Bernese Mountain Dog pros and cons
Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog comes with advantages and disadvantages. Pros of owning a Bernese Mountain dog include the versatility of the breed. Bernese dogs were originally developed as farm dogs that helped farmers with hauling heavy carts, herding, guarding livestock and being a good family dog. Bernese Mountain Dogs can become a patient and gentle family companion pet and with proper training this dog can make any owner proud. Bernese Mountain dogs are very sociable and enjoy spending as much time as possible with the owners. This breed is generally not aggressive, which is another con.
Disadvantages of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog include the dog's short average life span. There are some health problems that this breed is susceptible to, which contribute to the dog's short life expectancy. Other cons of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog is that this breed requires a seasoned dog owner who understands the nature of this working dog. Bernese Mountain Dogs are essentially working dogs that need a job to do to be happy. These dogs can find their purpose helping on the farm, for example. In the right hands a Bernese Mountain Dog can flourish. The owner of the breed needs to put time and energy into training the dog. Bernese Mountain Dogs are affectionate with their owners and need to receive as much affection as they are ready to give. This breed is not recommended for apartment living as the dog is happiest when given a chance to make the most of their working intelligence. Bernese Mountain Dogs are very sociable and need to be around their owners full time.
Bernese Mountain Dog pros and cons video
Bernese Mountain Dog size
Bernese Mountain Dog weight
Bernese Mountain Dog male weight: 39–50 kg (85–110 lb)
Bernese Mountain Dog female weight: 36–48 kg (79–105 lb)
Bernese Mountain Dog size
Bernese Mountain Dog male height: 64–70 cm (25–27 in)
Bernese Mountain Dog female height: 58–66 cm (22–25 in)
Bernese Mountain Dog coat: long, silky coat
Bernese Mountain Dog colors: tricolor coat that includes black rust and white; black tan and white
How many puppies do Bernese Mountain Dogs have on average?
Bernese Mountain Dog litter size: 5–10 puppies
Bernese Mountain dog lifespan
Bernese Mountain dogs are among the shortest living dog breeds
Bernese Mountain Dog life span: 6–8 years
How much does a Bernese Mountain Dog cost?
Bernese Mountain Dog price starts at $700 and up, depending on many factors
Bernese Mountain Dog temperament
Bernese Mountain Dog is a great choice for a farm where dog with a hardworking temperament is needed. The working group Bernese Mountain dogs were bred for a purpose and you can see the dog really come to life when he's pursuing a purpose. Bernese Mountain dogs are known to pull a cart up to a 1000 pounds, which is ten times the dog's body weight. Be careful not to give the dog too heavy loads as this may cause injuries to the dog especially when the wrong equipment is used. Pulling carts was not the only job allocated to Bernese Mountain Dogs. Herding cattle and serving as companion dogs to farmers in Switzerland were also among the dog's responsibilities. Other names for the breed include Berner Sennenhund and Bernese Cattle Dog.
The Bernese Mountain dogs have a friendly personality that makes the breed an excellent companion dog. Bernese Mountain dogs temperaments are very people oriented and they love to be a part of the family. Are Bernese Mountain dogs good with kids? These gentle giants get along with people of all ages, including kids. Early socialization is important to ensure that the puppy will grow into a confident and stable dog. If you are planning to have kids after you get a Bernese Mountain dog, be sure to provide the dog with plenty of interactions with kids, including young kids from early puppyhood. The Bernese Mountain dogs are known to be gentle with kids but as with any dog breed you should always supervise your children around the large dog. Teach your kids how to properly interact with a dog. Bernese are fine with other pets in the household provided that the dog was properly socialized to these pets. The friendly Bernese Mountain dog breed was not created for guarding purposes. Owners of the breed report that Bernese Mountain Dogs bark at strangers approaching their territory.
