Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Bernese Mountain Dog

(Berner Sennenhund)

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Switzerland.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
25.03.2003.
KC
January 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Originally used as a guard-, draught-and cattle dog on farms in the Canton Bern, today also family dog and versatile working dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 3Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs
Without working trial

KC
Working
UKC
Guardian Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. Peggy Davis, revised by Elke Pepper.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog of ancestral origin which was used as a guard and draught dog and for driving cattle in the prealpine regions and in the midland areas around Bern. Originally he was named “Dürrbächler” according to the name of the hamlet and of the inn of Dürrbach, near Riggisberg in the Canton Bern where these long-haired tricoloured farm dogs were especially numerous. In 1902, 1904 and 1907 specimen of this breed had already been exhibited at dog shows, and in 1907 some breeders of the region of Burgdorf decided to promote the pure breeding of these dogs by founding the “Schweizerischer Dürrbach-Klub”, and fixing the characteristic traits of the breed. In 1910, at a show in Burgdorf where many farmers of that region brought their Dürrbächler dogs to, already 107 specimen were shown. From that day onward this dog, renamed “Bernese Mountain Dog” following the example of the other breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs, became rapidly appreciated all over Switzerland and in the neighbouring parts of Germany. Today the Bernese Mountain Dog is well known and appreciated all over the world as a family dog thanks to its striking tricoloured coat and its great adaptability.
UKC
The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the four ancient Swiss Sennenhunds, developed when the invading Romans bred their mastiffs to local flock-guarding dogs, and is the only one with a full coat. Refined in the Berne region, dogs of this breed were routinely used for multiple jobs. These included: general farm worker; flock guardian; and draft dog. The breed is characterized by the classic, striking Sennenhund tri-coloring (black ground color, with rust and white markings). The Bernese Mountain Dog was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Longhaired, tricoloured, strong and agile working dog, of above medium size, with sturdily built limbs; harmonious and well balanced.
KC
Strong, sturdy working dog, active, alert, well boned, of striking colour.
UKC
The Bernese Mountain Dog is large, sturdy, balanced and agile, reflecting its historical origin and uses. They are slightly longer than tall, though sometimes appearing square. Their substantial and sturdy bone is characteristic of the breed. Males denote a masculine appearance and females are distinctly feminine. The Bernese Mountain Dog is shown in a natural appearance; unnecessary trimming is not desirable.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

Height at withers length of body (measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock) = 9 10, rather compact than elongated.
Ideal relation of height at withers depth of chest = 2 1.
KC
A multi-purpose farm dog capable of draught work. A kind and devoted family dog. Slow to mature.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Self-confident, attentive, vigilant, fearless in every day situations; good-natured and devoted to his own people, self-assured and placid towards strangers ; of medium temperament, docile.
KC
Self-confident, good-natured, friendly and fearless. Aggressiveness not to be tolerated.
UKC
The breed is self-confident, alert and vigilant. They are good natured and reliable with their families and self assured and accepting with strangers.

HEAD

:
FCI
Strong. In size balanced to general appearance, not too massive.
KC
Strong with flat skull, very slight furrow, well defined stop; strong straight muzzle. Lips slightly developed.
UKC
The head is strong but not too massive, in balance with the size of the dog.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Viewed from the front and in profile little rounded. Frontal furrow hardly marked.
UKC
The skull is broad and slightly rounded. It has a slight furrow leading to a well-defined, but not exaggerated, stop.

Stop

:
FCI
Well defined, but without being too pronounced.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black.
UKC
The nose is always black.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Strong, of medium length; nasal bridge straight.
KC
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The muzzle is straight and strong. The breed is dry-mouthed, having clean lips that are black in color and only slightly developed flews.

Lips

:
FCI
Close fitting; black.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Strong, complete scissor bite (molars 3 (M3) are not taken into consideration). Pincer bite accepted.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite. A level bite is acceptable.

Eyes

:
FCI
Dark brown, almond-shaped, with close fitting eyelids. Neither too deep-set nor prominent. Loose eyelids are faulty.
KC
Dark brown, almond-shaped, well fitting eyelids.
UKC
Eyes are dark brown in color, and almond in shape. The expression is gentle and intelligent. Eyelids are close-fitting.

