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Club Guidelines


The St. Bernard Club of the Pacific Coast, in keeping with its goal of protecting and improving the St. Bernard has adopted the following Guidelines to promote and

foster the highest standards among owners and breeders and to encourage cooperation in the protection and improvement of our breed. All members of the

SBCPC will abide by these Guidelines.


Member Relations

1. Members will be aware at all times that the club exists to protect the breed and that these aims are to be uppermost in the minds of members in all their breed


2. Members will at all times display good sportsmanship and conduct themselves in a way that is a credit to the breed and the club.

3. Members will refrain from unnecessary and non-constructive criticism of other dogs and from personal attacks upon fellow members.

4. Novices are encouraged to seek advice and help from more experienced members and in turn the more experienced will assist the novice and share for the good of the breed the benefits of her/his knowledge. Members will bear in mind that a Guideline is more than a set of rules: it is a commitment to a high standard of practice in owning and breeding.


All St. Bernards owned by or in the care of members will be given a proper and healthy environment, nutrition, and care at all times. Regular veterinary care, including immunization and parasite control will be provided. Training will be provided so that the dog will behave in a manner that allows it to move safely in society and reflect well on the breed. Members’ dogs will be treated in a humane manner. Members will be diligent in the handling of their dogs in public places.

Members recognize their responsibility to protect the name and reputation of the breed and will not allow their dogs to roam at large unsupervised, not to become a  public nuisance, nor to become a public trust.


It is our intent that no dog bred by a member of the SBCPC will be homeless, turned into a rescue organization or surrendered to an animal shelter. Breeders will be responsible for the offspring of their dogs and bitches. A breeder carefully selects the stud and brood bitch for good temperament (of First Importance),  conformation to the standard, soundness, and amenability to training.

The breeder will carefully study the breed standard, the individuals, their near relatives and their pedigrees. Stud and brood bitch will be selected to avoid doubling faults. 

A breeder will not use an individual for breeding who although free from hereditary defects, consistently produces afflicted offspring from different mates.

Any St. Bernard breeder has an ethical obligation to disclose to puppy buyers those hereditary defects that are prevalent in the breed.

Potential stud dogs and brood bitches will be x-rayed for hip dysplasia.  It is suggested that they are also x-rayed for elbow dysplasia. The results of these x-rays

will be made known to the owner of the stud dog or brood bitch and to all buyers of pups. If the stud or bitch has hip or elbow dysplasia, the implications of that fact

will be disclosed to puppy buyers. If an animal is bred on the basis of a screening x-ray taken at under 2 years of age, it will be re-x-rayed at age 2 or older. X-rays must be either sent to OFA, Penn-Hip or a member of the American Board of Veterinary Radiology for interpretation. Some worthy specimens of the breed who are affected with non-disabling hip dysplasia might be bred. It should be the intent of the breeder to minimize the impact by selecting non-affected mates for dysplastic dogs. No dog with severe dysplasia should be bred.

Brood Bitches

Anyone breeding a bitch bears great responsibility to the future of the breed. Each breeding will be planned with the intention of protecting and improving the breed

and only when the owner of the bitch can provide proper care for the bitch and her puppies. Proper care includes: -Safe, clean and healthy environment with  adequate protection from the elements (rain. heat. and cold)

-Adequate nutrition for the bitch and her puppies

-Initial immunization against disease and parasite control (more)

-Socialization of the puppies

- Competent human supervision of whelping and daily care

Recognizing the extended growth period of a giant breed, the breeder will not breed a bitch before she is 18 months of age or before her second heat cycle or after her 7th birthday. Exceptions are allowed for extenuating circumstances with the express approval of a veterinarian. No bitch will have more than two litters out of three  heat cycles and it is anticipated that over a lifetime a brood bitch will have no more than two to four litters.

The bitch owner will provide this information prior to the breeding to the owner of the stud dog:

-if the bitch has had puppies

-if the bitch has had breeding problems

-hip and elbow evaluation

-results of any other testing (thyroid, brucellosis, heart, DM}

Stud Service

It is our intent that no dog bred by a member of the SBCPC will be homeless, turned into a rescue organization or surrendered to an animal shelter. Breeders will be responsible for the offspring of their dogs and bitches.

A breeder carefully selects the stud and brood bitch for good temperament (of First Importance), conformation to the standard, soundness and amenability to  raining.

The breeder will carefully study the breed standard, the individuals, their near relatives and their pedigrees. Studs and brood bitches will be selected to avoid doubling faults.

