Double coat with medium-length, thick, dense outercoat and dense, short undercoat.
Black with rich rust and white markings.
Even-tempered and generally mellow, the Swissy is a wonderful family dog. His enjoyment of pulling carts or sleds delights children, especially, and he is a real people-loving dog. He still retains some guard dog instincts, too, and is protective of his family, although not aggressive. He is a good watchdog, as he will alert his family to anything unusual, but once assured that there is no threat, returns to his generally calm state. He is a slow-maturing dog who is still puppyish well into his second or third year.
The Swissy can adapt well to just about any living situation. A home in the country with lots of room may be the ideal, but as long as you are willing to exercise him and take him out a few times a day, he can live happily in an apartment. He is not overly active inside the home and settles down easily. His double coat protects him from the elements, especially the cold weather, which he prefers over the heat.
The Swissy makes an exceptional tracking, carting and obedience dog.
The Swissy needs moderate daily exercise. He is a large dog who enjoys his time outdoors and is happy to accompany his family on walks and hikes.
The Swissy enjoys his food and requires a high-quality diet. Some breeders recommend feeding twice a day.
His calm, obedient nature makes training the Swissy a pleasure. He may not be the most enthusiastic of performers, but he is reliable and steady. Socialization from puppyhood is a must because his protective instincts are strong.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a social dog who gets along well with children, other dogs and other pets.
The average life span of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is 10 to 12 years. Health problems may include bloat; elbow dysplasia; epilepsy; eye problems, including cataracts, distichiasis, and entropion; and hip dysplasia.
The Swissy's short, dense coat is easy to care for. Brushing once a week or so with a bristle brush will remove dead hair and reinvigorate the skin and coat. He will shed heavily about twice a year.
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