Ears

:
FCI
Medium-sized, set high, triangular in shape, slightly rounded at the tips, in repose hanging flat and close to the head. When alert, the rear part of the set-on is raised while the front edge of the ear remains close to the head.
KC
Medium-sized; set high, triangular-shaped, lying flat in repose, when alert brought slightly forward and raised at base.
UKC
The ears are triangular in shape and of medium size, gently rounded at the tip. The top of the ear is level with the top of the skull. They are set high, and hang close to the head when at rest. When the dog is alert, the ears are raised at the base and brought forward, with the front edge remaining close to the cheek.

NECK

:
FCI
Strong, muscular, of medium length.
KC
Strong, muscular and medium length.
UKC
The medium length neck is strong, muscular and well set on.

BODY

:
KC
Compact rather than long. Height to length 9:10. Broad chest, good depth of brisket reaching at least to elbow. Well ribbed; strong loins. Firm, straight back. Rump smoothly rounded.
UKC
The topline is level from the withers to the croup. The chest is broad, with well-sprung, deep ribs which reach to the elbows and a well developed forechest. The back is broad and firm. The loin is strong. The croup is broad and smoothly rounded.

Topline

:
FCI
From the neck running slightly downwards to the withers in a harmonious line, then running on straight and level.

Back

:
FCI
Firm, straight and level.

Loin

:
FCI
Broad and strong; seen from above slightly less broad than the chest.

Croup

:
FCI
Smoothly rounded.

Chest

:
FCI
Broad and deep, reaching to the elbows; forechest distinctly developed; ribcage of wide-oval section extending as well back as possible.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Slightly rising from chest to hindquarters.

TAIL

:
FCI
Bushy, reaching at least to the hocks; hanging straight down when at rest; carried level with back or slightly above when moving.
KC
Bushy, reaching just below hock. Raised when alert or moving but never curled or carried over back.
UKC
The bushy tail is carried low when in repose; an upward swirl is allowed when the dog is alert or moving, but the tail is never curled over the back. The tail bones are straight and reach to or below the hock joints.

LIMBS

:
FCI
Strong bones.

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Forelegs seen from the front straight and parallel, standing rather wide apart.
KC
Shoulders long, strong and sloping, with upper arm forming a distinct angle, flat lying, well muscled. Forelegs straight from all sides. Pasterns flexing slightly.
UKC
The flat-lying, well-muscled, tight shoulders are well laid back, forming a good angle with the upper arm.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Shoulder blade long, strong and well laid back, forming a not too obtuse angle with the upper arm, well attached to the chest, well muscled.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Long, set oblique.

Elbow

:
FCI
Close fitting; neither turned in nor out.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are straight and strong. The elbows are close to the chest. The pasterns slope very slightly. Dewclaws may be removed.

Forearm

:
FCI
Strong, straight.

Pastern

:
FCI
Seen from the side almost upright, firm; seen from the front in straight line with the forearm.

FEET

:
KC
Short, round and compact.
UKC
The feet are compact and round, with well-arched toes.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Short, roundish; with well-knit, well-arched toes. Turned neither in nor out.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Slightly less arched than forefeet, turned neither in nor out.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Seen from the rear straight and parallel, not too close.
KC
Broad, strong and well muscled. Stifles well bent. Hock strong, well let down and turning neither in nor out.
UKC
The upper and lower thighs are broad, strong and muscular. Stifles are distinctly bent. The hock joint is well angulated. The rear pasterns are straight when viewed from the rear. Rear dewclaws should be removed.

Thigh

:
FCI
Long, broad, strong and well muscled.

Stifle

:
FCI
Distinctly well bent.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Long and oblique.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Strong, well angulated.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Set almost vertically. Dewclaws to be removed (except in those countries where it is prohibited by law).

