Activities For Greater Swiss Mountain Danes

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Introduction

Greater Swiss Mountain Danes are a cross between the Greater Swiss Mountain dog and the Great Dane. The pups of this cross breed will be large dogs who enjoys frequent activities and challenges. Despite their large size, Great Danes are excessively active, but the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

Greater Swiss Mountains dogs were originally bred as farm dogs in the Swiss Alps. They are great at tracking, hunting, and herding. Great Danes hunted boars, but now they are mainly house pets or service and therapy dogs. Both breeds are known to be stubborn, so a combination of the two will need a lot of obedience training, especially with leash walking.

Jogging

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Harness
Leash
Water
Activity description

If you love to go for an early morning jog, why not teach Fido to jog at the same pace and run together? Most dogs don’t like the rain, so be sure the day is sunny and mild, but not too hot. If it’s snowing, you can bundle up and take your Greater Swiss Mountain Dane along; they are sure to enjoy the cold weather.

This is a relatively cheap activity. All you really need is a harness that fits your dog properly and a loose leash to keep Fido close to you.

A brisk 30-minute jog is an easy activity that will tire your pup out for at least a few hours. While the breed needs more daily activity than just 30 minutes, you don’t want to run your dog for too long. Bigger dogs are prone to hip problems.

Step
1
Practice loose leash running
The most important step in jogging with your dog is teaching Fido to run on a loose leash. This means your pup can’t pull on the leash and you can’t hold it taut. You could potentially train your dog to run off-leash, but the breeds have high prey drives, which makes that a risky situation. Praise and a treat or three work wonders with loose leash training.
Step
2
Train for distractions
As mentioned briefly in the last step, your dog might see a squirrel or other dog while jogging and you need to ensure that they won’t bolt after the animals. You can start simply by having a friend approach you while you and Fido are working on loose leash training. Your dog should immediately be told to sit or heel when they see the other person. Work up to other animals and always be cautious that your pup can disobey you at any time.
Step
3
Take frequent breaks
Be sure to bring along water for you and Fido to share. If you feel like you need a break, your pup probably needs one, too. It’s important not to over exercise your dog because of the history of hip problems. If your dog is still a puppy, most vets advise against running at such a young age. Wait until after their bones have finished growing.
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Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Clicker
Activity description

Obedience training is important for any dog owner, but especially those who own large, stubborn breeds such as Greater Swiss Mountain Danes. Both Swiss Mountain Dogs and Great Danes are exceptionally intelligent and eager to learn new things, but their size can make them difficult for inexperienced dog owners to handle.

Your local pet stores should have training classes for puppies. The classes are usually held indoors, so weather isn’t a factor in the activity. The classes usually aren’t cheap, but you can decide if you only want to take the first course or continue past the basics. Sit, stay, and down are some of the commands taught in the most basic course and can be applied in many situations.

Step
1
Find local obedience class
It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a local obedience class. Most pet stores offer them, as do boarding facilities. If you can’t find one, ask your vet for recommendations or look online for training tips that you can teach at home. There are also approximately 5 million books on the subject.
Step
2
Clicker training
Many dog obedience trainers rely on the clicker training method to teach the easier commands, such as sit. You’ll need treats or kibble to give your pup to encourage the association between the clicker noise and the given command. One frequent mistake people make when training their dogs is to repeat the command over and over again. The command should be said just once and if it’s not obeyed, move onto something else without giving a treat reward.
Step
3
Practice
When undergoing obedience training with your pup, it is extremely important that you practice between classes. Dogs learn by repetition and often forget what they have learned if it’s not implemented daily. You don’t need an hour practice sessions; five or ten minutes is more than enough. That will take Fido to the head of the class!
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Frisbee

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 mins
Items needed
Frisbee
Treats
Activity description

Frisbee is a great activity to give your pup fresh air and tire them out at the same time. Of course, Great Swiss Mountain Danes won’t have to jump far off the ground to reach the disc!

You will need either a large fenced-in backyard or a dog-friendly park for the activity. It is best done in mild, sunny weather so your pup doesn’t get overheated or dehydrated.

If you want Fido to actually jump up and retrieve the flying disc, you will need to do some training.  Otherwise, you can simply use the disc as the item in a game of fetch. This game is very cheap, and you can find a frisbee at most pet stores for just a few bucks.

Step
1
Find a local park
Before you can proceed to the other steps, you need to find a wide open space for the activity. If you already have your own backyard, you are set to begin. If you don’t, you need to scour the local parks and find out if they're dog-friendly and whether they allow pups to be off-leash.
Step
2
Introduce the frisbee
Once you’ve purchased the disc from the local pet store, you need to introduce it to your pup as a toy. When introducing anything to a dog, letting them sniff the item is the way to start. Some dogs might try to break the disc, so it is important to supervise your dog with the toy so they don’t swallow pieces of it.
Step
3
Play
Begin the activity as a game of fetch. Throw the disc a short distance and encourage your dog to retrieve it and bring it back to you. Increase the distance gradually. Once a good distance is achieved, have your dog sit as you throw the disc. When they try to catch it, shower Fido with praise.
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More Fun Ideas...

Search & Rescue

Because of the Swiss Mountain Dog genes, Fido would do great at search and rescue jobs for local fire departments and other organizations. The first thing you need to do before your pooch can get to work is to find a local search and rescue training course.

After your pup has earned their certificate, investigate your area to see where they need search and rescue help. If there’s nothing local, perhaps you should cast your net wider and search nationally.

Dog Park

Your Greater Swiss Mountain Dane will generally get along with other dogs and would enjoy romping in off-leash dog parks. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your pup, as they overheat easily in hot weather (but love the snow!) and tire out more easily than smaller dogs.

Before going to the dog park, be sure your pup is friendly around other people and won’t jump on them. Some people bring their young children to the dog park, which can be a problem with a herding part of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dane. Tread carefully in off-leash dog parks or regular parks that allow dogs.

Conclusion

Great Danes are said to be gentle giants and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs consider themselves lap dogs. With a Greater Swiss Mountain Dane, you’ll get a good-natured, affectionate dog who can weigh between 80 and 160 pounds.

An hour of exercise per day should be enough to tire your pup out. Large dogs run out of gas earlier than little dogs. Given their size, these dogs aren’t well-suited to apartment living, but they can also easily jump over a backyard fence. That means you will have to actively participate in your dog’s exercise and not just leave them out in the backyard.

Jogging, obedience training and frisbee are perfect activities that will provide Fido with daily exercise and bonding time that will make them happy pups.

You could say this breed is grrr-eat!