Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Breed History

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large working dog that has a muscular frame and a natural tri-color coat. Mastiff type dog that come from the Alpine Mountains and they are the older and bigger breed.

Switzerland is the place they come from and they would make a deep impression on the mountain areas. The most popular dog in the area during the 19th century.

One of the few dogs to come from the Switzerland and all of them were working dogs that help around farmland, herding animals, assisting merchants, or guarding property.

It is well known that they are one of the dogs who would shape the look of the Rottweiler and Saint Bernard breeds.

During World War II they would assist their army and saw a shrinking number of dogs and they would face extinction during that time period. It is known that they only had a few hundred dogs at best.

After the war they would need to increase their numbers and would start to export dogs from Switzerland into the United States. At this point their kennel club would form.

Still a rare breed that is popular among a select few within the U.S. and even in their native land.  Lower numbers of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is probably due to merchants taking them away from the land.


In 1995, they would receive recognition from the American Kennel Club. 1968 was the year their kennel club was formed but it took almost three decades to start receiving registration.

Top 70 in popularity they can keep improving in popularity due to being a newer dog in the kennel club. Rural areas can improve, and they are a great pet for people who live in houses.

Working Group is unanimously the category that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is put into by all major kennel clubs. Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog ​Size

Male Height: 25-28 inches

Female Height: 23-27 inches

Male Weight: 120-140 pounds

Female Weight: 90-110 pounds

Litter Size

8 puppies are the litter size for a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Breeders should be aware of how many dogs they should expect to have in their care for at least eight weeks before selling them to a responsible owner. Mothers don’t have any known birth issues and can deliver naturally.


Black – white and red

Blue – white and tan

Red – white

Any other color than the ones above will be an unacceptable color. Different colors will suggest crossbreeding.


$1,000-$3,000 is the average price for a Greater Swiss Mountain puppy. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand and other factors that could affect the pricing.

Registration will cost you more than a dog without papers. With papers you can expect to pay much more due to the strict criteria of the bloodline and breed standards that are always met.

Without papers you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars. Most likely they have some crossbreeding and that was the reason why their parents couldn’t get any papers, and both need them.


Start each grooming session with a long exercise session of a run or walk. Once the dog is experiencing exhaustion, they will be calmer when you start grooming and it will be a better experience for them.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brush the coat at least once per week for the best results. During shedding season, the coat will remove hair quicker when you are brushing the excess off the coat.

Combing will need to happen once per week as well. Whether combing or brushing you will need a tool that can reach the skin and brush the entire coat.

Bathe the dog after a long exercise session and add a leash if there are some behavior issues at first. Letting the drink water from the hose after a long run and get a cool rinse down will change the dynamics if you’re having issues.

Ears can get infection after infection if you don’t clean them. Head shaking, bad odor, and scratching the ears will show you that you need to take the dog to the vet.

Trimming the nails should happen when you exercise the dog, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, make sure you take the time to cut them with nail clippers.

Professional help is a recommendation.

Life Span

10-12 years is the average lifespan of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. That’s a long time for a dog to live and above average for a large dog breed. Owners should be aware of the time commitment and known how long they are going to own this dog. A great dog adoption option due to their long lifespan.

Health Issues

Bloat – is one of the most dangerous conditions facing bigger breeds today. Stomach expansion causes the stomach to extend beyond normal capabilities and put pressure on veins and arties. Pressure causes the dog to die after a while without any warning.

Epilepsy – dogs are known to have seizures and the conditions are inherited from their parents. There is no cure and knowing the signs and symptoms in addition to what to do during a seizure should be high on your priority list.

Hip Dysplasia – hips are one of the issues that all large dog breed owners should check. Discomfort levels will be shown during any exercising session where the dog will either disengage or limp from the activity. Taking them to a vet and getting an x-ray is the best way to determine the condition and how serious it is.

Elbow Dysplasia – growth of the outside of the elbow is a clear indication of the issue. Take them to the vet to receive the proper evaluation to determine the severity of the condition.

Breed Group

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a proud member of the Working Group. These dogs have a lot of different jobs for humans that would be difficult to humans to accomplish.

Rescues, herding, guardian, pulling sleds, and many other jobs that can do all in one breed. Making them unique due to their stamina, intelligence, and strength. Some of the most popular dogs in the world come from the working group.

Here are some of the dogs in the working group

Exercise Needs

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog needs a lot of daily exercise to meet their needs. Working dogs were bred to have stamina and to work all day long which is something we will take into consideration.

Whenever a dog isn’t receiving the proper outlet, they will start to find things to do since they are bored mentally and not experiencing exhaustion physically. Undesirable behavior will be here until you change their regimen.

Digging, barking excessively, whining, anxiety, and many other behaviors will start to persist when you lack exercise. Over excitement, jumping, nipping and other problems will all continue to progress.

Understand that the lack of exercise and bad behavior have a direct connection to each other, and it is hard to stop the behavior when you are not exercising. Your only hope is old age but who wants to live like that?

Here is a basic recommendation we suggest you start with and adjust if they need it.

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dog will need more runs and two session days to get their behavior under control. Energy levels will be the highest at this point in their life and they will receive most of their training here.

Adult dogs show a decline in energy levels and this is the sweet spot for dog training. They don’t need two sessions all the time, but sometimes they do. Most of the training is on autopilot and you truly get to enjoy the fruits of your labor at this stage.

Senior dogs need no corrections it will be rare for it to happen in our program. They will need a walk for 30 minutes at the most and sometimes that will be enough for a few days.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every foundation should be solid, and no foundation is more solid than a great exercise program. What makes a program great? Doing the same thing every single day and grinding away at it all the time. Giving the dog 365-720 hours of exercise every year will change the energy levels and bad behavior will establishing yourself as the leader. Learning the principles of walking right will make your dog act like the dog they should be and not the one a lack of exercise is making them out to be. You will spend most of your time here.

Commands training is important but takes much less of your time to accomplish. A few days of repeating the basic commands will be all the dog needs outside of routine maintenance. Using tricks and toys work for some but not for every dog. I would recommend you use the basic commands before eating, drinking, using the bathroom and other life activities.

Socialization should happen after a long exercise session and never before. Vet visits, regular park, dog park, or friends visiting should all require a tired dog to show up for the best results. When you do this out of order you will have over excitement and little listening from the dog. Put them in the right state of mind from the beginning.

Correct the dog verbally, on or off leash. Timing is the most important aspect and you should use it as prevention. Remember, when a dog barks at you it is before you step anywhere near the fence. Use the same timing. Before they eat off the plate correct them, and the dog will understand that communication better.

Are Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs Good Pets?

Yes, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a great pet. They have enough energy to keep up with the kids and they are smart and intelligent. Any dog owner would enjoy owning one of these dogs.

I would like to caution you that if you don’t exercise and train you dog no pet will act in a way that is great. Owners should give their pet at least one to two hours of exercise a day for the best results.

Additional Resources