Saturday 3 May 2014

Ozzy's Swiss cousin

Whilst walking in the forest, Ozzy and I encountered a most beautiful dog.  It’s an Ozzy look alike with a short haired coat.  Ozzy’s cousin.   

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund ) is considered the oldest of the Swiss breeds and was instrumental in the early development of both the St. Bernard and the Rottweiler. There are several theories regarding the ancient origins of the Swiss Sennenhund breeds. The most popular theory states the dogs are descended from the Mollasian, a large Mastiff-type dog that accompanied the Roman Legions on their invasion of the Alps in the 1st century B.C.

Large, sturdy and confident, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog also referred to as "Swissy" is a draft and drover breed - robust and agile enough to perform farm work in very mountainous regions. As a working dog, Swissies like having a job to do.  Developed in the remote and isolated areas of Switzerland, they were was originally used for draft work, livestock management (herding and guarding) and as a farm sentinel.  The breed was assumed to have died out by the late 19th century, as their work was being done by other breeds or machines, but it was rediscovered in the early 1900s.

I had never come across one before.