The Bernese Mountain Dog is alert, active, self-confident, faithful and affectionate. Bernese Mountain Dogs make good family pets and respond well to training. These dogs are wonderful with children and very protective of them. Bernese Mountain Dogs can be dominant towards other dogs but will get along fine with other pets, provided they were introduced to them at an early age. Bernese Mountain Dogs make excellent watchdogs as they are cautious with strangers, but do not jump up and down at the garden fence barking at any passerby.
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Bernese Mountain Dogs need regular combing, especially in the places that easily tangle, including the hindquarters, neck, leg sockets and behind the ears. The excess hair between the pads of the feet also needs to be trimmed.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are fond of exercise and will need regular walks and if possible opportunities to run and play off the lead.
Like the Rottweiler, the origins of the Bernese Mountain Dog can be traced back 2000 years to the time when the Roman invaders brought them to Switzerland. They were originally known as the Sennehund or Durbachler. Bernese Mountain Dogs were used for herding, guarding and also for draughting, where the Swiss used them to pull small carts. In spite of their versatility and pleasant nature, with the arrival of other breeds in Switzerland, the popularity decreased for the Bernese Mountain Dog, that they almost became extinct. Fortunately some enthusiasts resuscitated the breed and created the first speciality club in 1907.
General Appearance: Self-confident, good natured, active and sturdy.
Color: Tricolor – black, tan and white.
Coat: Long, soft, silky with a bright sheen and slight wave.
Tail: Bushy, curves up slightly and can be raised when alert.
Ears: Medium size, set high, triangular, lie flat in response and are brought forward when alert.
Body: Compact rather than long, broad chest, strong muscular loin. Solid and level.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs are able to readily adapt to all types of climates and the extreme cold does not appear to affect them.
- To avoid Bernese Mountain Dogs becoming a one-man-dog or one-family dog it is important to socialize them early on with strangers.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs are slow to mature and therefore require proper attention to their diet and careful exercise, during the early growth period.