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Origin and Historical Background of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 28-08-2010

Greater Swiss Mountain DogAlthough the information of its beginning is vague, the origin and historical background of Greater Swiss Mountain dog dates back to first century B.C. There are three stories that are usually told about these dogs’ origin. According to the first one, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog originated when Roman Legions invaded Switzerland. They brought along a Mastiff type dog, which is commonly known as molossers. Dogs of that kind had two jobs to do: they had to guard the troops at night and herd flocks which supplied the army with food. Molossers interbred with the local Swiss dogs and this was the beginning of the four famous breeds of Switzerland.

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According to the second story, a Molossian kind of dog already existed in central Europe and when Romans brought their dogs, they mated the native dogs to produce the Sennenhunds. As for the third theory of their origin, that story states that the mastiff dogs were brought with Phoenicians in Spain in 1100 B.C. As they interbred with the local dogs of Europe, the kind began to spread all across Europe.

Whatever may be told about their origin, one thing that is told by everyone is that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs disappeared around the start of 20th century. Even though the Sennenhunds had existed in the Alps for quite a long time, this so called extinction was visibly noticed. At first, the dog was more commonly known as the ‘poor man’s horse’ because people used to buy it to pull carts. Because of its large size, it was used by cattle dealers, manual workers and farmers. However, once the Industrial Revolution started, machines took over the jobs of these animals, and this reason is thought to be the cause of their disappearance.

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In 1889, in Winterthur, an International Dog Show was held. In the dog show, many kinds of Sennenhunds were displayed. It wasn’t until later in 1908 that this breed’s categories were made. During the 25th anniversary of the Swiss Kennel Club, it was the famous dog expert Dr. Albert Heim who recognized the breed with short hair as a new breed. According to him this breed was not that of Bernese Mountain Dogs, but a different breed of Sennenhunds. It was then that he christened these dogs as the ‘Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs’.

There were quite a few of these dogs in Switzerland. The reason for this was the meticulous nature of the dogs and the less availability of well bred bitches. For this reason, the appearance of this dog in the US was delayed until 1968. In the same year, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was also born. Till date, the organization is known for training this breed of dogs for weight pulling, herding, drafting and other security and life saving purposes.

Today, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog seems to the best dog to buy. You can keep it as a pet in your house or you can purchase it for security purposes. Like other large sized dogs, this dog usually has a high price and is more commonly used by the police department. Its large size and alert nature gives it an advantage to work for this purpose.

If you would like to read more about a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, I suggest looking at the website of Oscar The Grouch. Oscar has been seen on the front page of the Wall St Journal and on Bloomberg, Investors Business Daily, and NBCUSA. A top ranked show dog, he lives in NYC. You can follow him at http://www.swissyisland.com

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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Store

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 26-05-2010

Visit Our Store and Find Everything for Your Swissy:

GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG STORE

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Training

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 17-03-2010

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Training is not that complicated as it sounds. Though it is true that it requires skills and education to teach Swiss Mountain dogs and make them learn, but once you have been trained to train these dogs, things will become much easier. If Swiss dogs are not trained properly and accordingly, handling them becomes tough. Their learning should start when they are 2 to 3 months old. That is the ideal time when these Swiss dogs are very willing to learn and follow their masters.

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Swissies generally respond best to firm but gentle training. Do not push them hard. Use positive reinforcement methods rather than physical punishment or heavy corrections. They can be stubborn at times, but are generally willing to please, friendly and respond to attention and praise. ‘Clicker’ training or food training usually works quite well for most Swissies.

The early years of your Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are very crucial, and it is then only that your dog requires special attention. All dogs are definitely different, but they all need the same amount of affection, care and training to enjoy a happy and healthy pet life. For that, it is very important to understand the dog’s psyche. It will be very friendly and obedient to you only if you know how to deal with it, otherwise you will be endangering yourself by petting a very rude Swiss Dog.

