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Bernese Mountain Dog

 

Bernese Mountain Dog, (or “Berners” as their fans call them), are bounding and burly workhorses (er, workdogs?). They were bred as drafting (or pulling) dogs — they've been known to pull up to ten times their body weight or roughly 1000 pounds; and one heroic Bernese Mountain Dog pulled over 2000 pounds — that's the weight of a car! Of course, if you want your furry friend to do this kind of heavy lifting, you'll need to use the proper equipment and be very aware of your dog's physical capacity so meet with veterinarians and trainers before attempting any pulling.

According to some sources, the Bernese Mountain Dog breed may be millennia old and is named after the Bern Canton, the region of central Switzerland in which they were first bred. These extra large and moderate-energy dogs can grow to between 79-110 pounds and live an average of 6-8 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeFarm work
OriginSwitzerland
Breed groupWorking
Average lifespan6-9 years
SizeExtra large
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking47
FamilyLivestock dog, mountain dog, mastiff
Date of originAncient times
Original function Draft
Today's functionCompanion
Average size of maleHeight: 25-27.5 Weight: 90-120
Average size of femaleHeight: 23-26 Weight: 70-100

 

Other nameBernersennenhund
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Not very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersFriendly
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability Medium
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance High tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Calm and sweet, Bernese Mountain Dogs are very affectionate and loving. They make wonderful companions and can be playful. They adore people, are often very good with children, and want nothing more than to be part of your family. Berners are good with other dogs and often great with other pets and small animals. They can be somewhat friendly with strangers.

WHAT IS BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Berners are very strong and love to work or play outdoors with you. They need moderate daily exercise and enjoy walks or slow, short jogs. This breed is moderately vigilant and usually not protective. They can be somewhat prone to barking.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is very biddable and a fast learner but also has a long puppyhood. Be consistent and patient with your pup. Obedience training is a good idea, both for discipline and for mental stimulation. These dogs can be sensitive, so be gentle with your furry friend. They respond particularly well to food rewards.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

A Bernese Mountain Dog's double coat is long and silky. They are heavy shedders and will need regular brushing. But if you maintain their silky coats to prevent mats and snarls, they should need only occasional trips to the groomer.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOGS HAVE?

Bernese Mountain dogs are often short-lived and can be prone to bloat, hip dysplasia, some forms of cancer, and joint problems.

Feeding your baby Berner a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature which may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.

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