Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Today’s Bernese Mountain Dog post is gently recycled. I’m settling in to the temporary digs at my mom’s house pretty well. Our dogs have it easier than we do – they’re accustomed to hanging out at grandma’s house for a couple of days at a time, so they seem happy and more relaxed than they’ve been for awhile. That’s a beautiful thing. And the Lamb Lung Puffs from Jones Natural Chews (giveaway in link) help when they’re stressed. 😉

While on the Bark World road trip for Jones, I briefly visited Macon, GA. At a campground outside of town, I ran into these two beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Bernese Mountain Dogs
A large, fluffy breed, I was surprised to find Bernese Mountain Dogs in the deep south.

Of course I knew what they were. What self respecting dog blogger wouldn’t? But it seems I’m the only person in Macon who did. And I wondered what the heck Bernese Mountain Dogs were doing so far south. Turns out this couple rescues the breed, occasionally coming across them in the deep south, and these beauties are their current dogs. Such handsome creatures! And why would finding the Bernese Mountain Dog in the south surprise me?

Smiling Bernese
The sunny disposition didn’t surprise me. This Bernese loves scratching as much as any other dog I’ve met.

What Is a Bernese Mountain Dog?

Here’s what I knew about the Bernese Mountain Dog, and maybe it’ll help explain why finding two of them in Georgia was a surprise.

  • This dog originates in Switzerland, possessing a long, silky coat, perfect for cold, harsh winters
  • Sensitive to heat – have you ever been to Macon, Georgia between April and October? Good heavens.

Some basic physical attributes:

  • Large breed – between 80 and 110 pounds
  • Double coat, long and silky
  • Cold tolerant
  • Tri-color – black, copper and white
  • Strong and sturdy, bred to pull a cart

Now, here’s what I didn’t know about the Bernese Mountain Dog, but what you’ll want to know if you’re considering having one as a pet or working dog. Much of this I gleaned from Dog Breed Info. We’ll start with the pros of having the Bernese.

Pros to Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog

  • Easy to train – if you’ve ever had a stubborn dog, you’ll LOVE this about the Bernese
  • Natural watchdogs without being aggressive – these two were the sweetest dogs I’ve come across in awhile, but I imagine they’d keep me from crossing the threshold of their home in the middle of the night
  • Usually good with other pets and dogs – this is important if you have, say, a cat
  • Strong dogs for pulling carts, smart and agile for competitions of many kinds
  • They’re described as being a friend for life, as well as being puppy-like longer than most dogs
  • The Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to love children, making them great family dogs
Bernese Mountain Dog
What’s not to love? This beast of a dog is gorgeous, playful, attentive and sweet.

I’ll bet you’re asking yourself, right now, “Why on earth would I NOT want this beautiful, friendly, intelligent beast of a dog?” Here are the cons.

Cons of Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog

  • The Bernese Mountain Dog has a brief lifespan for a dog, which is somewhat common in larger breeds – top end is 14 years, but typically the Bernese only makes it to eight years
  • Double coat – don’t knock this until you’ve had a double coated dog which loves cold and the outdoors – this means grooming and SHEDDING – the Bernese sheds and needs very regular brushing
  • Cancer – sadly, this is very common with this breed, taking far too many of them well before age eight – as well as several other health issues
  • Not an apartment dog – given to weight gain, living in an apartment will shorten this dog’s life considerably if he’s not given plenty of time and space to exercise – better as a farm dog with a job to do and plenty of space
Bernese in Georgia
Look at this face – the Bernese Mountain Dog is gorgeous.

I wish there were fewer cons. This dog has an amazing temperament and makes a great pet or working dog. It’s gorgeous. And I know that the breeders are working toward eliminating the cancer issue as best they can. Still, the Bernese Mountain Dog may be the perfect breed for you.

And what treats would I give this beautiful dog? I’m so glad you asked! Why, our featured treat this week, the Lamb Lung Puffs! It’s perfect for this large breed. And Pig Ears, if the dog is active. As well as any of Jones Natural Chews jumo bones. What’s a little dog candy between friends, eh?

So do your homework if you’re considering the Bernese Mountain Dog as a pet. If you’re getting a puppy, look carefully at breeders. Ask for references from people who’ve purchased their pups. Look at the genetic line. Look for lifespans. And let me know if you already have one of these beauties? I love them.

Spreading the good chews …


11 thoughts on “Bernese Mountain Dog

  1. Our Dexter is a Bernese and Rottweiler cross – we got the best of both breeds in this sweet boy. He has the coat of the Rottie – short, sleek and not very sheddy, almost zero maintenance. And he has that sweetness, that eternal, perpetual puppy disposition of the Berner. He also has the most gorgeous coloring thanks to the Berner blood – we call him Dexter McPrettyPaws because of it. He is absolutely all of those things that the Bernese is known for – loving to children and adults, great with other pets, beautiful and eternally happy. We pray that he manages to avoid the other characteristics that fall into the “con” category.

  2. My mom loves these and Pyrs. In Germany the Bernese dogs were all over the place. We won’t ever have these breeds, though, as they are not high energy enough, and the short life span is tough. Great dogs, though.
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