Judge’s Education

Judges Education

Special Notes For Judges

This section presents information that is not specifically addressed in the Standard or might need to be addressed in additional detail. It is intended to aid judges who desire a more thorough knowledge of the breed to evaluate the complete dog.
NOTE: Although this section is directed toward judges, it is also intended to be of value to breeders and exhibitors of GSMD.

Judges are reminded that they should always give their awards to the best dogs in the ring and not necessarily to the biggest dogs present. Although the standard makes use of the word “powerful”, please be aware that the word implies strength and power as well as size and substance. Proper evaluation of the GSMD will put great emphasis on the well-conditioned and athletic animal and penalize the overweight and out-of-shape dog. As a judge you will often be asked to pass judgment on a dog that is fat and could never perform its historic task as an all purpose farm dog — such a dog is not a good specimen of the breed. Nor is mere height a virtue when it fails to be accompanied by the athletic balance and substance that make the correct GSMD. We ask the judges to always keep in mind that bigger is not necessarily better; the more correct dog is always better.

The standard indicates that dogs are ideally 25.5 to 28.5 inches and bitches are 23.5 to 27 inches at the shoulder. Judges should be aware that neither the upper or lower end of these height ranges are preferred, but rather that the dog is balanced, slightly longer than tall, and is of a sturdy build for its height.

Judges are reminded that Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are required to carry the characteristics of their gender.

The Swissys topcoat is black, however it is very common to see a tawny undercoat extending through the topcoat, usually on the neck and shoulders. This is not a desirable characteristic, it is much preferred for the undercoat to be as dark as possible (black or gray) and not be seen without lifting the topcoat. However an undercoat must be present. The best places to check undercoat is on the shoulder, neck or thigh.

The standard goes into extensive detail about coloring and markings, however please keep in mind that we consider markings a cosmetic factor and some deviation a minor fault.

Proper Swissy movement should have good reach and drive, and not be exaggerated or cumbersome.

Judges should take notice that the Standard calls only for a scissors bite.

Judges should be aware that the temperament of the GSMD is of primary importance. Judges are asked to severely penalize shyness or aggression towards people exhibited in their ring.

 Illustrated Standard

History of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Historical Photos

 Lettter from JEC


For Ringside Mentoring

Please See This List of
GSMDCA Approved Judge Mentors

or contact Judges’ Education co-chairs:

Ann Hansen


Jennie Chen