The Bernese mountain dog is an ancient breed that was used for cow herding and as a draft dog in Switzerland. The breed is becoming popular in the United States.
History and Origin
The Bernese mountain dog is one of the four Swiss mountain dog breeds, which include the Greater Swiss mountain dog, Appenzell cattle dog and Entlebuch cattle dog. The Bernese mountain dog is the only one with a long silky coat. It is thought that the breed originated when Roman soldiers brought mastiffs to Switzerland. These mastiffs were then bred to native flock-guarding dogs, resulting in a dog that had protective and guarding qualities and was able to withstand the cold Swiss environment. Over time, however, the Bernese mountain dog was almost driven to extinction in the 1800s.
In 1882, a few dedicated dog breeders took it upon themselves to rescue the Bernese mountain dog from oblivion. They were able to find several remaining dogs and began an intense breeding program. By 1907, a special club had been formed. In 1926, the first Bernese mountain dog was brought to the United States. In 1937, the American Kennel Club recognized the Bernese mountain dog in the working breed class.
Appearance and Size
The Bernese mountain dog has a short, massive head, dark eyes and V-shaped ears. The tail is covered with long hair and the body is strong and muscular. The coat is tri-color with double thickness. The coat is shiny, smooth, long and wavy. The color is mostly black with patches of brown just above the feet and above the eyes. There is also white on the chest, face, feet and sometimes at the tip of the tail.
The adult Bernese mountain dog is a large, sturdy, powerful dog that stands 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs 85 to 110 pounds.
The Bernese mountain dog is an intelligent, beautiful dog that is sweet and loving. Most members of this breed are outgoing and love people.
Home and Family Relations
The Bernese mountain dog is an alert, energetic and loyal companion dog. They love to play and run with children or just hang out and keep a watchful eye open. The Bernese mountain dog gets along with other household pets. They become very attached to their families, and after 18 months of age have trouble adjusting to a new family.
The Bernese mountain dog needs to be socialized and should begin basic obedience training at a very young age. They become well adjusted to most situations with proper training. This breed is intelligent and learns quickly.
The Bernese mountain dog needs daily brushing to keep the coat clean and free of tangles or mats.
The Bernese mountain dog prefers cooler climates. When exposed to hot and humid environments, this breed is prone to overheating.
Common Diseases and Disorders
In general, the Bernese mountain dog is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:
In addition, although these occur infrequently, the following disorders have also been reported: