The origin of Great Swiss Mountain Dogs is not unambiguous. In some sources, we read that the Great Mountain Dogs come from old Roman dogs. In the separated alpine valleys, they then evolved into different breeds of similar color, but of different sizes or tail forms.
In other material, it is written that the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is a descendant of native dogs, reared in the territory of Switzerland. The origins of these dogs go deep into the past. Due to the remoteness of individual valleys in the Swiss mountains, Switzerland has lived more and more as a part of world history. Over the years - in connection with the traditional way of life and the work of the peasants - local types of dogs have arisen through primitive selection for breeding and the consequence of family breeds. There is no mention of a purebred breeding that was only begun in the 20th century.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, a large butchery dog as spread throughout Europe. Everywhere they were strong dogs with short, coarse hair, and in almost all cases they were brown, yellow or black dogs with white and brown characters. These dogs served as helpers and guides for farmers, shepherds, sheepmen, butchers, and farmers. They guarded the yards and houses, they were companions and protectors of their owners and their families, treated themselves as hounds of dogs, guarded cattle for grazing and, above all, they were pulling various costs on carts or sleds.
The beginning of purebred breeding of large Swiss mountain dogs falls into the early 20th century. At the exhibition in Langenthal in 1908 Mr. Schertenleib von Burgdorf showed in the class of long-haired dürrbachler dogs shorthaired dog "Bello". Prof. Dr. Albert Heim, who judged this show, did not exclude him from his assessment despite his short coat. He said, "This dog belongs to another, unprecedented class, it is too beautiful and breed characteristic to be considered inferior to the Bernian mountain dogs. It is a specimen of already almost extinct "butchery" dogs, who belonged among the big Swiss mountain dogs, and with this name I am pleased and bestowed on my first conviction. That is why the breed has been given a missing name yet. "At the same time, Albert Heim called on all friends of the mountain dogs to pay attention to the great Swiss mountain dog and save him from extinction.
The breed of a large Swiss mountain dog was recognized by the Swiss cynology society as early as 1909 and the KGSS was established in 1912.