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Bernese Mountain Dog
The Berner exudes a big, happy take on life.  Affable, gregarious and mildly goofy at times, his appearance is one of such bearing that only his/her dearest friends realize just what a silly darling they can be.  Much like its cousins, the Newfoundland and Saint Bernard, the Berner can boast a temperament that is both gentle and loving.  An exceptional choice for a family that has the time and energy to devote to such an extraordinary companion.
By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): WorkingDraft Height: 23-27.5 inches
Weight: 75-100 pounds Longevity: early teens
Colors: distinctive symmetric tri color (black, rust and white) Coat type: thick, moderately long, wavy or straight
Recognized Registries: NCA, FCI, UKC, AKC among others
Overall Appearance: Strong, large muscular dog well suited for the droving work for which it was developed. With a notable Mastiff influence, the Bernese Mountain Dog is dramatic with its lush tricolor coat over a substantial body.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to low
General Nature: very genial, friendly and low key
  with Children: very good
  with other pets: very good
  with dogs: very good
Socialization requirements: moderate as this large powerful dog is best when calm and assured; socialization provides the skills needed to deal with unusual circumstances
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates the grooming and exercise requirements needed to make this gentle giant relaxed and content
Temperament Notes: Sensitive, not particularly intense but very intelligent given suitable opportunity
Training requirement: socialization and basic manners
Trainer notes: Like most dogs, the potential of the Berner is generally not limited to the potential he/she inherently possesses but the talent and potential of the trainer to communicate.  While the Berner will not likely impress with its agility or intensity it's calm and steadfast nature makes it an ideal training partner for a trainer that appreciates a dog that doesn't react (or overreact) to every detail.  A well socialized Berner is relaxed in all environments and quite amenable to working, this becomes an excellent confidence builder for the trainer that gets sweaty palms before any planned exhibit or competition.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: early 1900s but history, though undocumented dates back far longer
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Original Function: driving and all around farmers' dogs
History: Descended, very likely, from the Mastiff type dogs of the Romans, the Berner has likely been part of the Swiss Mountains and its farms for over 2000 years. Late 1800s brought recognition by some in the Bern area of a need to preserve these old type dogs.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: heavy head, short legs, loose skin, entropion, poor dentition, excessively long coat
Health Notes: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, OCD, eye problems, HOD, vWD, bloat (breed tendency not genetic per se)
Health Testing: OFA, CERF, vWD,
Questions to ask Breeder:

http://www.digitaldog.com/breeder_questions.html  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Berners?
  • How long have you been breeding?
  • What health criteria do you place on your breeding stock?
  • What titles do you want on your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What health issues do you screen your breeding stock for?
  • What do you consider correct Berner temperament?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • Do you microchip your puppies?
  • What do you consider an ideal Berner home?
  • At what age do you send your puppies home?
  • What did you find appealing about this particular breeding pair?
  • Do you have any specific suggestions for socializing and training a Berner?
Web Sites:

http://www.bmdca.org/cgi/db.cgi/db2.cgi?db=bsp&uid=default&sb=4&view_records=1&ID=* - No listing for national Berner rescue but the club does offer breed stewards, contact the one closest to you for more information on rescues

Other Resources
Breed standard:

http://www.bmdca.org/pages/BMD_Standard.htm - Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America Standard

Breeder Ethics:

http://www.bmdca.org/pages/coc.htm - Code of Conduct for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America

Other:

http://www.bestbeau.ca/BMD_Health_Info_Links.html - Excellent site with links to articles on Bernese Mountain Dog Health Concerns

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