Bernese Mountain Dog

Written by Susan Gardner. Posted in Dogs

Information

Name: Berner
Origin: Switzerland
Breed Group: Working Dogs
Size: Large
Hypoallergenic: No
The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is part of the four ancient Swiss Sennenhunds. This breed was developed when the Romans invaded Switzerland. During that time the Romans bred their mastiffs with the Swiss flock guarding dogs. The breed was trained to excel at numerous jobs such as flock guarding, dog drafting and farm working. Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Origin As we mentioned above, Bernese Mountain Dogs are an ancient dog breed. However, it is still unclear when this breed stopped suffering transformations. There are a lot of 18th century paintings which feature dogs that present a lot of the characteristics of the Bernese breed. During that time, these Bernese looking dogs were used at numerous tasks such as pulling carts to market, watching over farms and so on. These dogs have numerous other talents such as herding, watching, guarding, tracking, rescuing and competitive obedience. Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Physical description The main physical characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog are the full coat and the Sennenhund tri-coloring (black main color with white and rust markings). These dogs feature a leveled top line, from withers to croup. They have broad chests and well sprung ribs. Generally, the males are about 25-28 inches tall and weight about 38-50 pounds while the females are about 23-26 inches tall and weight about 36-48 pounds. Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Personality If you are looking for a smart and loving family dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent choice. For starters, this breed is in the top 10 smartest dog breeds in the world. Furthermore, these dogs are very friendly with children. Cheerfulness is one of the most distinctive personality traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog, a trait which is maintained even throughout adulthood. In fact, these dogs mature rather slowly. Since they are very friendly with both people and other pets, these dogs should not be confined, alone in a backyard. Furthermore, since these dogs are rather childish, some owners could neglect training them. Nevertheless, such an attitude will be perceived as weakness by the highly intelligent Berners, who will try to take over as family pack leaders. This happens due to the fact that if they are not shown firm authority, most dogs feel smarter than their owners and therefore they get insecure and no longer trust their owners in taking care of the family, which they view as their pack. Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Health Despite the fact that the Berners are strong, resilient dogs, they too can develop certain health problems such as Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Portosystemic Shunt (PSS), Von Willebrand's Disease, Panosteitis and Gastric Torsion. In order to diminish the risk of dealing with such diseases, make sure to buy Berners only from good breeders who can show you medical clearances for both of a puppy's parents. A big problem that this breed is dealing with is a decreasing lifespan. In the recent years, the Berners' lifespan decreased from 10-12 years to 6-8 years. One…

Characteristics

EASE OF TRAINING
INTELLIGENCE
SHEDDING
KID FRIENDLINESS
ADAPTABILITY
ENERGY LEVEL
GUARDING ABILITIES
WATCHING ABILITIES

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The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is part of the four ancient Swiss Sennenhunds. This breed was developed when the Romans invaded Switzerland. During that time the Romans bred their mastiffs with the Swiss flock guarding dogs. The breed was trained to excel at numerous jobs such as flock guarding, dog drafting and farm working.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Origin

As we mentioned above, Bernese Mountain Dogs are an ancient dog breed. However, it is still unclear when this breed stopped suffering transformations. There are a lot of 18th century paintings which feature dogs that present a lot of the characteristics of the Bernese breed. During that time, these Bernese looking dogs were used at numerous tasks such as pulling carts to market, watching over farms and so on. These dogs have numerous other talents such as herding, watching, guarding, tracking, rescuing and competitive obedience.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Physical description

The main physical characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog are the full coat and the Sennenhund tri-coloring (black main color with white and rust markings). These dogs feature a leveled top line, from withers to croup. They have broad chests and well sprung ribs. Generally, the males are about 25-28 inches tall and weight about 38-50 pounds while the females are about 23-26 inches tall and weight about 36-48 pounds.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Personality

If you are looking for a smart and loving family dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent choice. For starters, this breed is in the top 10 smartest dog breeds in the world. Furthermore, these dogs are very friendly with children. Cheerfulness is one of the most distinctive personality traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog, a trait which is maintained even throughout adulthood. In fact, these dogs mature rather slowly. Since they are very friendly with both people and other pets, these dogs should not be confined, alone in a backyard. Furthermore, since these dogs are rather childish, some owners could neglect training them. Nevertheless, such an attitude will be perceived as weakness by the highly intelligent Berners, who will try to take over as family pack leaders. This happens due to the fact that if they are not shown firm authority, most dogs feel smarter than their owners and therefore they get insecure and no longer trust their owners in taking care of the family, which they view as their pack.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Health

Despite the fact that the Berners are strong, resilient dogs, they too can develop certain health problems such as Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Portosystemic Shunt (PSS), Von Willebrand’s Disease, Panosteitis and Gastric Torsion. In order to diminish the risk of dealing with such diseases, make sure to buy Berners only from good breeders who can show you medical clearances for both of a puppy’s parents. A big problem that this breed is dealing with is a decreasing lifespan. In the recent years, the Berners’ lifespan decreased from 10-12 years to 6-8 years. One of the most common causes of death is cancer, a health problem which is currently thoroughly researched. As far as weather tolerance goes, these dogs are not only very resistant to cold weather, but they actually like it, playing in the snow being one of their favorite activities. The breed was developed in order to survive the harsh Alpine weather. However, they are not very fond of hot weather. Therefore, if you live in an area with very hot summers, it is best if you keep the dog indoors during summer, with the air conditioning running.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Care

In many ways, the Berners are very similar to the Labrador Retriever breed. When they are pups, their bones are very sensitive, so they should not be left to play or run on hard surfaces until they are at least 2 years old. Furthermore, they should be kept on a low caloric diet in order to avoid a rapid growth that can lead to bone problems. Berners are not really suited for apartment life, and even if they play all day in the yard, they still need a daily exercise routine. However, if the weather is too hot, the exercises should be mild and preferable done in the mornings or the evenings. Aside from regular brushing, a Berner’s grooming ritual should also consist in 2-3 teeth brushing sessions per week and a weekly ear inspection.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Coat

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a gorgeous thick double coat. The outer coat is longer and thicker while the undercoat is shorter and woollier. As we mentioned above, the ground color is black and features rust and white markings. The white is generally featured on the chest in the shape of an inverted cross and there is also a white marking between the eyes and on the tip of the tail. As you can imagine, such a rich coat results in heavy shedding. Ideally, you should brush a Berner several times per week, even daily during the shedding seasons. Since the dog is likely to spend a lot of time playing in the yard, it also needs some baths, at least once every three months.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Friendliness

As we mentioned above, Berners love children, especially the older ones who know how to interact with dogs. However, they should not be left unsupervised with babies or small children because the large size difference can cause accidents. The same thing goes for other pets. Although Berners love all animals, the smaller a playing companion is, the more supervision it will require.

Bernese Mountain Dog Picture Bernese Mountain Dog Picture

Ease of training

Given the fact that Berners are working dogs, they can be easily trained. They may be stubborn from time to time and when they are still pups, they often get distracted. Nevertheless with patience and positive reinforcement, you can train easily train a Bernese Mountain Dog. Just make sure not to be very harsh because these dogs are quite soft on the inside and their feelings can easily get hurt.

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