The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large-sized dog, originally from the Swiss Alps. They accompanied alpine herders and dairymen and their name comes from the area of the breed’s origin, Bern. This mountain dog was originally kept as a general farm dog. Large dogs of this breed family were also used pulling carts. The breed was officially established in 1907 and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937.
Bernese Mountain Dogs, or "Berners," are the most fabulous breed of dog that you can imagine. They are very large and heavy, with a distinctive tri-color coat. Their black with white chest and rust and white markings make them a stunning breed. The ideal marked Berner will have the impression of a white horseshoe around the nose and a white "Swiss cross" on the chest.
These dogs are not made for isolation. They crave human companionship and will be found following you around, wanting to always be at your side. They require a great deal of space due to their size and need for exercise. Males can weigh 80-120 lbs while females are a bit smaller, ranging 70-110 lbs.
Berners are known for their strength and muscular form. While they are remarkable companion dog and very good-natured, they have a strong will and require obedience training at an early age. They love to please and, with proper training, will be a remarkable addition to any family. They develop a strong bond with their owner and make excellent guardians.
The stunning coat of a Berner does not come without a cost. Bernese Mountain Dogs shed year-round, with the heaviest during seasonal changes. Brushing regularly (once or twice each week) will help to keep the coat neat and reduce the amount of fur on the floor and furniture. They do not require bathing often, but that will depend on their activity level and environment.
These dogs originally came from the cooler environment in Switzerland and, as a result, special care must be given to these dogs who live in warm climates. In our environment, the dogs will often come into the house during the warmer days. We also provide them with homemade "icees" - juice bottles that we fill with water, freeze, and then put out for the Berners to use for a cool treat on a warm day. Allowing them to overheat in the environment can be dangerous... and even fatal... to a Berner.
Berner puppies will bring you immense amounts of joy and pleasure. They are active, curious, and love their owners. They grow at a magnificent rate during their first year of life and, as a result, you should always consult with your vet for wise counsel regarding feeding and activity. Excessive activity during the first year has the potential of cause muscular issues later in life. The same is true of their diet - overeating as a puppy can lead to significant health issues later in life.
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