A mastiff with a rather compact build for their size.
The History Of The Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is also known as the Berner Sennenhund and originated in Switzerland around 100 BC.
This is one of four tricolor dogs that hail from the Swiss mountains. The Bernese is the only long dog of the four. It is also the only one of the four not to be a herding dog. It was bred to be a draft animal hauling milk down from the mountains to market. It is also reputed to make a great guard and has also been known to drive cattle.
Belonging to the mastiff family and has a heavy coat well suited to its mountain home. Believed to be descended from dogs brought into Switzerland by invading Roman soldiers, who used them as livestock guards and drivers some 2,000 years ago.
Description Of The Bernese Mountain Dog
The tail is medium length, carried low and is not altered. The ears hang slightly forward held next to the face. They are not altered.
The breeds average height at the shoulder is: dogs 24 - 28 inches and bitches 23 - 27 inches. Dogs weigh 85 -10 pounds and bitches 80 - 105 pounds.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a strong, heavy dog, with a weather resistant tricolor double coat. The medium-sized triangular ears are pendant. Their dark eyes have a gentle expression and the nose is black.
Coat & Grooming
The very thick coat is long and slightly wavy without being curly. The only permissible color is jet-black, with deep tan or rust markings on all legs. A white blaze on the head extending between the eyes and a white chest marking known as a cross are essential. White paws are preferred.
Daily to weekly brushing of the long thick coat is important, with extra care needed when the coat is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. This breed is a seasonal, heavy shedder.
Temperament and Bernese Mountain Dog Training
These gentle, cheerful dogs love children. They are very loyal and good-natured. Generally good with other pets and dogs.
They are very intelligent, easy to train and make natural watchdogs. As with all dogs, Bernese Mountain Dog training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a Bernese Mountain Dog is around 6-8 years.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a hardy breed, but beware of hip and elbow dysplasia. Also prone to cancer, bloat and eyelid problems.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
Bernese Mountain Dog are not suited for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and prefer a large, fenced-in yard. They much prefer cool climates because the thick coat makes them uncomfortable in warm weather. Large active dogs that require plenty of regular exercise.
For More Information on the Bernese Mountain Dog
To get more information, check out the Bernese Mountain Dog web site: http://www.bmdca.org/
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on: http://www.bmdca.org/pages/Rescue.php
A big loyal dog that is excellent with children if you’ve got the space and cool climate it needs.
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