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Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Summary
Playful, Intelligent, Devoted, Faithful and Loyal
These doggies originate from Switzerland and are now very popular as companions, pets and working dogs! They are also excellent around children due to their gentle and patient ways. Additionally, they are very affectionate and loving and potentially one of the most intelligent breeds on the planet, so they are very easy to train.
They make a really good choice for first time owners however, their high energy means that they suit 'hoomans' who already lead active lifestyles. Additionally, they will need daily walks and playtime.
Fun Fact: They reach maturity a lot later than other breeds, meaning they are playful throughout most of their lives!
|Kennel Club Group||Working|
|Lifespan||7 - 8 years|
|Height (at the withers)||Males 64 – 70 cm, Females 58 – 66 cm at the withers|
|Weight||Males 35 – 55 kg, Females 35 – 45 kg|
|Coat||Coats are Silky and Soft with a Natural Sheen. The Hair is Long and Slightly Wavy|
|Eye colour||Dark Brown|
|Common health issues||Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Malignant Histiocytosis or Systemic Histiocytosis (MH or SH or Histio), Osteochondrosis, Hypomyelinogenesis (Trembler), Bloat/gastric torsion|
|Other Names||BMD, Berner Sennenhund, Bernese Cattle Dog, "Berner"|
Bernese's are extremely affectionate guys who love to be around their families. Their slow maturing also means that they are fairly playful and puppylike for the first few years of their lives! Their intelligence does make them a relatively easy doggy to train although this needs to be done early so as to produce a well-rounded doggy, capable of behaving well in the house! These guys are also fierce protectors of their families and although not aggressive, are weary of strangers. It’s therefore vital you socialise these doggies from a young age, so that you can have guests around without your doggy acting in an un-friendly manner to them!
These doggies have ancient ancestors, including the Molosser, who is thought to have been the major influence on Mastiff-type doggies and the Berner! It’s thought they were developed by crossing fam dogs with the Molossers and that the Romans then bought them with them when they decided to invade the Alps in the first century B.C. it’s most likely that these doggies went onto working on Swiss farms in the Alps assisting in pulling carts, guarding properties and livestock, as well as providing companionship for their ‘hooman’ families. However, by 1888, it’s thought that only 36% of the country were working in agriculture and therefore there was a lessened need for the Berners. It wasn’t until 1899 that the country became interested in protecting the breed and eventually a dog club was founded for them. After WW1, Bernese's started to be exported around the world, including the UK and in 1968, after a near extinction due to WW2, the breed has increased in popularity!