The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed originated from Roman Mastiff-type dogs and indiginous Alpine dogs thousands of years ago. The breed was developed to be an all-around working dog - herding cattle, pulling carts, and standing guard. They are the largest of the four Sennendund breeds, standing slightly longer in the body than they are tall. They are very agile for their size and immensely powerful, with broad heads and a highly intelligent expression..
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is devoted to family. They can be suspicious of strangers and prefer to be properly introduced. They are active, temperamentally calm, and dignified, and love being part of daily household life. Among the four Sennenhunden, or Swiss mountain dogs, this breed is considered the oldest, and is also the largest. The breed nearly died out in the early 1900s but has since recovered in popularity. They are still considered a relatively rare breed in the US.