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Resources for aspiring Bernese Judges / Judges Directory / Sweepstakes Judges

Judges Education

AKC Provisional & Approved BMDCA Member Judges for Bernese Mountain Dogs

For further information of the status of these judges, please visit the AKC Judges Directory

Parent Club Approved Judge Mentors

BMDCA Judge's Education — Mentors List

Parent Club Approved Judge Mentors

  • Suzanne Adams

    West Trenton NJ

    Kennel: GloryDays

    Wendy Bennett

    New Brunswick Canada

    Kennel: Backcountry

    Mireille Bischel

    Pleasant Hill CA

    Kennel: Trinity

    Jessica Briggle

    Polk City IA

    Kennel: Dreamfields

    Sue Brightman

    Le Roy NY

    Kennel: Arundel

    Eric Buonpane

    Gilroy CA

    Kennel: Vinn

    Alise Burbridge

    Hingham MA

    Kennel: Seawind Farm

    Hunter Calvelage

    Lima OH

    Kennel: Carma Que

    Brenda Calvelage

    Lima OH

    Kennel: Carma Que

    Raime Campbell

    Boise ID

    Kennel: Blue Mountain

    Adam Conn

    Maynard MA

    Kennel: Purple

    AKC Jr Show Judge #96997

    Tracy Corneliussen

    Wasilla AK

    Kennel: Demitra

BMDCA Members Interested in Judging Sweepstakes

This list is intended for use by clubs seeking Sweepstakes judges for their events. All individuals listed are current members in good standing of the BMDCA.

Book List

A comprehensive database of Bernese Mountain Dog pedigrees, photos, and health information. See:

  • Raber, Hans. 1971. Die Schweizerhunde-Rassen. MullerVerlag Ruschlikon. All Swiss breeds.


  • Cochrane, Diana, 1981. The Bernese Mountain Dog. Feoirlinn Publications, Lincolnshire, England. Emphasis on the breed in Britain.


  • Simonds, Jude, 1990. The Complete Bernese Mountain Dog. Howell Book House, Inc. New York. Well balanced book on care and training, some emphasis on the breed in Britain.


  • Bartschi, Margret, and Spengler, Hans. 1992. Hunde sehen, zuchten, erlebenL Das Buch vom Berner Sennenhund. Paul Haupt Verlag. Bern. The most comprehensive, and probably the most accurate, book ever printed on the breed. Currently out of print.


  • Russ and Rogers, 1994. The Beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog. Alpine Publications, Loveland, CO. The first US book on the breed.


  • ​Smith, Sharon Chesnutt, 1995. The New Bernese Mountain Dog. Howel Book House, New York. Written with American emphasis.

  • 90 Jahre Ans Schweizerischer Klub fuer Berner Sennenhunde; Ein handbuch fur alle, die den Duerrbaechler kennen, lieben und zuechhten. 1997. Worth the pictures even if you don't read German or French.


  • Willis, Dr. Malcolm B. 1998. The Bernese Mountain Dog Today. Good breed genetics material.

  • Guenter, Bernd. 2004. The Bernese Mountain Dog, a Dog of Destiny. Exceptional photographs as well as text.

  • Vogel Tedeschi, Silvana, 2010. The Bernese Mountain Yesterday and Today. This comprehensive book also provides translations of important work about the breed never before available in English.

    • Ordering/pricing/shipping information for The Bernese Mountain Yesterday and Today contact: Joye Neff, 108 Minnock Dr, Mars, PA 16046 / Email:

Suggested Educational Materials

  • In the course of time, the sport of dogs has developed a way to judge and evaluate its breeding stock. Each breed has a set standard by which it is judged. The standards are generally purpose driven, and, depending on the breed, sometimes fashion driven, the latter not being preferred in a working dog. Standards of dogs from non-English speaking countries may suffer from inaccuracies or misunderstanding in translation to English. For instance, what one culture understands as a guard dog, another understands as a watchdog, and yet another understands as a watchful dog. It is to be noted that Swiss farms are very different from American farms.

    In the case of the Bernese Mountain Dog, the AKC standard was originally a direct translation from the FCI standard at the time of recognition, 1937. The first BMDCA revision, made in 1980, and the second, made in 1990, reflected changes in the FCI standard as well as incorporation of AKC requirements. Major changes included raising the height on the lower end and adding a section on movement.

    The historical essence of the Bernese Mountain Dog is that it has been a farm dog of the midland regions of Switzerland, mostly around the city of Berne. In that capacity, it was primarily used as a companion and watchdog to the farmer and his family. It alerted his owner to unfamiliar visitors. It may have been used as a dog to pull a cart. A large dog, well-muscled and with sturdy bone, was needed for this task. It may have been used to accompany cows to pasture but not for long distances as dogs which work on a range. As most Swiss farmers had a small number of cows, the dog was not required to manage large herds. The BMD was not a herding dog for sheep and goats as these animals were not kept usually on Bernese farms except in very small numbers. In other parts of Switzerland especially in the alpine regions such tasks were done by smaller, quicker dogs such as the Appenzeller and Entlebucher. The temperament of the Bernese Mtn. Dog was never to be sharp or shy.

