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Bernese Mountain Dog


General Information - Bernese Mountain Dog


Group:
Utility

Size:
Extra large

Lifespan:
7-9 years

Exercise:
Low

Grooming:
Medium

Trainability:
High

Watchdog Ability:
Medium

Protection Ability:
Low

Area of Origin:
Switzerland

Date of Origin:
Ancient times

Other Names:
Berner Sennenhund, Bernese Cattle Dog

Original Function:
Draft



History

The Bernese Mountain Dog descends from dogs in the Alps which accompanied Roman soldiers on their journeys through the mountains. Its ancestors were most likely large mastiff-type dogs, but dogs left as guardians at Roman outposts were also crossed with local herding dogs, resulting in the dog that we know today. It is one of the four breeds known as the Swiss Sennenhunde (the other three are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller, and the Entlebucher). The breed was agile and strong which enabled it to navigate treacherous mountain passes and to cart the wares of merchants to the market.

Temperament

The Bernese Mountain Dog is very social and extremely loyal to its family. It usually attaches itself to one member in particular. The Bernese Mountain Dog is eager to please and easy to train. He is intelligent and loving and makes an excellent family dog. These dogs may be slow to mature and remain puppy like for a while.

Upkeep

This dog enjoys the outdoors, especially in cold weather. It needs daily but moderate exercise, either a good hike or a walk on leash. It enjoys pulling. Although it can physically live outdoors in temperate to cold climates, it is so in tune with its human family that it cannot be relegated to life alone in the yard. Inside, it needs plenty of room to stretch out. Its coat needs brushing one or two times weekly, much more often when shedding. The Bernese life span is described by a Swiss expression: "Three years a young dog, three years a good dog and three years an old dog. All else is a gift from God."