Best Bully Sticks Spotlight on a Breed: We Honor the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain DogWe always love getting emails from our customers & readers asking us to feature their dog or favorite breed for our Best Bully Sticks Spotlight on a Breed blog series every Thursday. As always we are honored to oblige.  Thanks all! We are excited to spotlight the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (aka the Swissy).

Height: Male: 25.5-28.5; Female: 23.5-27 inches

Weight: Male: 105-140; Female: 85-110 lbs

Coat: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has an average-shedding double coat. The undercoat is thick and the outer coat is dense and stands one to two inches in length. They shed lightly throughout the year, but twice a year they will blow their entire undercoat

Color: Black and rust, with white feet, chest, tail tip, muzzle, blaze, and possibly collar; rust color present on legs between white and black

Appearance: The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is a large, strong draft dog with a broad chest, large head and a gentle expression. They have strong front legs that should be straight and end in rounded feet. The muzzle is blunt and ends in a black nose, and teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The eyes of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should be dark brown, and the rims of the eyes are black. The ears are triangular, medium-sized, and pendant in shape. The tail is long and should reach to the hocks. The thick, double coat comes in a distinct pattern of three colors: black with rust and white markings. The rust markings appear over each eye, on the cheeks and on either side of the chest. Show dogs should have symmetrical markings. White appears on the tip of the tail, a blaze on the muzzle and on the chest. Some may have white patches on the neck. 

Temperament: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was designed as a draft dog and was often referred to as “the poor man’s horse.” They are serious dogs who still enjoy pulling carts and sleds, but have grown to be faithful, dedicated and loving family companions. They are fiercely loyal to their families and require constant companionship to be happy. Families with children may shy away from such a large dog, but the Swissy gets along well with kids of all ages. Small children should be supervised, as they can easily get knocked down by an excited Swissy, but the dog never means to harm. They are alert watchdogs, letting everyone in a three-block radius know that a stranger is approaching, but they are not aggressive guard dogs and can be trusted to be polite to house guests, once properly introduced. This dog is very courageous and will bark at the sign of intruders or odd noises.

Health: The average lifespan of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is between 10-12  years. For the most part, this breed is relatively healthy for their size; Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have far fewer problems than more populous breeds in the similar size range. They are prone to having: Urinary incontinence , distichiasis and entropion (eye lash issues), Lick fit (frantic licking), Idiopathic Epilepsy, Canine hip dysplasia, bloat, Canine Elbow dysplasia, and Osteochondrosis (cartilage becomes abnormally thickened, and small fissures and cracks may develop).

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