Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of a group of four breeds known as Swiss Mountain Dogs, and the only long-haired variety. As far back as 1888, these large sturdy dogs have been guarding livestock and pulling carts in villages of the Alps. During World War 1, farming and the need for stock dogs declined, but once the war was over, the Swiss focused on bringing back their native breeds. In 1904 the Swiss Kennel Club was formed, and shortly thereafter the Bernese was officially recognized as a breed. In 1936, two British breeders imported several dogs from Switzerland, and the first litter of Bernese Mountain Dogs was born in England.

Breed Standard

According to the official standard, the male Bernese should stand between 24 and 28 inches tall, and weigh between 80 and 110 pounds, with females being slightly smaller. The head is broad with a flat skull, and the body should be strong, and slighter longer than tall. The coat is tri-coloured, primarily black with rust and white markings. Most have a characteristic white cross on the chest. The Bernese has a thick double coat, best suited for the outdoors, and they are happiest in a cool or cold climate.

Health and Temperament

The Bernese Mountain dog has a happy disposition, and is easily trained; however, this should be started early, as they can become difficult to handle...

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