Mountain Dog Showdown: Greater Swiss vs Bernese

The greater Swiss mountain dog and the Bernese mountain dog are both large, friendly breeds of Swiss origin. While their appearances are quite similar, the greater Swiss mountain dog is generally a bit larger and more active, while the Bernese mountain dog is known for being slightly milder-mannered and more reserved.

These breeds have been historically used for farm work, but are now commonly found as beloved family pets. In this article, we will take a closer look at each breed’s characteristics, temperament, and health concerns to help you decide which breed may be the best fit for you.

Mountain Dog Showdown: Greater Swiss vs Bernese

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History And Origin Of Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

The greater Swiss mountain dog and the bernese mountain dog are both beautiful and robust breeds that originate from the swiss alps. While they share some similarities, they also have their unique differences, including their history and origin. Let’s dive into the rich history of these two breeds through the following subsections:

Brief History Of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs

  • The greater Swiss mountain dog is the oldest and largest of the four Swiss mountain dogs, with a history dating back to Roman times.
  • These dogs were originally used as draft dogs, for herding and droving cattle, and as watchdogs for farms and vineyards.
  • In the late 1800s, the breed nearly became extinct, but thanks to the efforts of a Swiss man named Albert heim, the breed was revived.
  • In 1908, the greater Swiss mountain dog was officially recognized by the Swiss kennel club, and in 1995, it was recognized by the american kennel club.

Brief History Of Bernese Mountain Dogs

  • The Bernese mountain dog also has a long history in Switzerland, dating back to the Roman era, where they were used as draft dogs and guardians of farms and livestock.
  • It was recognized as a breed in 1907 by the Swiss kennel club and arrived in the united states in 1926.
  • During world war ii, the breed faced extinction but was saved by the efforts of breeders who imported dogs from Switzerland to maintain the breed’s population.
  • In 1937, the Bernese mountain dog club of America was founded, and the breed was recognized by the american kennel club in 1937.

Comparison Of The Two Breeds’ Origins

  • Both breeds originated in the swiss alps and have a rich history in Switzerland.
  • The greater Swiss mountain dog is the older of the two breeds, with a history dating back to Roman times.
  • The Bernese mountain dog’s origins are not as ancient, but it’s an equally important breed to Swiss history.
  • While both breeds are excellent work dogs, the Bernese mountain dog has historically been more of a family companion, while the greater Swiss mountain dog is known for its versatility and athleticism in various activities such as weight pulling and agility.
  • Both breeds share similar working backgrounds, with a focus on protecting and herding livestock.

Both the greater Swiss mountain dog and the Bernese mountain dog have fascinating histories that date back centuries ago. Their origin stories further emphasize their importance to Swiss culture and the people who have helped preserve these breeds over time.

Physical Attributes And Characteristics

Greater Swiss mountain dog (gmd) and Bernese mountain dog (bmd) are two of the most favored breeds of the mountain dog family. Although both breeds share some similarities, there are crucial differences that set them apart. In this section, we will discuss the physical attributes and characteristics of god and BMD and make a comparison.

Size, Color, And Coat

  • Size:
  • Greater Swiss mountain dog: They are larger than Bernese mountain dogs
  • Bernese mountain dogs: They are smaller than greater Swiss mountain dogs
  • Color:
  • Greater Swiss mountain dog: They come in three colors: black, rust, and white
  • Bernese mountain dog: Their coat is tri-colored, consisting of black, rust, and white.
  • Coat:
  • Greater Swiss mountain dog: Their coat is short and dense with a white blaze on their chest and a rust-colored muzzle.
  • Bernese mountain dog: Their coat is thick, wavy, and shiny.
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Personality And Behavior

Both breeds are known for their loyalty, devotion, and friendliness. Here are some characteristics that set them apart from each other:

  • Greater Swiss mountain dog:
  • They are known to be more dominant and independent than Bernese mountain dogs.
  • They are fearless, confident, and vigilant.
  • Gmds are loyal and friendly to their families and can be trained to be good watchdogs.
  • Bernese mountain dog:
  • They are friendly and affectionate, craving attention from their family members.
  • Bernese mountain dogs are more docile and laid-back than greater Swiss mountain dogs.
  • They are easy to train and are great with children and other animals.

Health Issues And Life Expectancy

Like all breeds, gods and bmds are prone to certain health issues that you must keep in mind before adopting. Here are some health issues that these breeds face:

  • Greater Swiss mountain dog:
  • They are prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat.
  • Their average life span is 8-10 years.
  • Bernese mountain dog:
  • They are prone to cancer, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.
  • Their average life span is 7-9 years.

