Pack Hike Information

April 11-12, 2015 Back to Back Pack Hike Information

Registration is due April 1, 2015 - Click here for Handler entry form
Click here for map of hike in Walnut Creek Open Space.
Click here for additional information, including additional maps, and elevation profile regarding the hike.
Entry Fee information is on our Events Page

Purpose of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America Inc. Working Pack Dog Titles

The Purpose is to encourage Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (GSMD) owners to work their GSMD's in the pursuits for which this breed was originally intended. The overall intent is to demonstrate a GSMD's ability and fitness to work over time and on a variety of terrains.

All GSMD's over 18 months of age are eligible for Working Pack Dog Titles

Earning a Novice Working Pack Dog Title

  • GSMD's must earn 4 qualifying legs to obtain a Working Pack Dog Title
  • Earning Legs
    • Two legs awarded for a back-to-back hike that consists of hiking two consecutive days for 8 miles
    • One leg can be earned on a single day hike of 10 miles
    • Two legs awarded for an overnight primitive hike consisting of a 5 mile hike, an overnight camp, followed by a second 5 mile hike on the day following the overnight camp
Click here for the GSMDCA Pack Hike Rules and Regulations
A pack hike must be over natural terrain and the planned route must be approved by the GSMDCA. Anyone can volunteer to be a hike leader as long as the proper applications are submitted to the GSMDCA.

Pack Hike Training Tips

A Pack Hike Prerequisite: The dog (bitch) must have completed at least one training workout consisting of 6 miles carrying the weight to be carried during the hike.

The suggested training program below should be enough to get you and your Swissy through a pack event.

During your training, always keep in mind the health of your Swissy - be alert and in tune with his (her) well being. Start training your Swissy with a pack that weighs about 5 pounds. It is essential that the weight is evenly distributed amongst the two saddle bags, and be sure that no sharp edges are against your dog's back or sides. Ziplock bags filled with sand or Platypus water containers with water work great for weight. Add 5 pounds per week until you reach 20% (or 30%) of your dog's weight. Your Swissy should wear the pack at least 3 to 4 times a week (in addition to walks without a pack during "off" days). The daily distance should be 1 to 3 miles. Each week, at least one of the treks with a pack should be 3 miles. After the first month, a least one trek with the pack, every two weeks, should be 2/3 of the event distance or 6 to 7 miles. It is important to vary your training workouts to included hills, water crossings, as well as flat ground. As much as possible, the training workouts with a pack should be on trails or dirt roads to toughen your dog's feet.

Do NOT attempt to train or participate if your dog has an injury or disability.