In feeding your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, remember to feed it more than once a day. Do avoid feeding it sweets especially chocolates. Like humans, never let your dog exercise or engage in any strenuous activity right after meals. Yet, at any other time, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs like to exercise by pulling a crate or some load rather than running hard. The Swiss Mountain Dog inherits these particular traits from its ancestors. It was they who pulled sledges back in the icy regions.

The Dominant Gene plays a very important role in the dog’s gene structure. Thus, certain habits, which are very prominent in almost all the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, lack in a few. For instance, these dogs are very friendly and obedient by nature. However, certain Swiss dogs do not show friendliness towards other dogs or people and prefer being alone. This characteristic might have been inherited from that Dog’s parent(s). The parent(s) was/were shy due to certain circumstances, therefore this abnormal activity appeared in the children as well.

Housebreaking is one of the very important training sessions which every dog should be given. Its success rate and failure depends entirely on how the master handles his pet. Plus, do not just let your dog play around or else it will get spoiled and will use any floor whenever it needs to pee. This is one habit which will not be tolerated for long. Socializing is another gesture which should be taught to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, otherwise they can be very rude with guests and strangers.

Lastly, train your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog like a leader because that is how it will respect you and be obedient. However, if trained like a friend rather than a leader, be prepared for some major misconduct and rudeness. This is every dog’s psyche and that is how one has to deal with his or her pet in order to train it well.

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Best Exercises for Great Swiss Mountain Dog

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 12-02-2010

Although it is an active dog, best exercises for Great Swiss Mountain Dog can be found cheap and do not require much work. The general temperament of the dog is playful and adaptive to the surroundings and the people. This makes it an active dog that loves to play and is mainly dependant on its owner. Such behavioral qualities make it the best dog you can buy as a pet.

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If you are purchasing a dog to accompany you and your family for a walk, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog will be the best choice. The behavioral characteristics of these dogs enable them to do well with children. It is a playful dog that would love to spend time with children. In general, the Swissy will want people around it, thus it will be friendly to your family members and would also show a friendly behavior to guests and strangers. Plus, you can take it along with you as a guardian dog when you go out for a long walk, and it will prove to be a good jogging companion.

The Great Swiss Mountain Dogs are strong willed, therefore easier to train. However, this dog is not one of those canines who can do tricks outside. The Swissy likes to play with people indoors and will remain quite active there. However, for its exercise, you may take it to your yard where it will love to play. It is not necessary that you should have a huge yard for this purpose as a small yard would be perfect. However, it is necessary that you put fences that are at least four to six feet high around your yard so that they don’t end up galloping to your neighbor’s garden. As active as Swiss Mountain dogs are inside, keeping them cooped up in apartments isn’t healthy. So, you need to take your pet for a walk from time to time.

One reason for exercising your dog is to ensure its health. Many Swissies encounter a problem of bloats. Bloating is when the stomach is filled up with air that cuts blood supply to the main organs of the body of the dog. To avoid this, a dog must eat well and remain active. In addition, a daily walk is necessary for the proper growth of the dog. However, keep in mind that the length of the walk will depend upon the age and the gender of the dog.

Your dogs will like to walk on stony and concrete paths. Grassy roads and parks will also please the dog as he joins you in your daily jog. As for games, Swissies love to play with Frisbees, to fetch toys and balls, and to have a tug-of-war match. However, you must train the dog before you do any of these so that it won’t jump too high and then land in a position that could hurt its body or the people around. If you are planning to spend more time on exercising your pet, you might as well go for swimming. This will take time for the dog to learn, but it will love to do it eventually.

Despite all these exercises, the Great Swiss Mountain dog does not require many strenuous exercises. A dog would do just fine with daily walk, and would not necessarily require running. As it is a large mountain dog, carting, sledging and other forms of traditional exercises can also help in keeping it active and healthy for years to come.

