Bernese Mountain Dog: Breed Information, Characteristics, Temperament, Health, Grooming, and Training


bernese mountain dog

Introduction

A dog standing on grass near a forest

The Bernese mountain dog is a large, loyal breed with a thick coat of black, brown, and white fur. Originally from the Swiss Alps, these dogs were bred to be working dogs, and Bernese mountain dogs excel at herding, carting, and other forms of farm work. Bernese mountain dogs are also known for being gentle and loving companions, and they make great family pets.

Breed Information

A close up of a dog

Bernese mountain dogs were originally bred in the Swiss Alps as working dogs. They were used for herding cows and pulling carts filled with milk and cheese. Bernese mountain dogs are still used for farm work in some parts of the world, but they are more commonly kept as companion animals. Bernese mountain dogs are loyal and loving companions, and they make great family pets.

Characteristics

Bernese mountain dogs are large dogs, weighing anywhere from 80 to 115 pounds. They have thick, dense coats of fur that can be black, brown, or white in color. Bernese mountain dogs have long tails that they often curl over their backs. Bernese mountain dogs have a lifespan of around 8 to 10 years.

Temperament

Bernese mountain dogs are gentle, loving, and loyal companions. They are great with children and other pets, and they make excellent family dogs. Bernese mountain dogs are also very intelligent, and they are easy to train. Bernese mountain dogs need plenty of exercises, and they love to play fetch and go for long walks.

Health

Bernese mountain dogs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Here are 10 health issues to be aware of if you’re thinking of getting a Bernese mountain dog:

Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joint. It’s a common problem in Bernese mountain dogs and can cause pain and lameness.

Elbow dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia is another condition that affects the joints. It’s also common in Bernese mountain dogs and can lead to pain and lameness.

Bloat: Bloat is a condition that can be life-threatening. Bernese mountain dogs are particularly susceptible to bloat because of their deep chests.

Cancer: Cancer is the leading cause of death in Bernese mountain dogs. Some types of cancer, such as histiocytic sarcoma and osteosarcoma, are more common in Berneses than in other breeds.

Heart disease: Heart disease is another common health problem in Bernese mountain dogs. Some heart conditions, such as pulmonary valve dysplasia and tricuspid valve dysplasia, are more common in Berneses than in other breeds.

Von Willebrand’s disease: Von Willebrand’s disease is a bleeding disorder that Bernese mountain dogs are prone to. It can cause excessive bleeding during surgery or after an injury.

Kidney disease: Kidney disease is a common health problem in Bernese mountain dogs. Some kidney conditions, such as renal dysplasia and glomerulonephritis, are more common in Berneses than in other breeds.

Allergies: Bernese mountain dogs are prone to allergies, especially food allergies. They may also be allergic to flea bites, pollen, and dust mites.

Arthritis: Arthritis is a common problem in Bernese mountain dogs, particularly as they age. It can cause pain and stiffness in the joints.

Grooming

Bernese mountain dogs have thick, dense coats of fur that require regular grooming. Bernese mountain dogs should be brushed at least once a week to prevent mats and tangles from forming in their fur. Bernese mountain dogs also need to have their nails trimmed regularly, and their teeth should be brushed often to prevent dental problems. Bernese mountain dogs shed moderately throughout the year, and they shed heavily during the spring and fall.

Training

Bernese mountain dogs are intelligent animals that are easy to train. Bernese mountain dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training methods such as praise, treats, and petting. Bernese mountain dogs should be trained using gentle, consistent commands. Bernese mountain dogs can be stubborn at times, but they will eventually learn what is expected of them. Bernese mountain dogs need to be exercised regularly, and they should have plenty of opportunities to run and play.

Bernese mountain dogs are easy to train and they excel in obedience trials and other dog sports. Bernese mountain dogs are also known for their calm demeanors and their ability to serve as therapy dogs.

Bernese mountain dogs are great family pets that are loyal and loving companions. With proper care and training, Bernese mountain dogs can be happy and healthy members of the family for many years to come.

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