Each of the 320 or so canine breeds recognized by the International Canine Federation (FCI) has a particular country of origin. Seven of these breeds have always been attributed to Switzerland and form part of our national heritage.They comprise four breeds of cattle dogs (Bernese Mountain Dog, Appenzell Mountain Dog, Entlebuch Cattle Dog, and Great Swiss Mountain Dog), one breed of large, mastiff-type mountain dog (St. Bernard Dog), and two breeds of scent hound Swiss Hounds and Smaller Swiss Hounds).
The Schweizerische Kynologische Gesellschaft (SKG) - i.e. the Swiss equivalent of the Kennel Club - acts in a general supervisory capacity as the custodian of these seven breeds. However, for all practical purposes, their safeguarding and control lie in the hands of the relevant breed clubs, which are themselves accountable to the SKG's Central Committee.
It is an acknowledged fact that not only the average Swiss, but also many dog-owners and even dedicated dog-fanciers do not realize that these are Swiss breeds. That is why the Central Commitee of the SKG has decided that it is high time to promote these Swiss breeds, especially in Switzerland, but also abroad, so as to bring this little known national canine treasure into the limelight. A practical occasion was provided by the need to undertake a thorough revision of the standards of our seven breeds according to the new model imposed by the FCI. The standard of a breed is a description of an ideal representative of that breed. This editorial task, which not only brought the standards up to date but also provided an opportunity to boost our national breeds, has been accomplished over the past two years by the SKG's Commission of Standards in close collaboration with representatives of the breed clubs concerned.
After their acceptance by the Central Committee of the FCI, these new standards were published by the FCI in German, French and English, and were distributed to all countries affiliated to the FCI throughout the world.
In order to enhance the repute of our national breeds and to make them better known through a publicity campaign in their favour, the Central Committee of the SKG has decided to publish, on the occasion of the World Dog Show held in Berne in June under the auspices of the FCI, the standards of our seven breeds, in the form of three lavishly illustrated booklets: one in German, one in French, and one in English.
The texts presented here on the Museum's WWW-pages are from the booklet: Paschoud, J.-M., The Swiss Canine Breeds, FCI-Standards, Paul Haupt, Bern, 1994. Dr. J.-M. Paschoud is President of the standards commissions of the SKG and the FCI, he is also President of the board of trustees of the He has consented to the publishing of his texts on these WWW-pages.