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Bernese Mountain Dog

Tags: working, Large-sized, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Requires firm, dedicated training, Calm temperament

My ancient ancestors go back more than 2,000 years, to the Roman colossus fighting dogs brought by the legions to what is now Switzerland. But the Berner's famous mellow personality probably came from breeding with flock-guarding dogs. Our name came from the Canton of Berne -- where we proved adept at watching the dairy cattle and hauling carts of dairy products to market. Our tri-color coat (black, tan or rust, and white) with long, straight or wavy fur and a bushy tail covers a body that can weigh 110 pounds and stands up to 27 inches at the shoulder. Once we almost disappeared, in the shadow of the Saint Bernard. But now we're probably the most popular of the Swiss mountain dogs that share companionship with farmers and their families. The Bernese Mountain Dog was recognized by the AKC in 1937 and placed in the club's Working Group.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Aloof and proud
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Calm as a clam
  • Classy canine
  • Coat needs regular care
  • Courageous canine
  • Easygoing
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Steadfast and strong
  • Sweet disposition
  • Training must be firm but gentle, patient and consistent

What to expect

Please begin my training and socialization early -- so I don't become too rambunctious and throw my weight around. And please keep up that training -- firmly, gently, and patiently -- until I reach emotional maturity, which can take 18 months to two years. Don't be surprised if everyone in obedience class wants to hug me. We Berners are just so lovable.

Watch for

Possibility of hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis, vision disorders, bloat or gastric torsion, neurological disorders, and cancer.

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