Last Updated on August 25, 2022 by Pets Feed
Bernese Mountain Dogs are large, friendly and intelligent dogs. They can be an ideal companion for a person of any age. They belong to the shepherd breeds that have retained their working qualities. This huge dog has a peaceful, calm character. His remarkable appearance immediately catches the eye: the features include a characteristic color with a thick long coat and a good-natured smile on his face. Before you start a Bernese Mountain Dog, it is recommended to study the description of the breed, especially the content. It is useful to get acquainted with the reviews of the owners, from which you can learn about the pros and cons of these dogs.
10 Bernese Mountain Dogs Facts
The Bernese Mountain Dog is an adorable breed native to the Swiss Alps with their idyllic pastures and mountains. And here are 10 facts about this breed that every dog lover should know.
1. They are from Switzerland
The breed is extremely old and at the same time working – both of these facts make it difficult to establish the exact origin of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Some experts say that these dogs originally came from the Roman Empire, others say that they already lived in the Alps when the Romans came there. Due to the fact that the breed is working, it practically did not get into paintings and other objects of art – there, more glamorous hunting dogs posed for artists of antiquity. In any case, it is generally accepted that the roots of the breed are located in Switzerland.
2. The name of the breed indicates the place of birth
The fact that the breed is called the Bernese Mountain Dog directly indicates the fact that it comes from the canton of Bern in the west-central part of Switzerland – there is no more “Swiss” place in the country. By the way, one of the few officially bilingual cantons in Switzerland.
3. This is a variation of the Swiss Mountain Dog
Swiss Mountain Dogs are well-knit, very calm tricolor dogs. In addition to the Bernese Mountain Dogs, there are also the Appenzeller, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Greater Swiss Shepherd Dog. They are all very similar, but the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only one of all that boasts a characteristic “flowing” long fur.
4. The breed was bred as a working breed
Initially, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a shepherd and watchdog, created to work in difficult mountain conditions. But their calm and friendly disposition makes them also ideal companions.
5 They were used as couriers
In the middle of the 19th century, cheese production in Switzerland reached an industrial scale and there was a need for constant and frequent deliveries of milk and other products from remote farms. The work of couriers was entrusted to the Bernese Mountain – dogs were harnessed to carts and they cheerfully delivered milk from the farm to production. Sometimes small children were assigned to the dogs, but the Bernese Mountain Dogs could well work independently. Later, they began to be used in this capacity in other European countries and even Canada.
6. They are exceptionally strong
The Bernese Mountain Dog is capable of carrying loads of up to 450 kilograms – ten times its own weight. This is one of the highest rates among all dogs.
7. Love for St. Bernards almost killed the breed
At the end of the 19th century, St. Bernard breeders began to popularize them as “real dogs from Switzerland” and the Bernese Mountain Dogs went into the shadows. A hand in this was made by figures from the main club of breeders in Switzerland, who decided that the Swiss Mountain Dogs – everything, including the Bernese – are too plebeian dogs. So, at some point they remained only on farms and with people who sincerely loved the breed. The revival of the dog breed is due to Franz Schertenleib, who used his connections and his capital to popularize the Swiss Mountain Dogs in the country and abroad.
8. Cart riding can be a sport
Today, Bernese Mountain Dogs are no longer used as draft animals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t pull carts! Appropriate competitions of “running dogs” are organized annually in different countries, although, of course, no one takes them seriously. It is rather a tradition and a holiday.
9. They are a little childish
Bernese Mountain Dogs mature later than many other breeds and are impatient. Their training requires a special approach and a fair amount of patience.
10. They have a great sense of humor
Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of those dogs that are “boiling for anything but a hunger strike.” And if they notice that some actions will make those, they love laugh – be sure that they will begin to repeat them more than once or twice. Quite consciously.
Bernese Mountain Dog breed highlights
Despite their huge size, the Bernese Mountain Dogs are unpretentious. They can live in a city apartment. The main thing is to communicate more with the pet, engage with him and not put him on a chain. Then he will respond with devotion and obedience. The breed is suitable for families with children, for inexperienced dog breeders. These dogs have several other advantages:
- Attractive appearance;
- Good health;
- High intelligence and good memory;
- Balanced, complaisant character;
- Easy to learn, try to please the owner;
- Devoted, faithful;
- Good-natured, completely devoid of aggression;
- Live quietly next to other pets;
- Not conflict, not prone to dominance;
- Not slobbery, cleanliness;
- Love children, patient with them, can be a nanny.
Representatives of this breed require a long walk and a lot of attention. Therefore, lazy people, couch potatoes or those who are rarely at home should not start a Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs need the constant presence of the owner, they do not tolerate loneliness, and the change of owner is a tragedy for them. They have a few more disadvantages that can cause problems for some people:
- Due to its large size, it is difficult to keep a dog in a small apartment – it will touch furniture, wag its tail, drop objects;
- Thick wool requires regular care and can emit a specific smell;
- These dogs mature slowly;
- Can be stubborn and lazy;
- Have a short lifespan.
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