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
"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
"Admittedly the dog will need to consume a large ammount of garlic, but there is not many legit reasons to give garlic especially when there are very good alternatives. Babesia, worming flea and tick control has many very good effective treatment so garlic is a waste."
From Dr Joe 47 days ago
"I have only ever kept one dog this large, and while he was a good dog, he still was quite a handful. One note I should add here is that I live in California, where warm days are the norm and snow is very rare. This turned out to be a less than ideal climate for this guy, and coupled with the small yard at my house, was partially to blame for the awkward fit with this breed.<br>Grobi arrived as a 2 month old puppy, and was quite easy to train in the basics like house safety and socialization etc., but by the time he reached 1 yr he was clamoring for more room and more "romping". He was mostly suited to be an outdoor dog, but often wore tracks in the yard in a racetrack shape as he would pace around in laps when it was cool enough. If it was hot out, he would hibernate in his doghouse only coming out for water or when called in side the house. While he was gentle enough, and fortunately did not drool like the St Bernard will, he was simply too large and clumsy to be an indoor pet.<br>I did love his disposition, gentle and calm, loyal, a good watchdog, and he got along with people and other dogs quite well. But he needed much more room and land than I could provide, and after about 6 yrs I gave him to an owner who had 20 acres and a pond in the cooler foothill region near my home. I went to visit him once, and he was as happy as I had ever seen him, romping around the property and chasing birds. I'm happy that he finally found a better fit, and he lived to nearly 12 yrs old!."
From kentsmith1 Sep 8 2015 8:09PM