Species group: Working Group dogs
Other name(s): Berner; Bernese; Berner Sennenhund; BMD
The Bernese Mountain Dog is an ancient working breed from the Swiss Alps. The legend suggests they were developed from the ancient Roman invader's mastiffs into multi-purpose drover, draft, and watch dogs. Easy-going yet cautious, they must be properly socialized from an early age so that they don't become unreasonably shy. The ideal owner lives in a cold climate that gives this alpine breed the opportunity to romp or even pull a child's sled in the snow.
Appearance / health:
Large and powerful, Bernese Mountain Dogs are sturdy and balanced. The skull is flat on the top and broad. The neck is strong and muscular. The eyes are brown and slightly oval. Reddish markings are present above each eye. Their medium-sized ears hang close to the head. The tail is bushy, straight, and sometimes upright. The tip of the tail is white.
Bernese have a relatively care free coat, but they do shed constantly, and "blow their coat" completely once or twice a year. Periodic brushing to remove loose hair and a very good vacuum cleaner will make living with a Bernese easier.
This breed requires moderate amounts of exercise to keep fit and happy. An inactive dog might display destructive behavior such as excessive biting, chewing, or barking. A walk or a jog is ideal for these dogs.
Several health issues plague these beautiful lovable dogs, limiting their average life span to 7 years. The most common health problems faced by BMD's are hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative arthritic changes in hip sockets and elbow joints which can lead to lameness. They are also prone to eyelid problems and bloat.
According to the Bernese Mountain Club of America, "Cancer presents great challenges to breeders in genetic selection and a greater challenge for dog owners. In Bernese, at least two types of cancer are inherited. They are Mast Cell Cancer and Malignant Histiocytosis. How these cancers are inherited is not known although a polygenetic mode of inheritance is suspected. In the 2000 BMDCA Health Study, 50% of all dogsthat died succumbed to some form of cancer."
Bernese Mountain Dogs used for breeding need to have certified elbows, hips, heart and eyes. Breeding dogs also need to have solid temperaments.
Behavior / temperament:
Bernese Mountain Dogs are capable of a sudden burst of activity and speed but lacks the endurance of lighter dogs. Younger dogs mature slowly, and remain energetic and lively, either jumping around or climbing trees. They thrive in human company can develop problems if kept alone for too long. They make natural watchdogs with their alertness. A few dogs have the tendency to dig holes. Their hunting and herding instincts have reduced over the years though a few may still enjoy chasing animals.
They may take time to learn. Training needs to be firm, consistent, and kind. Training on obedience and housebreaking must begin at an early age. Socialization is necessary to prevent shyness, timidity, or aggression in them. But well-trained dogs are highly regarded for being calm and gentle.
wonderful family dog, loving dogs, great therapy dogs, majestic appearance, gentle disposition
innumerable health issues, genetic disease, daily grooming, awful health issues, fragile creature
massive physiques, heart wrenching, avoid backyard breeders, BernerGarde Foundation
Please Pay Attention to Me
Brutus is a huge sweetheart, quite intelligent, and a little bit of a diva. He likes to be the centre of attention, and if you're not constantly petting him, he will nuzzle your hand onto his head. When asked to sit, he promptly turns around and sits on your feet; if you attempt to step back, he will shimmy with you. When he knows he is in trouble, he turns his head away and peers at you from the corner of his eye. He’s the most expressive dog I have ever met. He is primarily an outdoors dog who spends his time running through the large backyard with our other dogs, but he is well-behaved on the few occasions we invite him inside. His thick fur not only means constant grooming, but a watchful eye in the summer time to make sure he doesn't overheat. Although he has never had major health issues, he does have a weak stomach so he requires special dog food. He is not a fan of water and will keep his distance from ponds, pools, and the hose. Being around water is the only time he is anxious, otherwise he is a passive, docile dog who rarely barks..
From Chipcode Jan 12 2017 5:44PM
Omega fatty acid supplements can have amazing low or no side effect benefits. The dose and balance is as important as the supplement. Oil dense fish like salmon tend to concentrate mercury which unfortunately is becoming a very high level environmental contaminant. Mercury toxicity is a slow cumulative disease. Not all supplements on the market are safe (the laws on nutraceuticals in the US is very very minimal). Consider, especially if starting life long treatment in a young dog using mercury cleared oil (it's very expensive) or flax see based fatty acid supplements. I recommend using a product made by a reputable company for dogs because you don't always get what the label says in these poorly regulated products. (Believe it or not this is not illegal due to the absence of regulation). Platinum performance is a trustworthy company..
From Jennifer Peters DVM DABVP canine and feline 157 days ago
Counter conditioning works on changing a dog’s emotional response to another dog approaching his food. Although guarding food is a normal behaviour, it doesn’t mean you have to accept it because it can lead to dangerous situations. How can you have one dog feel happy instead of aggressive when another dog is getting food next to him? If two people work on this at a time, and both dogs are on leash far enough apart, you can give a treat to the docile dog and immediately after to the aggressive one, until you notice that the latter is anticipating a food treat when the docile gets one. Once you see that the aggressive dog starts looking happy and relaxed, move the dogs closer.
Counter conditioning and desensitization techniques are frequently used together.
You can desensitize your dog by gradually exposing him to its triggers and creating positive associations with them. Give your dog a reward when exposing him to his "menace". if your dog is triggered by another dog being fed near him or a person approaching to his plate, sit with your dog while the other dog is in view. When your dog is calm, reward him with a tasty treat.
If any of these does not work, specialists are the right people to handle the problem.
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