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Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Information

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Bernese Mountain Dog

Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CCR , CKC , CKC , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC
   
AKA: Berner, Berner Sennenhund, Bernese Cattle Dog
   
Mispellings: Burmese Mountain Dog
   
 

Living with a Bernese Mountain Dog

Temperament: The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very confident and alert dog. They should never appear shy or reserved.

Family Dog: Bernese Mountain Dogs very friendly dogs even with strangers. They are gentle dogs who love children and generally great with other pets.

Shedding: The Bernese Mountain Dog is an average shedder with seasonal period of heavy shedding.

Grooming: The Bernese Mountain Dog requires regular brushing, daily or weekly. Extra care and brushing is needed during their heaving shedding periods. The Bernese Mountain Dog should be bathed or cleaned with a dry shampoo as necessary.

Training: The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very intelligent breed which makes them easy to train. They are sensitive and should be trained in a positive and gentle manner. They should be socialized at a young age.

Weather: The Bernese Mountain Dog prefers cool climates. Care should be taken in warm weather to keep them comfortable because of their thick coat.

Exercise: The Bernese Mountain Dog should have long daily walks and be given time for regular exercise.

Living Conditions: The Bernese Mountain Dog is not recommended for apartment living. They are typically inactive when inside and need a yard, preferably a large one with a fence to get proper exercise.

Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance

Appearance: The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, sturdy and balanced dog with a tri-colored coat. They are an intelligent breed. The Bernese Mountain Dog is strong and agile.

Size: A male Bernese Mountain Dog should be between 25 to 27½ inches high at the withers and weigh between 85 to 110 pounds. A female Bernese Mountain Dog is between 23 to 26 inches tall weighing between 80 to 105 pounds.

Companionship: Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely loyal companion dogs.

Head: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a gentle, intelligent expression.

Nose: The nose of the Bernese Mountain Dog is black in color.

Eyes: The eyes of the Bernese Mountain Dog are dark brown in color and slightly oval in shape. The eyelids are close-fitting eyelids.

Ears: The ears of the Bernese Mountain Dog are medium-sized and triangular in shape with a slightly rounded tip. They are set high on the head with the top of the ear level with the top of the head.

Muzzle: The muzzle of the Bernese Mountain Dog is strong and straight.

Teeth/Bite: The teeth of the Bernese Mountain Dog should meet in a scissors bite.

Neck: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a strong, muscular neck of medium length.

Body: The body of the Bernese Mountain Dog is slightly longer than it is tall. They have a sturdy build with level topline, deep chest and well-sprung ribs. The back should be wide and of a solid build.

Forequarters: The Bernese Mountain Dog should have laid-back, muscular shoulders. The front legs should be strong and straight with the elbows directly under the shoulders when in a standing position. The pasterns are slightly sloped.

Hindquarters: The rear legs of the Bernese Mountain Dog are muscular and powerful. The thighs should be broad. The stifles should be bent moderately and gradually taper into the hocks which are straight and well let down.

Gait: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a natural slow trot but is capable of reaching high speeds. The gait is powerful yet agile. As speeds increase the legs converge toward the center line.

Feet: The Bernese Mountain Dog should have compact, round feet with well-arched toes. The rear feet should face straight, turning neither in nor out. The front dewclaws may be removed while the back ones should be removed.

Tail: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a straight, bushy tail. The tail is carried low when in repose but may be carried upward when the dog is alert. It should never curl over the back.

Color: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a tri-colored coat with black being the most prominent color. The coat should have rich rust and clear white symmetrical markings. The rust color should appear above each eye, on the cheeks, on both sides of the chest, on all the legs and under the tail. The Bernese Mountain Dog should have a white blaze and white muzzle band. There should be white on the chest that usually resembles the shape of an inverted cross. White should also appear on the tip of the tail. There may also be white on the feet.

Coat: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a long, thick double-coat with a bright and natural looking shine. It may be straight or slightly wavy. The coat provides ample protection against the weather.

Bernese Mountain Dog Facts

Category: Mastiff, AKC Working

Life Expectancy: The Bernese Mountain Dog has an average life expectancy of 6 to 8 years. Unfortunately cancer is a main cause in the decrease of this breed's life span from 10 to 12 years to their current range.

Characteristics: The Bernese Mountain Dog is a natural guard and watchdogs. They also excel in herding, tracking, carting, search & rescue and competitive obedience.

Bernese Mountain Dog Health

Health: The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very health breed. They may be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia as well as some defects with the eyelids. They also have a tendency to develop cancer. Some Bernese Mountain Dogs may become bloated when eating.

Litter Size: The Bernese Mountain Dog has an average litter size of 8 puppies with the typical range being between 1 to 14 puppies.

Bernese Mountain Dog History

History: The origin of the Bernese Mountain Dog is not completely known. It is assumed that they originated as a farm dog in the Swiss mountains. Paintings have been found depicting dogs of their nature dating back to the end of the 18th century. During the 19th century many dogs were imported into Switzerland and there was a fear that their native breeds would be lost. Around this time an effort to preserve Switzerland's native dogs was led by Professor Albert Heim and Franz Schertenleib. They began to stabilize the Bernese Mountain Dog population and define them as a distinct breed. This breed was named after the Berne canton of Switzerland where they were widely known. The Bernese Mountain Dog was originally used to drive livestock, drafting work and as farm guard dog.