Bernese Mountain Dog

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Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog
FCI Standard No. 45
Origin :


Alternative names:

Dürrbächler; Bouvier Bernois; Bernese Mountain Dog; Perro Boyero de montaña Bernés

Withers height:

Male: 64–70 cm.
Bitch: 58–66 cm


not fixed

List of domestic dogs

The Bernese Mountain Dog , dated Dürrbächler , is a Swiss dog breed recognized by the FCI (FCI Group 2, Section 3, Standard No. 45 ) , which belongs to the breed type of mountain dogs .


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a strong dog that can reach up to 70 cm shoulder height. The fur is long and soft, it should be plain (smooth) or at most slightly wavy. The not very large, high set lop ears are hairy. The main accent of the three-colored dog is the black coat over the torso, neck, head and tail . A white symmetrical blaze begins on the forehead, which widens towards the muzzle, but should at most extend to the corners of the lips . A white pectoral cross and white paws are further features. A white tip of the tail is also common. Brown-red spots over the eyes gave it the old name "four-eyed". Brown-red cheeks and markings on the side of the white chest hair and on the legs complete the picture. The more symmetrically the three colors are distributed, the more harmonious the picture. Front and rear limbs should be well angled. The sequence of movements should be "free and extensive".


Bernese Mountain Dogs are not very suitable for dog sports that demand great agility and speed, such as agility . There are dog work, rescue or tracking dog training, as well as areas of application in which a kind of anticipatory obedience is required. You need a lot of freedom of movement. Because of their long and thick fur dress, hot weather is a problem for them. They feel good in winter and in cool or frosty temperatures.


Bernese Mountain Dogs should not be kept as floor dogs (without a lift) because, as with other large dog breeds, joint problems (hip joint and elbow dysplasia ) can occur with them. In addition, they are more susceptible to kidney disease and cancer (especially malignant histiocytosis and mast cell tumors ) and meningitis arteritis . The mortality of the race, according to a recent study, twice as high as would be expected, the population size; Malignant tumors are a major cause of death from the age of four. 17 percent of all Bernese Mountain Dogs die before the age of five, 45 percent before the age of 8, and 72 percent do not live to be 10 years old. Just like the diseases mentioned above, degenerative myelopathy is one of the hereditary diseases of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Since these autosomal - recessive inherited, can be prevented by a DNA test that loaded dogs are bred together. A genetic test for a newly identified mutation in the SOD1 gene has also been known since 2011.

On behalf of the Swiss Mountain Dog Association for Germany (SSV), the life expectancy of the Bernese Mountain Dog was scientifically investigated. According to these studies, the current mean life expectancy is 7 years and 6 months.

The breed clubs recognized in the VDH use breeding strategies to combat hereditary diseases. Transparency over several generations with regard to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, age structure and behavior are a prerequisite for this. When breeding, the breeders of the SSV use the breeding value estimation . It is bred with longevity in mind. The SSV 2009, the phenotypic breeding value life , introduced since 2012 there is also a genomic breeding value for longevity.

In 2013, the SSV introduced a genomic breeding value (pretest) for histiocytic sarcoma ( malignant histiocytosis ). This test describes the risk for this condition. The breeding values ​​for longevity are correlated with the genome breeding values ​​for histiocytic sarcoma, but not identical. This means that dogs with high genome breeding values ​​for longevity have a lower risk of histiocytic sarcoma and, conversely, dogs with a very low risk of histiocytic sarcoma have a higher life expectancy. Since there are other hereditary causes of death in Bernese Mountain Dogs in addition to histiocytic sarcoma and some dogs with histiocytic sarcoma are getting old - presumably due to a pronounced immune defense - the more extensive breeding value for longevity will continue to be used.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are confident, good-natured, and friendly. They have a strong alert drive without being aggressive. Today they are not only good house and farm dogs, but also popular family dogs if they are carefully socialized and used to capacity.

Related breeds

In addition to the Bernese mountain dog, there are other three breeds, which are among the Swiss mountain dogs: The Great Swiss Mountain Dog , the Appenzeller and Entlebucher Mountain Dog . Of the four mountain dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog is enjoying increasing popularity.


  • Margit Bürner, Evi Bürner: Bernese Mountain Dog . Choice, attitude, education, employment. Kosmos, Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 3-440-11624-7 .
  • Christel Fechler: Bernese Mountain Dogs . As well as the short-haired breeds Appenzeller Sennenhund, Entlebucher Sennenhund. Practical advice on housing, care and upbringing. 7th, revised edition. Parey, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-8263-8422-9 .
  • Bernd Günter: Bernese Mountain Dog. Kynos Verlag , Mürlenbach / Eifel 1994, ISBN 3-924008-92-2 .
  • Bernd Günter: The Bernese Mountain Dog. A dog of destiny. Doral Publishing, Phoenix AZ 2004, ISBN 0-9745407-3-0 .
  • Gerd Ludwig, Christine Steimer: Mountain dogs. Maintain and understand the great Swiss, Bernese, Appenzell and Entlebuchers properly. Gräfe and Unzer, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-7742-2266-5 .

Web links

Commons : Bernese Mountain Dog  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. A. Egenvall, BN Bonnett, Å. Hedhammar, P. Olson: Mortality in over 350,000 insured Swedish dogs from 1995-2000: II. Breed-specific age and survival patterns and relative risk for causes of death. In: Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. Vol. 46, No. 3, 2005, ISSN  0044-605X , pp. 121-136, PMID 16261925 , doi: 10.1186 / 1751-0147-46-121 .
  2. Tomoyuki Awano, Gary S. Johnson, Claire M. Wade, Martin L. Katz, Gayle C. Johnson, Jeremy F. Taylor, Michele Perloski, Tara Biagi, Izabella Baranowska, Sam Long, Philip A. March, Natasha J. Olby , G. Diane Shelton, Shahnawaz Khan, Dennis P. O'Brien, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Joan R. Coatesk:: Genome-wide association analysis reveals a SOD1 mutation in canine degenerative myelopathy that resembles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 106, No. 8, 2009, pp. 2794-2799, v doi: 10.1073 / pnas.0812297106 .
  3. O.Distl, N.Bachmann, C.Fechler
  4. ^ FA Wininger, R. Zeng u. a .: Degenerative Myelopathy in a Bernese Mountain Dog with a Novel SOD1 Missense Mutation. In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 25, 2011, pp. 1166-1170, doi: 10.1111 / j.1939-1676.2011.0760.x .
  5. Reiner Beuing: It's about life and death . In: SSV-Kurier . No. 1 , 2009, p. 48 ( [PDF; 1.6 MB ]).
  6. N. Bachmann: A milestone for the SSV - the breeding value "lifespan" for Bernese mountain dogs . In: SSV-Kurier . No. 1 , 2009, p. 46 ( [PDF; 1.6 MB ]).
  7. Christel Fechler, Norbert Bachmann: Genomic breeding value "longevity" in Bernese mountain dogs . (SSV website)
  8. Ottmar Distl: Longer-lived Bernese Mountain Dogs through genetic selection . ( ).
  9. O.Distl, N.Bachmann, C.Fechler