The lifespan of a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is short. Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? A small yard is sufficient. Keeping a Swissie at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs. Indoor Inside with their family is always the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog's preference for sleeping and relaxing. They usually hauled the heavy cans of milk in pairs, so it was common to see two of them hooked up to a cart. They should not be shy or aggressive toward strangers or other dogs. Pulling a cart or sled is a wonderful productive outlet for his energy, especially when children are involved. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. A breeder should want to be a resource for you throughout your dog’s life. Avoid using a harness for training purposes, as this drafting dog will take that as an invitation to pull. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know your lifestyle and personality. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are generally patient and gentle with children. They are mostly easygoing, but have a tendency to be stubborn and territorial: the GSMD is an ever-watchful dog who will protect his territory and his people. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs love people and will pine without human companionship. Learn More. They may, however, chase Panosteitis, short-term, painful lameness. Large, sturdy and confident, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD or "Swissy") is a draft and drover breed – robust and agile enough to perform farm work in very mountainous regions. Transportation available. The "Swissy" is also thought to have been a major influence on the Rottweiler. Cats outside of their family are fair game, however, so the GSMD should be kept secured in the yard when outside. Today the Swissy ranks 88th among the dogs registered by the AKC. Teach them that bumping, chasing, and tackling children is not OK. Their stride is purposeful, with good forward reach and strong drive from the rear. See Additional Information ›. This will vary, however, based on their activity level and age. The Greater Swiss Moutain Dog was an all-around farm companion who drove livestock to pasture, pulled milk carts to the dairy, and acted as a watchdog. Because of their heritage as a working breed, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are confident, even in the face of unusual situations or the presence of people they don’t know. No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website, or distributed in any way without permission from the author. Yet he is much more athletic than you might think, so he definitely needs regular moderate exercise. Swissies love proving their mettle in carting and drafting events, and would proudly carry a dog pack during a hike.