Bernese Mountain Dog Articles
If you are looking to give a home to a Bernese mountain dog then the one question you may be asking yourself is "how adaptable is the Bernese?"
Different people will give you different answers to this question. However the truth is that the Bernese is usually quite adaptable to any circumstance. The only catch is that after 18 months of age they do tend to be quite attached to their current family. So if you purchase a Bernese mountain dog after the age of 18 months then you could have trouble settling them in.
Younger Dogs versus Older Dogs for Adaptability
It is common sense really that a younger Bernese will be more adaptable to life than an older Bernese would be. This is because when the dog is young you are getting it used to a routine and it quickly learns what is and what is not acceptable. However, with an older dog it has already had its routine and as the Bernese breed does tend to bond more to its family than others, the changes could actually be quite upsetting. [...]
To look at the Bernese mountain dog you would think that it is a soft, gentle dog with a fun sense of character. Whilst this is mainly the case, the breed was originally bred to be a watchdog and they still have that same instinct embedded in them today.
The History of the Bernese as a Watchdog and How it Compares Today
The Bernese mountain dog has come a long way since it was first introduced into the world. Its main purpose in Roman times was to guard cattle and property. It was a mastiff type dog and it did have a tendency to become aggressive if provoked. This was only bred out of the dog when it was needed more for pulling carts over the Alps from village to village.
As time went on, the need for the Bernese to be aggressive and watchful died down. These days they are still sometimes watchful but generally the breed is much friendlier. They love being around people and they are really gentle around their family. [...]
When you think of the Bernese mountain dog you picture a large, muscular dog. Similar to the Saint Bernard and Newfoundland in size, the Bernese mountain dog is loved by many and it is a friendly, intelligent breed.
However, one mistake which many people make when it comes to the breed is thinking that it is a natural swimmer.
Why Water and the Bernese do not always Mix
Bernese mountain dogs do not always like the water. Similar breeds such as the Newfoundland are well known for their love of water and that is why so many people think that the Bernese dog is too. However, whilst they can swim and they can certainly pull you out of the water; it is not in their natural instincts to do so.
That is not to say that you will not be able to get your dog to like the water. Some Bernese mountain dogs do love to have a paddle in shallow water and some will even swim along in the sea with you. However, usually you have to start them off young and you also have to give them plenty of time to adjust. [...]
When it comes to family pets, the Bernese mountain dog is possibly one of the best breeds that you can possibly own. They are usually extremely family orientated and they love nothing more than to stay close to their owner's side all day everyday. In fact, they much prefer human company to company of their own kind!
The Bernese as a Family Dog
The Bernese does usually make an excellent family dog but there are some things that you will need to consider. One of these things is that the breed can be particularly boisterous; especially if they are not trained from an early age. This is because whilst they are usually gentle dogs, in the past they have been used for guarding.
So if they are not taught from an early age how to behave, they can become uncontrollable and sometimes even aggressive. As long as you take part in regular training sessions from the time that you get your Bernese puppy however, you should end up with a well behaved, mild mannered dog. [...]
The Bernese mountain dog is a large, friendly, powerful breed. It has been used as a working dog for as long as it has been around. One particular job that the breed has taken on in the past is as a guide dog.
The Bernese as a Guide Dog
When you think of guide dogs you mainly think of Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds. Very rarely do you think of Bernese mountain dogs. However, the breed has been used before as a guide dog and in some cases they can be really good at it. However, mainly they are better suited to other jobs.
The main reason why the Bernese is not better suited to guiding people, is because of its maturity. As large breeds go, the Bernese does take quite a long time to mature. They usually do not calm down until they are around 3-4 years old and until that point they can be extremely boisterous. So this means that it is not always safe to use the breed as a guiding dog. [...]
When looking into adding a Bernese mountain dog to your family, one of the things that you will need to take into account is its lifespan.
As with all large dogs, the Bernese is not expected to live a particularly long life. Usually their general lifespan is around 10 years. However, due to poor health, often the breed only lives until it is around 7 years old. So why is this and why does the Bernese have such a short lifespan?
The Things That Affect the Bernese Mountain Dogs Lifespan
It is thought that the average age of the Bernese mountain dog has decreased as time has gone on. Whilst it used to be 10 years, now the average lifespan of the breed is 6-8 years.
Generally with larger dogs you expect that they will not live that long. However the Bernese mountain dog did usually used to live for 10 years. Some dogs still do and they are perfectly healthy. However there does seem to have been an increase in diseases such as cancer within the breed and that is why many are now dying earlier than they should. [...]
When you look at the Bernese mountain dog you could be forgiven for thinking that the breed would be fairly lazy and laid back. The sheer size of the dog makes it look like it would rather lie down all day and just relax. However, the Bernese is actually a working breed and it does tend to have fairly high energy levels. In fact, as large breeds go the Bernese mountain dog is one of the most energetic and that could be to do with the fact that it was originally bred as a sheepdog.
Why the Bernese Has so Much Energy
The Bernese mountain dog has so much energy because it was bred to herd both cattle and sheep. It is one of four Switzerland sheepdogs and it had to be able to run after sheep and herd them throughout the day. It was only later on as the years passed that the breed was used for pulling carts and that it had to do more strenuous jobs. Even today the breed has a lot of energy and they can be somewhat boisterous until they are three to four years old. [...]
Have you ever wondered what facts there were out there regarding the Bernese mountain dog? Perhaps you own a Bernese and you would simply like to find out more? If so then read on as here you will find some facts about the breed which you may not have otherwise known.
What You Should Know
The first fact which you may not know about the Bernese mountain dog is that it does not fully mature until it is 3-4 years old. They are a breed which is incredibly young at heart and they love nothing more than to play and be boisterous. This can make them difficult to handle sometimes and it means that they will need regular training from an early age. [...]
The Bernese mountain dog is a working breed and one of the most popular activities which many owners take part in with their dog is carting.
Carting is a sport which demands a lot from the dog physically and only a big, muscular dog like the Bernese can handle it. By giving the dog something to do, you are keeping them happy and active and that can really help you to have a well behaved, calm dog.
Why should you Consider Cart Pulling With Your Bernese?
The Bernese mountain dog can be nightmare to train. It does not fully mature until it is two years old and they can be a little excitable too. In order to get rid of this energy it is a good idea to give them something to do and carting is definitely one of the best activities you can take part in that will really work the dog. [...]
When you look at the size and build of the Bernese mountain dog it is not hard to see why it makes a good working breed. Originally bred to drive cattle, the Bernese has had a varied history and it has been bred with a number of different dogs to come up with the breed standard that it follows today.
Still known as a working dog, the Bernese is used by many owners as a working companion. But just what is the breed's job these days and are they just as well suited now for working as they were in the past?
Comparing the Bernese in History and in the Present
As mentioned earlier, originally the Bernese mountain dog was bred to herd cattle. This meant that the dog had to be energetic and athletic. They also had to have a fairly aggressive temperament as they were sometimes used as guard dogs by the Romans. This meant that they were bred into Mastiff type dogs and they were designed to be able to cope with really harsh weather. [...]