Bernese Mountain Dogs, also known as Berners, are large, sturdy dogs that were originally bred in the Swiss Alps as farm dogs. They are known for their calm and gentle nature, and their loyalty to their family. These dogs have a distinctive tri-color coat that is black, white, and rust-colored. Berners are a popular breed, both as family pets and working dogs.
History of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from Switzerland. These dogs were used as general farm dogs in the Swiss Alps, where they pulled carts, herded cattle, and guarded their owner’s property. The Bernese Mountain Dog is named after the Canton of Bern in Switzerland, where it was first recognized as a distinct breed in 1908.
Physical Characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed that typically weighs between 70 to 115 pounds and stands 23 to 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are slightly smaller, standing between 23-26 inches (58-66 cm) at the shoulder and weighing between 70-95 pounds The breed has a long, silky, tri-colored coat, with black, white, and rust markings. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a distinctive head with a broad skull and short, floppy ears. They are also known for their large, sturdy build and powerful gait.
Temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their gentle and affectionate temperament. They are loyal to their family and are good with children and other pets. However, because of their large size, they should be supervised when around small children. Berners are also protective of their family and can be wary of strangers, making them good watchdogs. They are generally not aggressive, but can be stubborn and independent, so early socialization and training is important.
Exercise for the Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are active dogs that require daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They enjoy going for walks, hikes, and runs, but should not be over-exercised, especially when they are young and their bones are still developing. Berners also enjoy playing and swimming, so providing them with opportunities for these activities is important.
Health of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally a healthy breed, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues in Berners include hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, and bloat. It is important to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder who performs health screenings on their breeding dogs. Regular veterinary checkups and preventive care are also important to keep Berners healthy.
Life Expectancy of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog is 8-10 years. However, some dogs may live longer or shorter lives depending on their genetics and health.
Grooming for Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of mats and tangles. They shed moderately throughout the year, with heavier shedding periods occurring in the spring and fall. Brushing their coat a few times a week and bathing them as needed will help keep their coat healthy and shiny.
Training for Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners. However, they can also be stubborn and independent, so early training and socialization is important. Positive reinforcement techniques such as praise and treats work well with Berners.
In conclusion, Bernese Mountain Dogs are a loyal and gentle breed that make great family pets. They are active dogs that require daily exercise and regular grooming. Although they are generally healthy, it is important to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder and provide them with regular veterinary care to keep them healthy. If you are looking for a large, loving companion, a Bernese Mountain Dog may be the perfect breed for you.