Greater Swiss Mountain Dog vs Boerboel - Breed Comparison

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog vs BoerboelGreater Swiss Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland but Boerboel is originated from South Africa. Both Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Boerboel are having almost same height. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog may weigh 20 kg / 44 pounds lesser than Boerboel. Both Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Boerboel has same life span. Both Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Boerboel has same litter size. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But Boerboel requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Switzerland
South Africa
Height Male:
65 - 72 cm
25 - 29 inches
64 - 70 cm
25 - 28 inches
Height Female:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
59 - 65 cm
23 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
60 - 70 kg
132 - 155 pounds
70 - 90 kg
154 - 199 pounds
Weight Female:
55 - 70 kg
121 - 155 pounds
68 - 90 kg
149 - 199 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
5 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
GSMD, Swissy, Sennenhund
South African Boerboel, African Boerboel, South African Mastiff, African Mastiff
Colors Available:
Black, white and rust
Fawn, Red, Brown, Brindle
Coat:
Short and straight to medium length, coarse and wavy
Short and dense
Shedding:
Moderate, Seasonal
Minimal, Constant
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

greater swiss mountain dogHailing from Switzerland, and one of its oldest dog breeds, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a dubious history in that there are a number of theories as to its origin. He is closely related to the Bernese Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard and Rottweiler.

Of all the theories, the one that says he is descended from large, mastiff-like dogs is a popular one. He used to be a herding- and guard dog, but also was used to pull carts of farm produce.

It was in the 1900s that the dog’s numbers started dwindling. In 1908, canine researcher, Albert Heim recognized the dogs as being large members of the Sennenhund type, a family of four breeds that includes the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

He wanted to see the dogs recognized as a separate breed and the Swiss Kennel Club listed the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog in 1909.

In 1968 they were brought to the United States and a club for them was formed. The dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 with the dog being recognized as a member of the Working group.

boerboelThe name ‘Boerboel’ is derived from an Afrikaans/Dutch word, and the large Boerboel dog from South Africa has been specifically bred to be a farmer’s dog. Bred also to be a strong guard dog, the Boerboel is a mix of different African and European breeds, which in all likelihood, will include the Bullmastiff, the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Bulldog. These dogs were used to hunt baboon and leopard.

There is some information that suggests that the Boerboel was brought to South Africa by Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. Other information suggest that the dog is a descendant of the old Boer Hund, a powerful animal which was invaluable to the farmer.

In was in January 2010, that the American Boerboel Club was elected as the AKC’s Parent Club. The Boerboel was accepted into the Miscellaneous Class in the Working dog group.

Description

greater swiss mountain dog puppySwissies, as they are often referred to as, are large, robust dogs, standing at 65–72cm and weighing anything between 50 – 70kg, with the females being slightly smaller and weighing a little less.

He has big, rounded paws, medium length floppy ears, a broad chest and a long tail. This is a heavy-boned dog, strong while still being agile.

His dense, double coat is black, white and tan or rust, with black on top of the dog's back, ears, tail and legs. There are two rust dots above each eye. The coat can be short and straight to medium length, coarse and wavy. The dog sheds throughout the year with a major shedding a couple of times a year.

Temperament:

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a sociable canine, thriving on being part of a loving human family. While he used to be a working farm dog, today he is essentially a family pet, though he loves to still be busy.

He is generally friendly with strangers, but just like with all other dog breeds, he will need to be trained and socialized to turn him into an even-tempered, obedient dog, capable of getting on well with children and pets in the the home.

Looks

boerboel puppyThe Boerboel is a big, strong dog with powerful muscles. His height is between 61 – 66cm. He is similar looking to the Boxer dog, just heavier and bigger. The head of the dog is broad and big and the short, smooth coat can be of various shades, with breeders trying to achieve a single color of light tan and with no white. Their coats can also be red, different shades of brown and brindle.

The dog has a black facial mask and the eyes are brown with the ears being of medium length and floppy. The Boerboel’s tail has always been docked, but today breeders are keeping the tail long. Many Boerboel lovers object to this, saying it detracts from the distinctive look of the Boerboel.

Temperament

The Boerboel can be a wonderfully loyal and loving pet to their owners. They are territorial dogs and suspicious of strangers. This is a dog where it is imperative that they receive training and socialization as a puppy. They have leanings towards being aggressive so they wouldn’t be recommended to first time dog owners, unless of course the first time owners are firm and strong.

