Drafted and accepted by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada, 2019-2020
DOWNLOAD THE CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB OFFICIAL BREED STANDARD FOR THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
|Bernese Mountain Dog – male||Bernese Mountain Dog – female|
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE
The Bernese Mountain Dog takes its name from the Canton of Bern in Switzerland, its native land. It is one of the four Swiss tri-colour breeds known by the collective name Sennenhunde, the only one of the four with a long coat. The Bernese Mountain Dog and its ancestors lived for many generations as all-purpose farm dogs, that protected homes/farms, and performed droving/herding and drafting tasks as required. From this background developed a hardy, natural, good-natured working breed that today is known principally as a faithful family companion.
Large, strong, well-balanced working dog with sturdy built limbs. Heavy-coated with distinctive characteristic markings. Breed type encompasses more than markings, and focuses on structure, movement and temperament.
In comparison, males are larger than females with heavier bone, a broader skull, and greater depth and breadth of chest. Females, although more feminine, must maintain the sturdy breed type.
The Bernese temperament is one of the breed’s strongest assets. Self-confident, attentive, vigilant, fearless in every-day situations; good-natured, never sharp or shy, devoted to its own people, self-assured and placid towards strangers; of medium temperament.
Dogs, 25-27.6 inches (64-70 cm), ideal size 26-26.8 inches (66-68 cm); Bitches 22.8-26 inches (58-66 cm), ideal size 23.6-24.8 inches (60-63 cm). Height measured at withers. The stocky, well-balanced appearance must be maintained.
COAT AND COLOUR
The adult coat is thick, moderately long. It has a bright natural shine, is straight or slightly wavy. In texture it is soft rather than harsh, is weather resistant, easily kept and resists matting. There is a soft, seasonal undercoat. Preferred marking: white feet with white reaching no higher than the pasterns without running up the back of the legs; white tip of tail; the white muzzle band preferably does not extend past the corners of the mouth.
Strong in size, balanced to general appearance, not too massive. Skull: flat and broad with a slight furrow; defined, but not exaggerated stop. Muzzle: strong and straight; roughly square proportions, tapering only very slightly. Muzzle is slightly shorter than length of skull. Lips are tight fitting; black in colour. Teeth: jaw is strong with good teeth meeting in a scissor bite. Level bite acceptable. Dentition should be complete. Nostrils: well open and black in colour. Eyes: dark brown in colour, almond shaped, neither deep set or prominent and well set apart; tight eyelids. Expression is intelligent, animated and gentle. Ears: middle-sized, triangular in shape with rounded tip. Set above eye level high on side of head; hanging close to the head in repose, brought forward at the base when alert.
Strong, muscular of medium length, well set on. Dewlaps are very slightly developed.
Sturdy, slightly longer than tall. Chest: broad, forechest distinctly developed, with good depth of brisket reaching at least to the elbows; ribs are well sprung extending as far back as possible. Back: firm and level. Loins: broad, strong and muscular. Croup: broad, well muscled. Underline/belly: slightly rising from chest to hindquarters.
Shoulders: well muscled, flat lying and well laid back. Forelegs: straight with strong bone, parallel stance. Elbows: well under shoulders. Pasterns: slightly sloping, but not weak. Feet: proportionate in size, round and compact with well-arched toes. Front dewclaw: removal not required. Presence or lack thereof must not influence the judgement of the dog.
Powerful, with broad, well-muscled thighs and strong bone. Stifles: well angulated. Hocks: well let down, turning neither in nor out. Pasterns: wide and straight, standing parallel. Feet: proportionate in size, round and compact. Rear dewclaw: removal desirable but not required, presence or lack thereof must not influence the judgement of the dog
Bushy, hanging straight, with bone reaching to the hock joint or slightly below. Hanging straight down when at rest; carried level with back or slightly above when moving.
The natural travelling gait of the breed is a slow to medium trot, but it is capable of speed and agility. Sound, balanced movement in all gaits, covering a lot of ground. Good reach in front. Strong drive from the rear, flexing well at the stifles. The level backline is maintained; there is no wasted action. Front and rear feet of each side travel in lines parallel to direction of motion, converging towards a centre line without single tracking at increased speeds.
Any deviation from the foregoing standard, to be weighed in accordance with the degree of the deviation and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. Major Faults: deficiency of type(as described above); aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy; fine bone; ectropion or entropion; loose over developed flews; undershot or overshot bite; tail rolled over back. Minor Faults: overly long or thin body; too light russet markings or impure colour; grey colouring in black coat; non symmetrical markings, especially facial; white neck patch (over 6 cm in diameter) white anal patch (over 6 cm in diameter); curly coat in adult dog; white markings on forelegs reaching distinctly beyond halfway of pasterns (“boots”); black ticks and stripes within the white on the chest; too massive or too light head; too narrow or too tapered muzzle (snipey); incomplete dentition; light or round eyes; splayed feet; kink in tail.
Cryptorchid or monorchid males; split nose; absent markings as described in compulsory markings; white neck ring; blue eye; ground colour other than black.
POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
Activity Level: Active and alert, the breed requires a fair bit of exercise.
Height/Weight: Adult Bernese range in height from 25-27.6 inches (64-70 cm) for males and 22.8-26 inches (58-66 cm) for females, and may weigh from 71-110 lb 31.5-49.5 kg).
Coat: The medium-long coat is soft and silky with a bright, natural sheen. It may have a slight wave. Beneath the longer outer coat, the Bernese carries a short, soft undercoat.
Colour: The glossy, jet-black coat is set off with distinctive russet or deep-tan markings on the legs, chest and over the eyes. The picture is completed with white feet, a blaze on the head, a cross on the chest and a white tail tip.
Grooming: Vigorous brushing is needed to keep the Bernese looking trim and to keep that gloss in the coat.