F.C.I. STANDARD NO. 61 DATED 24/3/93



Revised October 1994

Translated by Mrs C Seidler, Mr Michael Wingleler.

Country of Origin - Switzerland


GENERAL APPEARANCE - There are two varieties of the St Bernard:

Short-hair variety (Stockhaar, smoothcoat)

Long-hair variety (rough coat)

Both varieties are of notable size and have a balanced, sturdy, muscular body with imposing head and alert facial expression.

Important Proportions: Ideal proportions for height at wither to body length (measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the ischium)=5:6 For the ideal relationship of height at withers to depth of chest see the following sketch.

CHARACTERISTICS - Utilisation: Companion, watch and farm dog. (see also under Brief History and General Appearance.)

TEMPERAMENT - Friendly by nature. Temperament calm to lively; watchful

HEAD AND SKULL - General: Massive and Imposing.

Cranial region: Skull strong, broad; seen in profile and from the front slightly rounded; sideways, it merges gently rounded into the strongly developed high cheek bones, falling away steeply towards the muzzle. Occipital bone only moderately pronounced. Supra-orbital ridges strongly developed. The frontal furrow, which starts at the root of the muzzle and runs over the whole skull, disappears towards the base of the occiput. The skin of the forehead forms wrinkles over the eyes which converge towards the frontal furrow. When the dog is attentive, the wrinkles become more pronounced. When alert, the set-on of the ear, and the topline of the skull, appear in a straight line.

Stop: Markedly pronounced.

Facial Region

Muzzle: Short, does not taper. Nasal bridge straight, with a shallow furrow running its length. Length of muzzle shorter than its depth, measured at the root of the muzzle.

Nose: Black, broad and square. Nostrils well opened.

Lips: Edge of lips black. Flews of upper jaw strongly developed, pendulous, forming a wide curve towards the nose. Corner of mouth remains visible.

EYES - Medium, size. Colour dark brown to lighter nut-brown. Not too deeply set, with a friendly expression. Eyelids as close fitting as possible. Complete pigmentation on eye rims. Natural tightness of lids desired. A small angular wrinkle of the lower eyelid with inconspicuous showing of the conjunctiva, as well as a small angular wrinkle of the upper eyelid are allowed.

EARS: Medium size; set on high and wide. Strongly developed burr at the base. Ear flaps pliable, triangular with the tip rounded off. The back edge stands off slightly, the front edge lies close fitting to the cheeks.

MOUTH - Teeth: Strong, regular and complete scissor or pincer bite. Reverse scissor bite acceptable. Missing P1 (Premolar 1) tolerated.

NECK - Strong, dewlap not too exaggerated.

FOREQUARTERS - General: Stance rather broad, straight and parallel when seen from the front.

Shoulders: Muscular, shoulder-blade oblique, well attached to the chest wall.

Upper Arm: The same length or only slightly shorter than the shoulder-blade. Angle between shoulder-blade and upper arm not too blunt.

Elbow: Laying well onto the body.

Forearm: Straight, heavy boned, tautly muscled.

Pasterns: Vertically straight when seen from the front and at a slight angle when seen from the side.

BODY - General: General appearance imposing and balanced.

Topline: Withers well defined. Straight from withers to loin. Rump falls away gently and merges with root of tail.

Back: Broad, strong and firm.

Chest: Brisket moderately deep with well sprung ribs, but not reaching beyond the elbows.

Belly and Lower Line: slight tuck-up towards rear.

HINDQUARTERS - General: Hindquarters muscular with moderate angulation. Seen from rear, the hind legs are parallel and not too close together.

Upper Thigh: Strong, muscular with broad buttocks.

Stifle: well angulated, turning neither in nor out.

Lower Thigh: Slanting and rather long.

Hock Joints: Slightly angulated and firm.

Rear Pastern: Straight and parallel when seen from behind.

FEET - Front: Broad, compact with strong, well arched toes.

Hind: Broad, compact with strong, well arched toes. Dewclaws tolerated as long as they do not hinder movement.

TAIL - Set on broad and strong. Tail long and heavy, its last vertebra reaching at least to the hocks. When in repose, the tail hangs straight down or may turn gently upward in the lower third. When animated, it is carried higher.

GAIT/MOVEMENT - Coordinated, smooth reaching strides with good drive from the hindquarters. Hindquarters track in line with the forequarters.


Smooth-haired Variety (Stockhaar-smoothcoat): Top coat dense, smooth, close lying and coarse, with rich undercoat. Buttocks lightly breeched. Tail covered with dense fur.

Long-haired Variety (Roughcoat): Topcoat plain, of medium length with a rich undercoat. Over the haunches and rump usualy somewhat wavy. Front legs feathered. Buttocks well breeched. Short hair on fac4e and ears. Bushy tail.

COLOUR - Basic colour white with either small or large reddish-brown splashes("splash coat" or a continuous reddish-brown blanket covering back and flanks ("mantle coat). A torn reddish-brown mantle (broken up by white) is of equal value. Reddish-brown brindle permissible. Brownish-yellow tolerated. Dark brown shadings on head desirable. Slight black shading on body tolerated.

Markings: Chest, feet, tip of tail, muzzle band, blaze and patch on neck must be white.

Desirable: white collar, symmetrical dark mask.

SIZE -Minimum height:

Dogs 70cm (27 1/2 ins)

Bitches 65cm (25 1/2 ins)

Maximum height:

Dogs 90cm (35 1/2 ins)

Bitches 80cm (31 1/2 ins)

Dogs which exceed the maximum height will not be penalised, provided their general appearance is balanced and their movement correct.

FAULTS - Every departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault which will be assessed according to the degree of departure from the standard.

Lack of correct gender characteristics

Unbalanced general appearance

Strong wrinkles on head, excessive dewlap

Muzzle too short or too long

Flews of the lower jaw turning outwards

Light eyes

Entropion, ectropion

Eyelids too loose

Low set on ears

Under - or overshot bite

Missing teeth other than P1 (premolar 1)

Crooked or severely turned out front legs

Sway or roach back

Rump higher than withers or falling away steeply

Poorly angulated, bowed or cow-hocked hindquarters

Tail carried curled over back

Faulty movement

Curly coat

Incomplete or totally absent pigment on nose, around the nose, on lips and eyelids

Faulty markings, eg. white with reddish-brown ticks

Faults of temperament: aggressiveness, shyness


Coat totally white or totally reddish-brown

Coat of a different colour

Wall eye, blue eye

NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normally developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.