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FCI Standard




(St. Bernhardshund, Bernhardiner)

TRANSLATION: Dr. J.-M. Paschoud and Prof. R. Triquet.

ORIGIN: Switzerland.



Support, guard and farm dog.


Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid, Mountain and Cattle Dogs.

Section 2.2 Molossoids of the mountain type.

Without working trial.


There are two varieties of Saint-Bernard:

  • The short-haired variety (double-haired) and

  • The long-haired variety.

Both varieties are large in size and their appearance is imbued with majesty. The body is powerful, firm, muscular and harmonious; the head imposes it; the expression is attentive.


  • Proportion sought between the height at the withers: length of the trunk = 9:10 (the length of the trunk is measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock).

  • Proportion sought between the height at the withers and the height of the chest see the following sketch.

  • The total length of the head is slightly more than a third of the height at the withers.

  • The ratio of the height of the muzzle (measured at its root) to its length is close to 2: 1.

  • The length of the muzzle is slightly more than a third of the total length of the head.


Amiable in character, with a lively calm temperament. He is vigilant.


Overall : Powerful, expressive and imposing in appearance.


Skull : Seen from the front and in profile, the upper part of the skull, broad and strong, is slightly convex; when the dog is awake, the ear clips form a straight line with the upper part of the skull; the skull blends softly round each side into a high and strongly developed cheek region. On the front, the frontal falls steeply over the root of the nose. The occipital protuberance is only moderately marked, while the superciliary arches are strongly developed. From the root of the muzzle, the clearly pronounced frontal groove extends to the middle of the skull. The skin of the forehead forms slight wrinkles above the eyes which converge in the direction of the midline. When the dog is awake, they are more marked; Usually, they are rather discreet.

Stop : Well accused.


Nose : Large and angular; it is black in color. The nostrils are wide open.

Muzzle : Of uniform width; straight chamfer with a discreet middle gutter.

Lips : The edges of the lips are pigmented black. The upper lip, strongly developed, is tight and not overly hanging; it forms an arc of great radius towards the nose. The labial commissure remains visible.

Jaws / Teeth : Upper and lower jaws strong, broad and of the same length. Well-developed teeth. Articulated in scissors or in pincers, regular and complete. Slightly lower prognathism without loss of incisor contact is allowed. The absence of PM1 (premolars 1) and M3 is tolerated.

Eyes : Of medium size, dark brown to nutty in color and moderately set in the sockets; their expression is amiable. The edge of the eyelids is completely pigmented. The natural and firm closure of the eyelids is sought after; a small fold in the upper eyelid, and a small crease revealing a little conjunctiva in the lower eyelid are allowed.

Ears : Of medium size; high and wide tie. The conch is highly developed. The end of the flexible and triangular shaped bell is rounded; its posterior edge is slightly apart, its anterior edge is well attached to the cheek.


Powerful and of sufficient length. Moderately developed throat and neck dewlap.


General : Overall large, harmonious, good looking and well muscled.

Withers : Well marked.

Back : Broad, powerful and firm. The top line is straight and horizontal to the lumbar region

Croup : Long, slightly sloping; it blends harmoniously into the attachment of the tail.

Chest : Moderately deep rib cage with well sprung ribs, but not barrel-shaped; it must not descend lower than the elbow.

Underline and belly : Moderately pulled back.


Wide and strong attachment; tail long and heavy, the last caudal vertebra having to reach at least the level of the hock. At rest, the tail is carried drooping or slightly curved upwards in its last third; when the dog is awake, it is carried higher.



General appearance : Dog fairly wide in front; seen from the front straight and parallel limbs.

Shoulders : Shoulder blade oblique, muscular and well set against the chest wall.

Upper arm : Longer than the scapula. The angle between the scapula and the arm is not too open.

Elbow : Close to the body.

Forearm : Straight, with strong bones and lean muscles.

Pastern : Seen from the front upright in line with the forearm; seen in profile slightly bent.

Forefeet : Broad, toes close together, solid and strongly arched.


General appearance: Moderately angulated hindquarters well muscled; seen from behind, the hind legs are parallel and not tight.

Thigh : Powerful, well muscled, broad.

Knee (stifle) : Well bent, turned neither in nor out.

Lower thigh : Oblique, fairly long.

Hock : Moderately angled, strong.

Metatarsals : Seen from behind, straight and parallel.

Hind feet : Wide, toes close together, solid and strongly arched. The dewclaws are tolerated, as long as they do not interfere with the movements of the hind legs.


Harmonious gait with large strides and good thrust from the hindquarters. The back is firm and does not show any significant vertical displacement. The forelegs and hindquarters move in a plane parallel to the midplane.



  • Short-haired variety (double coat): Dense, smooth, well-laid and coarse topcoat; profuse undercoat. Lightweight thigh panties; dense hair on the tail.

  • Long-haired variety: Straight, medium-length topcoat; profuse undercoat; in the region of the hips and on the rump, the hair is generally a little wavy, fringes on the forelegs. Well supplied panties on the thighs. Short hair on the face and ears. Bushy tail.


White background with more or less large red-brown patches (variegated dog) until an uninterrupted red-brown coat forms on the back and sides (dog with a coat); the “torn” coat (with a white hole) is equivalent. Brindle reddish brown is allowed. The yellow-brown color is tolerated. The leading charcoals are sought after; a hint of black on the trunk is tolerated.

Prescribed white markings: Chest, feet, end of tail, band around muzzle, list (on the muzzle which extends to the head) and nape.

Sought after brands : White necklace.

Symmetrical dark mask.


Lower limit: Males: 70 cm, females: 65 cm.

Upper limit: Males: 90 cm, females: 80 cm.

Dogs whose size exceeds the upper limit will not be penalized if their general appearance is harmonious and if their gait is correct.


Any deviation from the above must be considered as a defect which will be penalized according to its seriousness and its consequences on the health and well-being of the dog.

  • Sexual characters too little pronounced.

  • General appearance lacking in harmony.

  • Limbs too short in relation to the size (dog short on legs).

  • Wrinkles marked on the head and neck.

  • Muzzle too short or too long.

  • Loose lower lip hanging outwards.

  • Absence of teeth apart from PM1 (premolars 1) and M3. Small teeth (especially the incisors).

  • Mild lower prognathism.

  • Bright Eyes.

  • Defective eyelid closure.

  • Saddle or piked back.

  • Croup raised or swallowed.

  • Tail carried curled over the back.

  • Lack of prescribed marks.

  • Forelegs twisted or strongly turned outwards (panards).

  • Hind legs too straight, barrel-shaped or cow hocks.

  • Incorrect approach.

  • Curly coat.

  • Incomplete or absent pigmentation on the nose, around the nose, lips and eyelids.

  • Defective background color, e.g. splashes or small red-brown spots in white


  • Cowardly dog, aggressive dog.

  • Superior prognathism, marked inferior prognathism.

  • Blue eye, wall eye.

  • Entropion, ectropion.

  • Completely white or completely reddish-brown coat (no background color)

  • Dress of another color.

  • Size below lower limit.

Any dog ​​clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities will be disqualified.

NB: Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

This modified standard will come into force from April 2004.

st-bernard, saint-bernard
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FCI Standard
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