showing no fear in everyday situations.  They are highly vigilant, courageous and ready to defend the members of the family they live in. They have an amazing intuitive sense of danger. Our bitches are particularly sensitive to all strangers coming near our baby. They bravely guard us and the area they patrol. It is very important for us, as this gives us a great sense of security. On the other hand, this breed is not aggressive, which is vital when you have a baby. Potential unwanted visitors are kept away by their sturdy appearance and deep, respect-commanding voice. And they are very effective in this role.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are moderate in temperament which means they do not need a lot of exercise. Of course, like all other dogs, they adore walking. But capering around the garden on their own also makes them happy. We are really lucky that our dogs keep each other so active. This makes it easier for us to follow this rule: run and jump outdoors, calm down and relax indoors. This, in turn, is crucial if you want to live a harmonious family life. They are ideal dogs for not very active people. 
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are really cheerful. They are always ready to play and take advantage of every single opportunity to frolic. They love new challenges. They would do anything to please their owners.  They are also greedy for praising and hugging. 
Although classified as a shepherd breed with independence being an important quality of their character, the dogs are well-disciplined and relatively easy to train. Of course, it is very important to find the best way to motivate them, as this may be different for different dogs. Hanka is ready to do virtually anything at the prospect of a bit of something delicious to eat. For Rania, it is enough if she is praised or hugged, as she is a little girl that adores being hugged. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are highly sensitive, so the best training method is positive training, focused on rewarding rather than punishing the dog. The key to success is patience. An oral reprimand is in itself a painful experience for the dogs. A heavy-handed approach doesn’t work in the case of this breed at all. If the dog is treated too strictly, it may lose trust in its owner and its sensitive psyche may be damaged. However, from the very first day, the owner must be consistent in his training approach and set clear limits for acceptable behaviour. As they a shepherd breed, they must be trained and managed firmly and under sustainable conditions.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs must be provided with an opportunity to develop close relations with humans. They need strong bonds and regular contact with the family they live in. They must never be isolated.
The dogs love working with people. They make great sled dogs, always willing to pull a cart or a sledge carrying a child. 
Walking a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is genuine pleasure, as the dog is not likely to run far away from you and will always make sure he can see you. Our two Swiss bitches must simply keep an eye on us all the time. They are the happiest when all the family members are together, with them lying next to our feet.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs do not have an instinct to hunt, but they can be trained to be tracker dogs. 
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are a fairly healthy breed and they may suffer the health problems typical of large dogs, such hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and injuries. For this reason, they should not be overtrained until the age of one. It is best to let them get as much exercise as they themselves want. It is better to feed them with smaller portions of food but more frequently to avoid Volvulus problem. Regular meals are important. Our Swiss ”girls” have breakfasts and suppers. They love eating, so to prevent them from swallowing their dog food, we pour water into the food to make them eat more slowly.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs do not require much grooming. Occasional grooming to remove dead hair and weekly ear cleaning to prevent inner ear infection are sufficient A dog that is accustomed to such treatments from the very first days of its life will enjoy them in the future.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are great companions for people. They have delightful sturdy bodies and are friendly and balanced in temperament. With their sensitivity, gentleness and protectiveness towards children, combined with their extreme devotion to the family, they are dream family dogs. They make great guards and defenders that take an active part in the life of the family. Simply, they are born to be loved!