|Group:||Utility (Group 6)|
|Club:||Bernese Mountain Dog Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Mrs Lynette Dawson|
|Phone:||0435 674 861|
Background The Bernese Mountain Dog is a working dog that has its origins in the farm areas of Switzerland, principally the Canton of Bern where most examples of the breed were concentrated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are four breeds of Sennenhunde (mountain dog), the Appenzell, the Entlebuch,the Great Swiss Mountain Dog and the Bernese Mountain Dog, all sharing similar markings and the Bernese having a somewhat longer coat. They are a strong and sturdy farm dog that in their native country were used extensively for herding and also for draft work when carting milk to the local cheese factories or produce to the local markets. They were also watchdogs around the farm and the herds and this required a calm natured, self-confident dog, devoted to his home and his people.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The Bernese Mountain life expectancy is noted as 8 to 10 years but recent studies indicate 10 years.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, sturdy working dog with striking black, tan and white distinctive markings and the long double coat. Bitches are distinctly more feminine in appearance with a less commanding demeanour. Dogs have a distinctly more masculine appearance with their more imposing size, bulkier body, broader head and especially coat development over the chest area. They are a slow maturing breed. They are a gentle and placid dog devoted to their family. Puppies and young dogs are often quite boisterous during their adolescent stage and for this reason they are often not recommended for families with children under the age of 10 years. They should never express aggressive behaviour but are considered very good watchdogs as they usually bark to announce visitors arriving. Some Bernese may remain aloof to the attention of strangers.
Compatibility with other pets The Bernese Mountain Dog has a wonderful reputation in this regard.
Please Take Note Hip Displaysia and OCD of the elbow are problems that should be screened for by breeders to select suitable breeding stock by using accredited AVA/ANKC hip and elbow reports given after xray examination of breeding stock. Ecropian, Entropian, Elongated Soft Palette and Histiocytosis - a form of cancer that affects animals between the ages of 4 and 8 years are all conditions that responsible breeders screen for to reduce the incidence of these problems. Only purchase a puppy from a responsible breeder who will openly discuss these issues with you and share the results of all parental and puppy genetic testing. For more information please contact the breed club.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Bernese Mountain Dog and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.