GSMD in the USA

The Swissy came to the U.S. in 1968 when Frederick and Patricia Hoffman imported 4 GSMD from Switzerland and Austria. More imports followed, brought to this country by the Hoffmans, P.G. Rademacher, August Busch Jr., Mrs. Alfred Gmuer, Sal Lico, and others.

The first 3 litters were whelped from l970 to 1972 at the Hoffmans Carinthia kennel in Indiana. Dr. Howard and Gretel Summons from Pennsylvania acquired pups from these litters, which laid the foundation of the Sennenhof kennel. Howard and Gretel Summons became instrumental in the breeding of the Swissy in America. The Sennenhof kennel was the most prolific breeder during, the first years of the breed in the US. By the end of l975, Sennenhof had whelped 29, Carinthia 5 and Ran-Dee with the remaining 11 litters, 27 litters whelped by kennels such as Beech Hill, Neulangenthal, Hoellbraeu, VanderMeer, Von Morgan and Sennenhof T.C. By 1978, ten years after its introduction, 70 Swissys had been whelped in the US. ln 1985, fifteen years after the first litter was whelped in this country, 72 litters had been recorded. At the 20th anniversary in 1988, 456 dogs were registered in the national club "Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America" stud book. In 1995, approximately 1,000 Swissys were registered as foundation stock when the club registry was transferred to the AKC as a result of the ACK's recognition of the GSMD.

Throughout the breed's history in America, many imports have been brought in from Switzerland, Austria and more recently, from Denmark, Sweden, France, Belgium and Germany. Breeders continue these imports out of concern for the genetic diversity which remains a problem in a breed with a relatively short time period of pure breeding and overall small populations worldwide.

Today, the U.S. has the largest population of Swissys, distantly followed by the breed's country of origin, Switzerland. The recent presentation of Swissys in advertisement, TV programs, movies and on the internet has lead to an astounding increase in popularity of the breed. We can only hope that this popularity will not result in a rapid increase in numbers at the expense of health, temperament and structure as unfortunately has happened to so many other breeds in this country that became fashionable quickly for one reason or another.
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