Bernese Mountain Dog

History/Evolution:

The Bernese Mountain Dog is perhaps the most well known of the four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs, distinct from the other three by its long, silky coat. A hardy dog who can thrive in cold weather, the Bernese Mountain Dog retains its original skills as a draft dog, herder, and watchdog. Prized in Switzerland for centuries, the breed is now popular throughout Europe and the United States, and acquired AKC recognition in 1937.


Size:

Large; females 23 to 26 inches, 70 to 100 pounds; males 25 to 271/2 inches, 70 to 120 pounds.

Color:

Tricolor (black with white and rust markings).

Temperament:

Alert, good natured, and calm. Extremely devoted, does well with children; gets along with other pets but is aloof with strangers.

Energy level:

Low to medium.

Best owner:

Families who include a dog in the family’s schedule and activities.

Needs:

Daily moderate exercise and twiceweekly coat brushing; quality time with human family (isolation leads to bad habits and unhappiness).

Life expectancy:

8 to 10 years.