Heidi Strawn
February 4, 2011


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Use: Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent and easy to train, making them good choices for dairy cattle drivers or watchdogs.


History: Regarded by many as the most beautiful of the four breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only one with a long coat. Its ancestry traces to mastiff-type dogs of Roman times, which crossbred with local herding dogs to produce offspring smaller in stature but just as trustworthy and devoted. The mountain dogs herded livestock and were used as cart dogs to transport goods and produce to market.


Conformation: The Bernese Mountain Dog has a medium-long, glossy black coat with distinctive markings in reddish brown and white. The breed’s weather-resistant coat is moderately long, thick and slightly wavy or straight, but with a soft undercoat. The coat colors generally are black with tan and white markings. Male dogs measure 24 to 28 inches in height at the shoulder, and female dogs measure 23 to 27 inches in height at the shoulder. Males weigh 85 to 110 pounds and females weigh 80 to 105 pounds.


Special Considerations/Notes: The Bernese Mountain Dog is large, strong, sturdy and intelligent. The breed’s life expectancy is 7 to 10 years. Its coat requires daily to weekly brushing, with special attention during the shedding season. Bathe weekly to monthly when necessary.

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