Ever wonder what it's like living with Bernese Mountian Dogs?
The Bernese Mountain Dog, affectionately called Berner, is a large dog breed. Even though they are quite large, they have the sweetest, easygoing personalities, which draws potential owners in. Many Berner dog parents have more than one of these sweet lovable pets in their lives. They also make excellent family dogs, which is a popular option for many dog owners.
Bernese Mountain Dog Breed
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Traditionally, Bernese Mountain dogs or Berner Sennenhund were working dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, they came from the canton of Bern in Switzerland, where they worked as Alpine farm dogs. These large breed pups are incredibly intelligent and are built for the cold weather. They also were smart enough to be able to multi-task on their Swiss farms. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America states that they were not used as a herding dog on their farms, though. Instead, they were there as a watchdog to ensure that the livestock was safe from any predators or those who did not belong.
They have thick, long fur that comes in a signature tri-color of jet black, clear white, and rust. Their thick coat keeps them warm in cooler climates. The males are strong and muscular looking, while the females tend to be a little softer with feminine features.
The breed does have some health conditions to watch out for. According to the AKC, the National Breed Club recommends that Berner owners should look out for dog health issues like:
- Heart Disease
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- gastric torsion
- hip dysplasia
- ?mast cell tumors
Another health problem to look out for is Von Willebrand's disease which can cause bleeding in your dog that can lead to a short lifespan. The Berner is also susceptible to many different types of cancer. Breeders will often track the bloodlines for their purebred dogs to avoid many of these diseases, but there is only so much they can do, and no one can ensure that a dog will stay healthy forever. Generally, Bernese Mountain dogs have an average lifespan of about 6-8 years of age, which is the typical life expectancy for large dog breeds.
Living With A Bernese Mountain Dog
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These members of the Swiss mountain dog family have become quite popular pets. Since Berners are larger, they make for natural guard dogs and do not care for strangers. Their gentle disposition makes them the perfect family companion, though they are known to latch on to one family member and favor them over the rest. Berners love their people and will follow them from room to room. They also love being in your lap snuggling despite their large size.
They tend to be mellow dogs as they age with a lower energy level. However, Bernese Mountain dog puppies tend to be high-energy. Since they will grow into large dogs, training and socialization should begin right away.
Early socialization with kids and other pets will lead to great results, and they tend to be incredibly obedient. However, on the flip side, they do tend to drool a lot, especially if they have a health problem pop up. Since they have so much fur, they shed like crazy. They need regular grooming, so their long hair does not matt and snarl. They are not a good option for warm climate homes due to their thick fur and origin. They can easily overheat in the late spring and summer. But they absolutely love the snow. So if you are looking for a furry snow buddy, this may be the pup for you.
Do you enjoy living with a Bernese Mountain Dog? Let us know on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.
READ MORE: The 411 on Bernese Mountain Dogs
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