Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

St. Bernard

(St. Bernhardshund - Bernhardiner)

St. Bernard


ORIGIN

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FCI
Switzerland.

PUBLISHED

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FCI
04.04.2016.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

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FCI
Companion-, watch- and farmdog.

CLASSIFICATION

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FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 2.2Molossoid breeds, Mountain type
Without working trial

KC
Working

TRANSLATION

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FCI
Mrs.C.Seidler and Mrs. Pepper.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

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FCI
At the height of the Great St. Bernard Pass, 2469 metres above sea level, a hospice was founded by monks in the 11th century as a place of refuge for travellers and pilgrims. There, large mountain dogs have been kept since the middle of the 17th century for guarding and protection. The existence of such dogs has been documented pictorially since 1695 and in a written document at the hospice in the year 1707. The dogs were soon in use as companion dogs and specially as rescue dogs for travellers lost in snow and fog. The chronicles about the numerous human lives saved by these dogs from the « white death », published in many languages, and the verbal reports of the soldiers who crossed the pass with Bonaparte’s army in 1800, spread the fame of the St. Bernard, called Barry-dog at that time, throughout Europe during the 19th century. The legendary dog « Barry » became the epitome of the rescue dog. The direct ancestors of the St. Bernard were the large farm dogs common in that region. Within a few generations and aiming to a defined ideal type, these dogs were developed to the present day type of breed. Heinrich Schumacher from Holligen near Bern was the first who began to issue genealogical documents for his dogs in 1867.
In February 1884 the “Schweizerisches Hundestammbuch” (SHSB), the Swiss Dog Stud Book, was started. The very first entry was the St.Bernard “Leon”, and the following 28 registrations also concerned St.Bernards. On the 15th March 1884, the Swiss St.Bernards-Club was founded in Basle. On the occasion of an international Canine Congress on June 2nd 1887, the St. Bernard dog was officially recognized as a Swiss breed and the breed standard was declared as binding. Since then , the St.Bernard has been regarded as the Swiss national dog.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

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FCI
There are two varieties of the St.Bernard: Short-haired variety (double coat, “Stockhaar”); Long-haired variety. Both varieties are of considerable size and of impressive general appearance. They have a balanced, powerful, sturdy, muscular body with impressive head and an alert facial expression.
KC
Well proportioned and of great substance.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

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FCI

Ideal relation of height at withers to length of body (measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttocks) = 9 10.
Ideal relation of height at withers to depth of chest see sketch below.
The total length of the head is slightly more than one third of the height at withers.
The relation of depth of muzzle (measured at its root) to length of muzzle is almost 21.
Length of muzzle slightly longer than one third of the total length of the head.
KC
Distinctly marked, large-sized, mountain-rescue dog.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

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FCI
Friendly by nature. Temperament calm to lively; watchful.
KC
Steady, kindly, intelligent, courageous, trustworthy and benevolent.

HEAD

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FCI
Powerful, imposing and very expressive.
KC
Large, circumference of skull being more than double its length. Muzzle short, full in front of eye and square at nose end. Cheeks flat, great depth from eye to lower jaw. Lips deep but not too pendulous. From nose to stop perfectly straight and broad. Stop somewhat abrupt and well defined. Skull broad, slightly rounded at top, with fairly prominent brow. Nose large and black with well developed nostrils.

CRANIAL REGION

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Skull

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FCI
Strong, broad, seen in profile and from the front slightly rounded. When the dog is alert, the set-on of the ears and the top of the skull form a straight line which slopes at the sides in a gentle curve to the strongly developed high cheek bones. Forehead falling away steeply towards the muzzle. Occipital bone only moderately developed, superciliary ridges strongly developed. The frontal furrow, which starts at the base of the forehead, is distinctly developed and runs up right in the middle of the skull.
The skin of the forehead forms slight wrinkles above the eyes that converge towards the frontal furrow. When the dog is at attention, they are moderately visible; otherwise they are rather inconspicuous.

Stop

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FCI
Dinstinctly pronounced.

FACIAL REGION

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Nose

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FCI
Black, broad and square. Nostrils well opened.

Muzzle

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FCI
Of even width. Nasal bridge straight, with slight groove.
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. Well developed teeth of good size.

Lips

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FCI
Edge of lips black pigmented. Flews of upper jaw strongly developed, firm and not too pendulous, forming a wide curve towards the nose. Corners of mouth remain visible.

Jaws/Teeth

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FCI
Upper and lower jaw strong, broad, equal in length. Well developed, regular and complete scissor or pincer bite. Close fitting undershot mouth without any space between the lower and the upper incisors acceptable. Absence of PM 1 (premolar 1) and M3 tolerated.

Eyes

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FCI
Of medium size. Colour dark brown to nut-brown. Moderately deep set with a friendly expression. Natural tightness of lids desired. A small angular fold on the lower lids with the haws only slightly visible as well as a small fold on the upper lids are permitted. Eyerims completely pigmented.
KC
Of medium size, neither deep set nor prominent, eyelids should be reasonably tight. Excessive haw must be heavily penalised. Dark in colour and not staring. There should be no excessive loose wrinkle on brow which would detract from a healthy eye. Free from obvious eye problems.

Ears

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FCI
Of medium size, set on high and wide. Strongly developed burrs. Flaps pliable, triangular with rounded tips. The rear edges slightly standing off, the front edges lying closely to the cheeks.
KC
Medium size, lying close to cheeks, not heavily feathered.

NECK

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FCI
Strong and of sufficient length. Dewlap and loose skin on the neck moderately developed.
KC
Long, thick, muscular, slightly arched, dewlap well developed.

