The Great Swiss Mountain dog, affectionately known as "Swissy" is a breed that originated in the Swiss Alps. In German, its name is "Sennenhund" and "senn" refers to the dairymen or herders that used these magnificent beasts. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, it was believed that these dogs had all but died out, as machinery increasingly took over from their original work, but the breed was rediscovered in the early years of the twentieth century. Originally used as a working farm dog, it is characterised by a large size, stocky appearance and incredible strength. Albert Heim, one of the earliest and keenest members of the Swiss Kennel Club took great interest in preserving the strain and encouraged enthusiasts to breed.
The Great Swiss Mountain dog was first recognized as a separate breed by the Swiss Kennel club in 1909. In 1912, the first breeding club was formed to actively promote the continuation of the breed.
In the Second World War, the intelligence of Swiss Mountain dogs came into play as they were used in military service as draft dogs by the Swiss Army.
The breed first achieved international recognition in 1939, when the Fédération Cynologique Internationale first published the Swiss Standard. J. Frederick and Patricia Hoffman brought the very first Great Swiss Mountain Dogs to America in 1968, and shortly afterwards the Great Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was established; it remains a club...