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Bernese Mountain Dog Information

Short Description Bernese Mountain Dog

Breed group: Dog-like
Type: Affectionate, loyal
Average Life: 14 years
Shoulder Height: males 64-70cm, females 58-66cm
Weight: 40 kg
Coat: Long, deep black with white and tan
Construction: Companion dog, sheepdog, guard and defense dog
Dealing with children: Excellent
Dealing with other dogs: Quite dominant
Living space: A house with a garden
Hair Care: Regular brushing

Presentation Woefkesranch

The dog breeder from the Woefkesranch offers you only quality dogs. We offer Bernese Mountain dog puppies from our own nursery.

Woefkesranch never abandons you after purchase. You’ll get all sorts of tips from us, ranging from toilet training tips, nutrition advice, education tips. In this way, you don’t have to worry and you can choose and even reserve an Bernese mountain dog puppy.

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Bernese Mountain Dog Standard

General

Slightly more than medium-sized, powerful, agile working dog. Harmonious and well in proportion, straight, very sturdy limbs.

Head

Powerful, flat skull and slight frontal groove. Well marked, not too strong stop. Powerful, straight muzzle. Lips only slightly developed.

Teeth

Complete scissor bite.

Ears

Medium, high implanted. Triangular shape, lying flat when in rest.

Eyes

Dark brown and almond shaped. Closed eyelids.

Body

Powerful muscular, medium neck. The body is stocky rather than long. shoulder height to body length ratio is 9: 10. Broad chest. Strong loin. A rib cage oval in cross section. The back is firm and straight. A slightly rounded croup. The shoulder is long, strong and sloping, flat, and well muscled. 
Shoulder Height: males 64-74 cm, the ideal is 66-68 cm. females 58-66 cm, 60-63 cm is ideal.

Legs

The shoulder is in an obtuse angle with the humerus. The position is straight at all angles. The pastern is slightly sloping and parallel. The thigh area is broad, strong and well muscled. The thigh is fairly long, in profile sloping towards the lower thigh. The hocks are well bent, wide and powerful, with a straight position, not inwards or outwards.

Feet

Short, round and closed.

Tail

Very hairy. Carried below the hocks, but not reaching the ground. Floating behavior.

Coat

Long. Straight or slightly wavy.

Color

Jet black color with smooth red-brown tan on the cheeks, above the eyes, and on all four legs and the chest. White, light to medium, symmetrical head markings and white chest patch. Liked but not a prerequisite: white feet, coming up to the mid-foot joint with tail point also white. A small white neck patch is unwanted, but nonetheless permitted. 

Behavior and habitat

Except as herding dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dog used to be very much appreciated for his qualities as a guard dog. Today, because of his quiet nature, rather as a companion dog. To successfully meet all these expectations, a dog must have a balanced nature and this comes naturally with the Bernese Mountain Dog. While he is watching peacefully what is around him, he doesn’t lose track of the family. He has a certain feeling for what is his territory. If a stranger approaches, the dog barks systematically (severe, short). If his boss is home, he accompanies the stranger to the house. He remains close to keep an eye on him, and to check his behaviour. 
His guard instinct is very strong. He defends spontaneously the property of his owner or the owner himself, if he thinks they are threatened. This tendency can obviously be enhanced by a special training, such as an official training for a guard dog. It should be immediately noted that dogs who are not balanced by nature should not be trained as a defense dog, because they can be aggressive, but that is obviously not only for the Bernese. Contrary to the image of sweet teddy bear, the Bernese Mountain Dog, is not always soft. He has personality, the same as he had when he was working dog. It’s a proud, reliable and impressive dog, which despite its attractive appearance should not be considered as a toy. The Bernese Mountain Dog did not hunt chickens and cats in the past because his boss – the Swiss farmer – simply did not appreciate that. His tolerance of animals around the farm was developed in a slow adaptation to its environment. It is therefore wrong to think that when a Bernese Mountain Dog is placed in the city from one day to another he will adopt the same adjusted attitude. Through his education he will learn in a few months what his ancestors have learned during the centuries. If properly raised, he remains calm on the sidewalk when he meets another dog, and he will control his instincts to keep in check if someone comes to visit.