Comparison Of Physical Traits

  • Greater Swiss mountain dog:
  • They have a muscular body with a short, dense coat.
  • They are taller than Bernese mountain dogs at about 25.5 to 28.5 inches tall, weighing between 115-140 pounds.
  • Gmds have a white blaze on their chest, making them stand out from beds.
  • Bernese mountain dog:
  • They have a robust build, with a thick, shiny, and wavy coat.
  • They are smaller than gods, at about 23 to 27.5 inches tall, weighing between 70-115 pounds.
  • Bmds are known for their tri-color coat, which is black, rust, and white.

Both breeds make great pets and have unique characteristics that make them stand out. When choosing between a greater Swiss mountain dog and a Bernese mountain dog, consider their physical attributes, personality traits, and health issues to ensure you make the best decision for you and your family.

Training And Socialization

Are you considering a greater Swiss mountain dog or a Bernese mountain dog as your new furry friend? These gentle giants are loyal and protective, making them excellent family pets. However, their large size and strength require proper training and socialization from a young age.

Importance Of Training And Socialization

Training and socialization are crucial for any dog breed, but even more so for greater Swiss and Bernese mountain dogs due to their size and strength. These breeds are confident and independent, but they also crave attention and affection. Proper training and socialization will help them become well-behaved, obedient, and safe dogs.

Training Techniques For Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

Both greater Swiss and Bernese mountain dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training. These breeds are intelligent and willing to please their owners, making them easy to train with patience and consistency. Some effective training techniques for these breeds include:

  • Clicker training: Using a clicker to mark the desired behavior and then rewarding the dog with a treat.
  • Treat training: Using treats as a reward for good behavior.
  • Alpha dog training: Establishing yourself as the pack leader to gain respect and obedience from your dog.

Socialization Techniques For Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

Socialization is essential for these breeds to prevent fear, aggression, and shyness toward unfamiliar people and situations. Socialization should start as early as possible and include exposure to different people, animals, places, and smells. Some techniques for socializing greater Swiss and bernese mountain dogs include:

  • Puppy socialization classes: These classes help puppies interact with other dogs and people in a controlled environment.
  • Daily walks: Taking your dog for daily walks can expose them to new people, animals, and environments.
  • Playdates: Arranging playdates with other dogs can help your dog develop social skills and positive interactions.
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Comparison Of Training And Socialization Needs

Both greater Swiss and Bernese mountain dogs have similar training and socialization needs because they share common traits such as intelligence and a desire to please their owners. However, greater swiss mountain dogs may require more mental stimulation than bernese mountain dogs due to their high energy levels. On the other hand, bernese mountain dogs may require more socialization than swiss mountain dogs due to their sensitive nature.

Training and socialization are vital for the proper development of greater swiss and bernese mountain dogs. These dogs are loyal and loving companions but require attention, patience, and consistency to become well-behaved and obedient. By dedicating time and effort to training and socialization, you will create a happy and healthy bond with your furry friend.

Grooming And Maintenance

Grooming Requirements For Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

Grooming your greater swiss or bernese mountain dog is essential. Their grooming needs are relatively the same. However, the amount of hair that they shed is different. A bernese mountain dog sheds more hair, while the greater swiss sheds less, making their grooming needs slightly different.

Here are some grooming requirements to keep in mind:

  • Brush their coats regularly to prevent matting and tangles
  • Trim their nails regularly, especially if they don’t wear them down naturally
  • Bathe them occasionally to keep their coat shiny and clean
  • Clean their ears and teeth often to avoid infections and decay
  • Use a high-quality shampoo and grooming tools that work best for their coat type
  • Keep up-to-date with your vet visits to ensure they are healthy

Maintenance Requirements For Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

Like all dogs, both greater swiss and bernese mountain dogs require certain maintenance tasks. These tasks will not only keep them healthy but keep you sane. Here are some maintenance tasks to keep in mind:

  • Provide them with plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and mentally stimulated
  • Feed them high-quality food and stick to a consistent feeding schedule
  • Train them using positive reinforcement to avoid behavioral problems
  • Socialize them with people and other pets to ensure they are comfortable and well-rounded

Comparison Of Grooming And Maintenance Needs

There are some key differences in grooming and maintenance requirements between greater swiss and bernese mountain dogs. Here are some differences to consider:

Grooming

  • Generally, bernese mountain dogs shed more hair than greater swiss mountain dogs, so they require more brushing and grooming.
  • Greater swiss mountain dogs have shorter hair, making grooming slightly easier.

