AKC Gazette Columns

AKC Gazette - October 1991


Hindsight vision comes to us a year later when records can be completed and disseminated. The following information was compiled by Alison Jaskiewicz, records chairman of the BMDCA, from the AKC's AWARDS publication and the GAZETTE.

The first figure is the number of each title earned in 1990, the second is cumulative since 1937: champions, 134 and 1,200; C.D:'s, 61 and 479; C.D.X.'s, 9 and 67; U.D.'s, 1 and 9; T.D.'s, 6 and 41; and T.D.X.'s, 0 and 2.

The total number of cumulative registrations of the Bernese Mountain Dog with the AKC since 1937 is 10,412. Of that number, 11.5 percent have become champions. Of the total registered since 1937, 47.2 percent were registered from 1986 through 1990. There were 280 litters in 1990 as opposed to 85 litters in 1980.

Considering these statistics, it is little wonder that there is concern among serious breeders that this rapid growth will result in the deterioration of quality. Happily, with the 1990 national specialty serving as a showcase of the breed's present quality, it appears that the breed is in good shape. This is thanks to the vigilance of breeders, owners and the BMDCA.

BMDCA Top Winners in 1990

One of the highlights of the annual meeting at the national is the presentation of the previous year's top winners in conformation and obedience, owned by BMDCA members.

In conformation, a dog earns a point for each dog defeated at each level of competition: Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, Group placements and Best in Show. The Top Conformation Dog was Ch. De-Li's Standing Ovation, owned and bred by Lilian Ostermiller. His wins in 1990 included one Best in Show, six Group Firsts, eight Group Seconds, 15 Group Thirds, two Group Fourths and an Award of Merit at the 1990 BMDCA National. He amassed 8,748 points. Top Conformation Bitch was Ch. Deerpark Double Play, C.D., owned by Joanne Prellberg and Dan Clay, and bred by Denise Dean. Her wins in 1990 included one Group First and one Group Fourth. She earned 599 points.

To determine the top obedience winner in Novice A, Novice B, Open A and Utility A, the first three qualifying scores are averaged. In Open B and Utility B, all qualifying scores are averaged with a required minimum of three such scores. Top Novice A was Halidom Chelsea V Dante, C.D., owned by Louise Wetzel and bred by Milicent Parliman and Mary Elasser, with an average score of 190.8. Top Novice B was Brighteye Nelle Belle, C.D., T.D., owned and bred by Deborah Hotze, with an average score of 198. Top Open A was Ahquabi's Raven V Baurenhof, C.D.X., T.D., owned by Kathy Berge and bred by Susan Sham- beau, with an average score of 192.7. Top Open B was Sandusky's Mutadis Mutandis, C.D.X., owned by Kathleen Galotti and Lloyd Komatsu and bred by Sandra Ongemach, with an average score of 192. Top Utility A was Ch. Arundel's Star Caper, U.D., owned by Paula Hopkins and bred by Susan and Alan Brightman, with an average score of 194.7. There was no recipient for Top Utility B.

BMDCA 1990 Yearbook Now Available

The statistics and winners included above are in the 1990 Yearbook of the BMDCA, prepared by the Publications Conm1ittee, Mary Dawson, chairman, and members Marsha Queer, Alison Jaskiewicz and Ron Smith. It contains fascinating information and a wealth of pictures and pedigrees which are of great interest to those seriously interested in Bernese. It may be obtained from Mrs. Carol Evert, chairman, BMDCA Ways and Means, Marketing, 221 Greenland Avenue, Oconomowoc, WI 53066; (414) 567-7659, for $25 postpaid. It may be charged on Visa or Mastercard. For an SASE, Ways and Means will send a list of unusual Berner items which might make great Christmas gifts.


The Watchung BMDC, which serves members from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, held a unique get-together on June 2, 1991, at the home of the Ostermillers in New Jersey. The WBMDC invited owners of the three other Swiss Sennenhunde to come with their dogs to their first Sennenhunde Fest for an opportunity to get acquainted with dogs of a similar heritage and people of a similar interest, for fun and a picnic.

In Switzerland, the Bernese is known as the Berner Sennenhund. There are actually four Sennenhunde: the Grosser Schweitzer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), the Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain Dog), the Appenzeller and the Entlebucher. They have been named in the order of their height, from largest to smallest. All share the same rich coloration of black, rust and white; and all are tight mouthed, meaning that they do not drool or slobber. Ears are folded and set high with the top of the fold being level with the top of the skull when alert. Tails and coats differ.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, which may compete in the Miscellaneous Class in AKC events, ranges in height from approximately 26 to 28 inches. It has a short, shiny coat with a heavy undercoat and a long tail. Primarily regarded as a guard and companion, it is also used in Switzerland for avalanche work.

The Bernese Mountain Dog, which has been recognized by AKC since 1937, ranges in height from 23 to 27 1/2 inches. It has a thick, moderately long coat which is slightly wavy or straight with a bright natural sheen and a long tail. The Bernese was bred for draft and droving work and is a companion and protector.

The Appenzeller is the least known of the four Sennenhunde in the United States. Described as a medium-sized dog, it is approximately 20 to 21 inches in height. The Appenzeller has a short coat and a tail that curls to one side, much like that of the Basenji. It is a universal dog for the farmer, serving as a drover and guardian of the stock.

The Entlebucher is the smallest version of the Sennenhunde and the only one with a docked tail. It is from 17 to 19 inches in height. The Entlebucher's coat is short and similar in length and type to that of the Rottweiler. Incredibly good at herding, these dogs are entrusted by Swiss farmers to take an entire herd of cows out to the pasture on their own. One was observed bringing a herd of 50 in for milking with no assistance, either from man or other dogs. There are presently 52 Entlebucher in the U. S. and Canada.

Of the four Swiss Sennenhunde, only the Appenzeller was not represented at the Fest. The fellowship was terrific and getting to see the three different breeds was exciting. There was no match show or competition, just the fun of sharing ideas in obedience, carting, agility and in getting together. A modified agility course and carts were there for practice. Assistance was readily offered. The 82 people and 37 dogs present had a great time.

Many thanks to Sue Hoffman, president of the Watchung BMDC, for details of Sennenhunde Fest '91 and to Esther Mueller for information about the Berner's fellow Sennenhunde.

- Miss Julie Crawford, 26391 May Twilley Rd., Delmar, MD 21875