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Bernese Mountain Dog also known as ‘Berner’ is easily recognizable for its flashy tricolor coat and white “Swiss cross” across its chest. These extremely versatile and beautiful dogs have been traditionally used in Switzerland for heavy works. They were developed to pull carts, herd cattle, and to be a watchdog and loyal companion. Bernese mountain dog is one of four types of Swiss Mountain Dogs, and the only one with the long hair. If you also want to become a proud owner of this calm but gregarious dog breed, then this article is a must read for you as it will provide you complete information of this breed in elaborative way.
|Other Names||Berner Sennenhund, Berner|
|Breed Group||Working dog breeds|
|Life span||7 – 8 years|
|Good with child||Yes|
|Litter Size||1-14 puppies|
|Height||Male: 25–28 inches (64–70 cm); Female: 23–26 inches (58–66 cm)|
|Weight||Male: 38–50 kg; Female: 36–48 kg|
|Temperament||Alert, Affectionate, Loyal, Intelligent, Faithful|
The Burners apparently had their origins in the mastiff type dogs that were brought by the Romans when they came into Switzerland about two thousand years ago. The Roman dogs were generally used to drive and guard herds brought with the invaders. Since Roman times, this dog breed remained as general-purpose farmers’ dogs, but little attention was paid to preserving this breed of dogs. Due to this, the breed was nearly extinct near the end of the 19th century.
Fortunately, around the turn of the century, several Swiss dog fanciers brought this breed from various isolated valleys in their home canton of Bern, and promoted the general interest in these dogs. The breed was originally called the Schweizerische Dürrbach-Klub and later they called “Berner Sennenhund” to follow the naming convention of other native Swiss breeds.
The Bernese Mountain dogs are strong, sturdy, and agile. Their body is slightly longer than it is tall and their broad head is flat on top with a moderate stop. The muzzle of dogs is straight and strong and their teeth meet in a scissors bite. Their medium-sized, triangular ears are set high, which are rounded at the tip.
The legs of this breed are straight and strong. Their bushy tail is carried low and dewclaws are often removed. The weather-resistant coat of this dog is moderately thick, long and slightly wavy or straight. The tricolor with symmetrical markings of rust, black, and white, make these dogs charming. This breed of dogs has a white blaze on its chest and white on the head, toes and tip of the tail.
The Bernese Mountain dogs are an intelligent, affectionate, and alert dog. They are known for their gentle, calm, and tolerant nature. The Bernese likes to be with his family and thrives when they are included in the family activities. The large size if this dog is one of the most notable features.
Early training of this breed is essential to teach how to behave properly in the house and with strangers. The Berners can be aloof with strangers and generally a bit shy, therefore, exposing them to a wide variety of animals, people, and situations is quite important. The temperament of this breed of dogs is affected by a number of factors, including proper training, heredity, and socialization.
The Bernese mountain dog is prone to cancer, bloat, eyelid problems, and hip and elbow dysplasia. Furthermore, they gain weight easily therefore do not overfeed. They are also prone to mast cell tumors.
The Bernese mountain dogs are not suited to apartment life. They require a home with a large and secure yard, because they are working dogs with plenty of energy. In addition to yard play, they need at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day to remain in top condition.
Due to thick coat, the Bernese mountain dogs are natural fit for cold climates. They love to play in snow. On the other hand, owing to their black coat and large size, they are prone to heat stroke. Therefore, do not allow them to exercise strenuously when it is extremely hot. Further, limit their exercise to early mornings or evenings, when it is cooler.
If you’re raising a Berner puppy, you’ll need to take special care of them. Like many large-breed dogs, Bernese mountain dogs grow rapidly between the ages of four and seven months that make them susceptible to bone disorders and injury.
The Berners shed all the year, and the heaviest shedding is during seasonal changes. They will require a brushing once a week, with more in spring, so as to keep its coat neat and reduce the amount of fur on the furniture and floor. They require bath once every couple of months that also depend on how high its activity level is and how often they spend time in the dirt.
The Bernese mountain dog’s ear can trap dirt, bacteria, and liquid; therefore, special attention should be paid to the ears. Ear infection risk drops with weekly ear cleanings using a veterinarian-recommended cleanser.
• Bernese mountain dogs are “Slow Maturing Dogs”. Most Bernese does not reach their adult weight and height until they are 2 or 3 years old. These dogs continue to ‘flesh out’ and add bulk well into their middle years.
• Most Berners are considered to have a dry mouth that means they do not drool. But, it’s not true of all of them. A Bernese with close, or tight-fitting, lips is less likely to drool than one with hanging or loose lips.
• The Bernese is known not respond well to harsh treatment; however, they are very willing and eager to please their master.
• The Bernese mountain dogs shed profusely, especially in the spring and fall and if shedding drives you crazy, it may not be the right breed for you.
• When Bernese mountain dogs are mature, they are large dogs who like to have a job to do; therefore, it’s wise and fun to begin obedience training early.
• These dogs are intelligent and quite easy to train. They learn new commands easily and quickly at an above average rate.