Maintenance

  • Greater swiss mountain dogs tend to have fewer health issues and fewer grooming needs than bernese mountain dogs.
  • Bernese mountain dogs can have health problems due to their larger size and shorter lifespan, so regular vet visits are important.

No matter which breed you choose, providing them with the right amount of grooming and maintenance is essential to their well-being. It’s essential to take the time to understand the differences in the care needs of each breed to ensure that you are meeting their needs and giving them the best life possible.

Exercise And Activity Level

Importance Of Exercise For Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

Greater swiss mountain dogs and bernese mountain dogs are both large breeds that were bred as working dogs. As such, they need ample opportunities to expend their energy to remain healthy and happy. It is essential to have a regular exercise routine to avoid common health problems such as obesity, hip dysplasia, and arthritis.

Below are the exercise routines that both greater swiss and bernese mountain dogs need to stay healthy.

Physical Activity Requirements For Greater Swiss And Bernese Mountain Dogs

Greater swiss and bernese mountain dogs require daily physical activity, engaging them will strengthen both their physical and mental health. The american kennel club (akc) recommends the following exercise routines for those adorable breeds:

  • training sessions
  • hiking
  • running
  • swimming
  • jogging
  • playing fetch
  • long walks
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You must bear in mind that due to their sensitive stomachs, it is not advisable to venture on exhausting activities soon after they have eaten.

Comparison Of Exercise And Activity Levels

Greater swiss mountain dogs are energetic and robust dogs that require a higher activity level than bernese mountain dogs.

  • Greater swiss mountain dogs are ideal for people who enjoy activities such as running, hiking, or long walks. They require 60-90 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • Bernese mountain dogs, on the other hand, are a little less intense and require only 30-60 minutes of daily activity. They enjoy relaxing and playing in the backyard with their favorite humans.

It is important to realize that both breeds love spending time with their owners, so running errands together is always a great opportunity to get them moving.

Regular physical activity is essential for sustaining the overall health and life quality of greater swiss mountain dogs and bernese mountain dogs. By creating an effective exercise routine, owners can help ensure that their pets remain healthy, happy and active for many years to come.

FAQ On Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Vs Bernese Mountain Dog

What Is The Difference Between Greater Swiss Mountain Dog And Bernese Mountain Dog?

Greater swiss mountain dogs are larger and more muscular than bernese mountain dogs. Bernese have a longer coat and require more grooming attention, whereas swissies have a shorter coat. Bernese are more laid-back and affectionate, while swissies are more energetic and reserved.

Which Dog Breed Is More Suitable For Families With Kids?

Both dog breeds are great with kids, but bernese mountain dogs tend to be more affectionate and gentle, making them a better choice for families with young children. Greater swiss mountain dogs can also be great with kids but may need more socialization and training.

Can Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs And Bernese Mountain Dogs Live In Apartments?

Neither greater swiss mountain dogs nor bernese mountain dogs are recommended for apartment living. They both require a lot of space to move around and exercise. If housed in an apartment, they need daily walks and regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

Do Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs And Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed A Lot?

Both breeds shed a moderate amount year-round, with heavier shedding during seasonal changes. Bernese have longer coats and require more grooming attention to avoid matting and tangling. Swissies have shorter coats but still need regular brushing to maintain their fur’s health and cleanliness.

Are Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs And Bernese Mountain Dogs Prone To Health Issues?

Both breeds are prone to specific health issues. Bernese mountain dogs are prone to cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Greater swiss mountain dogs are prone to joint issues and bloat. Regular vet check-ups and proper diet and exercise can help prevent or manage these health issues.

Conclusion

Both greater swiss mountain dogs and bernese mountain dogs are remarkable breeds that can make excellent companions for the right owner. When deciding between the two, consider your lifestyle, living arrangements, exercise routine, and grooming preferences. Gsmds are strong and athletic, requiring regular exercise and a fair share of grooming.

On the other hand, bernese mountain dogs are more laid-back and affectionate, but may require more extensive grooming. Ultimately, your choice may come down to your personal preferences and needs. Whichever breed you choose, make sure to provide them with proper care and attention to help them thrive. Remember, a well-nurtured dog is a happy dog, and you are sure to have a loyal companion by your side for many years to come.