Breedstandard Bernese Mountaindog

FCI-standaardnr. 45 d.d. 12 maart 1993
Berner Sennenhund 

Country of origin:



Originally a guard, herding and draught dog on farms, nowadays also
a family and versatile working dog.

FCI Rating:

Groep II, Section 3. Swiss Mountain Dog without working certificate.

Brief history

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog of ancient origin, which was kept in the pre-Alpine region and parts of the interior in the vicinity of Bern as a guard, draught and driving dog.

After the hamlet and inn of Dürrbach near Riggisberg, where this long-haired, tri-coloured yard dog was particularly common, it was given its original name: "Dürrbächler".

In 1902, 1904 and 1907 such dogs had already been shown at dog shows, but in November 1907 some dog breeders from Burgdorf joined forces to breed the breed purely. They founded the "Schweizerischen DürrbachKlub" and established breed characteristics.

In 1910, 107 animals were exhibited at a dog show in Burgdorf, where many farmers from the area came with their Dürrbächler dogs.

From then on, the breed, following in the footsteps of the other Swiss Mountain Dogs, henceforth called "Bernese Mountain Dog", quickly gained friends throughout Switzerland and soon also in neighboring Germany.

Today, the Bernese Mountain Dog is known and loved worldwide as a family dog thanks to its tricolor markings and its adaptability.

General appearance

Long-haired, tri-colored, more than medium-sized, powerful and agile utility dog with sturdy limbs; harmonious and proportionate.

Important Body Ratio (Size):

Ratio of height at the withers to body length approx. 9 : 10; stocky rather than tall.

Character and behaviour

Certain, perceptive, vigilant and fearless in everyday situations, good-natured and affectionate in dealing with trusted persons, confident and kind to strangers; average temperament, docile.


Powerful: skull very slightly arched when seen from the side and in the front; Very clear, but not too strong, stop, little developed forehead groove. Powerful, medium-long, straight muzzle;


Poorly developed and fitted, black.


Poorly developed and fitted, black.


Full, powerful scissor bite.


Dark brown, almond-shaped, with well-fitting eyelids.


Triangular, slightly rounded, set high, medium-sized, flush at rest.


Powerful, muscular, medium-length.


Powerful, compact.


Reaching to the elbow, broad, with distinct forechest; thorax of broad-oval diameter.


Fixed and straight.


Broad and powerful.


Smoothly rounded.


Not pulled up.


Densely hairy, reaching at least to the hock, hanging at rest, hovering in motion carried at back height, or slightly above it.


Forehand general:

Fairly wide in stand, straight and parallel when seen from the front.


Long, powerful, obliquely placed, with the humerus forming a not too obtuse angle, adjacent and well muscled.


Almost perpendicular, strong.


Short, round and closed; toes well arched.

Back general:

Seen from behind, straight, not too narrow, hind metatarsals and feet turned neither inwards nor outwards; Dewclaws must be removed.


Rather long, seen from the side with the lower leg forming a clear angle, broad, powerful and well muscled.

Hock joints:

Powerful and well angulated.


Spacious, even movement in all gaits, an exhilarating wide stride at the front and good propulsion from the hindquarters; At a trot, seen from the front and from the back, the limbs move in a straight line.


Coat structure:

Long, straight or slightly corrugated.

Color of the hair:

Deep black ground colour with deep, brownish-red burn on the cheeks, above the eyes, on all four legs and on the chest, and with the following white markings:
• Clean, white, symmetrical head markings. The blaze widens towards the nose onboth sides to form a white muzzle marking.
• The blaze should not extend to the spots above the eyes and the white muzzle markings should not extend to the corners of the mouth at most.
• white, moderately wide, continuous neck and chest markings.
• Desired: white feet, white tail tip.
• Allowed: small white neck spot and/or small white anal spot.


Males: 64-70 cm height at the withers, ideally 66-68 cm.
Females: 58-66 cm height at the withers, ideally 60-63 cm. 


Any deviation from the above points must be regarded as an error. The assessment must be proportionate to the seriousness of the derogation and must take into account the extent to which essential issues are affected.
• Slight blunt work
• Under-bite and top-bite
• the absence of teeth other than a maximum of two P1 (premolars); the M3 are not taken into account
• entropion, extropion
• saddle back, overbuilt crotch, sloping backline
• Curly tail, kinked tail
• clear frizzy hair
• Colour and markings
• Missing white main markings
• blaze that is too wide and/or white muzzle markings, which clearly extend beyond the corners of the mouth
• large white neck stain
• White neck ring
• white on the front legs, which clearly extends above the middle of the midfoot (boot)
• Disturbingly asymmetrical markings on the head and chest
• black spots and stripes in white on the chest
• impure white (strong pigmentation spots)
• brown or red good over the black ground colour
• insecure/unstable character, aggressiveness

exlusive error:

• Split nose
• blue eye (+ glass eye/porcelain eye), blue spots in the iris (= Birkauge)
• short hair or short stick hair
• the lack of a tricolor pattern
• Other than black-colored coat.


Males must possess two clearly normally developed testicles, located entirely in the scrotum.

The Swiss breed standard.