Bred to work, the Greater Swiss Mountain dog has handled numerous tasks, like herding cattle, pulling carts and acting as a guard. The modern Greater Swiss Mountain dog lives life as a family pet, though as a result of years of being bred to work, these energetic dogs tend to enjoy being busy and like to be employed. To ensure that your Greater Swiss Mountain dog is happy and healthy, you will want to be sure that they have plenty to do. Fortunately, your amicable companion can successfully participate in a variety of activities, which will not only meet their needs but allow them to further increase the bond they have with you.
A dog that is bred to work does best when having a job to do. Becoming a part of a search and rescue team is a great way for your dog (and you) to have a job and give back to your community. Search and rescue dogs and their people can be of assistance during natural disasters and in helping find missing persons. In order to participate in a search and rescue mission, a dog and their person (handler) have to go through significant training that will challenge their intelligence, agility, stamina and determination to pass the national certification. Dog and owner must be prepared to put in hundreds of hours towards certification. Added expenses to this activity must be expected as traveling is required from one training location to the next. Search and rescue work is very challenging for the dog and their handler, requiring that both remain in good shape to be able to safely handle missions in difficult conditions and often dangerous terrain.