greater swiss mountain dog breed information

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (or “Swissy”) was developed in a remote area of Switzerland and was used for draft work and guarding livestock. This breed is large and confident, and robust enough to perform farm work in the very mountainous terrain. The entire breed almost died out by the late 19th century because machines and other breeds were used for farm work, but was rediscovered in the early 1900s.

The Swissy is a very social breed – they love people, but they also love having a job to do. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are happiest when backpacking, hiking or herding with their human companions.


Although this breed makes a great hiking companion, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses which Swissies are prone to include hip and joint problems such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia; blood diseases such as von Willebrand Disease; neurological problems such as epilepsy; eye conditions such as distichiasis; and internal issues such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat).


Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Swissy has the misfortune of inheriting his father’s bad hips or his mother’s eyelash issues, you’re covered.


Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

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