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6 Wonderful Dog Breeds from Switzerland

The Swiss have a rich history in dog breeding. Before the 1500s, it was common for farmers to own one or two dogs to guard their farms and provide companionship. In the late 1800’s, several breeds became standardized through selective breeding. These included: Appenzeller Sennenhund, Bernese Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the St. Bernard. These are all breeds that originated in Switzerland, but are now popular throughout many parts of Europe and America for their ability to work as herding dogs or guard dogs. Here are six great dog breeds from Switzerland.

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1) Appenzeller Sennenhund

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a dog breed from Switzerland that was originally used as a herding and guard dog by the Appenzeller people. The dogs were named after the canton of Appenzell where they originated. In 1979, they became known as the most endangered breed in Europe because their population declined to only 15 individuals. In the 1980s, a foundation was created to help preserve the breed and they have since become a bit more popular among other countries as a household pet. Despite having been the most popular of all the Swiss Mountain Dogs for a time in the late 1800’s-they are probably the rarest today.


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2) Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is another dog breed that originated in Switzerland specializing in herding cattle. The dogs are considered large in size with short black and red coats. They were originally used in the Swiss Alps to move cattle and pull carts, but since their creation they’ve became popular as a family pet and therapy dog. These dogs need daily exercises and enjoy playing with children or other canines. They are probably the best known of the Swiss mountain breeds and their popularity is growing around the world.


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3) Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is known for its great sense of smell and its ability to track. It is one of four Sennenhund breeds from Switzerland. In the past, these dogs were used as guard dogs as well as for draft work, herding cattle, pulling carts, and acting as companions. These days they have become extremely popular in America as a working breed or a companion dog. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog first came to America in the late 1960’s and was recognized by the AKC in 1995.


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4) Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is another breed that has become well known throughout Switzerland, Europe, and America for its physical ability to work as a herding dog. These dogs are often black or tan with white markings on their chest or feet. They were originally bred in the early 1900s in the Entlebuch region of Switzerland and were later recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011.


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5) St. Bernard

St. Bernards are well known for their large size, intelligence, loyalty, and ability to act as rescue dogs during avalanches or snowstorms. They originated from Great St. Bernard Hospice in Switzerland as a rescue dog. They were trained to recognize human scents and tracks during bad weather conditions. These dogs are often depicted with a barrel of brandy around their necks, but that is actually incorrect – they needed no added liquid for warmth.


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6) Berger Blanc Suisse

The Berger Blanc Suisse is a breed with roots in Switzerland that has recently become popular around the world. These white alpine herding dogs are known for their intelligence, physical ability to work in cold weather conditions, and large size. They were originally bred by Swiss farmers to herd cattle and protect them from wild boars, but have since become well known due to their easy-going temperament and ability to learn even advanced tricks.

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