To keep a Bernese Mountain Dog in good condition, he can not sit still. It is best to give him something to ‘do’. What that is depends on the circumstances. in the country of origin he often pulls a cart,of which a child can take the reins. Parents should check if the dog can handle it, and whether the child asks too much of the dog. Moreover, it is still arguable whether a dog may be used to pull a cart. It is not for nothing against the law for a dog to work pulling loads. It is of course better to go for long walks with this dog in an environment where he can enjoy a refreshing run. Especially for the young dog that kind of freedom is of great value. It is also important to do this regularly, because only then will he really stay fit. The Bernese Mountain Dog is strong and original, and therefore mainly an outdoor dog. That does not mean that he does not need shelter in bad weather. He should not be left alone for too long. A whole day alone in a kennel is not for him. Furthermore, he needs as much room to move around the way he wants. If he is not allowed a long walk every day he really needs a garden to run around. He must see his boss, play with him and go out with him. If he grows up isolated, he is abnormally suspicious and aggressive. Even though he is a dog for the whole family, so not a one-man dog, he does not cope with changing ownership often. He is a fantastic children’s protector. If you want to buy a dog of this size, do so when he is a puppy. As he matures, he knows how to adjust his behavior in the presence of the child. The coat is easy to care for and maintain. Ten minutes brushing every day is sufficient. When the Bernese Mountain Dog is well cared for and well treated, it is a fine companion dog. Especially since breeders exclude distrustful, fearful dogs (that used to be excellent guardians on the farms)for breeding. Such dogs are now not very desirable. They disappeared in favor of a dog that shows adapted behavior and is the pride of his owner.

