Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain dog breed stands from 23 to 28 inches in height depending on the sex, with the female being the smaller. This is an agile dog despite the fact it is a large and sturdy breed. It is slightly longer than its height. The head is flat on the top. The muzzle is well-built and straight. The teeth meet in a good scissor bite. The eyes are brown with the fur being rust over each eye. The ears are of medium size, high setting and rounded at the tips of the ear, they are triangular in shape. The straight legs are strong and will have fawn on all four legs. Their feet are round with arched toes. Their coat is fairly long, slightly wavy or straight and should be thick. This is a weather- resistant coat. The coat is tricolour with good symmetrical markings of black, rust, and white. They will have a white blaze on the chest, and white on their heads, tip of the tail and toes. Rust is on their face reaching the corners of the mouth and under the tail.
History: This dog comes from Switzerland, in the Swiss mountains. Art work dating back to the 18th century shows this dog. They are working dogs and were used to pull carts to market. In addition, they were used to drive cattle, be a companion to the farmer and a watch dog. This breed's gifts are also, tracking, herding, search and rescue and competitive obedience.
Temperament: This is a dog that loves children. With good intelligent brains, they are easy to train. Here you have a friend that is full of confidence and a great natured dog. It is slow to mature, staying puppy like for longer than other breeds. Socialize this breed as well as possible, then this dog will be better with anything new in the future. Firm but kind training will work best. Natural leadership is a must, as a dog is a dog, that way your dog will be much happier. Due to their slow maturing some owners have not worked with this breed to give clear rules and leadership, this can give many problems later, and so it is best to be the Alpha at all times.
Health issues: Sadly, this dog suffers from cancer and their life expectancy has dropped from 10 to 12 years down to 6to 8 years. This is being researched, but for now, is a fact that needs consideration by the buyer. This breed can suffer from bloat, eyelid problems, hip and elbow dysplasia and weight gain. Portion sizes need to be controlled.
Grooming: For its long coat, daily grooming is required, taking extra care when the dog is shedding. This is a heavy shedder. Bathing is fine but only when needed.
Living conditions: This dog is not recommended for an apartment. They need a large garden and due to the full and thick coat would rather live in cooler climates. This is a large dog that needs regular long daily walks.