This breed was well known as far back as the end of Middle Ages, when it was used as a battle dog and a bodyguard-dog, which accompanied its owner in battle. It has also become one of the most cultured breeds of herdsman dogs. As a matter of fact, to a substantial extent it is already not a guarding dog, but specializes more on helping a herdsman, getting closer to the managing dogs. It is undoubtedly an ancient breed, in contrast to the majority of other European mastiffs. It is used mainly to shepherd cattle in Swiss Alps.
Kinship of the Greater Swiss
Mountain Dog with a great number of west-European breeds – Hovawart, Rotweiler,
St. Bernard, and other Swiss sennenhunds – is evident.
In your relations with this dog it is better not to seek compromise, but always firmly insist on your demands. You should already start working with the puppy when it is 2-3 month-old. Of course, the first commands and exercises must be elementary and short in time. The puppy gets used to the fact that it will have to carry out the order any way, so no problems appear with this. There are numerous details, which set the Greater apart from the other sennenhunds. These dogs use mainly the upper scent; that is why they react to the newcomers even without hearing the sound of their steps. In dog's quarrels they use the front legs very actively, both for attack and defense. It is significant that such blow is very strong. At the age of 6-7 months even a well-developed puppy looks clumsy, especially when it moves. On the other hand, the breast lowers and unfolds faster. Grosses look very beautiful and graceful when they are moving. This massive and heavy dog is running, barely touching the ground with its paws. It concerns, of course, adult dogs, but nowadays, when our Totoshka (her passport name is Twinny) goes to the terrace, it feels like a platoon of soldiers is marching at the 'break step!' command. Being 6 months old she managed to look into the ground floor windows (while grown-up Berners can only stick their noses out) and nicely smile, awaiting some food. She has another 'nice' habit – she likes to turn around, running, and push me in my knees, oops, today I should say already in the thighs. After she knocked me down when she was 4 months old, Totosha is not allowed to jump on my breast. Such a nice voice the girl has! Adult Caucasian Mountain Dogs seem to be very quiet, compared with the 5-month-old Totosha. Her voice is a mixture of bass and roar. I do not know why, but I always feel like talking about this dog in a joking manner, but many a true word is spoken in jest.
Grand bouvier Suisse- is a wonderful, but very serious dog. If you are ready to devote much enough time to your future puppy, then you can enter into negotiations about buying it. Get familiar with the standard given in the supplement and set out to see mother and father of your future puppy!
One year later.
Our Totosha has grown up. Now she is 1.5 years old. From a clumsy puppy she has turned into a huge, powerful and stately dog. Despite the fact that she always lives outdoors and moves quite a lot, at some point it has become clear that she apparently lacked long dynamic exercises. That's why I had to start riding bicycle. In all weather, every day we made 10 km runs. At first I was afraid, because I had to ride at the roadside and if the dog got scared, it could dash aside and I would fly in an unknown direction. Because of that the first walks we made on foot, along the roadside. The most surprising for me was that the dog – which has grown up behind a high fence - was not afraid of the trucks rushing past, even when these "jokers" signaled. On the next stage, the bike appeared between Toto and me while I continued to walk. I recall this period in life like a nightmare. Imagine that you are running by hot weather, holding the bike's handle bar and the dog lead in one hand! But later, when I risked riding the bike, the walks turned into a pleasure for both of us. It was very interesting for me to watch how the dog controlled the bike's direction. I do not know what to attribute it to – a genetically inborn habit or a natural talent – but Totosha watched the front wheel. She constantly kept an eye on it and immediately changed direction, when it turned. Quite unexpectedly for me, these walks gave a result, which I did not expect to get in such a way. The dog stopped running with its head down. I wanted to give it more exercise, but it was summer and it became hot very early. So we decided to go swimming. Here all our efforts were in vain. It was not possible to persuade her. Even when the whole troop jumped into water at full speed, Totosha stayed on the bank. But she needed to develop her breast. So, we have found a way, although it is suitable only for those owners, who do not have radiculitis. The dog is put into a huge tub (ours was 1x3x1.5 meters size). Keeping one hand under its chin, we keep the base if its tail with the other hand and lift it a little. The dog starts swimming. In this case the dog moves its hind paws more actively, than during the usual river swimming. Sinews of the breast, thighs and the withers (as well as you back) are trained very well. And the joints are not loaded! At first you do that for 3-4 minutes. By the fifth-sixth time the puppy gets accustomed and stops resisting. Within 2 weeks we have increased the length of the exercises up to 20 minutes. At the age of ten months the dog looks great.
Our male Uzon has grown up by now. Problems with raising Toto, compared with those with Uzon, seemed to be a children’s play. But, thank God, this period is in the past. Today we have a newcomer - female Yolanda, which looks nothing like the two previous Grosses. Time will show what she will grow into. At the moment its torso looks impressing. As to the other parts we will work on them.