General Appearance The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking tri-colored, large dog. He is sturdy and balanced. He is intelligent, strong and agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which he was used in the mountainous regions of his origin. Dogs appear masculine, while bitches are distinctly feminine.Size, Proportion, Substance
Measured at the withers, dogs are 25 to 27 inches; bitches are 23 to 26 inches. Though appearing square, Bernese Mountain Dogs are slightly longer in body than they are tall. Sturdy bone is of great importance. The body is full.
Color and MarkingsThe Bernese Mountain Dog is tri-colored. The ground color is jet black. The markings are rich rust and clear white. Symmetry of markings is desired. Rust appears over each eye, on the cheeks reaching to at least the corner of the mouth, on each side of the chest, on all four legs, and under the tail. There is a white blaze and muzzle band. A white marking on the chest typically forms an inverted cross. The tip of the tail is white. White on the feet is desired but must not extend higher than the pasterns. Markings other than described are to he faulted in direct relationship to the extent of the deviation. White legs or a white collar are serious faults. Any ground color other than black is a disqualification.
Temperament:The temperament is self-confident, alert and good-natured, never sharp or shy. The Bernese Mountain Dog should stand steady, though may remain aloof to the attentions of strangers.
Bernese Mountain Dogs originated in the Canton of Berne, Switzerland. They were originally bred as a working farm dog doing some light herding or pulling a cart through the mountain passes to market. They are a gentle watch dog.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are very loving and affectionate. They crave attention and need to be made a part of the family. They are intelligent and strive to please their owners. Because of their size it is necessary to enroll them in obedience classes to channel their energy.
Their coat is long and straight or may be slightly wavy. Because of their heavy coat they don't tolerate heat well and should have air conditioning in warmer humid climates. They love the snow. Yes they shed continuously. Heavy shedding is done twice a year. Berner fur is considered a condiment among Berner lovers. By spending some time grooming your Berner you can decrease some of the effects of their shedding.
Bernese can have a short life span, the average is 7 years. They can have health problems which may include hip or elbow dysplasia, cancers, bloat, cataracts, heart or bleeding disorders. Health testing should be done on all breeding dogs. It is important that you discuss health issues with your breeder. All lines will have some type of health issues in their pedigrees. A good breeder is attempting to decrease the likelihood of health issues through selective breeding practices.