Bernese Mountain Dog (Working Group)
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a sensitive, calm, loyal canine that makes the perfect family companion. Extremely devoted to its owners, this breed is easy to train, trustworthy around small children, and is one of the friendliest dogs you will see in action when socializing with new people and new pets.
A Brief History Of The Bernese Mountain Dog
The exact origin of the Bernese Mountain Dog is unknown but we do know that the breed came from an area in Switzerland, dating back to the Ancient times. They had distinguished themselves from the other Swiss mountain dogs (the Sennehunde) by having a medium-length coat.
Some dog experts believe that the breed is a mix between Roman mastiffs and native flock-guarding dogs, a cross that was made possible when Rome invaded Switzerland. The result was a dog that could handle the extreme cold temperatures of the Alpines while serving various functions: a drover, flock guard, draft dog, farm dog, and a herder.
As amazingly useful the dogs had turned out, there was no attempt to perpetuate the breed for further perfection. By the late 1800s there were very little numbers of Bernese Mountain Dogs left – facing extinction. It wasn’t until a man named Albert Heim, a professor and research expert, discovered the breed in the lower Alps.
Mr. Heim took great pride in promoting the Bernese Mountain Dog all throughout Switzerland. He then promoted the dog throughout Europe as well. At one point, the dog was referred to as “Durrbachler” but was changed to its current name, the Bernese Mountain Dog. In 1926 the breed made its way to the United States and gain AKC recognition in the year 1937.
Upkeep Requirements For The Bernese Mountain Dog
This breed loves nothing more than to spend most of its time outdoors, particularly in cold weather. Exercise requirements can be met with a few daily walks on the leash or a good hike through the hills. Bernese Mountain Dogs seem to enjoy pulling sleds or other objects.
Although it can live outdoors during cold temperatures it is better to have your Bernese Mountain Dog inside at night with the rest of the family. They connect well with people and must have human interaction to remain happy. Grooming requirements consist of two to three weekly brushings, especially when shedding.
The average life span of a healthy Bernese Mountain Dog is between six to nine years. Major health conditions that run common in the breed are elbow dysplasia, CHD, gastric torsion, and mast cell tumors. Minor concerns include cataracts, SAS, and ectropion. There are no tests that veterinarians suggest needed to trace possible hereditary health conditions.