Detta skrev jag 2003 då den amerikanska databasen kom ut på
nätet, hittade inte min svenska skrivelse utan lägger ut den
här på engelska.
Tyvärr fick den databasen problem och finns inte kvar idag
vilket är synd men det finns en del andra liknande källor
som är fritt att söka information på.
Looking back is one way of going forwards....
When I first came across this database I became so inspired
and spent hours looking out for old dogs. Many breeders and
dog owners are looking into the future but for me it was a
nostalgic trip back. When I first lay my eyes on a swissy
for 30 years ago, I was hooked. It was not only to have a
dog, it became a bit of obsession, and I could not get
enough of collecting everything about this very special
At that point here in Sweden, there where no problems the
numbers of GSMD was only 25. The first GSMD in Sweden was a
bitch Dana von Fryberg born 1964 she had 1 litter with a
danish male Katla Sera Dadi in 1967 some of the puppies had
long hair so the breeder did not take any more litters.
1972 went Kennel Tryggestads owner Greta Hammar to
Switzerland to get GSM dogs, she was one of the first to
bring in Bernese MD to Sweden back in the 50`s. She brought
back 2 females Briska von Dreispitz and Daisy vom Buchsimoos
and one male Ari vom Amtssitz and her first litter was born
1974. This was the beginning of GSMD in Sweden. Next import
came 1974 Götz von Thumegg born in Austria 1972. 1975 came
Caro von der Houzbrügg born in Switzerland. To start a new
breed with 5 dogs was not easy and some of the dogs used
then may not have been used today.
It was a hugh work to collect info about the backgrounds of
these imported dogs. I had the opportunity by being a member
in the swiss club to receive lots of info about the early
Looking back on these first 5 Swedish dogs pedigrees I find
3 of the most used stud dogs in Switzerland Miggu von
Fälliwald 43 litters/174 puppies, Judo von Fryberg 37 litter/141
puppies and Zarass von Fryberg 36 litters/150 puppies.
Interesting to see when we today talk about inbreeding value,
in some pedigrees of 4 generations (30 lines) the same male
could appear 8 to 10 times.
I made pedigrees on paper for as much dogs I could find and
made a register over the information I collected. When I
made pedigrees at that time It really showed how close
related the dogs where. The same dogs come up over and over
Today most people have interest in 3-5 lines back in the
pedigrees; step away back to 6-8 and these dogs show up
again. And with using this excellent database it’s no more
Maybe you think - why spending time to look back. During
these 30 years so many more have been into this breed and
hopefully everyone that cares will join in here with their
informations and photos. Looking back is one way of going
forwards - By looking in to the database and go back in line
of your dog gives a lot of information how the breed have
What is the progress of the breed today, what have happen
during these 94 years since the Swiss club started. By
using the database and other sources on internet, see photos
of dogs from the past, even if it’s impossible to be total
sure only from a photo – can we say the breed looks
different or better today?
The numbers of dogs in the world are much larger today, but
still it is not so easy to find suitable dogs for breeding.
I am not so impressed of show pictures, I prefer to see dogs
in a natural habitat showing themselves. I am not sure the
breed is better today, the difference is that we today have
more tools to use and we know more about how to use them.
What is important to tell about a stud dog or a bitch, often
the focus is on how the dog looks, titles and health status.
For me when I look around the info sources, there is much
more to be aware of. The background of the dog, parents,
siblings and other offspring’s. What is the value of a good
dog suitable for breeding?
Most of the dogs showing up for public eyes are the ones
that are used for breeding. They are only a small % in the
population, what about all the rest. Hopefully we will be
able in this database to see more of all these dogs that are
“only” a family member somewhere. They are very important
for the whole picture of the breed.
From all my research I would say we still have the same as
it was from the beginning. Many different types of GSMD.
Size is one thing people talking about. The standard was
made to be a guideline but the difference was much bigger.
By collecting fact about weights and heights of old dog from
Switzerland I can say that many people imagine the GSMD
bigger then it really was. There are dogs with heads like
rottweilers, St Bernhard and bloodhounds and going back in
the lines we can see where it came from.
Health - This is the absolute hardest things to collect,
and it is also the most important thing. There is no dog
breeder in the world that is breeding only healthy dogs. I
put breeders in 2 categories – One that keep records of
their breeding and is open with the information. The other
is the opposite – no info or no records more then the dogs
they use. I have come across breeders with lots of litters
saying we do not have HD, ED, OCD, and Epilepsy and so on
and when I look closer I can see that many dogs are not
X-rayed or have a health status. Looking to the health
issues in the breed today we have the knowledge about most
of the things that can show up. To breed is sometimes a
gambling – you can get healthy dogs in one litter and then
the same dog can give unhealthy dogs with an other male.
Even if there is nothing wrong with the dogs used, it can be
something behind them that makes the different. To keep a
good record of the dogs and go back to see what info there
is can make a big difference.
Coats and colours – The GSMD should have an undercoat, many
of the shiny black dogs we see do not have that any longer.
This can be because the living standard have changed for
many dogs today living inside in too warm habitat. Colours –
I am sure there where even from the beginning dogs with too
much white. The standard is allowing more white on a GSMD
then it does on the other 3 swiss dogs. Is it important! –
many say no it is the last thing to be aware about. I do
agree that health is the most important thing – I do not
agree that colours are of no importants.
It was interesting to see and look back how the changing in
colours appears from country to country. Today we have 2
standards, one here in Europe and one in the US. Maybe it’s
not fare to compare, here in Europe we also have dogs with
to much white. What more follow the white colour, long white
socks on the forelegs make the brown marks disappear, and
the black colour seems to be lighter with a pale brown
colour going to fare up on the back legs. The white blaze
going up over the skull and down to the neck or a white
chest going wide up and around the neck. These marks make a
different dog for me and it should be considering when
people choose a partner for their dogs also. It is clear
that the white colours are following the lines and it is one
of the most easy things to get hold on by looking on photos.
Everyone that has been falling for a swissy have their own
picture of what a perfect GSMD is for them. Maybe all these
different looking dogs is the charm of the breed, if you
search around, go back in lines of your dog and compare, the
past goes hand in hand with the future.
Going back to our Swedish swissies before I close this
writing. In the 80´s we had more swissies and breeders then
today and the breed is living on the edge now. It is much
easier to travel with your bitch today and use a male
outside the country. Unfortunelly there is not so many
suitable bitches left and to bring in a puppy can be done
but it is also more expensive and needs a larger interest.
The numbers of dogs is going down and a fast counting would
say we have about 200 dogs today. Many of these are also no
longer young dogs and for the last couple of years the
numbers of litters have been very low. Hopefully more people
will open their eyes for the breed so we can enjoy meeting a
Swedish swissy in the future as well.
One thing that is the same all around the world - having a
swissy is to have a great four legged friend that makes your
There will never be a perfect dog, the only goal must be to
have healthy dogs and try to keep them within the standard
so they look like a GSMD and have the right temperament.