The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is happy with an enthusiastic nature and strong affinity to people and children. This breed is sociable, active, calm and dignified. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are bold, faithful and willing workers and are eager to please. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is confident in nature; the breed is gentle with children. They can be stubborn and determined. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an intelligent breed and is a quick learner. They can be difficult to housebreak, taking up to 6 -10 months or more.
The activity level in the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is variable. They are capable of being athletic, but usually that activity is in bursts; they are active for short periods of time followed by napping. They want to be with their owners and to participate; their activity level most often matches the activity level of the family. As a working dog, they like having a job to do and enjoy participating in hiking, carting, obedience trials, herding, weight pulling and backpacking with their owners.
The breed is alert and vigilant, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a good watchdog. They tend to notice everything in their surroundings and are quick to sound alarm. Faced with a threat, they will stand their ground and put on a show that will intimidate those unfamiliar with the dog.
They are confident and comfortable in unfamiliar locations, and are stable around strange noises and unfamiliar people. They are accepting of other dogs and species.
This giant breed matures slowly in both mind and body, taking anywhere from 2 to 3 years. The objective in training this dog is for the owner to build trust through humane methods. As youngsters, they can be quite boisterous and they do require steady and reliable training to develop manners and physical self-control. As with all large, active working dogs, this breed should be well socialized early in life with other dogs and people, and be provided with regular activity and training.