Bernese Mountain Dog

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Long-coated, tricolored, strong and agile working dog; of medium size; with vigorous limbs; harmonious and well balanced.

Personality:  Active, alert and agile.

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life expectancy : 6 - 8 years.

Bark level:  Moderate.


The Bernese Cattle Dog is a farm dog of ancestral origin, which in the pre-Alps of Bern and in the rural region of the interior of the city of Bern, was used as a guard, traction and herd dog. Originally called “Dürrbächler”, the name of the village and hostel in Dürrbäch, near Riggisberg, where this long-haired tricolor herdsman was especially numerous. In 1902, 1904 and 1907, examples of this breed were presented at dog shows and in 1907 some breeders in the Burgdorf region decided to promote the breeding of these dogs, founding the “Schweizerischer Dürrbach-Klub” (Swiss Club of Dürrbach), establishing the characteristic traits of the race. In 1910, at an exhibition in Burgdorf, where several farmers from this region presented their dogs, there were already 107 specimens. From that date, this dog, renamed the Bernese Cattle Dog, following the example of other Swiss Cattle breeds, quickly expanded throughout Switzerland and southern Germany. Today the Bernese Cattle Dog is known and appreciated all over the world as a family dog, thanks to its admirable tricolor coat and great adaptability.

Country of Origin: Switzerland .

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  Reliable, considerate, vigilant, courageous in everyday situations; kind and faithful to the family; self-assured and peaceful with strangers; of moderate and docile temperament

HEAD:  Strong. Balanced in size with the dog's overall appearance; not very massive.  




Skull: Seen from the front and slightly rounded in profile. Frontal groove slightly marked.


Stop: Well defined, but not too pronounced.



Truffle: Black.


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


Lips: Close-fitting; black.

Jaws and  Teeth: Strong, complete scissor bite (third molars (M3) should not be taken into account). Pincer bite is acceptable.


Eyes: Dark brown, almond shaped, with tight-fitting lids. Not set too deep or prominent. Loose eyelids are defects.


Ears: Medium size, set high, triangular in shape, slightly rounded at the tips, resting, carried down, close to the head. On alert, the posterior part of the insert rises while the front edges of the ears remain close to the head.


NECK: Strong, muscular, of medium length.




Topline: Slightly descending from the neck towards the withers in a harmonious line, then continuing straight and level.


Back: Firm, straight and level.


Loin: Broad and strong, seen from above, slightly less broad than the chest.


Croup: Smoothly rounded.


Chest: Broad and deep, reaching to the elbows; distinctly developed forechest; rib cage long and oval in section, extending as far back as possible.  


Bottom row: Slightly raised from chest to hindquarters.


TAIL : Full feathered, hanging down to the hock; at rest it is carried low; in motion, it rises to or just above the level of the back.


  • MEMBERS: Strong bones.


FOREQUARTERS: Seen from the front, the legs are straight and parallel, placed apart.


Shoulders: Long, strong and well back, forming a not too obtuse angle with the arms; well articulated to the chest and well muscled.


Arms: Long, placed obliquely.


Elbows : Close fitting, turning neither in nor out.


Forearms: Strong and straight.


Pasterns: Seen in profile, almost vertical, firm; viewed from the front, in a straight line with the forelimbs.

Feet: Short, rounded; with closed and well-arched fingers. Turning neither in nor out.


HINDQUARTERS: Seen from behind, they are straight and parallel, not too close.


Thighs: Long, broad, strong and well muscled.


Knees: Well angulated.


Legs: Long and oblique.


Hock joint: Strong and well angulated.


Metatarsals: Almost vertical. Ergos must be removed (except in some countries where they are prohibited by law).


Feet: Slightly less arched than the forefeet, turning neither in nor out.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Healthy and balanced in all movements, covering a lot of ground; free steps, reaching well forward, with good propulsion in the hindquarters; at trot, coming and going, legs move in a straight line. COAT HAIR: Long, shiny, straight or slightly wavy.


COLOR: Intense black, with reddish brown spots on the cheeks, above the eyes, on the four limbs, on the chest and with white spots distributed as follows:


• White spots on the head, clearly defined and symmetrical: a stripe that widens towards the nose, on both sides of the muzzle; the stripe should not reach the brown spots above the eyes; and the white spots on the muzzle should not go beyond the labial commissures.

• Moderately large, continuous white patches on throat and chest.

• Desired: white paws. white tail tip.

• Tolerated: small white spots on the back of the neck. small white spots under the tail.


  • SIZE Height at the withers: Males: 64 to 70 cm. ideal: 66 to 68 cm. Females: 58 to 66 cm. ideal: 60 to 63 cm.


  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.