Membership and the history of the breed

The Grosser Schweizer Senenhund belongs to 2nd FCI group (molosses), 3rd section: Swiss Mountain Dogs.

A very old breed which originated from large mastiffs left by the Romans in the areas they had conquered. The breed is not very popular and it had not been known outside Switzerland by 1940s. The dogs used to be valued by farmers as very reliable guards, shepherds and beasts of burden. As the Swissies used to be considered harmful they had almost been exterminated. This brought nearly to extinction in 1489, at which point Swissy lovers started recreating the breed from 7 or 8 animals found somewhere in the farms. The breed was officially recognized in 1908.


  • A Swissy is a typical administrator: eager to work, always alert, vigilant, observation-minded, and simultaneously - despite heavy weight - fast and active.
  • It has a sense of territory, and needs no fence to know exact borders of his master's property.
  • A very useful breed: an excellent guard and protector, a rescue, avalanche dog, wonderfully fitted to pull heavy loads.
  • Intelligent and eager to learn, though a bit stubborn; communicative and full of initiative, able to call the master when something suspicious or atypical (e.g. milk boiling over or telephone ringing too long without anyone answering it) is going on.
  • Faithful and affectionate towards the family, distrustful and suspicious about strangers.
  • A family-oriented, sociable dog, very patient and gentle with children. An excellent nanny for them.
  • Courageous, even-tempered, non-aggressive.
  • The breed is characterized by good health and resistance to difficult atmospheric conditions, but not by longevity.
  • A Swissy has no instinct for hunting or vagrancy.

If you are interested in this marvellous though unpopular breed, please contact us