Bernese Mountain Dog
FCI-Standard No 45
Date of Publication of the valid Original
Standard: March 12, 1993
Originally used as a guard and draught dog
and for driving cattle in the Kanton Bern; today
also multi purpose, companion and family dog
Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer type - Molossian
type and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs)
Section 3 (Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs)
Without working trial.
Brief historical summary
Bernese Mountain Dog is 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, near
Riggisberg, where this longhaired tricoloured
farm dog was especially appreciated
In 1902, 1904 and 1907 subjects of this breed
were exhibited at dog shows. In 1907 a few
breeders of the region of Burgdorf decided to
promote the pure breeding of this native dog by
founding the "Schweizerische Dürrbach-Klub" and
fixing the characteristic traits of the breed in
a first standard. In 1910, at the invitation of
the "Dürrbach-Klub", there were already 107
subjects shown by the farmers at this very
From that day onward this dog, renamed "Bernese
Mountain Dog" (following the example of other
breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs) became repidly
known all over Switzerland and Southern Germany.
Today the Bernese Mountain Dog is well known and
appreciated all over the world as a companion
and family dog thanks to its striking
tricoloured coat and its great adaptibility.
Longhaired tricoloured working dog, of above
medium size, sturdily built, yet agile; well
balanced in all parts.
Males 64 - 70 cm at withers, ideal size 66 -
- 66 cm at withers, ideal size 60 - 63 cm
Self confident, attentive, vigilant, fearless in
situations of every day life, good natured and
devoted to his own people, self-assured and
friendly towards strangers; of average and
Sound and balanced movement in all gaits
covering a lot of ground; free stride reaching
well out in front, with plenty of drive from
behind; at the trot coming and going, legs
moving forward straight and parallel.
Long, smooth or slightly wavy.
Jet black with rich tan markings on cheeks,
over 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 large, unbroken white markings
on throat and chest
desirable: white feet, white tip of tail
tolerated: small white patch on nape of neck,
small white anal patch.
strong; skull viewed from front
and in profile very slightly rounded;
facial-cranial depression (stop) well defined
without being too pronounced; frontal furrow
Muzzle: strong, of medium length;
nasal bridge straight
Lips: not much
developed; well fitting to the jaws; with black
strong, complete dentition, scissor bite.
dark brown, almond shaped, with
well fitting eyelids.
triangular shape, slightly rounded at the tip,
set high, medium sized, in repose hanging flat
and close to the head.
compact and sturdy
Back: firm, straight and level
Loins: broad and strong
Rump: slightly rounded
Chest: broad and deep, reaching to the elbows;
forechest well developed; chest and ribcage of
Belly: not tucked up.
bushy, reaching at least to the hocks; hanging
straight down when at rest; carried level with
back or slightly above when moving.
Rather wide apart, straight and parallel
Shoulders: shoulder-blades long, strong and well
laid back, forming a not too open angle with the
upper arm, well attached to the chest, well
Pasterns: almost vertical (or very slightly
short, round and tightly bunched; well arched
Seen from the rear straight and not too narrow;
hocks and feet neither turning in nor out;
dewclaws must be removed
Thighs: rather long, strong, broad and well
muscled, with well bent stifles
Hocks: strong, well angulated.
light bone structure
undershot or overshot bite
absence of teeth other than 1 or 2 PM 1 (first
premolar), M 3 (third molar) not to be
sway back, rump higher than withers, sloping
curled tail, kink tail
distinctly curled 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
large white patch on nape of neck
white markings on forelegs reaching distinctly
beyond half-way of pasterns ("boots")
disturbingly asymmetrical white markings on head
black ticks and stripes on white of chest
"dirty" white (strong spots of pigmentation)
black coat with a touch of brown or red
weak temperament, aggressiveness.
short coat, double coat (Stockhaar)
other than tricoloured coat
other than black main colour.
N.B. Males should have two apparently
normally developed testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.