History: The Bernese Mountain Dog originated in Switzerland and is one of four types of Swiss Mountain dogs. They were named for the canton of Bern where they were bred as an all-purpose farm dog. Their jobs included driving cattle, pulling carts, and guarding the farms. It is thought that this breed is a cross between farm dogs from the Swiss Alps and Mastiff-type dogs. They were first brought to the United States in 1926 and have since become a popular breed as companion animals for families.
Temperament: The Bernese Mountain Dog is an affectionate and intelligent but alert dog. They love to be with their family and are typically calm and tolerant. They can be shy with strangers so making sure your Bernese Mountain Dog meets as many people as possible will help as they get older. Although they have a friendly disposition, they can be stubborn and have a lot of energy which makes them not suited for apartment living. When socialized and trained properly they tend to be friendly with everyone including children and other animals. This breed needs a strong-willed owner who is willing to deal with spurts of stubbornness from the dog. Going for daily walks and obedience training will help to make sure your Bernese Mountain Dog is a well-mannered companion.
Health/Grooming: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a beautiful double coat of long, thick fur. If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed, this breed is not for you. They shed moderately all year long but have heavier shedding during the spring and fall. Brushing 3-4 days a week is recommended to reduce the amount of hair in the house and also keeps their coats clean and tangle-free. The Bernese Mountain Dog may be more prone to issues such as cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and PRA. Making sure your puppy’s breeder provides test results for hip and eye examinations will prove the parents have been screened for these health issues.