Details & Features of the Bernese Mountain Dog Breed

Bernese Mountain Dog

Intelligent, devoted, and industrious, Bernese mountain dog adore spending time with their human families. Find out more about having Bernese mountain dogs in your home.

Bernese Mountain Dog Overview

OFFICIAL NAME Bernese Mountain Dog
COMMON NAME Bernese Mountain Dog
PET HEIGHT 23 to 27 inches
PET WEIGHT 70 to 115 pounds
LIFESPAN 7 to 10 years
GOOD WITH cats, children, dogs, families, seniors
TEMPERAMENT aloof, friendly, gentle, playful
VOCAL LEVEL when necessary
BREED SIZE large (61-100 lbs.)
COLORS black, brown / chocolate / liver, white
PATTERNS tricolor
OTHER TRAITS cold weather tolerant, easy to train, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion, prone to health issues, requires lots of grooming, strong loyalty tendencies

The affectionately referred to as “Berners” by their devoted followers are noted for their peaceful, laid-back disposition and their love for their families, which includes young children. Large, robust Berners, who have traditionally assisted in farming in Switzerland, can pull carts and serve as security dogs. These intelligent, devoted dogs are happiest when they are with their owner, wherever that may be, and not working or playing.

Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog

Appearance Bernese Mountain Dog

Large, with a shoulder height of 23 to 27.5 inches and a weight of 70 to 115 pounds, Bernese mountain dogs are endearing and have expressive dark brown eyes. Puppies of Bernese mountain dogs even resemble toys for dogs. These robust canines have three colors: black, white, and rust on their faces, and a thick coat of black. The silky coat, which is quite long, can be straight or slightly wavy.

The founder of Veterinary Housecall Care in Chicago, Jami-Lyn Derse, DVM, remarks, “bernese mountain dog puppies are so sweet looking.” They always appear to be grinning to me. I believe that’s because of the face masks they’re wearing.”

Temperament Bernese Mountain Dog

Owners have been enchanted by the trainability and enthusiasm to please of Bernese mountain dogs since their early days on Swiss farms. One of my all-time favorite breeds, according to Derse. “They’re smart, they’re quick learners, and they’re exceptionally faithful dogs.”

According to Derse, who notes that the popularity of Bernese mountain dogs is increasing in the US, these dogs are “low-energy” and love spending plenty of time with their owners, whether it’s playing in the yard or relaxing on the couch. They dislike being by themselves. The Bernese mountain dog is a wonderful family companion since they are calm, gentle, and loving, although they can be a little aloof around strangers. When raised appropriately, Berners get along nicely with both cats and other dogs.

Because of their massive stature and menacing bark, Bernese mountain dogs are excellent watchdogs and have traditionally served as livestock guardians. Owners shouldn’t anticipate any genuine threats from behind the bark, though, given their affectionate and mild disposition.

Living Needs Bernese Mountain Dog

Berners are best suited for colder climates due to their thick coats. Derse comments, “They love the winter.” “In a snowstorm, I visited my clients’ homes, where their Bernese mountain dogs were contentedly lying in the snow. They refuse to enter the house.”

According to Derse, regular walks and having a fenced-in yard are crucial because Bernese mountain dogs love to explore. Every day, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America advises at least 30 minutes of vigorous walking or jogging. This dog can even pull children in carts, which makes it a great partner for outdoor activities like trekking and camping. Additionally, Bernese mountain dogs excel in sports like herding, tracking, and agility.

Care Bernese Mountain Dog

“If you’re going to get a Bernese mountain dog puppy, get a Roomba, too,” Derse says. “since they bleed a lot. Anticipate extensive grooming. and extensive vacuuming.” The silky double-layer coat of a Berner requires thorough grooming every four to eight weeks in addition to daily brushing.

Early socialization and training are important, and they should place more of an emphasis on positive conduct than harsh punishment. Berners typically react favorably to positive reinforcement since they are sensitive and prefer making their owners happy. A Berner could get into trouble if you leave them alone for an extended period of time.

The dog food that you feed your Bernese mountain dog should be manufactured with premium ingredients. Since Berners can eat a lot, keeping an eye on their diet and activity regimen is crucial to their care. You may learn how much and how often to feed your dog by making an appointment with your veterinarian.

Health Bernese Mountain Dog

According to Derse, a variety of illnesses, including cancer, can affect the health of a bernese mountain dog puppies“They get a lot of types of cancers, in particular, and they don’t have as long of a lifespan because of that,” Derse explains. The average lifespan of a Bernese mountain dog is seven to ten years.

In addition, Bernese mountain dogs are susceptible to a few diseases that are frequently found in large dogs, including blood disorders, eye abnormalities, and elbow and hip dysplasia. Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, often known as bloat, is another issue that owners must be aware of. It is caused by an accumulation of air in the stomach, which causes the stomach to twist. A life-threatening case of bloat necessitates immediate surgery. According to VCA Hospitals, owners can reduce their dog’s risk of bloat by doing certain things including feeding them smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.

Owners should discuss the dangers of these conditions and ways to lower them with their veterinarian.

History of Bernese Mountain Dog

The original home of the Bernese mountain dog was Bern, Switzerland, where they were employed on farms to defend fields and farms in valleys and mountains, drive cattle, and pull carts. The Romans are thought to have introduced the breed, which is one of four historic Swiss types known as Sennenhund breeds. The Bernese mountain dog has always been known for its strength, intelligence, and camaraderie.

The population of these dogs diminished along with the demand for them as farming and ranching became more modern. However, breed aficionados took notice and organized a concentrated effort to increase the breed’s population. Professor Albert Heim, a well-known enthusiast of European dogs, saw the intelligence and gentleness of the Bernese mountain dog and established a breeding club in 1907 to promote the breed. As a result, the puppies gained popularity once again, both with families and on farms.

In 1926, a Kansas farmer noticed the dogs and brought in a pair to help out on his land. The American Kennel Club certified the breed in 1937 when other farmers took notice.

Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dog for sale

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Fun Facts

  • This breed can pull around 1,000 pounds, or ten times its own weight, which is astonishingly strong!
  • Originally used as delivery dogs, Bernese mountain dog could pull carts full of bread, dairy products, and other goods from one farm to another. These days, they might be more willing to show off those abilities for their owners by playingfully pushing kids in carts.
  • Only the Bernese mountain dog breed of Sennenhunds, also referred to as Swiss cattle dogs or Swiss mountain dogs, has long hair. The Greater Swiss mountain dog, Appenzeller mountain dog, and Entlebucher mountain dog are the other less hairy breeds in this category.
  • Berners are commonly referred to as vieräugler (German for “four eyes”) dogs due to the tiny, rust-colored marks over their eyes.
  • Luna the Berner has almost 100,000 followers on Instagram who are enthralled with her escapades.

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