LARGE SWISS Shepherd Dog – Dog breeds

LARGE SWISS Shepherd Dog - Dog breeds


The large Swiss Shepherd Dog (DSPP) is a confident, balanced and extremely patient animal. He keeps a distance from strangers. Sunny by nature and not very aggressive. A vigilant guard, who, however, does not exaggerate with noise.

A potential attacker will scare away rather than tear it apart – he is not overly aggressive, although he will not blow his grits. He likes to receive tasks to do, laziness is not his nature. It is not suitable for living in isolation – it must have frequent, close, emotional contact with people.


The ancestors of the large shepherd dog became famous as outstanding train dogs. Their descendants inherited these skills. The most talented competitors can lift a weight equal to five times their weight.

Many Swiss also show considerable olfactory ability. Because they are tough dogs that cope well even in difficult terrain, they face a career in tracking related areas.

photo: Shutterstock

Training and education

Big Swiss are smart and learn fast, and have a good memory. You need to be consistent and not let go, because DSPPs tend to test the guide’s patience. It should be remembered that these gentle giants ripen relatively late, therefore the training cycle should be adapted to this fact. Young dogs get bored quite quickly, so too long and monotonous repetitions can cause them discouragement.

Good motivators for DSPP are both food and fun. They also enjoy enthusiastic praise.

Who is this race for?

The large Swiss is a very good family dog, provided that he is taught delicacy from an early age. And not only in relation to adults, but especially to children – otherwise he may accidentally hurt them, because he can be energetic and inattentive.

A large Swiss shepherd dog will be a great friend of active people, if they were not employees of a large corporation, spending several hours at work and not devoting time to their favorite. This animal likes close contact with people. Elderly, disabled and delicate people who are not consistent may not be able to cope with this dog.

DSPP works as a guardian of the property, repelling intruders by impressive appearance. However, he can not spend all his life on the backyard plot, for this he is too intelligent and has too high demands for mental classes. I need new stimuli and tasks to perform. He will come to terms with living in a metropolitan apartment, but this is not a dream situation – he prefers to be in the bosom of nature, in the countryside or in a suburban area. It needs a lot of traffic, which the future owner should consider.

Advantages and disadvantages

Big Swiss Shepherd Dog – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • intelligent
  • powerful
  • exuberant
  • alert watchman, but does not make noise without need
  • affectionate family companion
  • protective


  • it can be fragile
  • short lived
  • moults abundantly
  • has a fairly hard character, which can be difficult to raise


A large Swiss shepherd dog has problems with his locomotor system. Hip dysplasia is relatively common in this breed.

The Swiss also have a predisposition to turning the stomach. Allergies and eye diseases – entropy and ectropium happen to them.

Two Swiss
photo: Shutterstock


If we decide to feed the dog of this breed with industrial food, one should reach for products from the top shelf, considering the rather sensitive digestive system. In the case of natural nutrition, it should be remembered that the feeding rate is at least 10 grams of meat per kilogram of dog’s weight (in the case of adolescent dogs – slightly more). You should also remember about supplements and vitamins.


Caring for the coat of a large Swiss Mountain Dog will not give us a headache. In fact, it is enough to comb the dog from time to time (during the molting period this treatment is recommended more often, i.e. twice a week). DSPP should regularly check the condition of teeth and ears.

Swiss puppy
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The weight and strength of the Swiss means that we will need a solid long leash. This should not be a flexi leash that is quite difficult to operate. If we decided to start the adventure with pulling, you will have to invest in specialized equipment – harness designed for sled sports.


The breed was officially recognized in the early twentieth century, thanks to the efforts of two Swiss. The first of them was a hobbyist and cynological enthusiast named Schertenleib, who was so interested in large Swiss dogs that he showed them at a dog show in one of the cities of the canton of Bern.

Professor Albert Heim saw them at this exhibition – he is the second important person in the history of the breed. He was an expert on Swiss breeds and a man who had earlier contributed to the recognition of the Bernese Mountain Dog by world cynology. The professor was delighted with the large, massive, well-balanced dogs and considered them to be one of the Swiss national breeds. In 1912, the Club of Large Swiss Shepherd Dogs was created, caring for the unification and popularization of the breed. The FCI published its template only in 1939.

But where did these dogs come from in Switzerland? Some historians see their ancestors in huge molosses, traveling with warlike tribes during the migration of peoples. These animals crossed with local dogs, eventually creating a fairly uniform population type, mainly used to guard herds and herds and to guard their belongings.

The Swiss are lying
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In the 18th century, large Swiss shepherd dogs were often seen when accompanying butchers and butchers (hence the name „butcher dogs” used at that time). In the nineteenth century, they liked them … dairies, and this for the special ability to pull carts, which carts their owners filled with milk cans.

During World War II, the army used them as transport animals – they did better in difficult, uneven terrain than horses.

A large Swiss shepherd dog in Poland

The first copies of DSPP were brought to Poland in the 1960s. The female Honda, owned by Marta Gutowska, worked successfully in mountain rescue. A few still large Swiss went to the hands of mountain rescuers, but all in all the experiment failed and the breed fell into oblivion for almost thirty years.

Further Swiss appeared with us in the 90s and then their first Polish kennels were created. Since then, the popularity of dogs of this breed has remained more or less stable. Fortunately, most often they fall into the hands of people for whom the decision to buy them is well thought out.


A large Swiss shepherd dog – group II FCI, section 3, reference number 58

  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Size: dogs – 65-72 cm, bitches – 60-68 cm
  • Robe: fairly short, shiny, dense coat with dense undercoat
  • Ointment: black and tan with white markings
  • Length of life: 10-12 years old
  • Cost of living: PLN 350-450
  • Weather resistance: medium to high
  • Price of a dog with a pedigree: 2000-5000 PLN

Interesting facts

With a predisposition to a twist of the stomach and a large craving, which causes the Swiss to swallow food quickly and greedily, it is recommended to prophylactically divide the daily nutritional dose into several smaller portions.

The DSPP’s ancestors were so popular in Switzerland of the Middle Ages that at one point it was announced that they were pests and recommended to kill them to reduce their population.

Pulling predispositions mean that large Swiss shepherd dogs participate in many types of sporting competitions, for example checking pulling power. Some owners teach their dogs how to pull a stroller. The dogs are then voice-controlled, which requires good training and a strong bond between the guide and the dog.


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