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Bernese Mountain Dog

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Bernese Mountain Dog Behavior Characteristics scale click here

The Bernese is self-confident and very intelligent making them a quick and willing learner. Training sessions should be short, precise and not pushed. Their loyal bonding requires close companionship of their people. They adapt readily to children that they have been raised with from puppyhood, but should be supervised with other children. They are inclined to be timid or suspicious of strangers and are very able watchdogs not prone to frivolous barking. As a herding dog, they are good with other pets. They're quiet indoors, and more active outdoors, being athletic and playful. Unlike other mastiff-type dogs, they are not inclined to drool.
The ancestry of the Bernese Mountain Dog dates to the ancient Roman Legion introduction of the mastiff-type guard dogs that crossbred with local herding dogs found around Berne, Switzerland. They were one of the four Swiss Mountain Dog breeds to develop and the only one to have a long coat. In the alpine farm operations the Bernese Sennenhund as they are know there, instinctively worked as drovers in herding livestock to and from various mountain pastures, became draft-carting dogs that hauled produce to market, as well as being watch dogs on these hillside farms.
Health Risks:
As with all giant breeds, they should not be allowed to become overweight at any stage in their major growth period and throughout their adult 9 to 10 year life. Berners are unfortunately prone to various cancers, although responsible breeders are trying to get such tendencies out of the breed. Other common medical concerns and genetic predispositions include hip and elbow dysphasia, and bloat (trapped gas in the stomach which is then prone to twisting on itself). Most breeders would welcome your inquiries and would be willing to share knowledge of their breeding stock. Additional health problems may be accessed through the Berner-Garde database.
Things to watch out for with this breed:
Whether residing in a town or country setting, a fenced yard should be a must, along with appropriate protection from the elements. Berners require daily walks and exercise to keep them properly conditioned. Grooming includes vigorous brushing to control shedding, and will require more frequent brushing during their semi-annual blowing of coat, along with periodic ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Puppy training, early socialization, and beginning obedience training for both the dog and owner are highly recommended.

Make sure you like the disposition of the parents of your Berner pup. Berners are usually reserved around strangers, but veterinarians are starting to see some aggression in a few dogs. Berners are a normally friendly breed and should not display aggressive tendencies. Proper socialization as a young pup is a must to help avoid such tendencies.


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