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Conditions and Food for a Healthy Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 28-11-2009

After you has set your mind on buying a Swissy as a pet , the conditions and food for a healthy Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the key area which would require your attention. A healthy dog will require a special nutrition plan and healthy activities to make it grow well. More importantly, if you are purchasing it as a pet, the dog is a part of your family and therefore should be given appropriate attention.

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In general, the temperament of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is friendly and obedient. Because these dogs are sociable and playful, most people order them as pet dogs. Swissies are loyal, easy to train and are non aggressive in nature. So, they will love to play with children and will be welcoming to strangers. However, their temperament with strangers may vary. While some may be friendly, others may be shy and reserved around them. Plus, if properly trained, these dogs will get along well with other pets as well. In most cases, the Swissy quickly adapts to its surroundings and people. However, the Greater Swiss Mountain dog can also be trained to protect the family by barking at strangers and whenever noises occur, therefore it can serve as a watchful and alert watch dog.

The conditions required for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs largely depend upon how they are trained. When you are buying this dog, you should keep its training in consideration. The dog will be moderately active indoors and will do just fine in apartments. So, if you are to keep them in apartments, you must take some time out and accompany your dog for a walk. A Swissy would not require much exercise, therefore a long daily walk would be sufficient. Similarly, a small yard will be alright for their exercise. As for the temperatures these dogs prefer, they will like to live in cold climates. So, crank up your AC or your dog will get ill.

Before keeping a Swissy, you must acquire appropriate information about its dietary habits and nutritional requirements. A healthy and fully grown Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will eat 40lbs of regular dog food a month. In general, these dogs require low protein diet, so you must not give them food that is high in protein because this will make them grow at a faster rate and may lead to growth related problems. You should also watch your dog’s weight because excess fat will put an extra strain on its joints and hinder a proper growth.

Another problem the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are prone to is bloat. Bloat is simply filling up of the stomach with air, leading to swelling and finally torsion. Due to the latter, blood supply to its body’s vital organs may be cut off. This will prove lethal for the dog if not treated properly. Therefore, a dog must be given smaller meals two or three times a day. A balanced diet you can consider will include foods like wheat, corn, oat, poultry and lamb. Apart from the usual dog food bought from a store, you can even give some cooked food to the dog.

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For a healthy working Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, you must keep a few more considerations in your mind as well. Yearly checkups, vaccinations, grooming and proper exercise with a balanced diet will keep your dog healthy. Grooming of the dog will also be an easy task. Since it is a moderate shedder, you will not have many problems with trimming and stripping of its hair. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog surely is a great pet to keep. However, give it your time and love and it will give you memories for a lifetime.

Differences between the Four Breeds of Sennenhunds

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 26-03-2009

There are very few differences between the four breeds of Sennenhunds. All four breeds are well known across Switzerland and Europe and comprise of the following:

• Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund – commonly known as The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
• Berner Sennenhund – commonly known as Bernese
• Appenzeller Sennenhund – commonly known as Appenzeller
• Entlebucher Sennenhund -commonly known as Entlebucher

General features of all four types of the dogs are a calm temperament, heavy build and a unique coat of three colors. Plus, these dogs are of the molosser type, and can lend a helping hand to farmers and herdsmen when kept as farm dogs.

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The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

It is distinguishable from its cousin, the Bernese Mountain dog, by its short hair. Also known as the Swissy, this breed is thought to be the earliest breed of all Sennenhunds. It is the largest and heaviest of other breeds, which is why most people purchase this breed for watching over them or protecting their homes and family.
The coat of the GMD is tri colored: mainly black, white and red. The outer coat is no longer than 2 inches. The outer coat is black and there are symmetrical patches of rust and white. Rust color is found over the eyes, cheeks and the sides of the chest. As for white, it is seen on the blaze of the nose and the tips of tail, feet and chest. Dogs of this breed must have a black outer coat, while their inner one may range from white, light grey to tawny.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Also known as ‘Berners’, this breed of mountain dogs reflects a happy-go-lucky kind of temperament. Berners’ loyalty and intelligence makes them the best choice to buy for people who are looking for pet dogs.

