Growth And Maturity
Liberty Run Kennel

A comparison of growth and maturity in
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
by Anna Wallace, Liberty Run Kennels


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a breed that grows very quickly, but develops and matures very slowly.   There is no specific weight your puppy needs to be at a certain age, but as a general rule, your male Swissy will gain about 10 pounds a month until they are about 9 months old, and will then taper off tremendously and gain weight much more slowly for the rest of his maturity. Because of the fast early growth, it is highly recommended to monitor food intake carefully.  You want to be sure your dog is getting enough food, but also isn't getting too much.  There is a tendency in most large breeds to brag about how much your dog weighs at a certain age, and because of that, it is not unusual to see puppies that are carrying around too much weight.  Your puppy should be eating a quality large breed puppy formula or adult formula dog food.  With a quality food, there should be little need for supplementation, and most often supplementation is done without proper study.  Keeping your puppy's body conditioning under close control is the best method for helping your puppy grow to be a healthy adult.  Once your puppy is 3 months old, for proper body conditioning, your puppy should have a distinct waistline and little "belly".  You should be able to easily feel the puppy's ribs, without having to search for them.  He should look a bit gangly and perhaps a bit thin, much like an adolescent boy.  He should receive enough play time and exercise to be well muscled, but not forced exercise such as jogging or roadwork.  Growing too fast, carrying too much weight, and too much forced exercise puts tremendous stress on joints such as hips, elbows and shoulders.   This is a breed known to have difficulty with OCD, hip and elbow dysplasia, and with that, we must be sure we do not add to those difficulties through improper management.

While a nine to ten month Swissy puppy will have the majority of his weight, he should not look like a mature Swissy.  As he matures, his body will change and mature out, much like a 35 year old man has a physical maturity that he lacked when he was 21.

This page contains several pictures of Connor (male) and Casey (female) through various stages of growth and maturity.

Connor
Casey
12 Months
22 Months
3 Years
6 Years
4 Years
3 Years
19 Months
17 Months
9 Months
7 Months
10 weeks