Regular Classes

The regular conformation classes are the classes that provide the most regarded showcase of our breed. This is where actual AKC competition occurs and competitors are competing for AKC points. All regular classes are offered for each sex. Puppy classes should be divided between 6-9 and 9-12 months of age.

Junior Showmanship is offered. Non-regular classes are also offered. They include Brace, Team, Stud Dog and Brood Bitch & Veteran. Veteran classes are offered with the current acceptable age for a BMD veteran being 7. Veteran classes are divided by the following age groups: 7-9, 9-11, 11 and Over.

All current AKC rules must be followed when regular class judging takes place. The Judge(s) for this portion of your show should be selected based on the criteria listed in the Judges Selection Chapter of these Guidelines.


Sweepstakes have proven to be very popular at our specialties. Since our Sweepstakes traditionally include dogs 12 - 18 months of age, this event must be called a "Sweepstakes", not a "Puppy Sweepstakes" since the AKC does not consider a dog older than 12 months to be a puppy. Sweepstakes judging is held before the regular classes are judged. If a Futurity is also offered, Sweepstakes should be held after the Futurity.

Approval to hold Sweepstakes must be applied for and received from the AKC. A requirement for entry is that each dog must also be entered in the regular classes. Follow AKC rules carefully.


Any BMD fancier, breeder or handler well-versed in the breed may be approved by the AKC to judge Sweepstakes for this event only. Please refer to the Judges Selection chapter of these guidelines for BMDCA Sweepstakes Judge selection procedures.


A trophy should be offered for Best in Sweeps, Best Puppy and Best Junior. Giving trophies for the four placements in each class as well as ribbons and the cash awards (a percentage of the entry fees) is optional, but strongly encouraged. Division of entry money is as follows: 25% retained for expenses, 5% to the Best in Sweeps, 5% to the Best Puppy in Sweeps, 5% to the Best Junior in Sweeps. The balance shall be divided among the class winners as follows:

1. The prize money for each class is determined by dividing the money by the total number of entries and then multiplying by the number of entries in the class.
2. If only one entry in the class, it will receive all the class money.
3. If two entries in the class, first will receive 60% and second will receive 40%.
4. If three entries in the class, first will receive 50%, second 30% and third 20%.
5. If four or more entries, first will receive 40%, second 30%, third 20% and fourth 10%.

Assign a person to be responsible for collating the prize money and placing it in envelopes marked by class and placement. The envelopes of prize money are awarded by the judge to the winners. This division of the money may be contracted to the show Superintendent or Secretary.

BMDCA Futurity Rules

Revised November 1999

I. Purpose

The purpose of the Futurity is to encourage the breeding of the best possible Bernese Mountain Dogs and to reward the breeders for their efforts. For this reason, the Futurity is weighted in favor of the breeder who is the one that chooses the sire, raises and nominates the litter, and often pays the individual puppy nominations as well.

II. General

A. Correct and timely nominations of both the litter and individual puppies are required for stake eligibility.

B. Prize monies can only be won through competition in stake judging.

C. Nomination forms and rules may be obtained from the Futurity Chairman and will also be published approximately once a year in BMDCA publications.

D. The Futurity shall be open to all members of the BMDCA and owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs who are in good standing with the BMDCA and AKC, and who have complied with the Futurity rules.

E. When a Futurity eligible puppy is sold, eligibility is transferred to the new owner.

F. The annual Futurity stakes are to be held at the National Specialty Show indicated on the nomination form. Because the date of the National Specialty can vary, the Futurity will be open only to those puppies that are at least 6 months and under 18 months of age on April 1st of the Futurity year for which they are eligible.

An exception to the age requirements will be implemented if the National Specialty Show for a given year will be held earlier than April 1. In this case, any nominated puppies under the age of 6 months on the date of judging will be deferred to the following Futurity year and will be allowed to compete in the 15-18 month class.

G. The Futurity Chairman reports directly to the BMDCA president and Board, except when giving the National Specialty Chairman the name of the Futurity Judge. National Specialty Show Chairmen and Specialty Coordinators may contact the Futurity Chairman with questions at any time.

III. Nomination of the Litter

A. The litter must be nominated by the breeder not more than 2 weeks after being whelped. The breeder of the litter must be a member in good standing of the BMDCA at the time of breeding as well as at the time of nomination. If there is more than one breeder for the litter, only one need be a BMDCA member.

B. The nomination must be on the litter nomination form. Postmark on the envelope transmitting the nomination and fee establishes the date of nomination. Consequently, overnight and special delivery mail is unnecessary.

Nominations may be submitted to the Futurity Chairman by e-mail if possible with the appropriate information included. The postmark on the envelope transmitting the fee will establish the date of the nomination.

C. Fee is $15.00; checks made out to BMDCA. There will be no refunds.

D. Nomination of the litter makes each puppy in that litter eligible for individual nomination.

IV. Nomination of Puppies

A. The individual puppies must be nominated by either the owners or breeder on or before the puppy reaches 4 months of age. Puppy owners need not be BMDCA members.

B. The nomination must be on the individual puppy nomination form. Postmark on the transmitting envelope establishes date of nomination.

Nominations may be submitted to the Futurity Chairman by e-mail if possible with the appropriate information included. The postmark on the envelope transmitting the fee will establish the date of the nomination.

C. Fee is $15.00; checks made out to BMDCA, for each puppy. There will be no refunds.

D. An entire litter may be nominated by completing one form per puppy and enclosing the fee for each puppy. If AKC registration number and name are not available at time of nomination, this must be supplied to the Futurity Chairman as soon as possible. Providing this information is the responsibility of the nominator, not the Futurity Chairman.