It has a coat with usually long and wavy hair. Like all other Sennenhunds, this breed also displays the tri color feature. However it has a short life expectancy of usually 6-8 years. Aside from that, another drawback of owning this dog is its shoulder problem. Yet, this breed is the most common and most obedient of all Sennenhunds.

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Appenzeller

Farmers and herdsmen usually buy this breed. General qualities of this dog that makes it an ideal watch dog are a healthy body and great strength. Like all other Sennenhunds, this dog also displays a tri-colored coat. However, the distinctive features of this dog are its small ears that are triangular in shape and hang alongside its cheeks, and its tail which is curled up over its back.

The Appenzeller is an actively working dog that requires training and exercises. If you are purchasing this breed as a pet, you must keep in mind that it will require special training and regular activity before it can be kept as a pet. Generally, these dogs remain suspicious of strangers, therefore are better to order as watch dogs.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

This breed of Sennunhunds is the smallest and rarest of all. It has a small and sturdy size with triangular ears and small brown eyes. The dog has a powerful and long jaw and a muscular body. The hips of an Entlebucher Mountain Dog are comparatively broader than others. Even though it is comparatively smaller in size than the other four breeds, it still is an active dog and requires appropriate training. Yet, overall, it is a friendly and obedient dog.

Swissy Rescue: Adopt and Rescue a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog!

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Posted by admin | Posted in swissy info | Posted on 28-03-2008

It’s not that easy as it sounds. It requires education on what and how to adopt and rescue a Swissy. This article will provide you with the basic guidelines on what to focus more on while buying and adopting a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

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To adopt a pet dog is a serious decision to make.  A dog will affect your life in a multitude of ways as the dog will become a long-term commitment. Dogs usually have a life span of seven to 15 years – possibly longer. Instead of rushing into it, it’s wise to go through certain details and give your decision a second thought.

The first thing that one should keep in mind while buying a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is that his or her lifestyle should match the demands of the puppy which one plans on adopting. Swissies are family dogs and look forward to most of your time and your companionship. Puppies at the initial stage (about a year) require proper vaccinations and care because they are very prone to diseases. As they grow with time, they will require your attention even more every day. Your Swissy will need exercise, grooming, healthy food and fresh water. Also, you have to deal with all the inconveniences that will come along the Swissy once he becomes a part of your family.

As the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog increases in size, the space availability issue also arises. It is an active breed, and doesn’t like to lie around in the corner of the house. It not only needs space to walk, but also to exercise in order to keep healthy.

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Adopting and rescuing a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an important decision to make. Older dogs may seem to be less adorable and cute, but are likely to be house-trained and more social by the time they come to you. Puppy adoption, on the other hand, comes with some stress, a lot of responsibility, lower space absorption and low food cost.  Plus, a puppy has to empty its bladder every two to four hours, so there will be accidents before it’s trained. Housebreaking a puppy requires someone to be home for much of the day, and to get up several times during the night. In addition, puppies can also be destructive, thus will chew on shoes, furniture, carpets and anything else they get their paws on.

You should also consider whether you have the education, determination and patience for obedience training. An untrained puppy can become rough, disobedient or poorly socialized. If you don’t have the means to train a puppy, an older dog may be a better option. Plus, if you don’t have the skills of becoming the dog’s leader, don’t ask it to follow you or you will be in jeopardy and this will eventually become a pain in the neck. You must train your dog in such a way that it understands your leadership and accepts your orders. This way the Swissy will respect you and will be obedient in return.

Ask yourself what role in your life you would want your pet to play and then choose accordingly. This will help you take a better and a wiser decision regarding a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog adoption and rescue, and no surprises will come your way throughout raising your pet.