Sunday, April 10, 2011

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog The Strong and Climbers Dogs

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog developed in the mountains of Switzerland in Central Europe. They have a history that dates from the time of Julius Caesar. They were draft dogs, herding dogs, watch dogs, and even battle companions. Nicknamed the "Swissy", it is one of four breeds known as the Swiss Sennenhunde (the four being the Swissy, Bernese Mountain Dog, Entlebucher, and Appenzeller). The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a very thick boned and heavily muscled animal, which can develop slower than other breeds. The thick bones and heavy muscles contribute to this breed's unique nutritional requirements. Therefore, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should be kept on a diet that will provide the proper nutrients for the development of bone and muscle tissue until fully developed. This can be long after the breed has reached its exterior adult body size.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breedeers

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are a large breed and require space. They also require moderate activity and regular exercise. A true working breed, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is most content when he has a job or purpose. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog are not lazy, lay around-the-house dogs. Swissys are most content in the company of their families. They are not well suited to kenneling and confinement away from the activities of the household. Though capable of withstanding the elements, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog nature is best suited to being a family member and house companion. Swissys are alert and vigilant. This means that they will bark at neighbors, guests, and just about anything going on in the neighborhood! They have a natural protective instinct to guard home and family.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog have several major health problems to consider. In addition to the common orthopedic ailments of large breeds, such as OCD and hip dysplasia, the GSMD is afflicted by a very serious condition known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus, or "bloat". This is a life-threatening medical emergency that is all too common in our breed. Epilepsy is another very serious health concern. All of these conditions can be costly to treat and manage. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog are strong dogs! They are powerful in physical strength and strong-willed and can often be a challenge to leash train. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog love to pull. Keep in mind that children (and for that matter some adults!) may have a difficult time walking a Swissy throughout the neighborhood. Because many Greater Swiss Mountain Dog have a well developed prey drive, they require a fenced yard for safe containment. A neighbor's cat or unsuspecting squirrel can become the target of chase!

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog temperaments vary but are overall quite complex due to their working dog nature and development. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are NOT a good choice for inexperienced or first time dog owners. In the hands of an experienced owner, the Swissy can be a wonderful family companion. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were originally bred as draft and guard dogs. Like many working breeds, the Swissy has a tendency for dominant temperaments and behaviors. In addition, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog tend to be "social climbers".

Practicing effective pack leadership is necessary to prevent dominant behaviors from becoming problematic. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs must learn their place in the family social hierarchy. This takes time, effort and a good dose of patience. GSMDs require diligent socialization at an early age. This means meeting many new people and being introduced to many new situations. Socializing a Swissy is a commitment not to be taken lightly. Some GSMDs may exhibit dog aggression, particularly intra-sex aggression in intact animals.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog are slow maturing both mentally and physically. Because of orthopedic concerns related to large breed dogs, great care must be taken to prevent injury during growth stages. Despite their sturdy build, the breed is, in effect, quite fragile during these growth periods. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is not a breed that can sustain unlimited exercise or activities such as jogging at a young age.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Weight Standards: m/f - 120 to 140 lbs.
Height Standards: m/f - 25 to 28 inches

Coat: double, thick long topcoat, black with bronze & white
Common Ailments: dysplasia, bloat, hot spots,
kidney and liver problems

For the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog I recommend foods that contain poultry, lamb, wheat, oats, and corn. However, I feel you should avoid feeding a food that contains any ocean fish, citrus fruits or avocado, white rice, or soy products to this breed. Native food supplies for this breed would have been from the mountain environment of the Swiss Alps. These consisted of mutton, poultry, goat, goat dairy products, and grains of wheat, oat, and corn.


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