Mountain dog

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Representative of the four current mountain dog breeds

The Swiss farmers' dogs are called Sennenhund . The name is derived from the herdsman , the alpine shepherd.

Mountain dog breeds

There are four different breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs (sorted by size, starting with the largest and heaviest breed):

Origin and history

The original dogs of the herdsmen had little resemblance to today's breeds, the only characteristic features were their stocky build and short, broad skulls. Today's colors occurred, but were only a variant. The tasks of the dogs were varied: driving the cattle to the high pastures, called alp or alpine pastures , guarding the herd, but also guarding the house and yard. The small dogs (Appenzeller and Entlebucher Sennenhund) were traditionally mainly used for driving herds of cattle, while the large dogs (Bernese and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs) were used as draft, watch and herd guard dogs . The main breeding goal was a behavior corresponding to this function regardless of the appearance of the dogs. With the extermination of large predators in the Alps, herd guard dogs were no longer necessary; their use is currently the subject of research against the background of the resettlement of predators (especially wolf).

The standardization of today's mountain dogs happened at the beginning of the 20th century, as late as 1900 the term did not appear in any dog ​​book. The development of dogs as a separate breed sometimes originated by chance. For example, a judge, Albert Heim , noticed a special, short-haired, large specimen of good build among the Bernese Mountain Dogs at an exhibition . He urged the owner to honor the great Swiss Mountain Dog and to save the breed . The Bernese, at that time still called Dürrbächler, only became known when friends persuaded the owner of some specimens to appear in a dog show.

Related breeds

Breeding the Saint Bernard by the monks of St. Bernard dates back to the mountain dogs. The Rottweiler also comes from the same gene pool.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Hans Räber : Encyclopedia of dog breeds. Vol. 1: Farm dogs, shepherd dogs and cattle dogs, shepherds. Franckh-Kosmos Verlag 1993, ISBN 3-440-06555-3
  2. Jean-Marc Landry: The use of guard dogs in the Swiss Alps: first experiences (PDF; 402 kB) , in: KORA report No. 2, August 1999, ISSN  1422-5123 (KORA: coordinated research projects for the conservation and management of Predators in Switzerland )
  3. Hans Räber : Encyclopedia of dog breeds . tape 1 . Franckh-Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-440-06555-3 , Der St.Bernhardshund, The origin of the dogs, p. 27 ff .
  4. Hans Räber : Encyclopedia of dog breeds . tape 1 . Franckh-Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-440-06555-3 , Der Rottweiler, p. 168 ff .