GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOGS
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Swissies get BIG? Swissies are the largest of the four Swiss breeds. The AKC standard for males is 25.5-28.5 inches and females 23.5-27 inches. Males typically weigh between 110-140lbs, females between 80-105lbs. They usually do not reach their full size until 18mos-3yrs of age.
How do they act/temperament? Swissies love to spend time with their families and are not well suited temperament wise to isolated confinement such as an outdoor pen. They are friendly confident dogs when well socialized & love to follow you where ever you go!
Are they good with children? Swissies make wonderful family pets but, the puppy/dog and the children should both be taught how to interact properly. They are loving & bond quite strongly to their family. As with children though, Swissies are also a product of their environment.
Do they get along with other family pets? Swissies easily adapt to almost any situation as long as they receive proper & consistent training. As with all dogs some Swissies do display more dominant characteristics than others but are usually still very workable. In the picture, notice the 10lb miniature dachshund curled up with the 105lb Swissie!
Are they difficult to train? Proper and early socialization is key to a happy, healthy, loving dog. They are more responsive to positive yet firm training. If not trained properly, Swissies can become quite stubborn & independent.
Do Swissies have a lot of health problems? Heath concerns for Swissies are very similar to those of other large breed dogs. Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD), bloat, entropian (eyes) and sometimes epilepsy.
Do Swissies eat a lot? Not as much as you would expect. Usually about 4 cups a day +/-, although they should be fed a very high quality food starting early in puppyhood. To help prevent many problems associated with rapid growth, puppies should be fed a low protein formula specifically formulated for large breeds.
What is Bloat? Bloat is a condition that can occur in large deep chested breeds. It is called Gastric DilitationVolvulus & is an extremely life threatening situation. Medical attention must be immediate! Bloat occurs when the stomach fills with air & then twists, cutting of blood supply to vital organs.
Do Swissies Drool? Thankfully NO!! They are a dry mouth breed although they love to make a mess when drinking water! I always keep a mat under the water bowl.
Do Swissies shed? Yes. Even though they are a short/medium hair breed, they do have a thick undercoat. Frequent brushing w/ a shedding brush is very effective in reducing the shedding process in the house.
Do Swissies chew? I have yet to find a puppy that dos not chew! J However, once Swissies are out of the puppy stage they are not usually big chewers!
Do Swissies bark? Swissies in general are not known to be excessive barkers. They will however bark “to alert” you of something different, someone in the driveway or knocking on the door. They also sometimes like to “talk” to their family.
Are Swissies hard to housetrain? Swissies can be somewhat challenging to house train. Although all dogs are different, due to the fact that Swissies mature very slowly both physically & mentally, house training can take up to 6 months. Crate training is definitely recommended & can help to speed up the house breaking process.
Do you have to have a HUGE yard? Believe it or not, Swissies do not need as much space as many other breeds although a safe fenced yard is recommended. Swissies much prefer hanging out with their family rather than spending extended time out in the yard by themselves.
Do Swissies need a lot of exercise? Usually a walk or a romp in the yard is adequate. Especially for young (still growing) Swissies, exercise should not be over done. They should not be expected to jump in & out of the car or go for a long run as it could harm their still developing joints, etc…
If you have any more questions that I haven’t answered, please feel free to contact me either by phone or email (on “contact” page).
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