The Bernese Mountain Dog may be ranked 27th out of 194 in AKC popularity, but that does not, in any way, mean that this breed is unpopular. Many celebrities are known to own this breed which has further led to an increased interest in it. If you are looking for information about Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy, their temperament, grooming, shedding, diet and health issues etc, then this brief guide is for you.
Facts and characteristics
- Many celebrities own this breed including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Courtney Cox and Hillary Duff.
- Bernese Mountain Dog Size- Height is between 27 and 29 inches and weight between 130 and 150 lbs.
- Characteristics- They typically have a black coat with symmetrical markings of white and rust.
- Sadly, this beautiful dog is prone to cancer and has a short lifespan.
Where to find a Bernese Mountain Dog
If you have your heart set on a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, then make sure you buy from a reputed breeder. This will ensure fewer health issues and you can also get information about the right food, proper training and daily care. The BMDCA or the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America website can guide you to reputed Bernese Mountain Dog breeders to buy from. Most rescue facilities charge between $150 and $300 for Bernese puppies, whereas purebreds can range anywhere from $250 up to several thousand dollars.
Bernese Mountain Dog temperament
This beautiful working dog is willing and highly trainable. However, they also remain puppy-like for long and are slow to mature. Temperament, just like physical characteristics, is obtained from parents. Therefore, it is important to interact with not only your puppy but also with its parents before you bring your companion home. Of course, how you raise and treat your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy will also impact its nature. In general, a well trained Bernese Mountain Dog is loyal, friendly, obedient and also a great watchdog.
Exercise and training
It is said that a well behaved Bernese Mountain Dog is a tired one. Keeping a Bernese means you must invest time and energy in exercising it at least once a day for 3-5 days a week for an hour each. Swimming is a great exercise for this breed as it is less stressful on its joints.
Training will help establish a loving bond between you and your pet. If you are too busy, you can enroll your Bernese in obedience school. Before you do, find out what kind of training methods they use, such as reward or punishment based training etc. Many owners have successfully trained their Bernese with clicker training. Invest in training from an early age, while your pet is still in puppyhood. In case of adult rescue dogs, talk to an experienced trainer to guide you into housebreaking your pet. The gentle disposition and willing attitude makes training this breed much easier as compared to other breeds.
Shedding and grooming
Bernese Mountain Dog shedding is seasonal and rather heavy. Those living in hot humid environment also tend to shed more. To prevent excess shedding, owners must comb their pet’s fur daily and also consult a professional groomer during shedding spells. Start grooming right from your pet’s puppy days so s/he gets used to the routine. Avoid bathing your pet too much as it can strip natural oils and lead to a dull coat. Bernese Mountain Dog owners must invest in the right grooming tools such as combs, rakes and brushes to loosen up the dense undercoat. For the head and neck, use a soft natural brush. Always provide a well-ventilated and appropriately heated or cooled space for your Bernese Mountain Dog.
Your vet will tell you exactly how much food your pet needs. In general, feed your Bernese 3 small meals per day and include healthy treats like bananas, carrots etc. Bernese dogs rarely get overweight, but if they do you must feed them a special diet with calorie restriction. The right diet will result in healthy, shiny coat, and bright eyes. Finding the right food for your Bernese can be tricky but with the advice from trainers and vets, you can find the best one for your beloved pet.
Lifespan and health concerns
The average Bernese Mountain Dog lifespan is 7 years. Older dogs often develop cancer owing to the breed’s propensity to the disease. However, when you buy from a good breeder, you can significantly avoid this risk. Not all breeders have the welfare of the animals at heart and irresponsible breeding has led to further shortening of the already short Bernese lifespan. Common health issues seen in this breed are hip or elbow joint disorder or dysplasia, weakened immune system, progressive retinal atrophy that causes irreversible blindness, lameness, hypothyroidism and other genetic disorders.