Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were bred to work. They pulled carts, herded livestock, and stood guard. These dogs like to keep busy so a home with a fenced yard is ideal for them. Swissys, as their fond fans like to call them, tend to overheat easily when the weather is hot so it's best to let them stay inside in the air conditioning. They are loyal and affectionate and adore children, though because of their size they might accidentally knock over toddlers. These gentle giants love to spend time with their families and enjoy a good snuggle. There aren't too many dogs of this breed type left, so if you're lucky enough to have one, count your blessings. This dog's heart is as big as their body.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Names in Pop Culture
When was the last time you saw a big black, tan, and white dog in a college library? Or running with members of a college rugby team? Well, George is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog that does both. Not only is that unusual, but George is also the number one dog in his breed, having won the title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2012. Talk about an overachiever!
George was born to parents who are both on the Great Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America's Register of Merit. Like other Swissys, George was born to be a farmer's helper. These dogs were often called the poor man's horse. They pull carts, herd livestock, and stand guard against predators and other enemies.
George eats a nutritious diet to keep his physique sleek and strong and his coat soft and shiny. His diet consists of fresh chicken, frozen salmon, yogurt, olive oil, and kibble. He gets his exercise by pulling weights and goes for a run almost daily with the University of Virginia's women's rugby team.
Why does George have access to a rugby team? One of his co-owners, Nancy Kechner, is the coach of the women's rugby team at the university. His other co-owner is Julie Comer. Kechner started taking George to rugby practices with her when he was just a puppy, so he's a real part of the team.
It's important for George to keep in good shape because Swissys need to be able to move appropriately for the tasks they were bred to do. For instance, weight pulling is an essential job for a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. In competition, they must be able to pull a weighted down cart at least 16 feet in only 45 seconds. Kechner gave the example of when this job would be needed.. If a farmer needed a tree taken down, the farmer would fell it and the dog would drag it to wherever it needed to go. George can pull up to 3000 pounds.
For Kechner and Comer, traveling to dog shows with George is great fun. Although a handler does the actual showing of George on the floor, the women love the adventure of the competition. One of their favorite shows is the Westminster. This is the second oldest sporting competition in the United States. Only the Kentucky Derby has been around longer. It feels like the entire city is in on the excitement.
But the one who enjoys it most? That's George. He loves his life and when he gets a little older he intends to spend the rest of it as a therapy dog.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Name Considerations
You're looking at a beautiful little puppy with big brown eyes and a waggly tail. In less than a year, though, this dog will weigh close to, or over 100 pounds. Is there an appropriate name for now and then? Sure there is, it just requires a little thought and consideration. There are certain guidelines you can follow when naming any dog.
One rule most people adhere to is that shorter names work best. A moniker with one or two syllables is easy for your dog to remember and respond to. Anything much longer will only be confusing. It's also best to avoid names that sound too much like commands. For example, Moe sounds a lot like no. Swiss names are always suitable for your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, as are names about mountains. You may want to consider your dog's coloring (usually black, tan, and white) or the way they will be built when they are older. Swissy's often have distinctive eyebrows which can also inspire a name.