Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have been used as Service Dogs for many years. While in service Swissies have and can perform many functions. Justus became a Service Dog in 2008 and has made a couple of long airplane flights as a Service Dog riding in the plane. Interestingly enough no one even knew he was on the plane until it was time to exit the plane. He was quite a hit walking through the airport as well.
I'm not suggesting all Swisses will make ideal Service Dogs, "you can't teach temperament". However, I would think most Swissie breeders know the type of temperament and qualities they are trying to produce, generally or in a particular breeding. In addition the first 10 weeks of a puppies life can also give a pretty good indication as to what the future will hold temperament wise. This section is dedicated to pictures and stories of those Swissies who are providing a function as a Service Dog for their owners.
Gracie, Peter and Matt
The following is a paraphrase of an email written by Anne a Swissie owner from RI:
The person in the wheelchair is my husband ? Peter. The other individual is Matt. He is a State Trooper that is in charge of the canine unit for the State Police. He has owned 2 Swissy?s in the past both were cadaver sniffing police dogs. He was the first police officer in the country to use the GSMD as a police dog and is very well know throughout the USA for teaching and administering certification for dogs to be search and rescue dogs. He has trained Gracie our GSMD as an assistant dog for my husband. Gracie is wearing a backpack ? not weighted because she was only 7 months old in the picture. Matt was very impressed at how quickly Gracie picked up ringing the bell on the door to go in and out and picking up items and giving them to my husband. She is extremely aware of her surroundings and when we are out in crowded areas if she is told to go forward she regularly makes a point of turning around to check on my husband to make sure he is OK.