Bernese Mountain Dog
35-45 kg (approx)
7-10 years (approx)
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, strong, sturdy, agile dog. The body is slightly longer than it is tall. The straight legs are strong. The bushy tail is carried low. The weather-resistant coat is moderately long, thick and slightly wavy or straight. The dog is tricolor with symmetrical markings of black, rust and white. The base of the dog is black. The dog has a white blaze on the chest, and white on the head, toes and tip of the tail. Rust is on the cheeks reaching to the corners of the mouth, over each eye, on each side of the chest, on all four legs and underneath the tail.
The Bernese Mountain dog originated in the Swiss mountains, Switzerland. Many 18th century paintings show dogs which looked just like the Bernese type dog. The breed was named for the Canton of Bern. They were working dogs particularly good at draft work, pulling carts to market. They also were used to drive dairy cattle, to watch over the farm and as a companion to the farmers. By the end of the 19th century many other working dogs were being imported to Switzerland, which brought the numbers of the Bernese down as workers began to use other types of dogs. Today the breed makes a wonderful companion and they still to this day enjoy whatever draft work you can give them. The breeds talents are tracking, herding, watch, guarding, search & rescue, carting, and competitive obedience.
These cheerful dogs love children. They are very intelligent, easy to train and are natural watchdogs, but not overly dominant. A friend for life. Self-confident, alert and good-natured. Socialize well as a puppy. Slow to mature, acting like a puppy longer than other breeds. Rather friendly with strangers, and are generally good with other pets and dogs. The Bernese needs to be with people and not confined to the backyard or a kennel. These dogs are sensitive and should be trained firmly, but gently.
Large active dogs such as these need regular exercise, which include a long daily walk. Daily to weekly brushing of the long thick coat is important, with extra care needed when the coat is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. This breed is a seasonal, heavy shedder.