11 Amazing Bernese Mountain Dogs Facts
1. Swiss Alp Origins
Originating in the Swiss Alps, Bernese Mountain Dogs, also known as Berners, have a rich history as versatile working dogs. They were originally bred to assist farmers in various tasks such as pulling carts, herding livestock and guarding property. Their strong build and resilient nature made them indispensable in the demanding mountain terrain.
2. Gentle Giants
Despite their imposing size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are renowned for their gentle and friendly disposition. They possess a natural affinity for children and are often considered excellent family dogs. This trait also makes them popular choices for therapy work, offering comfort and emotional support to those in need.
3. Distinctive Tri-Coloured Appearance
One of the most striking features of Berners is their tri-color coat. This coat consists of a jet black base, rust-colored markings on the face, legs and chest and white markings on the muzzle, blaze and tail tip. Their thick double coat serves as protection against the harsh Alpine climate, with the outer coat being slightly wavy.
4. Working Heritage
Bernese Mountain Dogs’ historical roles as working dogs have left a lasting impact on their characteristics. They have a strong work ethic and a natural inclination to assist their human companions. This heritage can be seen in their loyalty, intelligence and readiness to learn new tasks.
Bernese Mountain Dogs dogs exhibit a high level of intelligence and are quick learners. While their intelligence makes them relatively easy to train, it’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques and keep training sessions engaging to maintain their interest.
6. Health Considerations
Bernese Mountain Dogs are certainly susceptible to certain health conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat and certain cancers. Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet and appropriate exercise can contribute to their overall well-being.
7. Short Lifespan
A heartbreaking aspect of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog is their relatively short lifespan, typically ranging from 6 to 8 years. This brevity is attributed to their larger size and the prevalence of certain genetic health issues within the breed.
8. Cold Weather Champions
Thanks to their dense double coat, Berners are well-suited to colder climates. However, their coat can also present challenges in warmer weather, as they may struggle to regulate their body temperature. Ensuring access to shade, water and indoor cooling during hot periods is essential.
9. Moderate Energy Levels
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a balanced energy level, enjoying daily exercise and play but not requiring constant activity. Regular walks, moderate play sessions and mental stimulation can help keep them content and healthy.
10. Family Companionship
Their gentle nature around children makes Bernese Mountain Dogs excellent family companions. However, due to their size, supervision is crucial to prevent accidental knocks or falls that might inadvertently harm smaller children.
11. Vocal Communication
Berners are known for using their voice to communicate, whether it’s alerting their owners to potential threats or expressing their excitement. Training them to differentiate appropriate from excessive barking is important.