A breeder will not use an individual for breeding who although free from hereditary defects consistently produces afflicted offspring from different mates.

Any St. Bernard breeder has an ethical obligation to disclose to puppy buyers those hereditary defects that are prevalent in the breed.


A breeder will be discriminating in a sale of puppies and concerned with the type of home in which they are placed. No member will engage in wholesaling litters or in individual sales or consignments of pups or adults to pet shops, dealers or other commercial establishments, including the internet.  Nor will dogs be donated or  given as prizes in contests, raffles, or fund-raising events no matter how charitable.

A breeder will be available to his buyers for whatever advice, reasonable aid and assistance they may need for the life of the dog. SBCPC members will help and support their fellow members in fulfilling this obligation.

Breeders will provide adequate written contractual proof of sales and guarantees. No promise will be made orally which is not put into writing. 1t is the ethical  obligation of member breeders to guarantee pups produced and sold by them to be as represented. Any replacement or refund arrangement should be part of this   contract which is agreed to by breeder and buyer and fair to the interest of both parties. A typical refund replacement arrangement might be to provide a  replacement for a dog who must be euthanized before the age of 18 months due to hereditary disability or unstable temperament.

The breeder will supply AKC individual registration form or a written guarantee that it will be supplied by the time the pup is four months old or upon completion of


It is recommended that any animal sold as a pet or companion quality be sold under limited registration and with mandatory spay or neuter proviso.

Upon releasing a puppy, the breeder will follow these guidelines:

-Supply a five generation pedigree

-Provide written information on the care of the puppy and suggested books and reading materials

-Provide written instructions for feeding for the first year 

-Supply records which will detail all dates and types of medical care given the pup, including shots and worming 

-Release only pups which are to the best of his or her knowledge in good health

-Puppies released will have all necessary inoculations and worming for their age

-All pups leaving the breeder will be a minimum of 8 weeks of age

-Request that buyers take their pup to a veterinarian of their choice upon receipt and if the puppy has a health problem allow the buyer 48 hours to return the pup at

the buyer’s expense for a full refund

-Supply puppy buyer with a copy of these guidelines


All advertisement of puppies and adult dogs, written or oral, shall be factual and honest in both substance and implication. 

Advertising and promotion, written and oral, will be confined to the aspects of the breeder’s stock and shall not degrade the stock of others.

The breeder will be cautious in discussing the show prospects of any puppy, less a guarantee of show success be implied. The breeder will be cautious in encouraging buyers as to  breeding prospects in as much as the breeding of a St. Bernard is not to be taken lightly.


Not adhering to these Guidelines may be considered conduct "prejudicial to the best interest of the club or the breed". Article VI of the SBCPC Bylaws defines discipline procedures.



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Breed Standard

Official Standard of the Saint BernardSaint Bernard Breed Standard


General Appearance

Powerful, proportionately tall figure, strong and muscular in every part, with powerful head and most intelligent expression. In dogs with a dark mask the expression appears more stern, but never ill-natured.


Like the whole body, very powerful and imposing. The massive skull is wide, slightly arched and the sides slope in a gentle curve into the very strongly developed, high cheek bones. Occiput only moderately developed. The supra-orbital ridge is very strongly developed and forms nearly a right angle with the long axis of the head. Deeply imbedded between the eyes and starting at the root of the muzzle, a furrow runs over the whole skull. It is strongly marked in the first half, gradually disappearing toward the base of the occiput. The lines at the sides of the head diverge considerably from the outer corner of the eyes toward the back of the head. The skin of the forehead, above the eyes, forms rather noticeable wrinkles, more or less pronounced, which converge toward the furrow. Especially when the dog is alert or at attention the wrinkles are more visible without in the least giving the impression of morosity. Too strongly developed wrinkles are not desired. The slope from the skull to the muzzle is sudden and rather steep. The muzzle is short, does not taper, and the vertical depth at the root of the muzzle must be greater than the length of the muzzle. The bridge of the muzzle is not arched, but straight; in some dogs, occasionally, slightly broken. A rather wide, well-marked, shallow furrow runs from the root of the muzzle over the entire bridge of the muzzle to the nose. The flews of the upper jaw are strongly developed, not sharply cut, but turning in a beautiful curve into the lower edge, and slightly overhanging. The flews of the lower jaw must not be deeply pendant. The teeth should be sound and strong and should meet in either a scissors or an even bite; the scissors bite being preferable. The undershot bite, although sometimes found with good specimens, is not desirable. The overshot bite is a fault. A black roof to the mouth is desirable. Nose (Schwamm) - Very substantial, broad, with wide open nostrils, and, like the lips, always black.

