The AKC describes Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs as, “an enthusiastic and happy dog, with a strong love of people,” and are often described as, “faithful, family-oriented, dependable.” We’d like to add to that list, “vocal, strong, and bold with their love (both for their family and themselves and their occupied space).”
Average Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Stats (according to AKC)
- Height: 25.5-28.5 inches (male), 23.7-27 inches (female)
- Weight: 115-140 pounds (male), 85-110 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 8-11 years
Commonly and lovingly referred to as “Swissies,” Greater Swiss are part of the working group of dogs. Known as “the poor man’s horse,” Swissies are muscular and confident dogs, which makes them often great at drafting (pulling a cart/wagon). According to the AKC, “The average Swissy is capable of pulling a load of 3,000 pounds or more.” Swissies are enthusiastic and have a great willingness to help their owners. They need adequate exercise and attention to thrive, and enjoy other physically challenging activities such as agility, backpacking, herding, hiking, and obedience trials.
Swissies are considered more rare in the United States. The first GSMD were imported to the US in 1968, and rank 74th of 193 in AKC breed popularity. But once you’ve met a Swissy, if they’re the right breed for you, you’ll be hard pressed to find another breed that you love just as much. They are an incredible breed to meet for the first time (and trust us, you’ll never forget the first time you meet a Swissy) because of how unfazed they are about charging up to say, “HELLO!” all 130 lbs of them! As most of them are very affectionate, they’re the biggest “lap” dog you’ll ever own; that’s for sure. And you’ll never be lonely or without someone to talk to with a Swissy, as they can be quite chatty right back and have personalities as big as they are.