Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Standard
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking. tri-colored,
large dog. He is sturdy and balanced. He is intelligent, strong and
agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which he was used in
the mountainous regions of his origin. Dogs appear masculine, while
bitches are distinctly feminine.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Measured at the withers, dogs are 25 to 27 inches;
bitches are 23 to 26 inches. Though appearing square, Bernese Mountain
Dogs are slightly longer in body than they are tall. Sturdy bone is of
great importance. The body is full. Head - Expression is intelligent, animated and gentle. The eyes
are dark brown and slightly oval in shape with close-fitting eyelids.
Inverted or everted eyelids are serious faults. Blue eye color is a
disqualification. The ears are medium sized, set high,
triangular in shape. gently rounded at the tip, and hang close to the
head when in repose. When the Bernese Mountain Dog is alert, the ears
are brought forward and raised at the base; the top of the ear is level
with the top of the skull. The skull is flat on top and broad, with a slight furrow and a well-defined, but not exaggerated stop. The muzzle is strong and straight. The nose is always black. The lips are clean and, as the Bernese Mountain Dog is a dry-mouthed breed, the flews are only slightly developed. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. An overshot or undershot bite is a serious fault. Dentition is complete.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neckis strong, muscular and of medium length. The topline
is level from the withers to the croup. The chest is deep and
capacious with well-sprung, but not barrel-shaped, ribs and brisket
reaching at least to the elbows. The back is broad and firm. The loin is strong. The croup is broad and smoothly rounded to the tail insertion. The tail
is bushy. It should be carried low when in repose. An upward swirl is
permissible when the dog is alert, but the tail may never curl or be
carried over the back. The bones in the tail should feel straight and
should reach to the hock joint or below. A kink in the tail is a fault.
The shoulders are moderately laid back, flat-lying, well-muscled and never loose. The legs are straight and strong and the elbows are well under the shoulder when the dog is standing. The pasterns slope very slightly. but are never weak. Dewclaws may be removed. The feet are round and compact with well-arched toes.
The thighs are broad, strong and muscular. The stifles are moderately bent and taper smoothly into the hocks. The hocks are well let down and straight as viewed from the rear. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet are compact and turn neither in nor out.
The coat is thick, moderately long and
slightly wavy or straight. It has a bright natural sheen. Extremely
curly or extremely dull-looking coats are undesirable. The Bernese
Mountain Dog is shown in natural coat and undue trimming is to be
Color and Markings
The Bernese Mountain Dog is tri-colored. The ground
color is jet black. The markings are rich rust and clear white.
Symmetry of markings is desired. Rust appears over each eye, on the
cheeks reaching to at least the corner of the mouth, on each side of
the chest, on all four legs, and under the tail. There is a white blaze
and muzzle band. A white marking on the chest typically forms an
inverted cross. The tip of the tail is white. White on the feet is
desired but must not extend higher than the pasterns. Markings other
than described are to be faulted in direct relationship to the extent
of the deviation. White legs or a white collar are serious faults. Any
ground color other than black is a disqualification.
The natural working gait of the Bernese Mountain Dog
is a slow trot. However, in keeping with his use in draft and droving
work, he is capable of speed and agility. There is good reach in front.
Powerful drive from the rear is transmitted through a level back.
There is no wasted action. Front and rear legs on each side follow
through in the same plane. At increased speed, legs tend to converge
toward the center line.
The temperament is self-confident, alert and
good-natured, never sharp or shy. The Bernese Mountain Dog should stand
steady, though may remain aloof to the attentions of strangers.
Blue eye color.
Any ground color other than black