Bernese Mountain Dog

History

Having been used for hundreds of years in the Swiss Alps, the Bernese Mountain Dog was in danger of dying out until the late 1800's, a concerted effort was made to breed the stock. They had been used as general farm dogs, driving dairy herds and for pulling carts. The majority of the breed was found in the Durrbach area and the breed was called the Durrbachler, but with popularity, the name was changed to Bernese Mountain Dog.

Behaviour

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a patient, calm and easy going breed. They love human company and do well in a family. They are gentle giants, good with children and other pets if introduced early on. They are faithful and will follow you around everywhere, making them unsuitable to be left alone for long periods. They like to get involved in the family and will want to spend as much time with you as possible. They are generally placid with strangers and okay with other dogs if socialised. They can be protective of their family. They are slow to mature, both physically and mentally, and will act like puppies for a couple of years. Training is important as they are an intelligent breed and have a way of twisting you around their little finger when they want to. Obedience training is vital with such a large breed and they will benefit from regular training to keep their minds healthy and alert. They do have a desire to run, but this is usually a short sprint, then a plodding walk. They need regular exercise and are best suited to a long stroll where they can take their time and wander. Recall is not usually a problem with the breed as they like to stick close to their owners. They aren't demanding with exercise and enjoy sleeping when cuddled up to you, if your sofa is large enough. They tend to pull on the lead; back to the days of pulling carts possibly.... Due to their thick fur, they dislike warm weather and will seek out somewhere cool to sleep. Digging a hole in your garden to sleep on the cool earth is a favourite hobby of theirs. They are outdoor dogs and happiest when they are with you.

The thick coat requires lots of brushing to get rid of dead hair. Health wise, they can suffer from Canine Hip Dysplasia, Gastric Torsion and have a higher than average risk of cancers.

Temperament

The temperament of Bernese Mountain dogs is calm, easygoing and loyal. They can be resevered with strangers but do well in families with children and other animals.

They need exercising daily through a brisk walk and enjoy a cooler climate since they originated from the Swiss Alps. They can be sensitive and become devoted to their families.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Bernese Mountain dogs include: canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, bloat and are relatively more susceptable to some cancers. Like many larger dog their life expectancy is also relatively low.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 6 - 8 years
  • Weight: 39 - 50 kg
  • Height: 23 - 27.5"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Giant
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

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