Over the last month at the Seattle Canine Club we have had the joy of meeting a few new faces! Among those newbies, we have welcomed a six month old female Bernese Mountain Dog named Lulu, and she has found the perfect playmate in a seven month old male Bernese Mountain Dog named Brimm. So what a perfect opportunity to kick off our Breed of the Month with the Bernese Mountain Dog!
Professor Albert Heim did a study on Swiss Mountain Dogs and discovered what we know today as the Bernese Mountain Dog’s in the Durrbach area, giving them their first title, “Durrbachler.” The Bernese Mountain Dog is recognized as part of the Working Group because they were originally bread for the cold weather of Switzerland and Europe, with the function of your average farm dog. What attributes make a working dog? Why of course things like herding and flock guarding. Bernese were almost completely lost due to the lack of attempts to use them as they were intended, but eventually they came to America in 1926.
Because Bernese Mountain Dog’s did originate in colder climates they have developed a coat that will keep them warm outdoors. With their long hair, they do require a good brushing once or twice weekly, and they don’t do the best in heat, so special supervision is needed to prevent heat stroke. Please keep in mind the Bernese does have a history of being susceptible to Elbow Dysplasia and OCD, as well as things like Bloat and PRA.
Bernese do, however, make great family dog’s as they are gentle with children, loyal to their humans, and get along well with other dogs or household pets. They may need a home with those who enjoy the outdoors because they do, too! Especially cold weather outdoors! If you try to house your Bernese alone in your fenced yard, you may find him or her to be very disappointed! This doesn’t mean that an excessive amount of exercise is necessary because generally a Bernese is completely content with a good walk, hike, or pull (they LOVE pulling!). Female’s can range anywhere from 70-100 pounds, and male’s can be 90-120 pounds. Careful consideration and research about any breed should be taken seriously before making a four legged companion a new family member!