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Origins of Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Did you know that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog helped to develop the Saint Bernard and Rottweiler breeds of dogs? The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is believed to be one of the longest lines of Swiss breeds.

You will find quite a few theories about the ancient beginnings for the Swiss Sennenhund dog breeds. One of the favored theories claims that these dogs are ancestors from the Mollasian , which is a very big Mastiff type of dog that went with the Roman Legions during their quest of the Alps during the first century B.C.

Yet, another theory claims that the Poenicians (c. 1100 B.C.) had a hefty size dog breed with them when they made their settlements in the country of Spain . The theory claims that these Spanish dogs in later years roamed eastward to result in the birth of the Spanish Mastiff, Great Pyrenees, Dogue de Bordeaux, and eventually the large Swiss breeds.

Still yet another theory is claims that a particularly large dog breed was native to the central European region dating back to the Neolithic time period. Regardless if indeed this large dog breed existed during the Roman conquest of the Alps , this theory claims that the dogs belonging to the Roman soldiers would have had the opportunity to breed with the native large dog breeds. Thus it is believed that some dog breeds carry the blood line from the Roman Mollasian including the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, and Bernese mountain dog.

Accounting of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog The ancient relatives of the Swissy dogs were traditionally used by various farmers, busy herdsmen and even merchants throughout the central European region. These dogs were specifically assigned tasks to make in general much easier. As a result, selective breeding took place to enhance the over-all breed’s usefulness for tasks such as load pulling or even guarding.

As a result, each task that created dogs specifically for that work acquired a name of the task. For example, a dog that ran cattle later became known as a cattle dog or Viehhunde . By the nineteenth century, the relations of the now modern Swissy were commonly utilized through the central European region by people such as farmers or tradesmen. These dogs would become known as Metzgerhunde or ‘Butcher’s Dogs’.

These robust dogs were large frame and very muscular with a variety of marking combinations.

Some of the common markings included tri-colored markings, red and white markings and black and tan markings. It is thought that these particular dogs were the most well-liked dogs in Switzerland . Nonetheless, by the year 1900 these dogs had decreased in population numbers. It is thought that the decline in the population for these dogs was a result of the rising accessibility of mechanical transport as a substitution to the usual purposes for the Swissy for a draft dog.

Increase in Numbers for the Swiss Mountain Dog During the early years of the twentieth century, there was a slow increase in the numbers of GSMD throughout Europe . However, the breed continues to remain rare in both the United States and throughout Switzerland . During the second war world, this breed was utilized by the Swiss Army as a draft dog. By the year 1945, it is thought that approximately 350 to 400 of these dogs existed. In the year 1968 , J. Frederick and Patricia Hoffman, with assistance from Perrin G. Rademacher , brought the first Swissys to the United States .

Consequently, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was created, through the help of Howard and Gretel Summons. Since the birth of the Club, it has encouraged the attentive and selective breeding for a slow rise in both the strength and the popularity of this dog breed. During the year of 1983, the organization conducted the initial GSMDCA National Specialty and the registry at that time had 257 of this breed.

During the year 1985, this dog breed was permitted into the AKC Miscellaneous Group. Several years late in the year 1992, the GSMDCA began petitioning and applying to become full AKC recognized. It would be in July of 1995 that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog would officially be given the complete recognition it had been working toward in the AKC Working Group.

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