FCI standard Nº 59
|Mrs. Peggy Davis
|Group 6 Scent Hounds and Related Breeds
|Section 1.2.Medium sized Hounds
|With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
|Wednesday 25 August 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
|Wednesday 28 November 2001
|Friday 28 June 2002
En français, cette race se dit
|Chien courant suisse
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
En español, esta raza se dice
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
|Hunting dog used for hunting the hare, the roedeer, the fox and sometimes the boar. He hunts in an independent manner giving tongue. Even on difficult terrains, searches and hunts with great determination.
Brief historical summary
|The Swiss Hound has very ancient origins. His presence in times of the Roman Helvetia is certified on a mosaic, discovered at Avenches, by the representation of packhounds corresponding to the varieties of Swiss hounds. In the XVth century, he was sought after by Italian dog lovers and in the XVIIIth century, by the French, for his exceptional aptitude for hunting the hare. His native lines have certainly been influenced by scenthounds of French breeding brought back to Switzerland by mercenaries. In 1882, a standard was established for each of the five varieties of the Swiss Hound. In 1909, those standards were revised and the total disappearance of the hound of Thurgovie was noted. On 22nd of January 1933, one single standard was established for the 4 varieties of the Swiss Hound. The ancient variety, the hound of the Jura type St. Hubert, has in the meantime disappeared.
|Medium size, good conformation indicating strength and endurance; lean head and long muzzle with long leathers giving an air of nobility.
There are 4 varieties of the Swiss Hound :
|Length of body / height at withers = about 1.15 / 1.
Height at withers / depth of chest = about 2 / 1.
Length of muzzle / length of skull = about 1 / 1.
Behaviour / temperament
|Lively and passionately keen on hunting, sensitive, docile and very attached to his master.
|Elongated, narrow, lean, noble; rather rounded; occipal protuberance visible; axes of skull and muzzle slightly divergent. Absence of frontal furrow and wrinkles.
|Defined, without exaggeration.
|Completely black, well developed; nostrils wide open.
|Finely chiselled, narrow, neither square nor pointed.
|Moderately developed, upper lips covering the lower jaw closely; corner of the lips slightly open.
|Nasal bridge straight or very slightly convex.
Jaws and teeth
|Jaws solid; teeth strong, complete and regular with a scissor bite, i.e. the back sides of the upper incisors are in close contact with the front face of the lower incisors; teeth squarely implanted into the jaws; pincer bite accepted; absence of one or two PM1 or PM2 (premolars 1 or 2) tolerated. The molars M3 are not taken into consideration.
|Clean, zygomatic arches not prominent.
|Dark or lighter brown corresponding to the colour of the coat, slightly oval, medium-sized, rims of eyelids well pigmented fitting perfectly the shape of the eyeball; soft expression.
|Set on below the eye level and towards back of the skull, never attached in their greatest width; in length, reaching at least the tip of the nose; auricle not prominent; leathers narrow, drooping, folded and twisted, rounded at their tips, supple and covered with fine hair.
|Elongated, elegant, muscular; skin loose at the throat, but without noticeable dewlap.
|Neck, back, croup and tail should form an harmonious and noble outline.
|Discretely defined, set-on of neck free and elegant.
|Firm and straight.
|Well muscled, flexible.
|Longish, in harmonious prolongation of the topline, slightly inclined. Not higher than withers. Hip bones not too prominent.
|Deeper than wide, well let down and reaching at least the point of the elbows; thoracic cage carried well back, with slightly sprung ribs.
Underline and belly
|Slightly tucked up towards hindquarters.
|Set in prolongation of the croup, of medium length, elegant, tapering to its tip, forming slight upward curve; at rest or in slow gait mostly hanging without a distinctive curve; when the dog is attentive or is moving faster, it is carried higher than the back line, but never falling over the back or curled up; well covered with hair, but without any coarser slightly offstanding hairs.
|Very muscular, lean, without heaviness. Seen from the front forelegs parallel, of medium bone structure; seen in profile standing vertical. Forefeet pointing straight ahead.
|Shoulder blades long and oblique, well attached to the chest wall. Ideal angle of the scapular-humeral articulation about 100°.
|A little longer than the shoulder blade, oblique, close to the chest. Fine musculature.
|Naturally placed against the thoracic wall.
|Straight and broad.
|Strong and broad.
|Relatively short; seen from the front, in the vertical line of the forearm; seen in profile, slightly inclined.
|Of roundish shape; toes tight; pads rough and hard; nails solid and coloured according to the colour of the coat.
|Very muscular, but in harmonious relation to the forequarters; seen from behind straight and parallel.
|Long, oblique, with strong, but flat muscles. Angle of the coxal-femoral articulation : about 110°.
|Relatively long, muscles and tendons lean, apparent under the skin.
|Neither turned out nor in. Angle of the femoral-tibial articulation about 120°.
|Quite short, straight and parallel. Without dewclaws, except in countries where their removal is prohibited by law.
|Angle of the tibial-tarsal angulation about 130°.
|Roundish; toes tight; pads rough and hard; nails solid and coloured according to the coat colour.
