The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog’s Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Switzerland Original purpose: herding, draft Name: also called "Large Swiss Mountain Dog" and "Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund;" nicknamed "Swissy" Historical notes: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog resulted from cross-breeding of an indigenous Swiss dog breed and a large, foreign dog breed. The foreign dog breed is assumed to have been brought by the conquering Romans. The Romans, in turn, may have gotten the breed from the Phoenicians. The breed was believed extinct by the turn of the 20th century. In 1908, Franz Schertenlieb brought out one of the last remaining Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs at a Swiss Kennel Club show. Albert Heim, an expert in the breed, urged for the breed to be revived, and it slowly did.