Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

Type, soundness and balance should be considered first. Color and markings, with emphasis on symmetry, are very specific but perhaps have been overrated in our selection of breeding stock. The Standard describes ideal markings; variations are to be expected. All the dogs presented above are acceptably marked.

slab-sided dogs, lacking in depth of chest or fronts that are too narrow or too broad. Th e BMD has a full body, meaning that there is only a slight amount of tuck-up. Underline is as important as topline. Hindquarter evaluation is accom- plished by examination of the well- developed upper and lower thighs, sti fl e and hock. Hindquarters are strong and powerful. Your judgment should not be fooled by the artistry of grooming in hocks, sti fl es, or croups. Th e moderate angulation of rear should complement the angulation of the front. Th e hands-on evaluation includes the coat. Th e coat is thick and moderately long, and straight or slightly wavy. Th e BMD is to be shown in a natural coat. Excessive groom- ing is to be discouraged. Even though we like to see dogs presented well and in good condition, grooming and handling skills do not change a mediocre dog. Trimmed feet and tidy ears should su ffi ce. Dogs that have the heavy coat on the top of the croup are not to be penalized. Please feel for the cor- rect topline and chest development and not just judge from across the ring. Markings Facial and leg markings may cause opti- cal illusions, such as a darker face giving a sterner look, or a white blaze giving the illusion of a broader head, or white higher on the inside of the foot a ff ecting what one sees in movement. Absence of white on feet or tail does not take away from the quality of the BMD. A dog or bitch with less than

perfect markings can produce puppies with perfect markings. Incorrect markings are to be faulted in direct relationship to the deviation from the Standard. Although a great deal of our Standard is devoted to the description of markings, they are only a part of our Standard. Gait In judging the gait, realize the struc- ture of the dog is the primary in fl uence. Carriage is an element that draws the eye when viewing the side gait and thus related to structure and balance. One element of good carriage is a fi rm topline and lack of roll. A well-made working dog should carry the head forward rather than high when in motion. A slow trot is the natural and preferred gait of the BMD, however, with a medium trot, as the dog’s feet converge to the center line of gravity, one can better assess reach and drive. As the dog moves, the tail carriage may be carried high or straight out, but a tail carried over the back or curled is undesirable. A dog that “ fl ies” around the ring is not necessarily a cor- rect BMD and, especially, if that dog is 30 pounds lighter (lower end of the standard) than another who might have a slower trot consistent of draft dog and at the upper end of the Standard. Th is is not to say larger dogs move slower, it is simply a reminder that the dog that races around when view- ing the side gait is not necessarily the best or correct dog. Dogs that are heavily coat- ed on the lower chest may appear to have incorrect movement. Dogs that have been

trimmed between the forelegs are not to be rewarded. Proper evaluation is best done with the dog moved on a loose lead. Judging As in any other breed, remember that no dog is perfect. Even though a dog may score well on individual details, the proper balance and breed details are essential and the dog must be considered as a whole, rather than by its separate parts in the fi nal evaluation. When viewing a group of dogs from across the ring, remember balance and proportions of what is under the coat. Be kind to our dogs as this is a gentle breed. Be kind to exhibitors. We have many owner- handled dogs that may be the best dogs in the ring. Become familiar with the Standard. If you are unsure of the breed, pursue opportunities to observe and discuss the BMD with our mentors who will gladly devote their time and share their knowledge.

The BMD is to be shown in a natural coat. Excessive grooming is to be discouraged.

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