Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Bernese Mountain Dog

A Recognized Breed by the AKC Since 1937

Everest's Fern (5 months old)

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a highly respected registry for dogs that began October 22, 1884 and still remains one of the largest kennel clubs in the world! This is their mission statement - "The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Founded in 1884, the AKC® and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership."

As every dog, when the Bernese Mountain Dog became a part of the AKC there was a breed standard written. It is very important to understand the history of your dogs' breed, and to understand how a healthy, conformationally correct dog should appear. By selectively choosing and breeding dogs that are within the breed standard, we can help keep our animals strong and healthy throughout their long lives!

Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Standard

Working Group

General Appearance
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking. tri-colored, large dog. He is sturdy and balanced. He is intelligent, strong and agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which he was used in the mountainous regions of his origin. Dogs appear masculine, while bitches are distinctly feminine.

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.
Head - Expression is intelligent, animated and gentle. The eyes are dark brown and slightly oval in shape with close-fitting eyelids. Inverted or everted eyelids are serious faults. Blue eye color is a disqualification. The ears are medium sized, set high, triangular in shape. gently rounded at the tip, and hang close to the head when in repose. When the Bernese Mountain Dog is alert, the ears are brought forward and raised at the base; the top of the ear is level with the top of the skull. The skull is flat on top and broad, with a slight furrow and a well-defined, but not exaggerated stop. The muzzle is strong and straight. The noseis always black. The lips are clean and, as the Bernese Mountain Dog is a dry-mouthed breed, the flews are only slightly developed. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. An overshot or undershot bite is a serious fault. Dentition is complete.

Neck, Topline, Body
neckis strong, muscular and of medium length. The topline is level from the withers to the croup. Thechest is deep and capacious with well-sprung, but not barrel-shaped, ribs and brisket reaching at least to the elbows. The back is broad and firm. The loin is strong. The croup is broad and smoothly rounded to the tail insertion. The tail is bushy. It should be carried low when in repose. An upward swirl is permissible when the dog is alert, but the tail may never curl or be carried over the back. The bones in the tail should feel straight and should reach to the hock joint or below. A kink in the tail is a fault.

The shoulders are moderately laid back, flat-lying, well-muscled and never loose. The
legs are straight and strong and the elbows are well under the shoulder when the dog is standing. The pasterns slope very slightly. but are never weak. Dewclaws may be removed. The feet are round and compact with well-arched toes.

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.

coat is thick, moderately long and slightly wavy or straight. It has a bright natural sheen. Extremely curly or extremely dull-looking coats are undesirable. The Bernese Mountain Dog is shown in natural coat and undue trimming is to be discouraged.

Color and Markings
The Bernese Mountain Dog is tri-colored. The ground color is jet black. The markings are rich rust and clear white. Symmetry of markings is desired. Rust appears over each eye, on the cheeks reaching to at least the corner of the mouth, on each side of the chest, on all four legs, and under the tail. There is a white blaze and muzzle band. A white marking on the chest typically forms an inverted cross. The tip of the tail is white. White on the feet is desired but must not extend higher than the pasterns. Markings other than described are to be faulted in direct relationship to the extent of the deviation. White legs or a white collar are serious faults. Any ground color other than black is a disqualification.

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.

temperament is self-confident, alert and good-natured, never sharp or shy. The Bernese Mountain Dog should stand steady, though may remain aloof to the attentions of strangers.

Blue eye color.
Any ground color other than black.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bear Mountain Berners'


Brooski 05/11/2010

Bear Mountain Berners wasn't just started out of the blue, there is a story and a catalyst behind the very creation of this kennel. Without Brooski, we would have nothing. Brooski is the oldest of the three Berners we have now, and he was the first! This handsome fellow came from a long way across the US to live with us here in California. Brooski was born on November 28, 2007 in Kansas City, Oklahoma. We picked this little guy out when he was only four weeks old and waited one long month for him to arrive home to Big Bear, California! Broo's (his favorite nickname) pedigree stems from a third generation of Hungarian bloodlines, working their way to the famous Cherokee line bred here in the states. He has the typical big bone, strong conformation we find in the breed standards today, with a dense medium-length coat. Soon after our litter next year, Brooski will be enrolled with the OFFA for his hips and elbows. This handsome proven stud is our first choice for our 2011 litter!


"Brooski" 2.5 years old

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?!

~ Stanfield Marsh ~

Brooski & Jörgen (father & son)

Everest's Fern (4 & a half months)

Where does the time go?! It seemed like just yesterday when these pups were the size of a shoe! Jörgen & Fern are blossoming into big robust Berners! Despite being a week younger then Jörgen and a female at that, Fern has been keeping up in size and is proving to be the bravest one of the three. Since the weather has warmed up the dogs have been heading out to the lake every day, we look forward to many more exciting days out in the mountains. Pretty soon these pups will be full-bore trail dogs!!

Brooski (2 & a half years)

Monday, April 12, 2010

April Showers!

~ Springtime Snow! ~

Brooski running down the snow covered bridge!

This morning at Bear Mountain Berners we woke up to a pleasant surprise! Snow!! Spring brings in so many different weather patterns, but who expected this!? By 8am Brooski was rearin' to go do something, so we decided to take a stroll around Baker Pond (also known as Stanfield Marsh). It was still quite crisp outside, Jörgen and Fern felt like sleeping in. The lake and town were just as beautiful as ever! Big Bear has some of the best weather in southern California, and we are so lucky to have a piece of it! Hopefully this won't be the last significant snowfall of the season!!

Broo sitting on a bench near Standfield Cutoff
Photos: Megan Kee

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One long spring day...

- A trip to the Holcomb Valley Pinnacles -

One of our favorite things to do during the spring is take walks deep into the forests, and trek for miles to find beautiful natural wonders. This time we decided to go find and climb the Holcomb Valley Pinnacles! Starting from Van Deusen Canyon, we hiked around eight miles to our destination. What a wonderful journey!! Jörgen and Fern enjoyed the comforts of home, as they are still a little too young for trails like this, but soon enough they will be tailing us around the mountains just like Brooski!

Finally at the end of Van Deusen! Can you see the Pinnacles across the valley?
Brooski rolling around!

Brooski hanging out in front of a deserted Pacific Crest Trail sign. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington.

So far from home and still so much energy! Bertha Ridge in the background, home is behind that mountain!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sawmill Creek!

~ Sawmill Creek ~

Waiting for someone to come get him!

Photos: Megan Kee

Today was another warm and beautiful day in Big Bear! We knew there had to be some creeks and steams somewhere out in the woods from all of this melted snow, so we took the day off to go find some fun! We headed over to Sawmill and found and endless creek with little waterfalls and natural bridges, it was so exciting for Fern and Jörgen who are still experiencing a lot of things for the first time. Brooski went wild, he really knew how to show the pups a good time. This is a great beginning to a wonderful spring, soon enough it will be summer! What's next!?

Running down Sawmill Road