The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, or GSMD, originated in the remote, mountainous regions of Switzerland and were developed to be versatile working dogs capable of draft work, herding and guarding livestock, and serving as farm sentinel. They have the athletic aptitude and endurance to work long hours in mountainous regions and enjoy mentally and physically engaging activities such as carting, weight-pull, hiking, agility, obedience, and herding. Their exercise, while necessary, should be moderate due to their large size and thick coat which makes them vulnerable to overheating. They are social dogs that thrive on the company of humans and make excellent family pets. While intelligent and eager to please, they are slow developers so patience and diligence regarding housebreaking and training are necessary. Their thick coats should be brushed at least weekly.
Each AKC approved purebred breed has its own national club. The mission of these “parent breed clubs” is to improve and preserve a particular breed by advancing knowledge about its history, its health, and care requirements. They also work to assure that the breed’s form and function remain true to its historical physical type and character: A Dalmatian, for instance, should be athletic and have a natural affinity for working with horses. A Fox Terrier should have the right body size and shape, and a drive to go after vermin.
Pet owners, breeders, trainers, veterinarians, and others with a special love for a breed become members of the parent breed club to meet like-minded enthusiasts and to support the club’s mission. The nation’s top breed experts are members of the parent club.
The national parent breed club is the first and best place to go to learn about a breed or find a knowledgeable, experienced breeder.