Gait and movement
|Movement easy, regular, coordinate and covering ground; powerful impulsion from the hindquarters; the legs move along parallel straight lines. The withers move up and down smoothly and regularly; the back should remain level; very slight lateral oscillation of the head and neck.
|Fine, supple, well fitting to the body, of different colour in the four varieties :
Bernese Hound : Black skin under black coat, slightly white and black marbled under the white coat.
Jura Hound : Black skin under black coat but lighter under tan coat.
Lucerne Hound : Black skin under black coat and lighter under blue speckling.
Schwyz Hound : Dark grey skin under orange coat and white and black marbled under the white coat.
|Short; smooth and dense, very fine on head and leathers.
|Bernese Hound : White with black patches or black saddle; with light to dark tan markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, the inside of the leathers and around the vent; the white sometimes with very slight black ticking.
Jura Hound : Tan with black blanket, sometimes with black overlay; or black with tan markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, around the vent and on the legs; sometimes with a small white patch on the chest which may be slightly speckled (black or grey ticking).
Lucerne Hound : “Blue” resulting from a combination of back hairs and white hairs, very heavily speckled; with black patches or black saddle; with light to dark tan markings above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the chest, around the vent and on the legs; a black blanket is admitted.
Schwyz Hound : White with orange patches or orange saddle; the white sometimes with very slight orange ticking; an orange blanket is admitted.
Size and weight
Height at withers
|Males 49 – 59 cm, females 47 – 57 cm. No tolerance of undersize or oversize.
|• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.
| General appearance coarse and lacking in distinction; weak general structure.
Disproportion between length of body, height at withers and depth of chest.
Skull too broad, too rounded or too flat.
Stop too distinct.
Muzzle too short or too long, too square or too snipy.
Nasal bridge concave.
Absence of teeth other than 1 or 2 premolars (PM1 or PM2); the molars 3 (M3) are not taken into consideration.
Flews too thick.
Eyes light, piercing expression; eyelid not close to the eyeball.
Leathers too short, too thick, set on too high, carried flat.
Neck too short.
Dewlap too pronounced.
Saddle back or roach back.
Croup too short or sloping too steeply.
Chest not deep enough, too flat or barrel-shaped.
Belly tucked up, hollow flanks.
Tail badly set, carried too high, too curved, deviated, too coarse in shape; with coarser slightly offstanding hairs.
Limbs too fine-boned or incorrectly placed.
Shoulders too upright; upper arm too short.
Down on pasterns.
Insufficient angulation of hinquarters; cow hocked; bandy legs.
Dewclaws on hindlegs (unless removal prohibited by law).
Coat rough, not smooth.
Faults in colour and markings :
Bernese Hound :
Too many black ticks in the white.
Tan or white colour on the outer side of the ear lobe.
Jura Hound :
Self coloured coat.
Important white patch or strongly speckled white patch on chest.
Lucerne Hound :
Absence of “blue” speckle.
Tan colour on the outer face of the ear lobe.
Schwyz Hound :
Too many orange flecks in the white.
Self coloured coat.
White colour on the outer side of the ear lobe.
Slightly apprehensive or slightly sharp behaviour.
| Overly shy or aggressive.
General appearance lacking in breed type.
Nose entirely depigmented.
Overshot or underhsot mouth, wry mouth.
Ectropion, entropion (even if operated).
Rolled or ring tail, hook tail; malformed knotted or fused tail.
Size either over or under that fixed by the standard.
|• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.
|The Swiss Running Dogs are very likely the direct descendants of the black and brown Ardennes dog, the Saint-Hubert, which was established in the abbey founded in the 7th century by the famous patron of the huntsmen from whom it takes its name.
The kings of France received every year six beautiful subjects of the race, and, as it is almost certain that the famous Souillard, a white dog of Saint-Hubert belonging to Louis XI, was the ancestor of the Griffon dogs, the kinship between French running dogs and Swiss Running Dogs does not seem to be in doubt. Subsequently, the Saint-Hubert was neglected by the French nobility, yet very passionate about hunting; Did not Charles IX himself say of this dog "that it is only good for the gouty, and not for those who are in the business of taking deer".
Visibly more cynical, the English created the famous Bloodhound from St. Hubert, and the Swiss pulled out their average-sized dogs. The Swiss Running Dogs have inherited all the qualities of the Saint-Hubert, that is to say that they are able to hunt on the most difficult terrain, hilly or rocky. However, it was only around 1930 that the four varieties of Swiss Common Dogs were defined: the current dog of Schwyz, that of the Jura, Bernese and Lucerne. The current dog of Jura is differentiated in type Bruno and Saint-Hubert type, the latter being distinguished from the other four because it evokes the Bloodhound more by its much more wrinkled forehead as well as by its size and weight. (The current dog of the Jura type Saint-Hubert is described in the monograph devoted to the Dog of Saint-Hubert.)
