Nicknamed Bernese or Berner, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful, and handsome breed belonging to the Swiss Canton of Bern. These dogs are calm and affectionate but also frequently drool and shed. With a Bernese Mountain Dog as a pet, you’ll never be bored since they’re highly energetic.
The best part about Bernese is that they’re super loving towards their owner and family. They’re also easy to train, but you can’t keep them in an apartment because of their large size. You can easily identify a Bernese Mountain Dog from its tri-colored coat (white, black, and rust).
Let’s explore some fascinating facts about Bernese Mountain Dogs to understand this goofy, fun breed. Below are 13 of them:
The 13 Interesting Bernese Mountain Dog Facts
1. These Dogs Belong to the Early 20th Century
The Bernese Mountain Dogs were present in numbers in the town of Dürrbach, which is why they are also known as “Dürrbach dog” or “Dürrbachhund.” These dogs belong to the breed of Roman mastiffs from ancient times. That is the main reason Bernese Mountain Dogs are powerful and large, just like mastiffs.
In the early 20th century, the Bernese Mountain Dogs breed club was officially named the “Schweizerische Dürrbach-Klub.” Soon, this dog breed was recognized in 1912 due to the continuous efforts of the breeders.
2. Bernese Mountain Dogs Are From the Swiss Alps
Bernese Mountain Dogs were created from the cross between two farm dog breeds: the Mastiff-like dogs and the Swiss Alps. Romans brought these dogs to Switzerland in the early 20th century.
The canton of Bern in Switzerland inspires the name of this dog breed. In fact, there are four Swiss mountain dog breeds in Switzerland, including the Bernese Mountain Dog. The other breeds include Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Appenzeller, and Entlebucher Mountain Dog.
All four mountain dog breeds are known as Sennenhund, a German word for Alp dogs. One feature that distinguishes a Bernese Mountain Dog from the rest is long hair.
3. They Are Quite Big and Heavy
Bernese are pretty large and heavy dogs. The males stand 25 to 27.5 inches tall, while the females have a height of 23 to 26 inches. Regarding weight, male Bernese Mountain Dogs are 80 to 120 pounds, and females are 75 to 100 pounds.
Many dog owners say they can’t live with a Bernese in an apartment for two reasons. First, these dogs are huge, and second, they do not know how to stay put since they’re highly energetic.
4. These Dogs Are Versatile
The Bernese Mountain Dogs are talented and versatile when it comes to helping their owners. This multi-talented breed originally belonged to farms in Switzerland due to its robust and sturdy body. That makes them the ideal choice for mountainous terrains.
These dogs were used for herding and protecting farmers’ lands because of their high alertness and powerful build. But along with this, the Bernese Mountain dogs have a friendly nature, so they make the best companions.
5. They Were Once Delivery Dogs
Bernese Mountain Dogs were famous as “cheese dogs” in the 1850s. They used to deliver dairy products door to door by pulling carts filled with cheese and milk. Because these dogs are strong, they can pull carts weighing up to 1,000 pounds, which is about 10 times more than their weight.
Besides being the best delivery dogs, the Bernese are also strong competitors in sports, especially in obedience and agility training. Today, carting has also become a sport. In fact, the American Bernese Mountain Dog Club organizes a carting event in which the dogs participate and flaunt their abilities.
6. Bernese Mountain Dogs Like Spending Time Outdoors
Bernese mountain dogs are super adventurous and love spending time outdoors. They can be your partner in camping, backpacking, and hiking in snowy or mountainous regions. After all, Bernese are cold-weather farm dogs who want lots of activity in the snow to stay happy.
Of course, that doesn’t make them completely outdoor dogs. Instead, they love staying indoors and being cozy with their owner.
If you are planning to keep your Bernese indoors, make sure you exercise them regularly. Otherwise, these dogs may start showing unusual behaviors, such as digging up in the mud or barking excessively.
