Bernese Mountain Dog: Grace and Grandeur in One Package

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Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog head portrait outdoors.

Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by Fumipets

Unveiling the Majestic Bernese Mountain Dog

 

The Bernese Mountain Dog stands as a majestic and beloved breed, renowned for its striking appearance and gentle demeanor. Originating from the Swiss Alps, these dogs have earned a special place in the hearts of families and dog enthusiasts around the world. Let’s explore the key attributes and allure of the Bernese Mountain Dog in this summary.

The Bernese Mountain Dog combines grace and grandeur, embodying a gentle and loyal nature that makes it a cherished member of countless families. From their historical role as working dogs to their present-day reputation as affectionate companions, these dogs bring a sense of warmth and magnificence to the lives they touch.

Whether it’s their tri-color coat, expressive eyes, or loving disposition, the Bernese Mountain Dog stands as a majestic symbol of devotion and companionship.

Bernese Mountain Dog


Bernese mountain dogs, affectionately referred to as “Berners” by their admirers, are adored for their gentle, easygoing temperament and love of their family, especially young children. Large and powerful Berners may pull carts and serve as security dogs. Historically, Berners assisted in agricultural tasks in Switzerland. These intelligent, devoted canines are happiest at their owner’s side, wherever that may be, whether they aren’t working or playing.

Appearance

Large Bernese mountain dogs with expressive dark brown eyes and a friendly disposition may weigh between 70 and 115 pounds and stand 23-27.5 inches in height at the shoulders. Puppies of Bernese mountain dogs even resemble stuffed animals. These robust dogs are tricolored, with a thick black coat, and a striking facial pattern of white and rust. The smooth, medium-length coat may be straight or somewhat wavy.

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Temperament

Since the dog’s earliest days on Swiss farms, the trainability and eagerness to please the Bernese mountain dog has charmed owners. It is one of Derse’s all-time favorite breeds. They are very loyal canines that are intelligent, fast learners, and loyal to a fault. 

According to Derse, who claims that the Bernese mountain dog is gaining popularity in the United States, they are “low-energy” and love spending a lot of leisure with their owners, whether it be relaxing on the sofa or playing outside. They dislike being alone themselves. Although they can be a little distant with strangers, Bernese mountain dogs are a wonderful family pet because they are patient, calm, and affectionate. Berners get along nicely with cats and other dogs if properly socialized as puppies. 

Due to their enormous size and commanding bark, Bernese mountain dogs have long served as livestock keepers and also make good watchdogs. Owners shouldn’t anticipate much of a danger behind the bark, however, given their kind and sensitive disposition.

Living Needs

Berners are best suited for colder areas because of their thick coats. They like the winter, adds Derse. “In blizzards, I have visited customers’ homes where their Bernese mountain dogs would be lying in the snow, content as can be. They are unwilling to enter the home.

According to Derse, Bernese mountain dogs appreciate having room to roam, therefore a fenced-in yard is advised, and frequent walks are crucial. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America advises daily exercise of at least 30 minutes of vigorous walking or jogging. This dog can even pull children in carts and is a great companion for outdoor pursuits like hiking and camping. Bernese mountain dogs excel in tracking, agility, and herding tasks as well.

Care

Get a Roomba along with your Bernese mountain dog puppy, advises Derse. Why? “Because they sweat a lot. Expect to be well groomed. A lot of vacuuming, too. Every few days, a Berner will need brushing, and every four to eight weeks, a thorough grooming session.

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Early training and socialization should place more emphasis on encouraging conduct than severe punishment. Berners tend to react favorably to praise because they are sensitive and like seeing their owners pleased. Just be careful not to leave a Berner alone for too long, as they could get into trouble.

High-quality ingredients should be used to make the dog food you feed your Bernese mountain dog. Given that Berners can eat a lot, keeping an eye on diet and exercise is an essential component of care. You may decide how much and how often to feed your dog by paying a visit to your veterinarian. 

Health

According to Derse, a multitude of illnesses, including cancer, might have an effect on a Bernese mountain dog’s health. They are particularly susceptible to a variety of malignancies, which shortens their lives, according to Derse. The average lifetime of a Bernese mountain dog is 7 to 10 years.

The frequent ailments that affect big dogs, including blood illnesses, eye problems, and elbow and hip dysplasia, may also affect Bernese mountain dogs. Gastric dilatation-volvulus complex (GDV complex), often known as bloat, is another stomach illness that occurs when air builds up in the stomach and causes it to twist.

Owners should be cautious of this condition. Bloat may be fatal and needs immediate surgery. According to VCA Hospitals, there are several measures owners may take to potentially reduce the danger of bloat. One such measure is to give the dog smaller, more often meals throughout the day.

Owners should discuss the dangers of these illnesses and preventative measures with their veterinarian.

History

The Bernese mountain dog originated in Bern, Switzerland, where they were used on farms to defend fields and farms on slopes and in valleys, drive cattle, and pull carts. The breed, one of four old Sennenhund breeds in Switzerland, is said to have been introduced there by the Romans. Both then and today, the Bernese mountain dog has a reputation for might, cunning, and friendship.

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Demand for this kind of dog fell as farming and ranching became more sophisticated, and the population shrank. However, supporters of the breed took action and organized a concerted campaign to increase the breed’s population. Professor Albert Heim, a well-known dog enthusiast from Europe, saw the Bernese mountain dog and started a breeding club in 1907 to publicize the kind, intelligent dog. As a result, the puppies gained popularity both with families and on farms.

In 1926, a Kansas farmer became interested in the dogs and imported a pair to assist him around his land. The American Kennel Club also took notice and recognized the breed in 1937. Other farms also did likewise.


5 Q&A on the Magnificent Bernese Mountain Dog

 

 

1. What is the Bernese Mountain Dog’s origin?

Originating in Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog was historically used as a versatile working dog on farms, herding livestock, and pulling carts.

2. What are the typical characteristics of the breed?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their large size, tri-color coat (black, white, and rust), and expressive eyes. They possess a gentle and affectionate temperament, making them excellent companions and family pets.

3. How do Bernese Mountain Dogs interact with children and other pets?

These dogs are renowned for their gentle nature and love for family members, including children and other pets. Their patient and friendly demeanor makes them well-suited for households with multiple family members.

4. What kind of care and grooming do they require?

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a dense double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. They shed seasonally, with heavier shedding occurring during shedding seasons. Nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care are also important aspects of their grooming routine.

5. What is their energy level and exercise needs?

While they have a calm and relaxed demeanor, Bernese Mountain Dogs benefit from regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent weight gain. Daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are essential to their well-being.

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