Everyone loves dogs, as even cat people will not deny that. There is just something about their demeanor that makes them so beloved by many. However, not all dogs are friendly. Some are that way because of their upbringing, while others tend to be just protective of anything that they have. There is a reason why they are still the most popular choice for a pet as you can see in this article: https://www.care.com/c/stories/6124/25-reasons-dogs-are-the-best-things-on-earth/.
The general public would usually classify these animals from big to small. Chihuahuas and pugs are in the smaller category. While the bigger ones tend to be populated by Great Danes and St. Bernards. In the middle of them are your Golden Retrievers and Labradors. However, this is not an official classification, but mainly how most of us would see them.
The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is not a popular breed of dog here in the US, but it is one of the most recognizable. However, it is often confused with the Bernese Mountain dog due to similar coloration. Both have a black hide, with a brown or tan outlined white underbelly. The Berners are so much hairier though as the Swiss do have shorter hair.
Another thing that makes them even more recognizable is their size. They are a part of the larger breeds, measuring up 28 inches in height. The males could reach up to 135 lbs while the females are up to 110 lbs. This makes them heavier than the average canine, so it can be intimidating to take care of them. As with most dogs though, they will always respond positively to proper care.
Temperament – What You Can Expect
One of the best things about this dog is its size. It is usually a great deterrent to any kind of prey, as it was used in the Swiss alps as a guard or watchdog. This is why it is also great for people who want a dog that can be great for their homes. With their size, no one wants to deal with that. It can be fear-inducing, especially for anyone who is not yet acclimatized to the dog.
However, they are well-known as softies. They are rather mild in temperament, especially around humans. Their barks might be low and growly, but they are sweethearts especially to children. This is where the comparison comes to the Berners, as they do have the same disposition.
Most of the larger breeds are gentler in comparison to the smaller ones; hence the title: Gentle giants. You can learn more about this personality here. They may be big, but they sure are a softy on the inside. These sweethearts are sure to win your affection any day.
This does not mean that they can be quite tame. When facing a threat, their watchdog instincts kick in and protect anyone that they know. This is usually sheep or even other people like children. Their bite might not be as strong as a German shepherd, but they can still tackle a larger human. There have been recorded instances of them fighting off wolves as well.
Suggested Tips For Care & Training
One of the key things about their training is you need to start early. As soon as you are able, introduce them to obedience and playmaking. They are such big dogs that it can be difficult to teach them as they grow older. You would end up getting pulled into submission instead of the other way around. Even though they are not biters, you would not want to face them when they are mad or agitated.
It is also important to have a big yard that this dog can play with. They need to have a lot of space to move and exercise. Remember: they came from a hard-working line of animals in the pasture. It is their instinct to help, guard, and run around. If you do have the space to let them do that, then they will take out on something else. This can lead to issues around the house like claw marks and bitten furniture.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is their diet and exercise. They might be big, but you do not want to let them go overweight. It is important to schedule at least two walks or runs during the day, then you should let him or her in your yard. This way, they can spend all of that pent-up energy in nondestructive ways. After that, you might find them on the corners, already sleeping.
It is also important to groom them. Their fur might not be as thick as Berners, but they are still prone to overheating. This is why it is important to have air conditioners or you must live in a rather temperate environment before having this dog. Water is also needed at any point during the day.
Lastly, these Swiss dogs are known to chase small animals. From rats, squirrels to even a house cat, they will try to play with it. Worse, they might end up attacking the little animal. If you have a cat at home, then we do not recommend getting a Swiss. Even though they can be trained, some of them cannot just help it but give in to the chase. Be sure to warn your neighbors as well if they have cats.
When it comes to pet care, nothing beats more than their needs and your gift of TLC. However, dogs do come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Each of them has a specific set of needs. If you want to have a Greater Swiss Mountain dog, it is important to be familiar with their quirks as you would be with them for the rest of their lives.