BODY

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FCI
General appearance imposing, balanced, impressive and well muscled.
KC
Back broad, level, ribs well rounded. Loin wide, very muscular. Broad croup sloping slightly to set on of tail. Chest wide and deep, but never projecting below elbows.

Withers

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FCI
Well defined.

Back

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FCI
Broad, strong, firm. Topline straight and horizontal up to the loins.

Croup

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FCI
Long, hardly sloping, merging gently with the root of the tail.

Chest

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FCI
Brisket moderately deep with well sprung ribs, but not barrel-shaped. Not projecting below elbow level.

Underline and belly

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FCI
Slight tuck up towards rear.

TAIL

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FCI
Set-on broad and strong. Tail long and heavy. The last vertebra reaching at least to the hock joint. When in repose, the tail hangs straight down or slightly upturned in the lower third. When animated, it is carried higher.
KC
Set on rather high, long, carried low when in repose, when excited or in motion should not curl over back.

LIMBS

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FOREQUARTERS

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FCI
Forelegs straight and parallel seen from the front. Standing moderately broad.
KC
Shoulders broad and sloping, well up at withers. Legs straight, strong in bone, of good length.

Shoulder

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FCI
Shoulder blades oblique, muscular and well attached to the chest wall.

Elbow

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FCI
Close fitting.

FORELEGS

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Forearm

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FCI
Straight, strong in bone, with lean musculature.

Pastern

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FCI
Seen from the front vertical in prolongation of the forearms; slightly oblique seen from the side.

FEET

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KC
Large, compact with well arched toes.

Forefeet

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FCI
Broad, with strong, tight, well arched toes.

HINDQUARTERS

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FCI
Muscular with moderate angulation. Seen from the back, hind legs are parallel, not standing closely together.
KC
Broad, strong and well muscled. Legs heavy in bone. Moderate bend of stifle with firm, strong hocks. Well developed first and second thighs. When viewed from the rear the hindlegs are perfectly straight, turning neither in nor out and not too close together. Straight hocks are highly undesirable.

Thigh

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FCI
Strong, muscular, broad.

Stifle

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FCI
Well angulated, turning neither in nor out.

HIND LEGS

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GAIT / MOVEMENT

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FCI
Harmonious far reaching movement with good drive from the hindquarters, the back remaining stable and firm. Front and hind feet move forward in a straight line.
KC
Easy extension, unhurried and smooth, with power from the hindquarters. Back remaining level and firm. The feet should move along straight lines with the rear feet tracking the fore. Capable of covering difficult terrain. Absolute soundness essential.

COAT

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HAIR

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FCI

Short-haired variety (Stockhaar, double coat): Topcoat dense, smooth; close-lying and coarse. Plenty of undercoat. Thighs with slight breeches. Tail covered with dense hair.
Long-haired variety: Topcoat plain, of medium length with plenty of undercoat. Short hair on face and ear; hair over the haunches and the croup usually somewhat wavy. Front legs feathered. Thighs with good breeches. Bushy tail.
KC
Roughs: dense and flat, rather fuller round neck, thighs and tail well feathered. Smooths: close and hound-like, slight feathering on thighs and tail.

COLOUR

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FCI

Primary colour white with smaller or larger reddish-brown patches (splash-coated dogs) up to an unbroken reddish-brown mantle covering back and flanks (mantle dogs). A broken reddish-brown mantle is of equal value. A brindle reddish-brown colour permissible. Brownish-yellow tolerated. Dark shadings on head desirable. Slight touch of black on body tolerated.
Required white markings: Chest, feet, tip of tail, muzzle band, blaze and patch on neck.
Desirable markings: White collar. Symmetrical dark mask.
KC
Orange, mahogany-brindle, red-brindle, white with patches on body of any of the above named colours. Markings as follows: White muzzle, white blaze on face, white collar, white chest, white forelegs, feet and end of tail, black shadings on face and ears.

SIZE

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KC
Minimum height: dogs 75 cms (30 ins), bitches 70 cms (28 ins). Size is desirable but only is combined with quality, correct balance and absolute soundness.

Height at withers

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FCI

For dogs minimum 70 cm, for bitches minimum 65 cm.
For dogs maximum 90 cm, for bitches maximum 80 cm.
Dogs which exceed the maximum height will not be penalised, provided their general appearance is balanced and their movement is correct.

FAULTS

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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.
  • Lack of sexual characteristics.
  • Unbalanced general appearance.
  • Too short legs in relation to size (short-legged).
  • Heavy folds on head and neck.
  • Muzzle too short or too long.
  • Flews of the lower jaw turning outwards.
  • Missing teeth other than PM 1 (premolar 1) and M3. Small teeth (especially incisors).
  • Slightly undershot mouth.
  • Light eyes.
  • Eyelids too loose.
  • Sway back or roach back.
  • Croup higher than withers or falling away.
  • Tail carried curled on the back.
  • Absence of required markings.
  • Crooked or severely turned out front legs.
  • Poorly angulated, open-hocked or cow-hocked hindquarters.
  • Faulty movement.
  • Curly coat.
  • Incomplete or totally absent pigmentation on nose leather, around the nose, on the lips or the eyelids.
  • Faulty primary colour e.g. reddish-brown dots or ticks in the white.
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.

SERIOUS FAULTS

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DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

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FCI

  • Weak temperament, aggressiveness.
  • Overshot mouth, distinctly undershot mouth.
  • Wall eye.
  • Ectropion, entropion.
  • Solid white or solid reddish-brown coat (absence of the primary colour).
  • Coat of any other colour.
  • Height at withers below minimum size.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

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