bernese mountain dogThe Bernese Mountain Dog is a great dog for a high energy family. They are friendly with adults and children, and they like to be with their family.

They are working dogs that enjoy performing tasks and having a job to do. Outdoor activities are good for this high energy dog such as hiking, herding or tracking activities.

They enjoy cold weather and snow, but you have to be careful not to overheat them during warm and hot weather. For more information on the Bernese Mountain Dog, click here.


Origin

Bernese Mountain Dogs are native to Switzerland and they are one of four Swiss Mountain Dogs, the only one with long hair. They were bred to herd cattle, pull carts, be a watchdog and a companion to their owner.

They first came to the United States in 1926 and they were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937. In 1968 the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America was formed.


Group

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a member of the American Kennel Club’s working group of dogs.


Size

They are large dogs that are 23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder and they weigh 79 to 110 pounds.


Color

According to the American Kennel Club, they can be one of two color, either black rust and white or black tan and white. They have no standard markings.


Temperament

They are easy going, calm, sensitive, loyal, affectionate, good with children and other dogs. With strangers, they are often shy but polite.

Bernese Mountain Dog puppies should be socialized as soon as the puppy has had all of its vaccines. Expose your puppy to different sights, sounds, children and adults in a positive manner.


Energy

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a high energy dog breed that requires a lot of activity. They enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities such as herding and tracking. They even enjoy pulling children on sleds in the snow.



Health

They are great dogs but unfortunately they have a lifespan of only 6 to 8 years of age, according to the American Kennel Club. They can have many health concerns including hereditary cancers, arthritis, bloat, heart disease, elbow and hip dysplasia, epilepsy and autoimmune diseases.


Shedding

The Bernese Mountain Dog will shed their coat daily as well as heavier during the Spring and Fall. They will need brushing several times a week to keep the coat free of tangles and to remove the loose hair.


Other Grooming

Their ears hang down and will need cleaning once a week to prevent ear infections. Brush their teeth several times a week with a toothpaste made for dogs to remove plaque buildup. You will also need to trim their nails when needed.


Training

They are intelligent dogs that are easy to train as they are eager to please their owners. They are a docile breed and are sensitive to harsh treatment. Use positive reinforcement when training your Bernese Mountain Dog.


Separation Anxiety

It is common for the Bernese Mountain Dog to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. They want to be a part of the family and they are very loyal to their family.

To prevent separation anxiety, exercise your dog properly before leaving them alone. Without proper exercise, destructive behaviors can develop such as destructive chewing.

Leave them with a kong type toy filled with a treat and don’t leave them alone for long periods of time. The old saying is true, a tired dog is a good dog.


bernese mountain dog in snowRescue

If you are interested in the Bernese Mountain Dog breed, please consider adoption. There are many purebred dogs and puppies that are available for adoption. Search for a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue group in your area by starting here at PetFinder.


What do you think about the Bernese Mountain Dog breed? Share a story about your dog or leave a comment below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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