Also known as the Berner Sennenhund, Swiss Mountain Dog, and simply the Berner, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a gentle and intelligent breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Bernese Mountain Dog can be traced back to 18th century Switzerland. Enthusiasts believe the breed to be among the oldest of all Swiss breeds, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Bernese Mountain Dog has been most commonly used for herding and driving cattle and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work while providing companionship.
The Bernese Mountain Dog was first introduced to the United States in 1926. The breed gained full recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1937, and was categorized into the Working Group.
Today, while the Bernese Mountain Dog has attained an underground popularity as both a working and companion dog, the breed remains somewhat rare outside of Europe and North America.
Best known for its friendly, gentle, and outgoing nature, the Bernese Mountain Dog loves being around people and thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. This breed is highly intelligent, obedient by nature, and generally easy to train. These dogs are alert and protective of their owners and property, yet very rarely aggressive. As a pet, the Bernese Mountain Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This large breed is active and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially when young.
Due to its need for human attention and relationships, the Bernese Mountain Dog generally responds well to basic training and commands. This breed is known for being rather bright, and has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs respond best to a stern yet gentle approach, positive reinforcement, and reward-based training.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Bernese Mountain Dog. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. The Bernese Mountain Dog is highly intelligent, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, these dogs get along well with children and other pets, known for its gentle approach to small children. This breed is very alert and aware of its surroundings, making an effective watch dog and deterrent to would-be intruders. The Bernese Mountain Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Bernese Mountain Dog. These energetic and athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play, especially when young. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Bernese Mountain Dog not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Bernese Mountain Dog has a strong instinct to herd and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these large dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Bernese Mountain Dog must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
This breed’s thick and full coat requires almost constant attention such as brushing, grooming, and bathing to prevent tangling and maintain its attractive appearance.
As previously mentioned, the Bernese Mountain Dog remains rather rare outside of Europe and North America and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Bernese Mountain Dog is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation – dislocation of the knee, likeliness to develop various cancers, obesity, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Bernese Mountain Dog? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.