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The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is one of the oldest breeds of dog and the largest of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs.  They were originally used in their native country of Switzerland for draft, herding and guarding.  Nowadays they are classed as working dogs but also make excellent family companions.    The Swissy is a large, powerful and friendly dog.  They are alert and highly intelligent and make fine watchdogs.   Swissies adore children and are very protective of family and property.


The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has only recently been introduced to the UK.  The Kennel Club accepted the breed onto the Import Register in July 2008.  The Interim breed standard was introduced on the 1 April 2010. This milestone means that the breed can now be shown in 'Import Classes'.


As from 1st April 2016 the GSMD breed has been fully accepted by the KC onto the Full Breed Register.  This means we can now have our own classes at Championship and Open Shows and also separate classes at Crufts from 2017.

Breed characteristics....


The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest of four Swiss mountain dogs.  They were originally used for guarding, herding and draft work. The Swissy is an extremely robust dog with powerful hindquarters ideally suited to pulling carts traditionally loaded with dairy products.  A true working breed, the Swissy needs to be kept active with regular exercise and plenty of space.  Please read this article written by Jennie Chen from USA which captures the essence of the breed.


Swissies are real family dogs and enjoy human company.  They do not do well confined to kennels and are happier being household companions.  They do however moult and need regular grooming.

Swissies are alert and vigilant and make excellent watch dogs.  They have a natural instinct to guard and protect their family.

Most Swissies like the company of children, but NO large dog should be left unattended with young children.  Due to the Swissies size and lively nature, they can easily topple children unintentionally.

Swissies are slow maturing both mentally and physically.  Because of orthopaedic concerns related to large breed dogs, great care must be taken to prevent injury during growth stages.  Despite their sturdy build, the breed is, in effect, quite fragile during these growth periods.  The Swissy is not a breed that can sustain unlimited exercise or activities such as jogging or going up and down stairs at a young age.

Swissies are very intelligent and are eager to learn.  Correct handling and training is important at all stages of their development.  To read more please click here....

Breed Standard....


The Kennel Club accepted the Great Swiss Mountain Dog onto the Import Breed Register in October 2008. The Interim breed standard has now been accepted and was published on the 1 April 2010. 


To view this Interim breed standard please click here........,

Health & Welfare....  


If you are seriously considering having a Swissy but you feel that the health issues mentioned in other areas of the site need further explanation please read on for information about .Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, OCD, Epilepsy, Eye diseases, Canine Bloat, Cancer, Swissy lick and Splenic Torsion


To read the current club position with regards to these conditions please click here......

Breed Health Advisor


The club's Breed Health Advisor , Sue Brailey, can be contacted on regarding any health issues that may arise. Any medical information or health issues are required to enable us to understand more about the breed and hopefully help each other in the future. It is hoped both breeders and owners will be honest and forthcoming with any health information to ensure the future health of the breed here in the UK.  All information given will be strictly Private and Confidential.   If you would like to take part in the GSMD spaying/neutering health survey please download the form here........and return it to Sue Brailey

How do you judge a good Swissy.....?


If you are interested in a showing your Swissy, what do the judges look for? This article, reproduced by kind permission of Lori Price, gives you an  indication of the things a United States judge would be marking your dog / bitch on. ........Please download this pdf ……..

Showing your Swissy.....?


There are several types of dog shows.   The most common are local Companion Shows organised by local groups mainly for fun and to raise money for charities.  These shows are open to pedigree and cross breed dogs . To read more please ........... download this pdf

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