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Sound and balanced movement in all gaits covering a lot of ground; free stride reaching well out in front, with good drive from behind; at the trot, coming and going, legs moving forward in a straight line.
KC
Stride reaching out well in front, following well through behind, balanced stride in all gaits.
UKC
The natural, normal gait is a slow trot, but the dogs are capable of speed and agility. The dogs exhibit good reach and powerful drive, without any wasted action. As speed increases, the dogs tend to single track.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Long, shining, straight or slightly wavy.
KC
Soft, silky with bright natural sheen, long, slightly wavy but should not curl when mature.
UKC
The thick, single coat has a bright, natural sheen. It may be slightly wavy or straight.

COLOUR

:
FCI

Jet black main colour with rich tan markings on the cheeks, above the eyes, on all four legs and on the chest, and with white markings as follows
Clean white symmetrical markings on the head blaze extending towards the nose on both sides to a muzzle band; the blaze should not reach the tan markings above the eyes, and the white muzzle band should not extend beyond the corners of the mouth.
Moderately broad, unbroken white marking on throat and chest.
Desirable white feet, white tip of tail.
Tolerated small white patch on nape of neck, small white anal patch.
KC
Jet black, with rich reddish-brown on cheeks, over eyes, on all four legs and on chest. Slight to medium-sized symmetrical white head marking (blaze) and white chest marking (cross) are essential. Preferred but not essential, white paws, white not reaching higher than pastern, white tip to tail. A few white hairs at nape of neck, and white anal patch undesirable but tolerated.
UKC
The tri-colored coat is a breed characteristic. The ground color is always jet black. Markings are rich rust and clear white in color. Symmetry of markings is desirable. This includes: rust over each eye, on the cheeks reaching to at least the corners of the mouth, on each side of the chest, on all four legs and under the tail. White markings include a blaze and muzzle band, as well as an inverted cross on the chest and a white tail tip. White on the feet is desirable, but does not extend higher past the pastern area.

SIZE

:
KC
Height: dogs: 64-70 cms (25-271/2 ins); bitches: 58-66 cms (23-26 ins).
UKC
Males: 25 to 27½ inches. Females: 23 to 26 inches.

Height at withers

:
FCI
For dogs 64-70 cm, ideal size 66-68 cm. For bitches 58-66 cm, ideal size 60-63 cm.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Unsure behaviour.
Fine bones.
Irregular set of the incisors provided that the bite remains correct.
Absence of any other theeth than 2 PM1 (premolars 1); the M3 (molars 3) are not taken into consideration.
Coat: Distinctly curly coat.
  • Faults of colour and markings.
  • Absence of white on head.
  • Blaze too large and/or muzzle band reaching noticeably beyond the corners of the mouth.
  • White collar.
  • Large white patch on nape of neck (maximum diameter more than 6 cm).
  • White anal patch (maximum size 6 cm).
  • White markings on forelegs reaching distinctly beyond half-way of pasterns (“boots”).
  • Disturbingly asymmetrical white markings on head and/or chest.
  • Black ticks and stripes within the white on the chest.
  • “Dirty” white (strong spots of pigmentation).
  • Black coat with a touch of brown or red.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Teeth: Incomplete dentition.
Eyes: Light or round eyes.
Body: Overly long or thin body.
Feet: Feet which turn in or out.
Color: Any deviation from the desired markings are faulted in relation to the extent of their deviation.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Forelegs: Weak pasterns.
Tail: Tail carried over the back.
Coat: Extremely curly or extremely dull coats.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

Aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy.
Split nose.
Undershot or overshot mouth, wry mouth.
One or two blue eyes (wall eye).
Entropion, ectropion.
Kinky tail, ring tail.
Short coat, double coat (Stockhaar).
Other than tricoloured coat.
Other main colour than black.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Wall eyes. Entropian or ectropian. Undershot or overshot bites. Wry mouth. Kink tail. Ring tail. Any ground color other than black. Any color combination other than tri-color. Albinism.
Teeth: Undershot or overshot bites. Wry mouth.
Eyes: Wall eyes. Entropian or ectropian.
Tail: Kink tail Ring tail.
Color: Albinism. Any ground color other than black. Any color combination other than tri-color.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.