Greater Swiss Mountain Dog - Breed and Grooming Tips



Large, sturdy and confident, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD or "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 and enjoy participating in hiking, carting, obedience trials, herding, weight pulling, and backpacking with their owners. The breed’s short, dense coat is black with symmetrical rust and white markings.



Right Breed for You?

The "Swissy" is a social dog that enjoys being a member of the family.



Owners should be patient with housetraining; dogs may grasp the concept in a few weeks, but it can take many months for them to become reliable. Daily exercise is necessary but should be moderate due to their large size and dark, thick coat, which can cause them to overheat in high temperatures. Coats need to be brushed once or twice a week.



Source:  American Kennel Club - www.akc.org





 

Grooming


Bathing and General Grooming



This breed does require routine bathing and grooming.  This good-natured dog can be bathed every two to eight weeks depending on his activity level and lifestyle. With this dense coat, regular bathing is essential to minimize shedding and to maintain healthy skin and coat.  A facial wash is recommended to help keep the face smelling fresh and clean. Before bathing a Swissy, it is recommended to massage the coat with a rubber curry to remove any loose hair.



Recommended Products:



Hypoallergenic Shampoo: A natural, tearless solution for pets that is chocked full of Organic Aloe, Coconut, and Vitamins A, D, and E.



Oatmeal Baking Soda Facial Cleanser: A pre-wash specifically formulated for the facial area that will help clean and remove odors that are trapped around that area.



Energee Plus Shampoo: A natural degreaser and deodorizer that gets the dirtiest dog clean and fresh. Go ahead, and let them play.



Simple Shed Shampoo: A luxurious bath designed to alter the pH of the skin and coat to help accelerate the shedding process. Great to use during seasonal shedding season.



Flea and Tick Shampoo: Kills fleas and ticks while cleaning and conditioning your pet’s skin and coat.  Leaves a fresh and clean fragrance.  Safe for puppies and kittens over 12 weeks.  Keep out of eyes.



Simple Shed Treatment: A conditioning treatment designed to help accelerate the shedding process.  Great to use during seasonal shedding season.



Luxury Remoisturizer Conditioner: A deep penetrating coat conditioner to help restore moisture. Can dilute up to 50:1 and use as a leave-in conditioner.



Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming



The Swissies coat should be clean and fresh smelling, with the coat lying flat against the body.  There should be no shedding hair after they are bathed and dried. Apply a light hydrating spray to enhance the natural shine of the coat when finished.



Recommended Products:



Aloe Hydrating Spray: Formulated to provide extreme hydration allowing the skin’s healthy natural oils to permeate the skin by adding a luxurious shine to the coat.



High Sheen Spray: The final touch to help bring in the radiant shine.



General Healthcare



Prep work is the foundation of all grooming.  Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene.  Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest.  Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment.  All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis.  Proper nail care is also very important.  Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on.  Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot.  Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces, and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house.  It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions.  Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full.  Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet as well.





Recommended Products:



Ear Care:  This ear cleaner has a blend of natural oils to remove dirt, debris, and wax.



Paw Balm: Use weekly to keep paws pliable and soft.  Paw Balm will aid in the prevention of pads to dry out and crack.



3 in 1 Healing Cream:  If your pet gets a wound, this cream promotes cell regeneration and healing.  It is formulated with Bitrex to discourage licking and chewing.



Hot Spot Foam: Soothing Aloe, Tea Tree Oil, and Chamomile relieve itching and burning while promoting and accelerating healing.



Nutritional Care



In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well-balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.



Frequently Asked Questions



1. What products do I need if I just purchased a Swissy puppy?

Puppy Shampoo

Luxury Remoisturizing Conditioner

Plum Perfect Facial Cleanser

Aloe Hydrating Spray

Ear Care Aloe Wipes



2. Do they require a lot of grooming?

They require minimal grooming.  Routine baths and brush outs are recommended to minimize shedding and keep the skin and coat in good condition.



3. What are the common health problems in the Swissy?

Some common health concerns with the breed are Gastric Torsion ( Bloat), Cancer, Dysplasia (Elbow and Hip), Licking Episodes (Lick Fits), and Urinary Incontinence.



4. Do they shed or cause allergies?

They do shed year around. Frequent baths and blow outs will help accelerate shedding so there is less hair lying on your floors.



5. Are Swissies good with children?

This good-natured breed makes a good family pet. It is necessary to begin training and proper socialization at an early age.  As with any breed of dog, you should never leave a dog unattended with a small child.



6. What if I have a show dog?

Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene.  The difference is the conditioning of the dog and confirmation training.  It is always quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of dog shows.  A great place to start is the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, www.gsmdca.org



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