    The history of the breed, therefore, is one of a watchful farm dog. Those fanciers who wish to have conformation dogs or obedience or draft or agility or tracking or herding dogs would be wise to heed the heritage of the breed and mind that this is not a breed of any one specific sport but is a Swiss farmer's companion.

  • The term "farm" or "farmdog" does not mean the same thing when used for Swiss or Bernese farmers as when it is used in the USA. The farm in the two countries/continents are two very different things. In order to get an idea what the duties of a farmdog on a farm around Berne were like a hundred years ago one must have seen a Bernese farm and understood its functioning.


    The main business of the dogs on Bernese Farms has always been to be good watchdogs. These farms were built at a distance from each other, each one situated more or less in the center of the land that was cultivated by the farmers family. A dog that announced strangers (man and other animals) which approached the farm or the nearby meadows was essential for the security of all the living creatures there. The land belonging to a farm was from about 5 ha for the poorer farmers up to 15 ha at the maximum for the richest farmers. (1 ha (hectar) = 2.47 acres ) Up to about 1830 the farmers did not have a great number of cattle (cows), because they had no use for the milk. Their main income was from different kinds of grain: wheat, barley, oats etc (maize was unknown). The cattle and some sheep, horses and swine moved freely around the houses and in the nearby forests. The crops were fenced to save them from being eaten by the animals. The cattle did not have to go far.

    Only after about 1840, when the cheeseries were built and farmers could sell their milk at a reasonable price, the farmers started to have more cattle (about 6 to 15 cows at the maximum and some heifers and calves), so many as they could nourish on their land. Poor people (day-laborers) kept a few goats instead. At the same time the farmers started to keep the cattle in stables, not only in winter but all the year round, also in summer. This means, that there was not a lot of driving to be done on the farm itself. The few sheep (maybe 6 to 10) that were also kept on some farms could move freely in the nearby poorer parts of the land that were not cultivated and in the forests. It was the butchers who also kept dogs to drive the cattle they bought on the farms to distant places were they were either slaughtered or sold to other merchants.

    I have found reference to these facts lately in a newer publication of a historian who specialized in the history of farming in the Canton Berne from 1700 till 1914 (first world war). His Name: Prof. Dr. Christian Pfister, he lectures at the University of Berne.

    by Margret Baertschi

  • The FCI categorizes the BMD in Group 2, "Cattle Dogs." It is basically comparable to our Working Group as it contains breeds such as Boxers, Great Danes, Newfoundlands,Schnauzers and Pinschers. The BMD is listed with Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.

    Dr. Paschoud was the President of the Standards Commission of the SKG and FCI and was the author of the current standard. The statements made in the book are also found on the FCI web site and the Natural History Museum web site.

    References were sent of present day dogs "herding" in the United States and Canada. It is difficult to find sources that state the breed was used for sheep or goats in any historical Swiss records. How does one make a biographical reference to a lack of information on herding? None was found.

    There are numerous references to the dogs being used for getting cattle to the fields and back in the midlands of Switzerland.

    Dr Paschoud, in the Introduction to the book: "Swiss Cattle Dogs were originally used to help the farmer to drive his large cattle from their stables to the fields and to guard them while they grazed. These dog also guarded the farmhouse, and the two larger breeds were also used to carry burdens, or were harnessed to two-wheeled milk carts."

    Under the section for Bernese Mtn. Dogs: A brief historical summary: "The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog of ancestral origin which was used as a guard dog and draft dog and for driving cattle in the prealpine regions and in the midland areas around Bern."

    Mrs. Egg-Leach, an English woman, refered to the dog as a weaver's cart dog. Mrs. Baertschi questions the use of a dog as such as her experience was that the dogs were used to pull milk.. Perhaps Mrs. Egg-Leach knew a few weavers who used their dogs but never met anyone in her travels that used the dogs for milk or cheese. Does this example mean that the dogs were solely used as weavers' dogs? No. But we can conclude that the dog was used a draft dog.

    Baertschi, Margret. BMDCA Alpenhorn, February 2001. "Our Swiss Connection: Herding? Driving? Drafting? Some Breed History."

    Egg-Leach, L. AKC Gazette, April, 1937 (?). "The Bernese is a Loyal Dog of the Swiss Alps."

    Paschoud, Dr. J.-M. The Swiss Canine Breeds. Schweizerische Kynologische Gesellschaft SKG, 1994.

    Raeber, Dr. H.C. Hans. Die Schweizer Hunderassen. Albert Mueller Verlag, Ruschlikon-Zurich, 1980.