7. They Are Great With Kids
Bernese Mountain Dogs are the best human companions, especially babies and adolescents. They are gentle and affectionate with children. Not only that, but these dogs are also protective of them since they were bred as guard dogs.
So, while your Bernese Mountain Dog may seem too big for your kid, they make amazing babysitters and care for children the best. However, you must train and socialize your Bernese from their puppyhood.
Besides kids, Bernese Mountain Dogs are a great addition to your home’s security. They warn off strangers and burglars with their size and excessive, loud barking.
8. They Grow Slowly
The Bernese are adorable, fluffy dogs that grow slowly. No, we are not referring to their size but their maturity level here. This means Bernese Mountain Dogs take time to grow older and remain puppies for a long time. So, you will have a goofy, fun pet that’s always up to mischief.
However, this invites a lot of care and attention from your side. You should remain consistent in training your Bernese from an early stage, so they act like well-mannered dogs while being young at heart.
9. They Shed a Lot
Bernese Mountain Dogs shed excessively throughout the year, mainly in autumn and spring. This means you’ll have to vacuum your home regularly if you don’t want to face allergies. They have a double, long-haired coat that is quite thick.
While some dogs have straight coats, others have wavy ones. So, it’s better to brush your dog’s coat once a week to keep it shiny and luscious. You should also bathe your dog once a month, depending on how dirty your pet makes itself.
10. The St. Bernard Put This Breed at Risk
The population of St Bernard grew significantly in the 1800s. While that was a positive thing, it, unfortunately, put Bernese Mountain Dogs at significant risk. The main reason was the Industrial Revolution, in which farmers began using machinery instead of the Bernese dogs.
Since these dogs were no longer needed, they became almost obsolete. But fortunately, Franz Schertenleib, a Swiss fancier, made this dog breed popular across Europe and promoted them worldwide. Franz had been a fan of Swiss Mountain Dogs since his childhood.
11. Bernese Mountain Dogs Are Vulnerable to Cancer
Like every dog breed, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to multiple health issues. While they suffer from hip dysplasia and eye issues, cancers and tumors are their biggest enemies. In fact, half of the entire Bernese Mountain Dogs population has died due to cancer.
Cancer is the most common cause of death in these dogs. Unfortunately, Bernese already has a short lifespan, which is another bad news for you. These dogs only live for six to eight years maximum.
Ask about your dog’s health issues when adopting it from a responsible breeder. You should also research other common problems with Bernese Mountain Dogs before bringing one home.
12. They Are Heroes
In case you don’t know, Bernese Mountain Dogs are more like heroes. Their heroic feet have been famous in the dog community for years. For example, one Canadian Bernese named Bella rescued its owner during a house fire in 2013.
Another story is from 2014, when a Californian Bernese named Nico saved two people from drowning in the sea. Three years later, Bernese Izzy came out alive from roaring California wildfires.
All these stories make them heroes, don’t they? It’s no surprise since these dogs are not only intelligent but affectionate toward their humans.
13. Bernese Love to Make You Laugh
Last but not least, Berners have the best sense of humor! They laugh frequently and also make their owners laugh with joy. When they see you laughing at their actions, they will keep repeating them to make you laugh even more. It is called the “Berner chuckle.”
This shows that Bernese are fun, loving, and joyous dogs that stay happy themself but also want to keep their owners pleased. What else could a dog lover ask for? Bernese Mountain Dogs are a complete package!
Bernese Mountain Dogs are fluffy, fun, and affectionate dogs of an ancient origin. They are a cross between Mastiffs and Swiss Alps, which is why they are powerful and sturdy dogs. Initially, this breed was used as farm dogs in herding and delivering dairy items to people’s doors. Due to their large size, they were also used as guard dogs.
If you’re looking to adopt a Bernese, be aware of their heavy drooling and shedding. Make sure to vacuum your home regularly to avoid allergies. You should also inquire about your dog’s health history when bringing one home from a responsible breeder.
Featured Image Credit: Hebi B., Pixabay