The Bernese Mountain Dogs are farm dogs of ancestral origin which were used as guard and draught dogs and for driving cattle in the prealpine regions and in the midland areas around Bern. Originally they were 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 these dogs, renamed “Bernese Mountain Dogs” 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 Dogs are well known and appreciated all over the world as family dogs thanks to their striking tricoloured coat, their great adaptability and his qualities to be a family dog.
The growth of the Bernese Mountain Dogs is fast. As you already know, they are a large breed dog.
During the first months it is recommended not to make them jump, and avoid slippery floors and stairs. In fact, the Bernese Mountain puppies are clumsy. We must also watch the games with other dogs, in order to prevent them from being too brutal.
Their cartilage are fragile during the growth stage. And paying attention to this is an owner’s responsibility, since they will do anything to have fun. Prevention is better than cure.
Their education is simple. They are sensitive dogs and they will always do everything with your complicity.
Of course, you also need to know how to be firm, because sometimes it will be necessary.
It is preferable for them to eat twice a day (morning and evening). ). And obviously, prevent them to run after the bowl, to avoid a possible stomach inflection.
Besides their maintenance care, it is necessary to remember about worming them twice a year if they are adults and the treatment against ticks during summertime.
Washing them regularly is preferable, once a week is ideal.
Your breeder will guide you in your first few months, and you can consult doubts later as well.
As for us, we are delighted to inform our clients at all times, to the extent that our experience allows us; and we love to receive news and photographs, so that we can follow together your dog’s adventures.
Standard F.C.I. N°45 / 05.05.2003 / F
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
(Berner Sennenhund, Dürrbächler)
TRANSLATION: Mrs. Peggy Davis, revised by Elke Pepper.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID STANDARD: 25.03.2003.
UTILIZATION: Originally used as a guard-, draught-and cattle dog on farms in the Canton Bern, today also family dog and versatile working dog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer type-Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle-Dogs.
Section 3 Swiss Cattle Dogs.
Without working trial.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Longhaired, tricoloured, strong and agile working dog, of above medium size, with sturdily built limbs; harmonious and well balanced.
•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.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Self-confident, attentive, vigilant, fearless in everyday situations; good-natured and devoted to his own people, self-assured and placid towards strangers; of medium temperament, docile.
HEAD: Strong. In size balanced to general appearance, not too massive.
Skull: Viewed from the front and in profile little rounded. Frontal furrow hardly marked.
Stop: Well defined, but without being too pronounced.
Muzzle: Strong, of medium length; nasal bridge straight.
Lips: Close fitting; black.
Jaws/Teeth: Strong, complete scissor bite (molars 3 (M3) are not taken 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 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.
NECK: Strong, muscular, of medium length.
Top line: From the neck running slightly downwards to the withers in a 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; fore chest 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 down when 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 a not 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 front in straight line with the forearm.
Forefeet: Short, roundish; with well-knit, well-arched toes. Turned neither in nor out.
HINDQUARTERS: 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 (except in those countries where it is prohibited by law).
Hind feet: Slightly less arched than forefeet, turned neither in nor out.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: 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.
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: 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.
Height at withers: for dogs: 64-70 cm, ideal size: 66-68 cm.
For female dogs: 58-66 cm, ideal size: 60-63 cm.
FAULTS: 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.
•Irregular set of the incisors provided that the bite remains correct.
•Absence of any other teeth than 2 PM1 (premolars 1); the M3 (molars 3) are not taken into consideration.
– 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.
•Aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy.
•Undershot or overshot mouth, wry mouth.
•One or two blue eyes (wall eye).
•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.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.