One of four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only
variety that possesses a long, silky coat. A hardy dog that thrives in cold weather,
the "Berner’s" intelligence, strength and agility helped him perform the drafting
and droving work in the mountainous region where he originated. Today, this versatile
breed participates in conformation, obedience, carting, agility, tracking, herding
and therapy work. Like the other Swiss breeds, they are tri-
A Look Back
The Bernese Mountain Dog is aristocratic in appearance, and ancient in lineage. The breed has long been at home on the farms in the midland of Switzerland. One of the four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Bernese known in its native land as the Berner Sennenhund, shares similar distinctive coloring with other varieties, but is the only one with a long, silky coat. The other three are the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. These dogs worked as drovers and draft dogs as well as watchdogs in the farmyards mainly in the Canton of Berne.
The Bernese is an extremely hardy dog, thriving in cold weather. He needs only a small amount of daily grooming to maintain his coat. The breed desires human companionship, and is a willing and quick learner.
The Bernese Mountain Dog was first brought to the United States in 1926. The breed acquired AKC recognition in 1937.
Right Breed for You?
Farm dogs by heritage, Berners need a moderate amount of exercise as well as consistent
obedience training. As a double-
Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Standard
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking, tri-
Size, Proportion, Substance
Measured at the withers, dogs are 25 to 27½ inches; bitches are 23 to 26 inches. Though appearing square, Bernese Mountain Dogs are slightly longer in body than they are tall. Sturdy bone is of great importance. The body is full.
Expression is intelligent, animated and gentle. The eyes are dark brown and slightly
oval in shape with close-
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is strong, muscular and of medium length. The topline is level from the
withers to the croup. The chest is deep and capacious with well-
The shoulders are moderately laid back, flat-
The thighs are broad, strong and muscular. The stifles are moderately bent and taper smoothly into the hocks. The hocks are well let down and straight as viewed from the rear. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet are compact and turn neither in nor out.
The coat is thick, moderately long and slightly wavy or straight. It has a bright
natural sheen. Extremely curly or extremely dull-
Color and Markings
The Bernese Mountain Dog is tri-
The natural working gait of the Bernese Mountain Dog is a slow trot. However, in keeping with his use in draft and droving work, he is capable of speed and agility. There is good reach in front. Powerful drive from the rear is transmitted through a level back. There is no wasted action. Front and rear legs on each side follow through in the same plane. At increased speed, legs tend to converge toward the center line.
The temperament is self-