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Great Swiss Mountain Dog
Breed description
Breed description
The Big Swiss Sennenhund was a draft dog from the merchants, a shepherd by the butchers and a courtyard by the peasants. He was often seen with strangers, because they needed to transport a heavily laden wagon around the country, and a dog of this size was quite suitable for this job. In dogs of this variety, short hair, which is also very convenient and practical. It is easy to take care of, it dries quickly and it is not hot in warm weather. Then black dogs were preferred as watchmen. When the trader had to leave the wagon unattended temporarily, it did not make sense to worry if the dog was harnessed to it. Thieves and robbers - hunters for wallets - she already in its dimensions inspired fear. Probably the Great Swiss Mountain Dog would not have been singled out as a separate breed if, at the end of the 19th century, the Swiss Cynological Society, founded in 1883, did not select the Bernardines. This is due to the fact that prior to this period the similarity with Bernardine was very great. And he became very famous in the beginning of the 19th century, thanks to the stories about Barry, who saved the lives of many people. Outside of Switzerland, these dogs dispersed at a very high price, and all the rest, similar to the Bernardines, were sold exactly the same. The similarity was possible due to the fact that both these peasant dogs were from one large area. But the breeders selected only red-white dogs as Bernardines. Today, the similarity is already less, because immediately after Bernardin's selection into a separate breed, selection took a completely different course - the breeders began to select larger, coarse dogs with larger heads. Franz Shertenleib, breeder of the Bernese Sennenhunds, opened the "short-haired Bernese Mountain Dog" and in 1908 brought him to the exhibition in Langenthal. Professor Haim saw in this dog a new breed: "The dog belongs to a completely different class, it's noble and thoroughbred, so it can not just be taken and deleted from the Berners." This is a representative of the almost extinct dogs of butchers. " This statement did not go unnoticed, and short-haired varieties of Berners began to appear in consequence. But Haim was sure that this is another breed, and gave it the name - the Great Swiss Mountain Dog. Specialists began to look for other representatives of the breed, which turned out, however, to be quite a difficult task. So in the Swiss book of pedigrees were entered the Great Swiss Bello 3965 and Nero 3966 from Shlosgut (Bello and Hero) from the enclosure of Shertenlybaib. But actually the founder of the breed was Barry von Herzogenbuchsee 4520, the owner of Otto Imgof (Barri von Herzogenbuchsee). The breeding of the Great Swiss began at a rather slow pace, because the experts had little material for the work - such dogs were not so easy to find. So until 1936, still found dogs found somewhere and recorded them as representatives of the breed. And it was still about the short-haired Bernese Mountain Dog, because among the puppies of the same litter there were short-haired and dogs with long hair. Since 1912 breeding in Switzerland has been under the control of the "Club of Great Swiss Mountain Dogs". Until 1922, no more than eleven dogs were entered in the genealogy book. The selection had a very small base, which led to a wide use of inbreeding. Therefore, in 1956, a cross was made with the Bernese Mountain Dog. As a result of the pairing of the Bernt Dursley von der Holzmüule 58222 (Dursli von der Holzmuhle) with the bitch of the Great Swiss Berna von Birhacker 46843 (Berna von Birchacker), six short-haired puppies with beautiful flowers and the right color appeared. The improvement occurred with the disappearance of the gray and yellow lower layer of wool and too light tan, but otherwise this pairing did not bring any advantages. Therefore, these puppies were taken for further breeding. During the Second World War, the Swiss army used dogs as draft animals. To fulfill such tasks, the Big Swiss were especially suited. So these dogs almost on their own, without a guide brought to the front in bags tied to the back, ammunition and food. They could be entrusted with 12-15 kg for short and about 10 kg for long distances. As draft, they were used where horses could not pass or it was unprofitable. In the mountains it was convenient to harness them to the sledge. So the records in the book of pedigrees during this period increased to 100 animals, but in the 50s this number fell again. In Germany, the Great Swiss began to settle only in the 60s.
Typical Great Swiss Mountain Dog
A great Swiss is a self-confident dog that radiates poise and unrivaled calm. He gives the impression of a noble dog, whose temperament can range from medium to moderate. But he is not sleepy! Even if he is sometimes described as stubborn and stubborn, he is quite mobile and easily liable to education. A great Swiss with properly located limbs can show a very elegant gait, which is simply a sight to see!

He needs time until he grows up. So outwardly the dog can look very large and stately, but in the soul it is still a violent and fervent child. It is very typical of the Greater Swiss that his stubbornness is a trait. If he does not want to go somewhere or gets bored with something, he can sit or lie down - and then nothing will help. In this case, neither bait nor persuasion will work. Making him move on can have a vigorous word. To such behavior of the pet from the very beginning should be treated with patience and understanding.

