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Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog
Breed Organization
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Berner Sennen, Berner Sennenhund, 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).

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.

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.

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

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 in.

Herder (large animals), Guard Dog, Police Dog, Draft Dog (light carts), Pet.

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