Ears - Of medium size, rather high set, with very strongly developed burr (Muschel) at the base. They stand slightly away from the head at the base, then drop with a sharp bend to the side and cling to the head without a turn. The flap is tender and forms a rounded triangle, slightly elongated toward the point, the front edge lying firmly to the head, whereas the back edge may stand somewhat away from the head, especially when the dog is at attention. Lightly set ears, which at the base immediately cling to the head, give it an oval and too little marked exterior, whereas a strongly developed base gives the skull a squarer, broader and much more expressive appearance.

Eyes - Set more to the front than the sides, are of medium size, dark brown, with intelligent, friendly expression, set moderately deep. The lower eyelids, as a rule, do not close completely and, if that is the case, form an angular wrinkle toward the inner corner of the eye. Eyelids which are too deeply pendant and show conspicuously the lachrymal glands, or a very red, thick haw, and eyes that are too light, are objectionable.


Set high, very strong and when alert or at attention is carried erect. Otherwise horizontally or slightly downward. The junction of head and neck is distinctly marked by an indentation. The nape of the neck is very muscular and rounded at the sides which makes the neck appear rather short. The dewlap of throat and neck is well pronounced: too strong development, however, is not desirable.


Sloping and broad, very muscular and powerful. The withers are strongly pronounced.


Very well arched, moderately deep, not reaching below the elbows.


Very broad, perfectly straight as far as the haunches, from there gently sloping to the rump, and merging imperceptibly into the root of the tail.


Well-developed. Legs very muscular.


Distinctly set off from the very powerful loin section, only little drawn up.


Starting broad and powerful directly from the rump is long, very heavy, ending in a powerful tip. In repose it hangs straight down, turning gently upward in the lower third only, which is not considered a fault. In a great many specimens the tail is carried with the end slightly bent and therefore hangs down in the shape of an "f". In action all dogs carry the tail more or less turned upward. However it may not be carried too erect or by any means rolled over the back. A slight curling of the tip is sooner admissible.

Upper Arms

Very powerful and extraordinarily muscular.

Lower Leg

Straight, strong.

Hind Legs

Hocks of moderate angulation. Dewclaws are not desired; if present, they must not obstruct gait.


Broad, with strong toes, moderately closed, and with rather high knuckles. The so-called dewclaws which sometimes occur on the inside of the hind legs are imperfectly developed toes. They are of no use to the dog and are not taken into consideration in judging. They may be removed by surgery.


Very dense, short-haired (stockhSaint Bernardrig), lying smooth, tough, without however feeling rough to the touch. The thighs are slightly bushy. The tail at the root has longer and denser hair which gradually becomes shorter toward the tip. The tail appears bushy, not forming a flag.


White with red or red with white, the red in its various shades; brindle patches with white markings. The colors red and brown-yellow are of entirely equal value. Necessary markings are: white chest, feet and tip of tail, noseband, collar or spot on the nape; the latter and blaze are very desirable. Never of one color or without white. Faulty are all other colors, except the favorite dark shadings on the head (mask) and ears. One distinguishes between mantle dogs and splashcoated dogs.

Height at Shoulder

Of the dog should be 27½ inches minimum, of the bitch 25½ inches. Female animals are of finer and more delicate build.

Considered as Faults

Are all deviations from the Standard, as for instance a swayback and a disproportionately long back, hocks too much bent, straight hindquarters, upward growing hair in spaces between the toes, out at elbows, cowhocks and weak pasterns.


The longhaired type completely resembles the shorthaired type except for the coat which is not shorthaired (stockhSaint Bernardrig) but of medium length plain to slightly wavy, never rolled or curly and not shaggy either. Usually, on the back, especially from the region of the haunches to the rump, the hair is more wavy, a condition, by the way, that is slightly indicated in the shorthaired dogs. The tail is bushy with dense hair of moderate length. Rolled or curly hair, or a flag tail, is faulty. Face and ears are covered with short and soft hair; longer hair at the base of the ear is permissible. Forelegs only slightly feathered; thighs very bushy.

Approved April 13, 1998 Effective May 31, 1998

(Breed) Disease Information

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Breeder Code of Ethics

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