The big Bernese Mountain Dog is happiest on a large piece of land with a job to do. This is not a breed that can be content in a small apartment. The dog needs daily walks and exercise to stay in best physical and mental shape. Bernese Mountain dogs have a luxurious coat that needs daily grooming to keep it in best shape. Bernese Mountain Dogs shed a lot and if you keep the dog in an apartment, be prepared for a lot of vacuuming, which can be a disadvantage. The dog's coat needs to be brushed regularly to help manage shedding.
Bernese Mountain Dog shedding
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs shed? Yes, Bernese Mountain dogs shed a lot, especially during the shedding periods that occur twice a year. To keep the coat beautiful and tangle-free, brush the dog every day. Trim the hair around the dog's eyes to avoid any eye irritation or infection.
Best brushes for Bernese Mountain Dog to help manage shedding:
A Furminator deshedding tool is one of the most effective deshedding tools for dogs.
Furminator deshedding tool used on Bernese Mountain Dog's coat - video
When you are using the Furminator tool on your Bernese Mountain dog, the clean up is much easier if you are brushing the dog outdoors.
Rake comb is used to remove loose undercoat before it tangles with the dog's outer coat.
Metal pin brush
Pin brush removes dead and loose hair from the dog's outer coat.
Grooming a Bernese Mountain Dog
The beautiful, long, tri-color coat helps the Bernese Mountain Dog to withstand cold temperatures. Double coat helps to keep the dog warm during the cold weather, but the disadvantage is that Bernese Mountain Dogs shed a lot and can be sensitive to very hot weather. During hot summer days keep the dog protected from the direct sun during the hottest part of the day and provide plenty of drinking water.
Trim the dog's nails as necessary. A good test to check if it's time to trim the dog's nails would be to let the dog walk on a hardwood floor and if you can hear the clicking sound made by the dog's nails it's time to trim them.
Keep the dog's ears dry and clean. Wipe the ears with a clean, soft towel after swimming or bathing to help prevent ear infections.
Healthy teeth help to keep the main body organs healthy as well. Brush your Berner's teeth regularly and only use a toothpaste made for dogs as it is safe for dogs to swallow. Human toothpaste should never be used for dogs as it may cause irritation and other health issues. Train your dog to be comfortable with having his teeth brushed from a young age.
Training Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is easy to train but you will need to be patient and consistent. Start socializing your Bernese Mountain Dog early on. Obedience training is highly recommended as the owner needs to be able to control the big and powerful dog. Be aware that this breed does not respond well to harsh training methods - the Bernese Mountain Dog is sensitive and may shut down when corrected in a harsh way. Instead, use positive reinforcement.
Motivators such as food, play and praise can be used during training - find the one that works best for your Bernese Mountain Dog. There are so many different tricks that you can teach your dog. Providing your dog with various intellectual challenges will help you to build a stronger bond with your pet and at the same time your Bernese is getting a great mental stimulation. This naturally intelligent breed is a pleasure to train as long as you have patience.
Crate training is important if you are planning to travel with your Bernese Mountain Dog. Crates are useful during trips and by keeping the dog in a familiar environment there is less stress associated with the travel for the Bernese Mountain Dog. Dogs are den living animals and once crate trained, many dogs choose to use their crates as their sleeping place. Never use the crate as a way to punish a dog as the dog will be reluctant to use the crate in the future. Never leave the dog crated for more than a couple of hours at a time. Arrange for someone to walk your dog and provide food and water for the dog when you are not around for more than a couple of hours. What is the right crate size for your dog? If you are getting a crate for a Bernese Mountain dog puppy, get a crate that is big enough to accommodate a full grown dog, and be sure to check if the crate comes with a crate separator to adjust the size of the crate for the puppy. As the puppy grows and requires more space, adjust the space with the crate separator to accommodate the dog during his growing stages. A crate should be large enough for the dog to stand full height and to turn around freely. The dog should also be able to stretch out without being constricted by the crate's size. A crate that is too big is not recommended as the dog will be inclined to use the unused space in the crate as his toilet.
If you are using an outdoor kennel for the dog, having a weather proof kennel is a good option.
