The Bernese Mountain Dog or ‘Berner’ is a large dog reaching heights of between 1’11” and 2’3″ and weights of between 70 and 115 pounds. The Berner is classified as a Working Dog and have a relatively short lifespan of between 6-8 years.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for being loyal, affectionate intelligent and eager to please. This makes the Berner fairly easy to train and suitable for a novice owner. They are a great family dog as they do well with children of all ages and they always want to be around their family. However, they aren’t a good choice for a family living in an apartment or in a home that doesn’t have a large, fenced in garden.
As with all dogs the Bernese Mountain Dog responds well to early training and socialisation. However, although they are easy to train they don’t respond well to harsh corrections; therefore, positive reinforcement training is recommended. Berners are known for staying puppyish for a relatively long time.
Bernese Mountain Dogs unfortunately have a small gene pool which has ultimately resulted in several health problems due to inbreeding. These health problems include: cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, portosystem shunt, Von Willebrand’s disease, panosteitis and gastric torsion (bloat).
The risk of an animal developing some of these health problems can be lessened by following some preventative measures. For example, if you avoid over-exercising the dog when they are young and if you don’t allow them to run up and down stairs you can greatly reduce the risk of hip and elbow dysplasia. Also you can reduce the risk of bloat by feeding your dog smaller meals twice a day from an elevated feeder and to also pay particular attention to this as the dog gets older.
I hope this post has improved your understanding of what it means to own and raise a Bernese Mountain Dog!
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