Breed Profile – Spotlight On The Bernese Mountain Dog!

April 7th, 2009 by Dan

The charming face of a Bernese Mountain Dog is a tough one to resist! This furry working breed may be a good choice for families who are looking for a large, gentle companion. Read on to find out what you need to know about Berners!

Bernese Closeup

Photo by castacant

* The Bernese Mountain dog is one of 4 Sennenhund breeds. All of these dogs originated in the Swiss Alps. The 4 breeds are: the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog.

* Bernese Mountain Dogs were used to drive cattle, guard farms and pull carts. They were considered an ideal farm dog because of their versatile nature.

* The BMD is a large dog that typically ranges from 80-120 lbs. They are a double coated breed that does shed heavily. Regular brushing and bathing as needed in conjunction with a high quality diet, is the best method to keep your home free from “tumbleweeds” if you are considering a Berner.

* Berners should be calm, attentive, affectionate and stable dogs. They should show no signs of aggression or fearfulness. They are a great choice for homes with children.

Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Photo by North of 49

* BMDs are smart dogs that are often known to ponder commands before slowly “agreeing” to listen. Positive training techniques will ensure a good relationship with your dog. Harsh techniques can be scaring to this sensitive breed.

* Bernese Mountain Dogs need to be with their families and will pine for them if left alone for long periods. They can become destructive and prone to barking issues. This breed may be at work with the farmer all day, but they need to live inside with the family at night too.

Resting Berner

Photo by Omar A XTi

* Berners are generally good with other animals – big and small – if they are introduced to them when they are young.

* Exercising a Bernese Mountain Dog requires a 30-40 minute workout each day. This means running, fetch, swimming, etc – in addition to at least 3 daily walks.

* Due to their dense coats, this breed can be prone to heatstroke. In the warm months make sure to pick the coolest time of the day to get your BMD out and running. In contrast, these dogs love snowy winters and will spend a great deal of time romping in the white stuff!

Berner in the Snow

Photo by t.atkian

* Like I said earlier, this is a versatile breed! Bernese Mountain Dogs have been known to excel in obedience, tracking, agility, carting and therapy dog work.

* Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to a variety of health issues including: hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, GDV (bloat), skin issues and thyroid disorders. It is a necessity to seek out a reputable breeder if you are interested in these dogs. Remember to NEVER purchase a puppy from a pet store!

* The larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. Bernese Mountain Dogs live 7-8 years on average. However there are some dogs who live into the double digits. One Berner lived until the ripe old age of 15.

* If you’re considering a Bernese Mountain Dog, check out this Breed Compatibility Profiler from the Bernese Mountain Dog Club Of America. It can let you know if your needs match those of a Berner!

BMD puppy - 19 weeks

Photo by veronique.potvin

* There are plenty of Bernese Mountain Dogs in rescue who need homes too! Check out some of them here, here and here!

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One Response to “Breed Profile – Spotlight On The Bernese Mountain Dog!”

  1. laswel Says:

    I do not agree. Read that:

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