The Great Swiss Mountain Dog, also known as Grosser, is a close relative to the St. Bernard. The intersection with St. Bernard explains the great height of the modern Grosser. These dogs were used to pull carts and work in the farms. The Grosser ranks second in popularity after the Bernese Mountain Dog from all Swiss breeds occurring in the US, UK and Canada. For the first time this breed was registered in the AKC in 1995.
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a giant breed of dogs that have a strong and muscular body. The Grosser has a smooth, short, shiny hair with traditional for the Swiss breeds color - black with bright ginger and white spots. This is the largest of all four Swiss Cattle breeds – the weight reaches 59 kg. The coat is fit and reliably protects the dog from wind and rain. The height at the withers is 59-74 cm. This is a healthy, stocky, bony dog with nice rounded developed thoracic cage and powerful loin. The chest is broad, the back is straight and long.
Character and behavior
The Grosser is a very friendly and benevolent dog. It is self assured and requires firmly but calmly attitude. As for the character, it is brave, loyal and hard worker, attentive and vigilant. This breed is extremely loyal and intelligent, they are good guards, very attached to the family. The Grosser has a sense of ownership of the territory entrusted to him and would not behave kindly to intruders in your home. Usually this is a quiet dog, but has a deep and sonorous bark, which combined with its size and confidence will reliably protect your family and your home.
Training and education
These dogs have strong character and can be quite dominant (against people, animals and in response to provocation). They could be just members of the pack, but when there is no leader, they readily assume this role. You must not forget that they are a working breed. Therefore, it is especially important for the owner to stand up as a leader and mentor.
Dogs of this breed can do many things, but some activities (such as running bike, chasing a Frisbee, etc.) should be left to the lighter shepherd breeds. The body of the Grosser is made for endurance, not speed. Your dog will enjoy long walks, hiking, pulling the cart and swimming. You can jog together from time to time to enhance the relationship between you. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog needs a lot of movement every day to be healthy, well developed physically and to maintain a good spirit. Nothing can compare with the “living flame” in the eyes of your Swiss friend.
The life span of the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is about 8-10 years, which is relatively short compared to other breeds. There are several health problems, you should know about when looking for puppies for sale. These are: OCD, HD, swelling, problems with the thyroid gland, spleen disease, digestive issues and eye irritations. Both parents of your puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.
Grooming and care
When we talk about maintenance of the appearance of Grosser, you should know that caring for the coat is very simple and is more satisfying than obligation. It is necessary to comb once a week and more often during the shedding seasons. The Grosser is very well suited for family life and does not need large spaces to inhabit. Sometimes the puppy can be stubborn and independent, determined to do what he wants, so you should have some experience with dogs. If you take a large Swiss Mountain Dog for a family pet, you can be sure that you have a loyal and loving puppy who is ready to do anything to protect his master. Keep in mind that these dogs like to eat and can consume everything they see.
Children and other pets
The Great Swiss Mountain Dog gets along perfectly with children, takes care of them and protect them while they play. You must socialize your puppy from the very beginning, otherwise this breed can chase small animals and can be very aggressive toward unfamiliar dogs.
There aren't many documents about the breed's history, but is it widely known that the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is “the father” of two very popular European breeds – the Saint Bernard and the Rottweiler.