It is important to know the three rules of the Bernese Mountain Dog housebreaking.
Keep training sessions for your Bernese Mountain dog short, fun and be sure to end on a positive note. Take a look at this video where a Bernese Mountain Dog is so eager to show all the tricks that he knows.
Bernese Mountain Dog health issues
Bernese Mountain Dog is a large and heavy breed (weighting around 110 pounds) and is predisposed to diseases such as bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia and joint disease. Joint disease can develop when Bernese puppies are allowed to grow too quickly and as a result the cartilage in their joints may not properly attach to the bone. The recommended growth rate is no more than four pounds per week for Bernese Mountain puppies. Do not use calcium supplements and do not overfeed your Bernese Mountain dog puppy to help avoid joint disease. Avoid over exercising your puppy as strenious jumps and other high impact activities may cause issues with the developing joints. While the puppy is still young, he can be exercised by walking, swimming and other low impact exercises that do not put too much pressure on his growing body. For Bernese Mountain Dogs that are affected by arthritis or any joint disease, get a comfortable dog bed that properly supports his body weight. Orthopedic dog beds with removable covers provide the dog with a comfortable sleeping area and are easy to keep clean and fresh.
Dogs that are at risk for Bloat, such as the Bernese Mountain dog, should eat twice a day. When a dog eats only once a day, the dog will eat much faster as he is very hungry. A hungry dog will gulp his food faster and in the process of eating, the dog will also swallow air along with the food that he gulps. Accumulation of air in the dog's stomach may lead to bloat. Slow feeder bowls for dogs are designed to slow down the fast eating dog, thus preventing the dog from gulping too much air along with his food. For a large breed, such as the Bernese Mountain dog, use slow feeder bowls and feed the dog twice a day to minimize the chance of the dog developing bloat.
The life span of Bernese Mountain Dog is sadly very short compared to many other breeds. When properly cared for, the Bernese Mountain Dog can live up to 8 years and sometimes even longer. One of the big disadvantages to owning a Bernese dog is that Bernese Mountain dogs are among the shortest lived dog breeds. The oldest Bernese Mountain Dog lived to be 15 years old. Cancer unfortunately poses a risk for Bernese Mountain dog breed.
Bernese Mountain Dog food recommendations
Bernese Mountain Dog puppies have a higher risk of joint disease and it is best to feed your puppy a large-breed puppy diet rather than a regular puppy diet. Be sure to not overfeed Bernese Mountain Dog puppy to help the dog develop healthy joints. Extra weight during puppyhood may negatively affect the dog's joints later in life.
When you are getting a Bernese Mountain dog puppy, find out all you can about the health history of the puppy and it's parents/grandparents. Many Bernese Mountain dogs unfortunately suffer from a range of genetically predisposed health conditions and some of these may be debilitating. You can get a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy from a reputable breeder or from a dog shelter or rescue center. Selecting a puppy from a large litter may seem like a challenge to a novice dog owner because all of the puppies look so adorable that it is difficult to pick one. Be sure to learn more about choosing a puppy from a litter, speak to other Bernese Mountain Dog owners and read as much as you can about the breed before you get a puppy.
Bernese Mountain Dog origin
The Bernese Mountain dogs originated in the central region of Switzerland. Some believe that the breed may be up to two thousand years old. It is believed that the Mastiffs that the Romans carried with them during their military campaign were introduced to the herding dogs in the Alps of Switzerland and the Bernese Mountain Dog breed was then created. The resulting breed was invaluable in the region as drafting dog, which is another name for pulling carts. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution new transportation methods began to replace drafting dogs. Due to lack of concentrated breeding, the Bernese were close to disappearing. In the late 19th century the breed was reestablished by Franz Schertenleib. At that time there were only a handful of Bernese Mountain dogs left and Franz Schertenleib had to work with the available dogs. Unfortunately, due to a small gene pool and inbreeding, the breed is susceptible to a number of genetic diseases. The Bernese Mountain Dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937.