Today, in fact, Swiss Running Dogs differ essentially from Saint-Hubert in size. They are considered lighters; insofar as it is admitted that this term designates only dogs of average size and is not therefore a diminutive of "Braque"; while St. Hubert is a large animal. On the other hand, if the Saint-Hubert is a dog with a very fine but relatively slow blood, medium-sized Swiss Dogs, on the contrary, are light and fast, while keeping their sleuth quality. As for the four Swiss varieties, they can only be recognized by their dress: white and orange for the schwitzzois, white, speckled with gray or blue with fire or brown spots for the lucernois, tricolor for the bernois, finally brown with a saddle black or black with fire on the head and on the lower parts of the body (characteristics quite similar to that of the Saint-Hubert) for the dog of Jura (the name of the type Bruno, even if its origin is not specified in any treatise on cynology, it certainly comes from the color of her dress).
France will be interested only very late in current Swiss Dogs, since the Club of Bruno Jura and Swiss Running Dogs has only twenty years of existence. However, in the opinion of its president, Mr Poirier, the French breeders have now overtaken their Swiss counterparts in terms of the quality of their dogs. And if the club still has only 200 members, it is estimated that the number of owners raising Swiss Running Dogs is in the range of 2,500 to 3,000.
The Swiss Running Dogs are primarily animals that had to learn to hunt in very hilly terrain, in places where the man often had difficulty to reach. They can only rely on themselves when the game is engaging in some trick. They are very fine dogs of the nose, which the breeders managed to form by a severe selection. Their ancestors, the dogs of Saint-Hubert, were besides, according to the count the Couteulx de Canteleu, excellent bloodhounds.
Medium-sized Swiss Running Dogs must be between 45 and 54 cm (56 cm for very good animals), which means they can hunt hares very effectively. According to the Club President, Mr. Poirier, "their general appearance must be that of medium-sized dogs, fairly elongated, selected in force, endurance, nobility, of good conformation and having an exterior indicating vivacity". Words that perfectly underline what is expected of such a dog: that he can throw a game on the most difficult terrain, that he knows how to find his way in each of his doubles without the help of the hunter (in the term "double" is the case where the hunting animal suddenly turns around and takes the path it has already taken: the dog falls "at the end of the road" and then often finds it hard to find the exit) and, in this case, that he be able to take initiatives without falling into the exchange.
Presumably, today there are no more crews chasing hares to hunt with Brunos from the Jura, Bernese, Lucerne or Schwitzer. Most of those who raise them practice shooting hunting, a hunt that must respect a certain number of rules. To quote the Marquis de Cherville, "with a dog, one pulls the hares, but it is only with current dogs that one hunts". Hunters must avoid pulling hares raised too fast by these dogs; they must learn to fend for themselves every time the animal makes a double. And God knows that the hare often makes.
It is often said that it is the task of the hounds to hunt, and that the men actually only conclude. This is particularly true for Swiss Dogs. And yet, it is required of them that they be "under orders". If the horn is not practiced in the Helvetic Confederation, it is sometimes replaced by the shooting horn, but especially by the pibolle, which is nothing other than a hunting horn, which can only be extracted. one note. The good hunters with the current dogs require besides that their auxiliaries know how to recognize the sound of each pibolle and "rally" only that of the horn of the boss. It is therefore necessary to familiarize the dog from a very young age with the sound of the horn, which, sometimes, is not without causing a problem to the boatswains: if, unfortunately, they come to fall and to crush their pibolle, they will have to rewrite their dogs to the sound of the new instrument.
The Brunos du Jura and their cousins have also proved to be excellent blood dogs, that is to say, dogs able to search for game that has been wounded by a firearm but is still capable of traveling several kilometers. . The role of any responsible hunter is to complete the animal as quickly as possible, to avoid suffering: in this case, the help of a good blood dog is essential. The Brunos du Jura are incomparable in these circumstances, so much so that the Swiss hope in the near future to convert them into real "dogs of red", an expression that corresponds to the English name of "Bloodhound".
The tasks that are required to ensure Swiss Medium-sized Dogs are therefore multiple, and Swiss dogs have not failed to emphasize this in the drafting of the standard. So the feet must be equipped with a rough and hard sole, with strong nails, which guarantees a dog all terrain. The standard further advises the lugs to the hind limbs, these "fingers" additional often being a source of injury. Regarding the other criteria of the standard, the judges are now very strict on the size since the Small Swiss Currents, whose height at the withers must be less than 42 cm, have been defined. These dogs are not yet homologated by the Society of venery, and force is to recognize that they are even rather despised of the hunters with the current dogs, insofar as they are slower than their cousins, in particular the Brunos.
Like all common dogs, Bruno du Jura is more likely to live in the kennel than to be a pet dog. The fact remains that he must be "under the whip," in other words he must be submissive, without disdaining the caress of his boatswain or pack, since it is also used good for hunting shooting at common dogs as for hunting proper. And the more respectful it is when it is "roughed" (that is, when the whip is slammed without hitting the dog), the more affectionate it is when it is stroked. Of course, however, the Bruno du Jura, like all Swiss Dogs, has nothing of the house dog; he is only happy in the pack at the kennel.