Swissies descend from war dogs brought over the Alps by Julius Caesar’s legions. The Swiss utilized these mastiff-types when breeding their Alpine mountain dogs, or Sennenhund. Of these, Swissies are the oldest and the largest (or, the “greater”).
In remote mountain passes they toiled as all-around farm-and-pasture hands, specializing in hauling loads of meat and dairy to market in smartly outfitted dogcarts. The Greater Swiss is closely related to the Bernese Mountain Dog and is a component breed of the Saint Bernard and Rottweiler.