Breed Organization Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America Website: http://www.bmdca.org Native Country Switzerland Other Names Bernese Mountain Dog, Berner Sennen, Berner Life Expectancy Approximately 6-8 Years Litter Size Average 8-12 Puppies Breed Group AKC Working
Breed Appearance The Bernese mountain dog is a sturdy, large,
and heavyset dog. They are usually black in color with some white or
rust colored streaking by the paws and eyes. They have a white
undercoat made of fine long hair and their top coat is long and
straight or in some cases, curly. It is also very thick and does not
do well in warm climates.
Breed Description Head: Powerful. Slightly domed skull.
Well-defined stop. Ears: Set on high, triangular, drop when at rest. Eyes: Almond shape. Dark brown color. Body: Thickset. Broad chest is well let down. Belly not tucked
up. Straight, solid back. Slightly rounded croup. Tail: Bushy, carried low at rest. Hair: Long,
straight or slightly wavy. Coat: Tri-color. Black background with tan (rich rust) markings
on the checks, above the eyes, and on the legs and chest. White
markings on the head (flare), on the neck extending down the
forechest, on the feet, and tip of the tail. Size: Dog: 64 to 70 cm (25-27,5 in).Bitch: 58 to 66 cm (23-26
in). Weight: 40 to 50 kg (88-110,5 lb).
History This ancient breed was developed near Bern,
primarily in Duerrbach and Burgdorf. The Bernese Mountain Dog is
descended from the Roman molussus fighting dog brought with the
Roman legions, and later used to guard the flock. This breed began
appearing in dog shows in 1902, and a standard was published in
1907. In 1949, Newfoundland blood was introduced. The Bernese
Mountain Dog is now the most common of the Swiss mountain dogs. In
1990, the Bernese Mountain Dog was crossed with the Labrador,
creating the still experimental Boulab.
Behavior The Bernese mountain dog is loyal,
self-confident, and very social always wanting to meet new people
and play. They are never aggressive or shy and like to be the center
of attention, always wanting to please their companions. They are
intelligent, but tend to mature slowly, remaining a puppy at heart
for years past the puppy stage in other dogs. They do well with
children and other pets and are sweet fun-loving animals.
Health The average lifespan of the
Bernese has decreased in recent years from 10-12 years to 6-8 years.
The BMD Club of America did a health survey in 2000 with 1,322 dogs.
The average age of death was 7.2 years. Cancer is unfortunately a
very large part of the Berner world and many Berners die young. One
source states "I know of several that died of cancer at 3-4 years
old and one that died two days before his 2nd birthday. The BMD Club
of America is aggressively researching this cancer issue. The Bernese
Mountain Dog is also prone to bloat, cancer and eyelid problems, hip
and elbow dysplasia. Gains weight easily. Do not overfeed. Prone to
mast cell tumors
Advice The Bernese Mountain Dog does not like to be
locked up in a house. He loves wide open spaces and exercise. Weekly
brushing is sufficient. They are not well fit for apartments, as
they need a large backyard to get lots of exercise and to run around
Function Herder (large animals), Guard Dog, Police Dog,
Draft Dog (light carts), Pet.