Finding a GSMD
Finding a Swissy
Absolutely, no doubt about it, the only good source to obtain a puppy from is the show breeder who puts time and effort into studying the breed and producing the best puppies possible. The only place a puppy buyer should ever buy a puppy from is a responsible breeder. The great news is that there are good responsible breeders in all areas of the country that strive to produce strong, healthy puppies.
But, how do you recognize the responsible breeder? How can the puppy buyer know they are getting a puppy from a breeder who has the interest of the breed in mind, rather than just the potential income?
The first step is to locate breeders who are a members of the Parent Club. The GSMDCA is the Parent Club for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Upon joining the club, GSMDCA members all sign an agreement in which they commit to never sell, supply, donate, or surrender a GSMD to wholesalers, pet shops or other retailers, raffles, catalog houses, laboratories, or shelters. This is the first step in knowing that the breeder cares about where their puppies go. Buyers are encouraged to read the GSMDCA Breeder’s Guidelines to aid them in their search for a puppy.
Some key things the buyer can look for.
1)Responsible breeders are more than happy to tell you about their dogs, the environment they raise puppies in and will welcome visitors. Dog quarters will be clean and well kept.
2)Responsible breeders will ask you questions about your lifestyle, your home, and your family and other pets. Most breeders will require the buyer to complete an application and the buyer can expect a thorough interview.
3)Puppies and dogs will be well socialized to children, other animals, and normal household noises. Puppies should already be introduced to the concept of eliminating outdoors, though by no means will a young Swissy puppy be housetrained.
4)Responsible breeders will test for common health issues in the breed. In Swissys, breeders should at minimum test hips, elbows, and eyes. Some breeders also certify shoulders, patellas, hearts & thyroid. Ressponsible breeders will screen breeding stock against genetic diseases to the best of their ability, but at this time, technology has not been developed to make screening fail proof. Breeders will readily share health test results.
5)Puppies will be a minimum of 7 weeks old, and preferably 8 weeks old or older, before they leave the breeder.
6)Responsible breeders will pursue continuing education in the breed, should be a member of the GSMDCA, compete in dog shows and attend National and Regional Specialties.
7)Responsible breeders will sell all puppies on contract and companion puppies will be sold on sterilization contracts.
8)Puppies will be sold with an AKC registration certificate/application, a medical record detailing vaccinations and treatments, a contract, a three-generation pedigree, and microchip registration forms (the puppy should already be microchipped.)
9)Responsible breeders are happy to answer your questions, will encourage your questions, and will remain available throughout the lifetime of your puppy.
10)Responsible breeders will insist you return the dog to them if you are unable to keep it.
Looking for an adult GSMD
Most Swissy breeders accept back any puppies they place that do not work out. Because of this, contacting breeders is the best method of locating an adult dog that is available for placement. Word spreads, so if you are looking for an adult, don’t hesitate to start spreading the news. Adult dogs will have various levels of training. Be sure to ask questions! Most breeders will be extremely careful to match adult dogs with the right family.
Swissy Rescue assists Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs that don’t have a breeder to fall back on. Rescue is either unable to locate the breeder, or the breeder is not able to assume responsibility for the dog. These dogs come out of shelters or from individual families and details will of course vary from dog to dog. If you have a big heart and welcome the opportunity to give a Swissy a second chance, please contact rescue to see what Sweathearts may be looking for a good home.