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Bernese Mountain Dog And The Breed Facts You Should Know

Jun 14, 2008
The Berner as he is commonly spoken of is a dog that has recently become one of the favorite breeds in the United States because of his characteristics of moderate size, beauty and good natured temperament. He is a member of the Working Group of the American Kennel Club. His striking good looks and exceptionally stable temperament have contributed to his popularity, which has burgeoned since he was admitted into the registry in 1990.

The Bernese Mountain Dog comes from the large family of Swiss dogs of black and tan coloration and mastiff origin which dominate the Alpine regions of Central Europe. These dogs seem to have origins in the original Molloser dogs which were transported into Europe by the Roman Legions.

Many of these dogs were used by the Romans as drover dogs and others were considered to be war dogs of massive power and formidable appearance. The Bernese Mountain Dog is most probably a representative of the former type, a dog which was used to drive the flocks of cattle and oxen and also as a carting dog or draft dog. Another common name for the Bernese Mountain Dog is the Berner Sennenhund.

The Berner is always a tri-colored dog. The base coat is black with rust and white markings. Symmetry of markings is important. Rust should appear over each eye and on the cheeks reaching to the corner of the mouth. Also there should be rust on each side of the chest, on all four legs and under the tail. The muzzle should have a white blaze.

There should be a white mark or blaze on the chest and this should be in the shape of a cross. The tip of the tail is white. There should be white on the feet but not extending higher than the pasterns. The Bernese Mountain dog has a medium length to the coat, which is a double coat and is naturally weather resistant. The hair should be straight to slightly wavy.

The entire picture of the well groomed Berner is quite striking with the sharp contrasts in color and markings, especially since this is a coat that has a natural shine. This is a dog who appears stocky to a certain degree, but not overly large. His working gait is that of a slow trot but he should be capable of faster movement when necessary.

Berners achieved popularity on the farms and holdings of the mountain people as strong dogs that were willing to pull carts and work side by side with their human companions without complaint and with happy enthusiasm for the jobs to which they were entrusted. In the United States and Great Britain the Berner has achieved the same sort of popularity, not because he is used as a working dog so much but because his temperament makes him a popular family pet.

The temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog should be one that is loyal and protective to his family but accepting of strangers and gracious, never aggressive. He has great intelligence and fortitude, preferring to have a job to do and working with endurance and stability for many hours.
About the Author
For more information on the Bernese Mountain Dog or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.
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