The Bernese Mountain Dog comes from a large-sized breed of dog. They are one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. Known for their extraordinary ability to guard farmyards against predators, driving cattle, and serving as gentle companions; the Bernese Mountain Dogs are, in fact, one of the best all-rounder dogs, we can ever have. Let’s have some interesting facts about this wonderful breed of dog:
1. What’s in a name?
Nicknamed as “Berner,” the Bernese Mountain Dogs are also called “Berner Sennenhund” and “Bernese Cattle Dog.” The name Sennenhund corresponds to “alpine pasture” in German while Bernese refers to the area of the breed’s origin, in the canton of Bern.
2. A True All-rounder
From being a general farm dog to a draft animal, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a true all-rounder. From pulling carts to guard farmyards, you can make them do anything you want.
3. Has earned its identity
The breed was officially established in 1907 by Swiss Club for Bernese Mountain Dog under the leadership of Professor Albert Heim. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937, which has classified it as a member of the Working Group.
4. A Tri-colored Dog
These large dogs have distinctive tri-colored coats- jet black with clear white chest and rust colored markings at certain parts of the body- above eyes, front of legs, and sides of the mouth.
5. An Outstanding Dog
No other breeds of Sennenhund dogs have such a long coat as the Bernese Mountain Dogs have. Their long silky coats make them distinctive among the other breeds of Sennenhund dogs.
6. King Of Cold Weather
A stubborn dog who thrives in cold weather, the Berner’s brain and brawn helped him multitask on the farms and pastures of Switzerland.
7. Gentle & Friendly Nature
Berners get emotionally attached with the entire family and are particularly gentle with children, but they often become more attached to one lucky human. However, when it comes to strangers, they maintain an aloof dignity.
8. Credit Goes To Roman Soldiers
It was the invading Roman soldiers who brought the ancestors of the Bernese Mountain Dog into Switzerland over 2000 years ago.
9. And They Become Breeding Stock
The Bernese Mountain Dogs were first time used as breeding stock in 1892 by a Swiss fancier, Franz Schertenleib.
10. A Dry-mouthed Breed
Unlike other breeds with dripping saliva, the Bernese Mountain Dogs have dry mouth.
11. Outdoor Dogs
The Bernese Mountain Dogs are outdoor dogs at heart, though well-behaved in the house, they need regular exercise and activity. The lack of an adequate amount of exercise may lead to barking and harassing in Bernese.
12. An Athlete Dog
When motivated, Bernese can run with an incredible burst of speed for their size. They also enjoy hiking with full fervor.
13. Children Friendly
Bernese are very affectionate and does well with children, they have incredible patience and allow children climbing over them.
14. Cheese Dogs
Earlier, the Swiss farmers used the Berners to transport their carts of milk and cheese, and hence, the locals used to call them as “Cheese Dogs.”
15. Growing Popularity
The Berners started getting popular in the United States by the start of the 21st century and were ranked 32nd by the American Kennel Club in 2013.
16. Most Popular In Germany
These dogs are more familiar in German-speaking countries and were ranked 11th by the German Association of Dog Breeders in 2014.
17. Fragile To Cancer
Although Cancer is the leading cause of death in most of the dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain dogs are more prone to die of cancer than any other breed.
18. A Short Life Span
Unlike other dog breeds of similar size, these dogs have a comparatively shorter life expectancy. The average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog is approximately 7 to 8 years compared to the longevities of 10–11 years of other breeds of a similar size.
19. The Longest Lived Bernese
A survey in the United Kingdom in 2004 had revealed the age of the longest-lived Bernese Mountain Dog to be of 15.2 years.
20. Enjoy Carting
One of the most familiar tasks of a Bernese Mountain Dog is carting. Their calm temperament makes them a natural cart puller. Given proper training, they enjoy giving children rides in a cart. Some regional Bernese clubs often organize carting workshops for them.
21. Handy Grooming
The Bernese Mountain Dogs do not require much grooming attention; as they require brushing only once a week and a bath about once every couple of months or so. However, they seek extra attention for their ears; as they can trap bacteria, dirt, and liquid; leading to the risk of an ear infection.