WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2ND, 2021
🖋DAILY PAWS 📸ALEKSANDR stock.adobe.com
Bernese mountain dogs, known as "Berners" to their fans, are beloved for their sweet, calm, easygoing nature and their devotion to their families, including small children. Big and strong Berners, which historically helped with farming duties in Switzerland, can pull carts and act as guard dogs. When they're not working or playing, these smart, loyal dogs are happiest at their owner's side, wherever that may be.
Bernese mountain dogs are large—they weigh between 70–115 pounds and can be 23–27.5 inches tall at the shoulder—and have a welcoming spirit and expressive dark brown eyes. Bernese mountain dog puppies even resemble plush dog toys. These sturdy dogs are tricolored, with a thick black coat and distinctive white and rust markings on the face. The moderately long and silky coat can be straight or slightly wavy.
The Bernese Mountain dog's trainability and eagerness to please has charmed owners since the dog's earliest days on Swiss farms.
Bernese mountain dogs have long acted as guardians for livestock and, considering their large size and intimidating bark, make good watch dogs. However, with their loving and gentle nature, owners shouldn’t expect much real threat behind the bark.
The Bernese mountain dog originally came from Bern, Switzerland, where they worked on farms driving cattle, pulling carts, and guarding fields and farms on mountains and in valleys. The breed is one of four ancient Swiss breeds, known as Sennenhund breeds, and was brought there, it's believed, by the Romans. The Bernese Mountain dog—then and now—has a reputation for strength, smarts, and companionship.
As farming and ranching modernized, demand for this type of dog decreased and the population declined. But enthusiasts for the breed responded and led a concerted effort to bolster the breed's numbers. A respected European dog lover named Professor Albert Heim took notice of the Bernese mountain dog and formed a breeding club in 1907 to popularize the smart, gentle dog, and the pups returned to favor on farms as well as with families.
The dogs caught the attention of a Kansas farmer in 1926, who imported a duo to help around his property.
This breed is remarkably strong and can pull up to 10 times their own weight, or nearly 1,000 pounds!