Tell me about Swissies

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!

Crosby 6/98 - 11/09

Splash Down!!!
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '08 11:47am PST 
I currently have a 9.5 year old lab & a 3 year old greyhound. I am interested in getting a swissie when our lab passes. I know it's a morbid thought but he has multiple health issues so we really don't expect a super long life for him. I know that sometimes when you find the right breeder it can be a couple year wait for the right pup so I want to start doing my research/looking now.

Anyway on to happier thoughts. I really love the breed & have done tons of research online. I'll probably head to some dog shows in the next few months to meet some swissies in person.

What do you think of the swissie? Is it really a good family dog? My daughter will still be young when we get a dog. How trainable are they? Are they protective? Lazy/active? Etc... any thing else you can tell me about them.

There's just a difference between reading about a breed & hearing it first hand from the owners.
Sara, Crosby & Geneva

Are you gonna- eat that?
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '08 4:06pm PST 
The best dog ever! I have two parrots that are out of their cages A LOT. My dog (Louie) is only 6 months old and licks their faces (well, he tries)! He's great with kids - again with the face licking - and doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his (very large) body. Totally loves everyone. Not high energy at all. Not a breed that will make your arm sore throwing a ball, for sure. Seems to be pretty smart, too. He was sitting at 9 weeks and bell trained at about 5 months. Everything I read about housetraining these dogs was over exaggerated. I was told he wouldn't be house trained until 9 months. He hasn't had an accident in the house since he was 4 months old. He may be the exception, but I was surprised. Seriously don't have a single bad thing to say about this dog. He has a great temperment, seems to take well to training but he is BIG. Louie will definatly be getting into some competition weight pulling when he's old enough!

Barked: Wed Feb 20, '08 4:26am PST 
Swissy's are the sweetest, gentlest, goofiest, and loveable dogs! I did my research too and immediately fell in love. Then I went to a breeder to see them in person- I'd never seen one before in person- and it was confirmed...and Mira came home with us on July 13th 2007. Housetraining was a bit challenging- Mira is 9 months and if fully trained and has been for about 2 months. They are very easily trained, but also stubborn and sometimes would rather do their own thing. We're having some "jumping" issues that for a puppy wouldn't be such an issue if she weren't 90lbs and knocking us over! So we're working on that. Mira is pretty high energy in terms of not sitting still for a second in the house if she hasn't been out for a good hour of walking. Throwing the ball will last all of 3 throws and then she looks at you like "okay, I already brought that back for you- I'm done".
Mira wants to be wherever we are and is always underfoot. She loves everybody and everydog. Not a mean bone in her body- I've yet to hear her actually growl. I couldn't recommend a better dog!


Barked: Sun Mar 9, '08 12:34pm PST 
Our Swissy is 7 mo. old and he is starting to show his strength and size. We have three little girls, the youngest wont be 2yrs old until June and somehow is has figure out how to be gentle with all of them.

He is very active and needs a lot of time to play and exercise. If you cannot exercise your dog daily, you would likely be frustrated with a Swissy.

He wants to be a part of everything we do and is protective of the family, but not so much so that I worry when others are around him. All of my girls climb on him and chase him around and I nevere worry about him nipping at them.

He is perfect in every way but one, he doesnt always tell us when he needs outside, even now at 7 mo old. Frustrating as it is, I understand Swissys mature later than most dogs. He never has a "full bladder" accident, but regularly "leaks" his way to the back door.

We have no other Swissy's around us, so he draws a lot of attention wherever we go. He is friendly to everyone who approaches him, even other animals. He doesnt chase the other animals, not even cats. He does occasionally chase a squirrel up a tree, but even then looses interest quickly.

I have had a Husky, Shepard, Lab, MinPin and other smaller dogs and never enjoyed a dog more than this one. They are a special breed.

The camera loves- me!
Barked: Mon May 19, '08 7:47am PST 
I LOVE my Swissy!

Her name is Spree and she's 3. She is the goofiest dog I have ever met, and is so loving. She prefers laying down wherever we are than going off on her own, which I like.
She's also very smart, and learns things very quickly through clicker training.

