RidgeBridge Farm Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
Beautiful Gretel vom Pierre Pertuis, our second Swiss Import, 1996. Greta was featured in the original AKC video standard of the GSMD.
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If you think your lifestyle would be a good fit for a Swissy, be sure to read all that you can. Read about health and temperament. Read about the breed's history and origins. Be certain you can commit to the challenge and financial commitment of owning a dog for life. Check GSMD Rescue to see if there are any adoptable rescue Swissies. If, after all of these considerations, you decide to purchase a pure bred Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, then your real homework begins. Finding a good, reputable breeder can take time. Be patient. Ask questions. Ask about the health history of the sire and dam. Ask about their temperament. Meet the breeder and the breeder's dogs. Ask about the breeder's philosophy. The internet looks like an efficient way to find a dog, but a web site is not a substitute for meeting someone (or their dogs) in person. This isn't always possible due to geographic boundaries, but if at all possible, try to meet your breeder, even if you have to travel to a dog show to meet. After all, you are going to need this person's knowledge and advice over the life of your dog. At least that is what you should expect from a breeder. Please never buy from a pet store, a newspaper ad, or any online broker. Be very selective of your breeder. Because that is the very person who will be laying the foundation for the future health and well being of your puppy.
The GSMD is a special breed, but being special doesn't mean it's a breed for everyone. I like to refer to them as a "lifestyle" breed, because Swissies have a way of being involved in every part of your life. They aren't content to be kennel dogs, outside dogs, or dogs who spend a lot of time away from their families. They are highly social and want to be involved in every part of your life and activities. If you aren't prepared to include your Swissy in all aspects of your life, you just may be looking at the wrong breed. Sharing your life with a Swissy is a BIG commitment, both in time, money, and sheer size of the dog itself!
Early Champions & Half Sibs:
CH. RidgeBridge Brown Eyed Girl (left)
CH. RidgeBridge Yukon Cody (right)
PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE which I wrote more than 20 years ago. It is still widely published on many web sites today:
Another great article for both new and experienced owners! Long time Swissy owner and dog training enthusiast Dori Likevich gives a perfect primer on properly training and socializing your Swissy. Make certain you are up for the challenge and time requirements of properly raising, training and training a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
CH. Derby Jotunheim RidgeBridge Hey Stella
Shortly after American Kennel Club acceptance of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the popularity rose overnight. Everyone wanted a Swissy! I wrote this article to educate potential buyers and those doing research on the breed. Though temperaments in the breed have greatly improved over the past two decades, I still feel that this article is relevant. Working breeds are not for everyone. Consider the heritage of the Swissy and try to better understand their origin. As handsome as they may be, they are simply too much dog for a lot of households.
The following document is the official breed standard of the Swissy in the USA.
A brief Historical Overview of the Swissy: