The precise origin of the Bernese Mountain dog is not known. It is believed that they started out as farm dogs in the Swiss mountains. Paintings dating back to the end of the 18th century show this type of dog. By the end of the 19th century many foreign dogs were brought into Switzerland and many of the native breeds were endangered by that. Efforts to protect native Swiss dogs were led by a professor with the name of Albert Heim and Franz Schertenleib. The Bernese Mountain dog got his name from the Berne region in Switzerland. The breed is very well known in the area of Switzerland. This powerful breed has been used to drive livestock, to perform draft work and to act as a guardian on the farm. Some of the talents of this dog includes are tracking, watch dogging, herding, guarding, search & rescue, carting, and competitive obedience. The Bernese Mountain dog is a very flexible breed.
By nature, this breed is very caring and also alert. They are normally very tolerant, sweet and calm. The Bernese Mountain dog is naturally superb with children. But because they are a large breed, they should never be left without supervision especially with children they don’t know and small children. They flourish on human company, and might develop behavioural problems if they do not get enough social interaction. Bernese is very protective, but not aggressive – unless endangered or aggravated. They may be wary of strangers and have an inclination to be timid. This breed is a loyal indoor member of the family and an eager outdoor partner.
It is important that this breed is brushed on a weekly basis in order to keep their long, thick coat in a good condition. Extra care should be taken during shedding seasons. The dog can bathed or dry shampooed when it is necessary. This breed will shed heavily on a seasonal basis.
The Bernese will benefit from early socialization and basic obedience training. You will find that these dogs are very sensitive and will not react to unkind or cruel training methods. Training of the Bernese should be done using positive techniques which include love, fairness, firmness and consistency.
The Bernese Mountain dog is a very tough type of dog, but they are prone to suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. This breed is also known to suffer from cancer, bloat and eyelid problems.
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