Boerboels raised the right way can be gentle giants. They often get bad publicity as regards to aggression, but this is because of they way they have been raised. Boerboels have been bred to be tough and fearless and they make excellent watchdogs. When raised and trained correctly, they make awesome, devoted companions, even around children and other pets.

Health Problems

greater swiss mountain dog dogThe GSMD or Sennenhund, as his name is shortened to, is a fairly healthy dog breed, with very few health issues.

He has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, and although not likely, he can suffer from minor problems such as gastric torsion as well as female urinary incontinence. If your female dog is dribbling urine in her sleep, there are a number of reasons that can be causing it - bladder infections, a medical condition or a weakened bladder with spayed female dogs.

It is certainly time to get your pet to the vet who will recommend a urinalysis.

boerboel dogMany health problems experienced with any dog are found in the way dogs are fed, the way they are exercised and the way they are attended to when they are ill. Boerboels are healthy dogs and suffer fewer health defects than most similar breeds. The average life expectancy of a Boerboel is about 10 to 12 years. There are one or two health issues you’ll want to watch out for with your Boerboel.

Hip dysplasia

This aliment is typically found in large breed dogs. It’s a problem caused by a malformation of the hip joint. Over time hip dysplasia causes discomfort, pain and even arthritis and lameness. It is genetically inherited, with its severity being influenced by environmental factors. There are treatments available to alleviate the symptoms and make the dog more comfortable.

Obesity

The Boerboel has plenty of muscle mass, and because he is such a large dog with a big appetite, he can lean towards obesity. Plenty of activities will be imperative to maintain muscle mass and ward off obesity. Over-eating suppresses the immune system, so over-feeding your dog simply contributes to ill health.

Caring The Pet

Diet:

greater swiss mountain dog puppiesThe Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a robust dog and thrives on a diet of kibble to raw meat to some cooked home-made food such as chicken, brown rice and vegetables.

A serious issue with the GSMD is overfeeding, resulting in uncomfortable digestive problems and of course, obesity.

Exercise:

Your GSMD isn’t a dog that is going to require a lot of exercise like some of the other dog breeds there are, but still his working career of the past requires that he still be taken on daily walks, enjoys ball- and rope games and to go swimming.

Grooming:

Brush your dogs coat at least twice a week to remove loose hears. Other grooming aspects include cleaning the ears to avoid infection, clipping his nails and brushing his teeth at least twice a week.

If you’re not sure how to do all these things, there are useful accessories for dogs that allow you to do all this grooming on your own. Your vet can also show you how as these are all things that will require ongoing attention.

Grooming

boerboel puppiesBoerboels are a robust breed and their short hair doesn’t shed heavily. Your Boerbul will require a thorough brushing twice a week to remove loose hair and to keep the coat shiny and healthy.

Boerboels, just like any other dog, should have their teeth brushed regularly to prevent tartar and plaque build-up. Left unattended, your pet can battle with tooth decay and gum disease.

Feeding

Your Boerboel puppy will need ‘large breed puppy’ dog food. Speak to your veterinarian about wet- or dry kibble choices. An adult Boerboel will certainly need raw meat in his diet. When you do research, you find that the best Boerboel breeders are advocates for raw feeding. Home made food with rice, vegetables and meat as well as the best quality commercially manufactured dog foods for large breeds are excellent choices but raw meat is imperative as part of every dog’s diet.

Characteristics

greater swiss mountain dog dogsThe Swissy is an easy going dog and adapts easily into his human family’s lifestyle. He is big, but agile dog known for his gentle temperament.

While he loves the outdoors, he is a social dog and loves nothing more than coming indoors and being close to his human family.

He loves his family and won’t do well if left outside for days without human companionship. Treat him well and you’ll be rewarded with a loyal, loving 4-legged family member.

boerboel dogsA well trained, socialized Boerboel makes a splendid pet. This is one breed known to have excellent guard- and watch dog characteristics. Boerboels are known for being protective when necessary. When not on guard, they make wonderful pets. He’ll need plenty of exercise, but he loves to also spend time indoors with his human family.

This a a bold, fearless dog who becomes devoted to his family. With the right training he is obedient and affectionate and knows how to behave appropriately indoors- and outdoors. For such a big dog, the African Boeboel’s temperament can be surprisingly gentle and affectionate around the family that he loves.

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