FCI-Standard N° 45


(Bernese Mountain Dog)














TRANSLATION: Mrs. Peggy Davis, revised by Elke Pepper.Official language (DE).

ORIGIN: Switzerland.


UTILIZATION: Originally used as a guard-, draught-and cattledog on farms in the Canton Bern, today also family dog and versatileworking dog.

FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzertype-Molossoid breeds-Swiss Mountain andCattle-Dogs.

Section 3 Swiss Cattle Dogs.

Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Bernese Mountain Dogis 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, nearRiggisberg in the Canton Bern where these long-haired tricoloured farm dogs were especially numerous. In 1902, 1904 and 1907specimen of this breed had already been exhibited at dog shows, and in 1907 some breeders of the region of Burgdorf decided to promotethe 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 regionbrought their Dürrbächler dogs to, already 107 specimens 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 Dogis well known and appreciated all over the world as a family dog thanks to its striking tricoloured coat and its great adaptability.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Longhaired, tricoloured, strong andagile working dog, of above medium size, with sturdily built limbs;harmonious and well balanced.


• Height at withers: length of body (measured from the pointof the shoulder to the point of the buttock) = 9: 10, rathercompact than elongatedStosunek wysokości w kłębie do długości tułowia 9:10, raczej zwarty niż długi.

• Ideal relation of height at withers: depth of chest = 2: 1.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Self-confident, attentive,vigilant, fearless in everyday situations; good-natured and devoted tohis own people, self-assured and placid towards strangers; ofmedium temperament, docile.

HEAD: Strong. In size balanced to general appearance, not toomassive.


Skull: Viewed from the front and in profile little rounded. Frontalfurrow hardly marked.

Stop: Well defined, but without being too pronounced.


Nose: Black.

Muzzle: Strong, of medium length; nasal bridge straight.

Lips: Close fitting; black.

Jaws/Teeth: Strong, complete scissor bite (molars 3 (M3) are nottaken into consideration). Pincer bite accepted.

EYES: Dark brown, almond-shaped, with close fitting eyelids. Neither too deep-set nor prominent. Loose eyelids are faulty.

EARS: Medium-sized, set high, triangular in shape, slightly roundedat 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 earremains close to the head.

NECK: Strong, muscular, of medium length.


Topline: From the neck running slightly downwards to the withers ina harmonious line, then running on straight and level.

Back: Firm, straight and level.Loins: Broad and strong; seen from above slightly less broad than the chest.

Croup: Smoothly rounded.

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

Underline/belly: Slightly rising from chest to hindquarters.

TAIL: Bushy, reaching at least to the hocks; hanging straight downwhen at rest; carried level with back or slightly above when moving.

LIMBS: Strong bones.


General appearance: Forelegs seen from the front straight and parallel, standing rather wide apart.

Shoulders: Shoulder blade long, strong and well laid back, forming anot too obtuse angle with the upper arm, well attached to the chest,well muscled.

Upper arm: Long, set oblique.

Elbows: Close fitting; neither turned in nor out.

Forearm: Strong, straight.

Pastern: Seen from the side almost upright, firm; seen from the frontin straight line with the forearm.

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


General appearance: Seen from the rear straight and parallel, not too close.

Upper thigh: Long, broad, strong and well-muscled.

Stifle: Distinctly well bent.

Lower thigh: Long and oblique.

Hock joint: Strong, well angulated.

Metatarsus: Set almost vertically. Dewclaws to be removed (exceptin those countries where it is prohibited by law).

Hind feet: Slightly less arched than forefeet, turned neither in norout.

GAIT / MOVEMENT: Sound and balanced movement in all gaitscovering a lot of ground; free stride reaching well out in front, withgood drive from behind; at the trot, coming and going, legs movingforward in a straight line.


Hair: Long, shining, straight or slightly wavy.

Colour: 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 : blazeextending 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 thecorners of the mouth.

• Moderately broad, unbroken white marking on throat andchest.

• Desirable: white feet, white tip of tail.

• Tolerated: small white patch on nape of neck, small white anal patch.


Height at withers:

for dogs: 64-70 cm, ideal size: 66-68 cm.

for bitches: 58-66 cm, ideal size: 60-63 cm.


Any departure from the fore going points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should beregarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effectupon the health and welfare of the dog.

• Unsure behaviour.

• Fine bones.

• Irregular set of the incisors provided that the bite remainscorrect.

• Absence of any other theeth than 2 PM1 (premolars 1); theM3 (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 bandreaching noticeably beyond the corners of the mouth.

- White collar.

- Large white patch on nape of neck(maximum diameter more than 6cm).

- White anal patch (maximum size 6cm).

- White markings on forelegs reaching distinctly beyond half-wayof pasterns (“boots”).

- Disturbingly asymmetrical whitemarkings on head and/or chest.

- Black ticks and stripes within thewhite on the chest.

- “Dirty” white (strong spots ofpigmentation).

- Black coat with a touch of brown orred.


• Aggressive or overly shy.  Anxious.

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behaviouralabnormalities.

• 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.

Breed Standard

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