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Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America collection

Identifier: AKD-3-11

Scope and Contents Note

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America records is a useful resource for those interested in the foundation of the breed in America from the 1960's onward. Although the breed was not officially recognized by the AKC until 1995, the records in this collection stretch back to 1968 when the breed's Club was first formed and includes some early history on the Club (through written Histories and membership lists) and the dogs (breed standards, pedigrees, and champions lists, and advertisements).

The collection also contains the Herding Events proposal that the Club presented to the AKC so that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog could be included in those competitions. This proposal includes more standards and histories on the breed as well as various comments to the effectiveness of the breed as a herding, livestock protection, and utility farmwork dog. The proposal also includes comments from judges on how the breed works with livestock.


  • 1968-2004


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

This material is open to research without restrictions.

Publishing and Use Restrictions

Some materials in this collection may still fall under copyright restrictions, please consult the Archivist.

Breed History

As stated in the name, this native of Switzerland is one of the earliest descendants of the large Mastiff-type dogs introduced to the Alpine by the ancient Romans. Developed in the remote and isolated areas of Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was adapted to general farm use as a herding dog, guard dog, and utilitarian draft dog. Of the four Sennenhund breeds developed in Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is both the largest and the oldest. Though little known outside its country of origin for many years, the Greater Swiss was instrumental in the early development of both the Saint Bernard and the Rottweiler.

In the late 19th century, much of the work previously done by the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was either supplied by other breeds of dogs or replaced by machines. In 1908, a Greater Swiss was shown to the famous dog expert, Dr. Albert Heim of Zurich. It had been assumed that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog had already died out. With the urging of Dr. Heim, other specimens were located, and he called upon breeders to save this ancient Alpine dog. By 1910, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was recognized by the Swiss Kennel Club.

J. Frederick and Patricia Hoffman imported the first of this breed to the United States after seeing them exhibited at a show in Frankfurt, Germany.

While growth of interest in the breed has been slow, it has been steady. In 1968, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was formed for the express purpose of obtaining AKC recognition. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America stud book was transferred to the AKC on March 17, 1993, with an initial 1,300 dogs as foundation stock. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was given Working Group designation and became eligible for full recognition status on July 1, 1995.

Physical Description

1 Linear Feet (in 1 record carton.)


The collection contains the Years of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog books from 1968 to 1998 in printed and digital formats. The books primarily consist of pedigrees and champions lists, but also include breed standards, membership lists, and various flyers and advertisements for breeders and breeding stock. The collection also includes the Club's proposal to the AKC to recognize the breed in Herding events.


The collection is organized into two main series:

  1. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog books, 1968-1998
  2. Herding Proposal, 2004


Collection is a gift from the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, 2012.

Guide to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America Collection
Craig P. Savino
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the American Kennel Club Library & Archives Repository

101 Park Ave
FL 5
New York NEW YORK 10178 United States