About sensitivity of the Great Swiss special no stories. They are very fond of women and children. In Switzerland, this means that the Big has his own law in his head: "It's forbidden to dance with Alpine cowherd boys!" Anyone who enters the house where the Great Swiss lives, should remember that the hostess of the house should stay away. As far as this statement is true, it remains unknown. But lovers of this breed argue that sensitivity does not take him. Often one can observe that he meets guests with barking, with bark accompanies them to the door of the house, and then he also keeps a distance. So in his terrible voice, the Great Swiss conquers a certain authority. As soon as someone closest to the guest, he also starts to greet the visitor with a friendly welcome.

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has a reasonable calm. With his powerful appearance, he was able to achieve respect. His natural instinct for the watchman (guard) and defender makes him a reliable companion and watchman in the house.
The one who proposes to find lethargy and sluggishness in a relatively heavy and calm dog is mistaken. The dog possesses temperament, and physically and mentally she is surprisingly mobile and curious (capable of learning).

Dr. H. Raber writes in his book "Swiss Dog Breeds": "The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is due to its distribution not so much to its appearance as to its excellent character traits, it is an independent dog and usually clearly harbors antipathy to being locked up or sitting on a leash, he wants to be able to move freely, but can hardly ever turn into a vagabond. " This is really so, if he can live in close contact with his family (with his pack).

Dr. Shaitlin explains in his dissertation "The Great Swiss Mountain Dog" (1945): "Summing up, it can be said that the Great Swiss Mountain Dog has a temper and temperament that are extremely appropriate to its size and its constitution, quite original and, as a result, not His temper, in general, gives him such mental qualities that make him a reliable watchman and a working draft dog and a good defender, and thus one of the most valuable service dogs of heavy caliber. "
Standard of the Great Swiss Mountain Dog Appearance - FCI - standard N 58 from 09.04.93.
Origin: Switzerland.
Usage: originally as a watchdog and draft dog.
Today also as an accompanying family dog and guard dog.

FCI classification: group 2 (pinchers and schnauzers, Molossians and Swiss Mountain Dogs). Section 3 (Swiss Mountain Dogs) without working tests.

Supplement to the above story: Only since 1933, more than 50 dogs have been able to contribute annually to the Studbook of Swiss Dogs (Stammbuch). February 5, 1939 FCI first published the standard. Recognition and wider dissemination of the breed as a result of the test it sustained in the service of the Swiss Army during the Second World War as unpredictable and reliable draft and pack dogs. As a result, more than 100 puppies were recorded in the Tribal Book for the first time in 1945, and the livestock numbered about 350-400 animals. Currently, the breed is grown in the surrounding countries and is valued primarily as a family dog because of its calm and balanced nature.

General idea of appearance: a tricolor, stocky dog with strong bones and good musculature.

Despite its size and weight, the dog is hardy and mobile.

Important weights: Length of the trunk: height of the withers = 10: 9
Depth of the chest: height of the withers = 1: 2
Length of the upper part of the head: length of the nose bridge = 1: 1
Width of the skull: width of the muzzle = 2: 1
Character and behavior: reliable, attentive, vigilant (sensitive) and fearless in everyday situations, good-natured and devoted to close people, self-confident in relation to strangers, medium temperament.

Head: the head is strong in accordance with the body, but not heavy. The male's head is stronger (larger) than the head of the females.

The upper part of the head is flat and wide. The median furrow, starting at the base of the forehead, goes up. The "stop" point is weakly expressed.

Full, strong and regular scissors bite. The absence of 1 PM 1 or 1 PM 2 (premolars) is allowed. M3 (malars 3) remain unheeded.

Eyes of medium size, almond-shaped, not sunken and not protruding, colors from walnut to chestnut, with a clever and friendly expression. Eyelids fit well.

Ears: they are medium in size, triangular in shape and quite high set. In a calm state they fit flat, when attention is directed forward. Inside and outside are covered with hair.

Neck: Strong and muscular, rather unshaggy. Without dewlap.

Body: The back is moderately long, strong and straight. Thighs broad with strong muscles.

Croup is long and broad and falls down in soft roundness. The chest is strong and wide. It comes to the elbows. The thorax has a round-oval section, not flat and not barrel-shaped. The well-developed wide front part of the breast is striking. The abdomen and inguinal areas protrude slightly.

The tail
is rather heavy and reaches to the jagged joint. In a calm state it hangs, in a state of attention and when moving, it is raised and slightly bent upwards. But in no case it should not be bent ringlet and raised above the back.

Limbs: Forequarters: General: in the stance rather widely spaced and at the front view - straight and parallel.

The blades are long, strong, set obliquely, adjoining, with well developed musculature. They form a not too obtuse angle with the shoulder.

The forearm has strong straight bones.

Front rear pastern - strong at the front view - straight. At the side view it is placed almost horizontally.

General: In a rack at the rear view not too close, straight. The back plush and feet should not be turned inside nor out.
Upper thigh are quite long. When viewed from the side, they form a distinctly obtuse angle with a relatively long shin. The scissors are broad, strong, and well muscled.

Stifle joint is strong, with a good angle.

Feet strong, straight, closed, with well pronounced curvature of fingers and strong claws.

With all forms of motion, limbs move evenly in space, orienting well in it. It is characteristic enough free movement forward with a good thrust of the hind limbs. When we trot, we observe the rectilinear movement of the extremities in front and behind.

Coat: Short straight hair with a thick covering coat of medium length and a thick, if possible dark gray or black undercoat. In the presence of an undercoat, a short covering coat is allowed. The main color is black with brown-red tans and a white symmetrical pattern. The brown-tan rests are located between the black color and the white pattern on the cheeks, above the eyes, on the inner side of the ears, on the side of the chest, on all four paws and not the underside of the tail. White pattern is located on the head (protochina) and on the muzzle, on the neck and chest (continuously), feet (on the lower part) and on the tip of the tail. Between the groove and the brown-red pattern above the eyes, a black band is necessary. A white spot on the back of the head or a white "collar" is allowed.

Sizes: Height at the withers: males: 65-72cm, females: 60-68cm.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the estimate should be in exact accordance with the degree of deviation:
- Major deviations from dimensions and proportions;
- defects in the physique;
- insufficiently expressed sex;
- too thin or too coarse bones;
- Inadequate musculature; too heavy or too light head;
- drooping lips;
- too high or too low set ears, as well as too far laid back;
- Teeth bite "forceps", undershot or undershot;
- absence of more than 1 PM or 1 PM2;
- eyelid twist (entropion), eyelid eversion (ectropion);
- light eyes;
- Inability to carry a tail;
- sagging back;
- bad corners of fore or hind limbs;
- Spaced fingers;
- translucent yellowish-brown or light-gray undercoat;
- Drawing defects: - No pattern on the head or too wide a groove;
- a white figure on the muzzle, coming at the corners of the lips;
- white boots, calling for the front or rear metatarsus;
- a conspicuous asymmetric pattern; - unclean color.

Inadmissible defects:
- absence of tri-color in color;
- the main color is not black, but of some other color;
- blue eyes; - short hair with missing undercoat;
- long wool;
- significant defects in character (excessive aggressiveness or fearfulness).

N.B. The males should have two normally developed testicles, which are completely in the scrotum.
To keep the dog
In accordance with its appearance - this is a dog belonging to the pack. Her qualities and abilities best develop and unfold in the pack. She protects and protects the site where she lives, and those who live with her. For a family dog, this is the house in which she lives, and the "pack" is the family she lives with. The big Swiss Mountain Dog, if properly maintained, is a very sensitive and pleasant member of the family. Surprisingly, he learns over time habits in the family and he develops a different relationship with different people. For life in the family and with the family, the following is necessary: A dog must get used to unconditional obedience, which all members of the family train equally. Without obedience, she can turn into an uncomfortable and burdensome roommate with her own strength. She needs a regular time to feed. It should always be fed at the same place from a clean bowl. She needs her own bed, isolated from the ground and protected from a draft. She needs daily regular movement in sufficient volume. Best of all - walks in the vicinity. (They are also needed for the health of the owner). It's not enough just to let the dog out the door. The dog likes to make long marches around the neighborhood with his owner. For a longer stay in nature, it is equipped with a place protected from rain, wind, cold or heat. She should have the opportunity to move from the sun to the shade. The family should deal with the dog, play with it, walk, play sports suitable for it, take it with them for shopping, use it as a draft dog (with a good team). In dogs with which much are involved, better health. The relationship (man-dog) becomes more diverse. The dog, doing this, develops its properties and abilities in an amazing way and suddenly shows the results that amaze (and it's not necessarily some tricks). The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is not suitable for keeping on a circuit or in an enclosure. There, without classes and without "fellow-students", he becomes dull, acquires bad habits, or even becomes dangerously evil. We strongly recommend visiting with a young dog courses on education. There, the owners will see what can and should be demanded from a young dog. A young dog notices that she is not only a friend of games, but also a master. In addition, she will meet many foreign dogs there and learn to be in contact with them. Perhaps the owner will get the joy of working with the dog. As a result, a new joy will open up in a new sphere of life. With this regular work, the connection between a person and a dog will become deeper. The dog will receive great joy from it and will thank with even greater attention and more differentiated obedience. Information is provided by the nursery "Sennenhund of Russia".