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Bernese Mountain Dog

Ancestors of the Bernese Mountain Dogs were brought into Switzerland more than 2000 years ago by forces of invading Roman soldiers, and although they can still to be found on the farms of central Switzerland today, by the end of last century the breed had degenerated to such an extent as to be unrecognisable.

The Bernese Mountain Dog was mainly used as a drover's dog and a watchdog in the farmyards in the Canton of Berne. Sufficient dogs of correct type remained for a rehabilitation programme to be undertaken by fanciers and by 1907 a breed club was formed, and the breed found favour with many Swiss as a pet and companion.

Overview

Average lifespan

These beautiful dogs can live up to 12 years of age, but fed the right food will usually live up to 14 years. 

Average size and weight

A male dog in peak condition should be about 50kg and be 70cm tall and the female should be 34 to 40kg and up to 60cm tall.
Bernese Mountain Dog

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament

This is a multi-purpose farm dog capable of draught work as well as being a kind and devoted family dog. It is slow to mature, but it is self-confident, good-natured, friendly and fearless and any aggressive behaviour should be stopped as soon as it starts. 

Because of the Bernese Mountain Dog's strong in-built herding instinct can quickly turn into a dangerous chasing habit if not curbed. Because they are tempted to round up any moving object, this can include traffic - so train your dog to understand that ‘traffic herding’ is not allowed. 

Compatibility with other pets

It is essential that the Bernese Mountain Dog be made part of the family if it is to be kept truly happy. It will get along quite happily with other pets so long as it is brought up with them.

Care requirements

An extremely hardy dog, strong, sturdy and alert, the Bernese is jet black with rich reddish brown on its legs, cheeks, spots over each eye, and on either side of his white chest markings. Its coat is of medium length and silky with a slight wave and needs daily grooming. 
Bernese Mountain Dog

Decision time

Ideal owners

Because these dogs can grow so quickly and are extremely active, they are usually too ‘full on’ for very young children and elderly folk. Their herding instinct can also make them a problem for the young.


Decision time (resources provided by 
Kennel Club):

Before making a decision on getting a puppy, here are some articles you might find helpful:

What do I need to consider when thinking of buying a puppy?

How do I find the right breeder, what should I ask them?

How do you check if the breeder is reputable?

What to ask your vet prior to buying a puppy?

Where to find dogs (resources provided by the Kennel Club):

Breeders

Adoption

Shelters

Find out about important information about purchasing dogs from pet shops and traders
Bernese Mountain Dog
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