One thing I like about Swissies is that they are very friendly, but not uncontrollably like Goldens or Labs can be, which IMO makes them a better family dog.

Exercise wise, they are pretty good for the average owner. They arent exactly couch potatos, but they arent manic if they dont run 4 miles a day. On average, I'd say about an hour of good exercise a day is good. It seems like a lot if you are very busy (like me lol) but I break it up between a 15 min run in the AM, 15 minute walk when I get home, throw ball 20 minutes before dinner, and quick walk before bed. So really not that bad.

Also, because of how rare and preserved they are, they have fewer genetic health problems. You dont see (or hopefully dont see) Swissies in puppy mills or pet stores. The only real place to get one is from a reputable breeder. These breeders perform health tests, such as hip, elbow, thyroid, etc on their breeding stock to ensure future generations are healthy. Breeds like poodles, Goldens, German shepherds, and other popular breeds have so many health problems because they are in higher demand, so puppy mills are spitting them out with concern to future health.

In connection with the above, they have a longer life than dogs their size on average. Most "giant" breeds life spans are 7-10. Swissies can live to be 12-14.

A concern is that they do shed a lot, which I am able to cut down drastically with a monthly bath-blowdry-undercoat removal treatment. I also use the undercoat rake every 3 days in between. Adding salmon oil or flaxseed to the diet also seems to help.

They also mature slowly...my dog is just now physically maturing and is almost mentally mature (I dont think she will ever be completely mentally mature though :-P) This can be annoying when you have a 100 lb dog going through normal puppy stages. wink

One thing you have to do is make rules very clear from puppyhood. If you allow her to jump at 8 weeks, its harder to stop at 8 months when she's 60 lbs.

You also have to keep tables and counters clear so the dog never has a chance to develop "counter-surfing" skills eek This is my girl's biggest problem and we are working very hard on it, but its coming slowly because its such a reinforcing and ingrained behavior.

Edited by author Mon May 19, '08 7:57am PST


Barked: Wed Mar 11, '09 4:45am PST 
As all of you, I had been researching Swissys for years. I fell in love with them on "Breed All About It" on Animal Planet when I saw a 3 year-old (human) girl climb into a mama Swissy's nesting area with her pups and accept her as one of her own.

When I went to get my Ada (now 4 months old) from the breeder, I snuck to the back of the house before the breeder saw me and there were about 6 adult Swissys behind a fence barking at me. I cautiously walked up to them and held my hand out and they climbed all over each other to lick my hand. Very sweet dogs.

She has been much easier to train than my hound mix was when she was a puppy. She's pretty lazy and hasn't ruined any of my stuff. I catch her with a sock once in a while, but not even torn a little. She will play when around other dogs, especially other puppies, but with people she is very gentle, especially the first time she meets them. She usually walks up, stops between their legs, sits down and waits to be pet.

My only complaint is that she isn't very cuddly, loves to be pet, but doesn't really lay in my lap or curl up against me. I think its mostly though because of their double thick coat (for the mountains), she only likes to lay on tile (colder) surfaces or next to the door where there's a draft. She does get overheated easily, so be careful!

Member Since
Barked: Tue Apr 3, '12 4:59am PST 
Realizing that this thread is a million years old, I can only assume that someone will come across this while doing research and I figured I would give my two cents...

We have two Swissies. One is 10 (Maggie) and the other is about 10 mos (Beezus). I absolutely love this breed! They are wonderful, loving and devoted dogs. However, you need to be aware, they are not your get em and forget em kinda breed. They are very intelligent and need lots of attention early on to keep problems from developing.

Also, remember their size. What might be a mild annoyance with a small to mid size dog, is a HUGE deal with a giant breed. Jumping is not cute! Also, they can be pretty strong willed. If they want to play instead of calming down... well they are going to play... If they want to run across the yard instead of sitting with you, well... You get it. You MUST be dedicated to training, working with and above all, spending time with the dogs... Like I said, they are very devoted!