V. Entry for Judging

A. The puppy must be entered in one of the regular classes in either conformation or obedience, at the BMDCA National Specialty Show and Obedience Trial. Fee for this entry must be paid.

B. Futurity entry must be indicated on the entry form as an additional class. There will be an additional fee for the entry apart from the previous nomination fees.

C. The Futurity class entered will be based on the age of the puppy on April 1st, not it's age on the date of the show.

D. All dogs will be eligible for only one Futurity.

E. The Futurity Chairman will provide the National Specialty Superintendent with the names, registration numbers and owners of all eligible puppies and the classes in which they belong. This list will be ready after February 15th of the year of the National Specialty. The Futurity Chairman will work directly with the office of the Superintendent to address any questions of eligibility and/or entered classes.

VI. Judge

A. It shall be the prerogative of the breeders of the litter to nominate the judge. Each BMDCA member breeder may nominate one person as judge per year, regardless of the number of litters they nominated.

B. The nominated person must be in good standing with the BMDCA and AKC.

C. A judge nomination line is included on the litter nomination form.

D. (Transition Clause for 2001 Futurity) The breeders submitting nominations for the Futurity year October 1, 1998 through September 30, 1999 will vote for the judge of the 2001 Futurity (one year in advance). A ballot of nominated judges will be compiled by the Futurity Chairman on February 1, 2000. The Futurity Chairman reserves the right to delete from the ballot any nominee who has refused to judge that year's Futurity.

Beginning with the 2002 Futurity, and annually thereafter, a ballot of nominated judges will be compiled by the Futurity Chairman on November 1 two years prior to the Futurity (Example: For 2002, the ballot would be compiled on November 1, 2000). The Futurity Chairman reserves the right to delete from the ballot any nominee who has refused to judge Futurity for a specific year.

E. The Futurity Chairman will send the ballot to each eligible breeder. The ballot will be sent to the first owner listed on the litter nomination form at the address provided. Any co-owners would not be entitled to an additional vote. Each eligible breeder may vote for 5 people in order of preference (first, second, third, etc.). The ballots must be returned to the Futurity Chairman by December 1 and will be counted by the Futurity Chairman.

The Futurity Chairman is not allowed to vote, but may submit a judge nominee with an eligible litter nomination.

The candidate receiving the highest number of points (a vote of first choice receives 5 points, second receives 4 points, etc.) will be offered the judging assignment for the Futurity. If he/she is unavailable, the second choice will be asked, and so on until a judge candidate accepts.

F. The Futurity Chairman will notify the National Specialty Chairman of the elected Futurity Judge as soon as the candidate has verbally accepted the assignment.

G. The National Specialty Chairman will contract (written) with the Futurity Judge. A copy of the contract will be sent to the Futurity Chairman as soon as all signatures are secured.

H. The BMDCA will pay travel (not to exceed economy airfare), two nights accommodations (the night before and night after the judging), meals beginning with dinner the night before judging and ending with breakfast the day after judging, the Judge's Dinner (provided he/she speaks at said dinner about the judging assignment) for the Futurity Judge. Specifically, traveling companions of the judge will not be compensated.

I. The contract should include, but is not limited to the following:
1. Exact expenses that are reimbursable.
2. The Futurity Judge is not paid a judging fee.
3. The Futurity Judge is subject to all AKC and BMDCA rules, including not being allowed to show any dogs at the National Specialty. The exact rules will be those of current AKC regulations.
4. The expenses are to be submitted to the National Treasurer for reimbursement.
5. The Futurity Judge is not restricted from judging Bernese Mountain Dogs in the year prior to the National Specialty.

J. The Futurity Judge should be someone who has not judged the Futurity within the past three years.

VII. Class Divisions and Sequence of Judging

A. The Futurity stake is divided into four age divisions based on the age at April 1 of the given Futurity year:
1. 6-9 Months (At least 6 months and under 9 months of age)
2. 9-12 Months (At least 9 months and under 12 months of age)
3. 12-15 Months (At least 12 months and under 15 months of age)
4. 15-18 Months (At least 15 months and under 18 months of age)
See Section II. General, Item F. for exception to the age requirements.

B. Each age division is further divided by sex.

C. Four placements are made in the judging of each class.

D. The eight class winners will compete for Best in Futurity and Best of Opposite Sex to Best in Futurity.

VIII. Prize Money

A. All nomination money shall be pooled. The BMDCA shall retain 25% for administrative and judge's expenses. Any unused expense money will be rolled over into the next year's prize money. The remaining 75% shall be divided as follows:
10% Best in Futurity
20% Breeder of Best in Futurity
5% Best of Opposite Sex
5% Breeder of Best of Opposite Sex
60% Allocated to the classes
Prize money shall be presented to the handlers of the dogs at the end of each class, all reasonable attempts will be made to get the money to the breeders of Best in Futurity and Best of Opposite Sex, but the Futurity Chairman, BMDCA and host club assume no responsibility to get the prize money to the breeders.

B. Prize Money for each class shall be determined by dividing money by the total entries and then multiplying by the number of entries in the class. Class money to be distributed as follows:

1. One entry _ receives all the class money
2. Two entries _ first 60%, second 40%
3. Three entries _ first 50%, second 30% and third 20%
4. Four or more entries _ first 40%, second 30%, third 20% and fourth 10%
C. The prize money shall be assembled by the Futurity Chairman, unless other arrangements are made with the National Treasurer, and will be given to the ring steward just prior to the beginning of Futurity judging.