Bernese Mountain Dog, a gentle giant
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful dog best known for its friendly appearance and affection towards its family. This breed is social, smart, friendly and good-natured. This makes it relatively easy to keep this dog breed, provided you have enough space and time.
The Bernese Sennen originates from Switzerland and takes its name from the canton of Bern, where it was bred. ‘Sennen’ means ‘farmers in the Alps’. He was used as a herdsman, draft animal and guard dog. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful breed. The height at the withers can be as high as 70 cm, the weight is around 40 kg, the physique is well-proportioned. The coat of this breed is thick, long, straight, and usually smooth, sometimes slightly curled. The coat color is mainly black, with a white stripe across the head and nose. It is also white on the chest, legs and tip of the tail. The legs are brown, as well as brown spots on the chest. After all, there are also brown spots above the eyes. The Bernese’s long hair requires some maintenance. For example, it should be brushed several times a week to remove dead hair and prevent the coat from matting. This is a point to consider when purchasing this variety.
The character of the Bernese Mountains is generally very friendly and good-natured. He is usually very calm, he is not really a dog for dog sports. However, it does need a lot of space and movement. He is very vigilant towards strangers, loyal and friendly to acquaintances. He only barks when it is really necessary. The Bernese Mountain Dog is ideally suited as a family dog because, normally, it gets along very well with children. Because the Bernese is so focused on people, it is not a dog to be left alone all day. It is certainly not a suitable breed to keep in a kennel. He is also used as a rescue dog because he is so powerful and dedicated. The Bernese likes to be outside. It is native to the Swiss Alps, which is why it tolerates cold temperatures better than heat. However, one must be careful with movement. As with many large dog breeds, they can develop joint problems. The Bernese is social towards other dogs, although they can sometimes be intolerant towards other males. Living with other pets is no problem.
Generally speaking, no major problems will arise in raising this breed. The Bernese Mountain is a very relaxed companion, who is practically never aggressive and listens carefully to his owner. This is because the character of this animal is very good-natured and patient, moreover, he is very focused on his owner. As with most breeds, it is important to start socialization early so that he knows how to interact with other dogs and all sorts of things in daily life. Children are almost always fine. This breed is quite independent due to the tasks it was bred for in the past. This can sometimes lead to stubborn behavior, so being consistent is important, however, as with any breed.
Due to the limited genetic variation, this breed is often plagued by hereditary defects. In addition to joint problems, this breed is also common kidney disease and cancer. It is important to let the Bernese take it easy for two hours after a meal, because of the danger of a stomach twist, to which they are sensitive. A gastric torsion is a stomach twisting and can be fatal if not taken quickly. As a result of all this, the average age of these dogs is relatively low compared to other breeds. They usually only live between seven and nine years old.