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Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland|

Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland|

One of four Swiss working breeds, the gentle Bernese Mountain Dog is most commonly a devoted and loyal family companion. These large dogs were bred as working farm dogs and were often used for pulling small carts—carting has since become a popular sporting activity with the breed. Generally Bernese have exceptional temperaments, calm, affectionate, and forming very strong bonds with their families. The breed has often been used for service, assistance, and mountain search and rescue. They are still also used for herding and guarding livestock and have a naturally protective instinct. Bernese make superb companions for relatively active households. They are generally good with children and other pets as long as they are introduced correctly.

History

The Bernese is generally believed to have developed from dogs introduced to the alpine region of Switzerland by the Romans from 57 BCE. These dogs were likely to have been Molossers (mastiff types), which were then crossed with native Swiss mountain dogs. The Bernese adapted perfectly to its environment with a very thick, weather resistant coat that also provided protection against predators. The dogs were used in all capacities on farms for centuries and, in some areas, still are. However, little attention was paid to fostering the breed, and by the end of the nineteenth century, they had almost disappeared. Fortunately, Swiss dog fanciers realized the situation and began to implement breeding initiatives and promote the dogs. The breed’s popularity spread quickly through Europe, and the first Bernese arrived in the United States in 1926.

Bernese usually reach their adult height by about fifteen months but continue to mature for another two or three years.

Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland| Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland| Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland| Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland| Bernese Mountain Dog |Switzerland|
From Dogs Unleashed, Copyright by Tamsin Pickeral, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with Thunder Bay Press

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