Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

T he overall balance and symmetry of the Bernese Mountain Dogs being produced by highly dedi- cated breeders today are far superior to those being bred in 1937 when the breed was first rec- ognized by the American Kennel Club. Some were long in body and many showed a great tendency for being sway- backed. For anyone who may not clearly understand my use of the term balance, it refers to a dog being proportionate in conformation; body-wise, in measuring the distance or height from the withers (top of the shoulder) to the ground at the front feet. The length from the same point on the shoulder to the base of the tail or rump of the dog should be the same. However, Bernese Mountain Dogs are meant to be slightly longer in body than they are tall. The topline should be level. A topline that somewhat slopes down to the rump is not a significant fault. The topline should definitely not start lower at the shoulder and go up to the rump. This is only a part of the overall picture of balance; for while the above is correct, there are other aspects to consider. A deep chest with well-sprung ribs and hindquar- ters in proportion with the chest is highly desirable. A shal- low chest or too much tuckup in the loin section does not at all add to the balance of the dog. In the bitches, I have too fre- quently seen a tendency for the topline to soften after a litter or litters of puppies, so a good solid topline from the start is especially important. A Bernese Mountain Dog with a robust body should also have substantial bone in the legs that goes well with his chest circumference. Fine bone quality in his legs would not go with the heavy substance. Heavy bone quality with a more petite body would be better, but still is not balanced. A large, heavy-boned Bernese Mountain Dog should also have a large head of equal quality, for if all other qualities are in balance, a small head with a snipey muzzle would great detract from his balance and the overall picture of conformation. Conversely, large head on even a slightly more refined dog would not be very desirable either. The perfect Bernese Mountain Dog has yet to be born. But, conscientious breeders continue to make great strides towards the goal of producing that very special dog. Balance is critical in the breed and all evidence proves BMDCA member breeders are keeping balance at the spearhead of their breed- ing programs. Significant headway in the Bernese Mountain Dog has been made in that direction and I am certain it will be continued. by williaM j. given balance & The BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG

SS: This is a wonderful breed, loyal to a fault. They can be standoffish to strangers; their human is the only one for them. They tolerate judges, but most are not going to stand and wag like a Golden, it just isn’t in them. DW: The Bernese Mountain Dog is a versatile Working breed dog that is devoted to his family. He is willing to do what his master asks of him. Many owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs will tell you that this breed touches your soul. The human/dog bond is like no other. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? SK: The funniest thing I’ve seen is Team Obedience at the Bernese National! SS: The funniest thing I ever experienced at a dog show, was when a friend of mine stood listening to an instant breed expert, who was paying no attention to her dog, while she told anyone and everyone just how much she knew! Her dog became aggressive to my friend’s dog and my friend asked her to control her dog. The instant expert became enraged, and jerked her dog back. The next day as we waited to go in the ring, my friends dog wandered out to the end of her leash and sniffed the instant expert’s dog. She became enraged again and my friend whipped around to her and said, “Oh relax, she’s a novice bitch, just like you.” “THIS IS A WONDERFUL, SWEET BREED and should be enjoyed by everyone who judges TheM.”

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