The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed of dog, which size varies from 65 to 120 pounds. This dog originated in Switzerland. The AKC registered this dog as a working breed, in 1937. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a wonderful temperament. This makes the Bernese (one of the many nicknames for this dog) a great family companion.The Bernese is very slow to mature physically and can take up to three years to reach full growth. Daily exercise is required to keep the adult dog fit and, like most large breeds, care must be taken to not over-exercise the young dog during the growing phase. In appearance, the Bernese Mountain Dog is very large, amazingly sturdy, strong, agile and extremely well-balanced. The males seem distinctly masculine while the females are distinctly feminine. The tri-colored, heavy, double coat has unique markings — The ground color is a dark black with russet markings on the cheeks, a spot over each eye, a patch above the legs, and on all four legs between the black of the upper leg and the white of the feet. White markings are found on the chest to under the chin as well as a blaze extending into the muzzle band, white feet and a white tip of the tail. The coat is weather resistant.
The Bernese Mountain Dog, called in German the Berner Sennenhund, is a large breed of dog, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. The name Sennenhund is derived from the German "Senne" (alpine pasture) and "hund" (dog), as they accompanied the alpine herders and dairymen called Senn. Berner (or Bernese in English) refers to the area of the breed's origin, in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. This mountain dog was originally kept as a general farm dog. Large Sennenhunds in the past were also used as draft animals, pulling carts. The breed was officially established in 1907. In 1937, the American Kennel Club recognised it as a member of the Working group.
Famous Bernese Mountain DogsEdit
- Sasha was a Bernese Mountain Dog that followed a goat off of a cliff and managed to survive the fall as well as three days on an ice shelf waiting for rescue.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog character named Shep was voiced by Carl Reiner in the 2003 movie Good Boy!
- The characters Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) in the 2012 TV series The New Normal own a Bernese Mountain Dog named "Smelly".
- Hola, the titular dog in Martin Kihn's memoir Bad Dog: A Love Story, is a Bernese Mountain Dog.
- Ohly was a Bernese Mountain Dog who achieved notoriety in Canada after disappearing and then being found on Mount Seymour in a dangerous area known as "Suicide Gulley." Members of North Shore Rescue, a local mountain rescue team, tracked, located and rescued Ohly.
- Quincey von Wiesmadern, has appeared in various videos with Hansi Hinterseer, an Austrian singer, entertainer and former member of the Austrian Ski Team.
- Hannah is the real-life inspiration for the protagonist of children's books such as A Beach Day for Hannah and A Snow Day for Hannah by Linda Petrie Bunch.
- Argus and Fiona were two Bernese mountain dogs that were shot and killed when they entered a neighbor's yard. The neighbor who shot the dogs admits that he was overreacting. Gabriel Pilotti, the shooter, said "I shoot first and ask questions later." A Pennsylvania state law states that humans are free to kill animals attacking domestic animals. However, since no attack was in progress at the time of the shooting, Pilotti was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and one count of recklessly endangering another person, the latter a result of a house with residents inside in the line of fire.
Various celebrities have owned Berners.
Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs in general, but Bernese Mountain Dogs have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than other breeds; in both U.S./Canada and UK surveys, nearly half of Bernese Mountain Dogs die of cancer, compared to about 27% of all dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs are killed by a multitude of different types of cancer, including malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumor, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and osteosarcoma. Dylan, a four-year-old Bernese with lymphoma, was one of the first dogs to receive chemotherapy at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and it was successful.
Bernese Mountain Dogs also have an unusually high mortality due to musculoskeletal causes. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, and cruciate ligament rupture were reported as the cause of death in 6% of Bernese Mountain Dogs in the UK study; for comparison, mortality due to musculoskeletal ailments was reported to be less than 2% for purebred dogs in general.
Several inherited medical issues that a Bernese Mountain Dog may face are malignant histiocytosis, hypomyelinogenesis, progressive retinal atrophy, and possibly cataracts and hypoadrenocorticism. The Bernese Mountain Dog is also prone to histiocytic sarcoma, a cancer of the muscle tissue that is very aggressive. The Bernese Mountain Dog is prone to several hereditary eye diseases that are common among larger dogs.
Paw PointThe Bernese Mountain Dog has many health issues so they don't live very long.
Owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs are nearly three times as likely as owners of other breeds to report musculoskeletal problems in their dogs. The most commonly reported musculoskeletal issues are cruciate ligament rupture, arthritis (especially in shoulders and elbows),hip dysplasia, and osteochondritis. The age at onset for musculoskeletal problems is also unusually low. For example, in the U.S./Canada study, 11% of living dogs had arthritis at an average age of 4.3 years. Most other common, non-musculoskeletal morbidity issues strike Berners at rates similar to other breeds.
In short, prospective Bernese Mountain Dog owners should be prepared to cope with a large dog that may have mobility problems at a young age. Options to help mobility-impaired dogs may include ramps for car or house access, lifting harnesses and slings, and dog wheelchairs (ex: Walkin` Wheels). Comfortable bedding may help alleviate joint pain.
Compared to breeds of similar size as well as purebred dogs in general, the Bernese is one of the short-lived dog breeds. The average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog in the United States used to be 10–12 years, but it has decreased significantly to 6–8 years, with the median being 7.2 years. Bernese Mountain Dogs also have a median longevity of around seven years in Denmark and Canada, while in the United Kingdom the median is eight. Most other breeds of a similar size have median longevities of 10–11 years. In a 2004 UK survey, the longest-lived of 394 deceased Bernese Mountain Dogs died at the age of 15.2 years.
The breed standard for the Bernese Mountain Dog states that dogs should not be "aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy," but rather should be "good-natured", "self-assured", "placid towards strangers", and "docile". Temperament of individual dogs may vary, and not all examples of the breed have been carefully bred to follow the Standard. All large breed dogs should be well socialized when they are puppies, and given regular training and activities throughout their lives.
Bernese are outdoor dogs at heart, though well-behaved in the house; they need activity and exercise, but do not have a great deal of endurance. They can move with amazing bursts of speed for their size when motivated. If they are sound (no problems with their hips, elbows, or other joints) they enjoy hiking and generally stick close to their people. Not being given the adequate amount of exercise may lead to barking and harassing in the Bernese.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are a breed that generally does well with children, as they are extremely affectionate. They are patient dogs that take well to children climbing over them.Though they have great energy, a Bernese will also be happy with a calm evening.
Bernese work well with other pets and around strangers.
The Bernese's calm temperament makes them a natural for pulling small carts or wagons, a task they originally performed in Switzerland. With proper training they enjoy giving children rides in a cart or participating in a parade, such as the Conway, New Hampshire holiday parade. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America offers drafting trials open to all breeds; dogs can earn eight different titles — four as individual dogs (Novice Draft Dog, Advanced Novice Draft Dog, Draft Dog, and Master Draft Dog) and four brace titles, in which two dogs work one cart together. Regional Bernese clubs often offer carting workshops.
On July 1, 2010, the Bernese Mountain Dog became eligible to compete in AKC Herding Events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Berners exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.
Bernese Mountain Dogs shed year-round, and the heaviest shedding is during seasonal changes. Usually the Bernese will only require a brushing once a week, with more in spring and fall, to keep its coat neat and reduce the amount of fur on the floor and furniture.(Will require a large trash can) The Bernese will only require a bath about once every couple of months or so, depending on how high its activity level is and how often it spends its time in the dirt.
Special attention should be paid to the ears of the Bernese Mountain Dog, as they can trap bacteria, dirt, and liquid. The risk of an ear infection drops with weekly ear cleanings using a veterinarian-recommended cleanser.