The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very versatile working dog from the agricultural area of Switzerland. They were developed to herd cattle, pull carts, and to be watchdogs and loyal companions. They are one of four types of Swiss Mountain Dogs, and the only one with long hair.
An ancient breed, the Molosser, is known as one of the most versatile, well-travelled, and influential in the development of a variety of Mastiff-type dogs, including Berners.
It is thought that the four Swiss Sennenhund breeds (Appenzeller Sennenhund, Entlebucher Sennenhund, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and Bernese Sennenhund) developed as crosses between farm dogs from the Swiss Alps and the Molosser or Mastiff-type dogs that the Romans brought with them when they invaded the Alps in the first century BC.
It is likely that the Bernese has worked on Swiss farms for over 2,000 years, quietly tucked away on small farms in the Alps, pulling carts, guiding cattle, standing guard, and providing owners with loyal companionship.
The Bernese is an affectionate, intelligent, and alert dog. They are also gentle, calm and tolerant. They enjoy being with the family and thrive when involved in family activities. Their large size is one of their most striking features, and of course early training is essential to teach them how to behave properly in the home and with people. They are slow to mature and reach their adult size long before they are mentally mature.
The Bernese is protective of the family, but is not usually aggressive. They can be aloof with strangers and are generally a little shy, so it is important that the Bernese puppy is exposed to a wide variety of people, animals and situations.
Degenerative myelopathy (impairment of spinal cord)
Elbow dysplasia (disorder of the elbow)
Hip dysplasia (developmental hip disorder)
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