History of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is the best known of the Swiss Mountain Dogs, of which there are four: the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and Bernese Mountain Dog. These varieties have been used for centuries by Swiss farmers to guide herds to the field. The Bernese Mountain Dog is an attractive three-colored dog with a long coat. He has both his good looks and his agreeable nature, which make him in great demand as a pet. About the origin of this dog, the experts did not entirely agree for a long time. According to one theory, the Bernese Mountain Dog descended from Dog-like species that came from Tibet, and were brought into Europe by invasions of barbarian tribes. The ancestors came to Switzerland with the Romans. The armies of Caesar brought with them dogs of the type of the Tibetan Mastiff. Another group of scholars argued that the Bernese Mountain Dog was one of the large group of sheep dogs who defended herds. These dogs have descended from the Bronze Age, once crossed with the wolf. In 1924, in a town by Lake Zurich, old dog skulls were found which resemble the skull of today’s Bernese Mountain Dog (eg length of 180-205 mm). With this discovery, some important pieces to the puzzle were added. As many scientists thought it could actually be assumed that this original Swiss dog was already present in this region before the Barbarian and Roman domination. Without a precise age determination, it would have to concern a very old native breed. Margaret bartschi expert on the Bernese Mountain Dog, wrote: “The only thing we can assume is that these dogs were already present 4000 years BC. in our regions and that in the period between 1000 and 600 BC, dogs who were just as big as the Bernese Mountain Dog.” The Swiss were eventually given by various crossings the dog that is now called the Bernese Mountain Dog. The history of this dog is closely linked to Swiss history. In the middle ages, the areas were held by the nobility and clergy. The prosperity attracted many people. even vagabonds, beggars and mercenaries without money. They felt threatened and feared for theft and arson. Therefore, dogs were held which were able to protect homes and property: Bernese Mountain Dogs. The variety name in French, one of the official languages in Switzerland, “Bichon Maltais“. this name shows that these dogs apparently had a different task to fulfill, namely helping the cow herders. Since the Middle Ages livestock took a very important place in the life of the Swiss. First was cattle owned by the nobility, but in the 16th century also non-nobles had cattle in their possession. As autumn came, the shepherds went to the valleys to accommodate their herds there in winter. They were accompanied by their dogs, not only to defend their owner, but the task was to drive the cattle in the barns and to protect it there. In the mid-19th century the herds expanded greatly because of the reputation Swiss dairy products enjoyed throughout Europe. Farmers quickly saw how their dogs could contribute and they learned how to pull a cart of cans to the nearest dairy farm. The Bernese Mountain Dog was a real working dog, who contributed to the Swiss economy at that time. When industrialization made its appearance, people started losing interest. As a working dog, he was almostnot needed anymore, so something had to happen to prevent the elimination of the breed. As in other European countries, among the Swiss grew suddenly a great interest in breeding dogs as pets. unfortunately they did not turn their attention to the Bernese Mountain Dog. That was in the eyes of many simply an “ordinary working dog”, and ‘ordinary’ was not very appealing. All attention focused on another Swiss breed, namely the St. Bernard. Apparently at the time people liked him and all sorts of exotic breeds more. Of course, the St. Bernard is very attractive with its red-white coat, but things went at the expense of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Furthermore, many crossed the Bernese Mountain Dog with the Leonberger and the Newfoundland, two varieties who were regularly imported in Switzerland, which was not good for the breed. Only after 1899, the Bernese Mountain Dog was really important again. The breeders organized themselves so that the first Swiss canine association – the Berna – could be established. In 1902 a dog show was organized under the auspices of the association with 320 entries of various breeds. A local newspaper told a section of the event as follows: “This exhibition even had a category for Dürrbächler (as the Bernese Mountain Dogs were called in those days), a type of dog that plays more or less the same role in the Canton of Bern, as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog in the canton of Appenzell.” Two years later, Fritz Probst organized a new exhibition where six Bernese Mountain Dogs appeared. This led to inclusion of these dogs in the Swiss pedigree, and to official recognition of the breed itself. Professor Heim, of the Geological Institute in Zurich, also had interest in these dogs. He was a breeder of Newfoundlands, but became increasingly interested in the Swiss Mountain Dogs. He appreciated their talents and made every effort to provide them with a broader audience. He also wanted to reinforce the qualities that these dogs had. So it was especially Professor Heim who convinced breeders that they should not have a split nose. This happened in certain instances in the early 20th century, and some breeders wanted to capture this characteristic. In 1907 “the Swiss club for breeders of the dog of Dürrbach” was founded, supported by the canine press. It was the intention of improving the breed. A year later appeared at a meeting 22 dogs to be assessed by Professor Heim, who had become a judge. On this occasion he suggested the breed should be called Bernese Mountain Dog, so it could be more easily incorporated into the group of other Swiss Mountain Dogs (Appenzeller, Entlebucher and the Swiss Grand). The breeders of that time, however, were very hung on the existing Dürrbächler species name, and it was not until 1913 The Bernese Mountain Dog breed name was officially admitted by the “Société Suisse Cynologique”. Professor Heim made sure the breeders increasingly worked together to make the Bernese Mountain Dogs similar. For example, the shoulder height of the dogs appeared to be quite variable. It had to be 62-68 cm, later (since 1975) that was 64-70 cm. Professor Heim also found that shoulder height should not be a contentious issue. He thought it was important that the dog has a “natural” appearance. The Swiss had used different names for the Bernese Mountain Dog, because the official species name did not yet exist. Depending on the amount of white in the coat he was called Blass, ‘Bari’ and ‘Ring (a wide, white collar). In Emmental he was called Gelbloackler, or even Wieraugler, because of the clear tan markings above the eyes, making it seem like he has four eyes.

Care of the Bernese Mountain Dog

Weekly brushing of the long thick coat is important, take extra care when they are shedding. Washing with a shampoo can be necessary.

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Nutrition Bernese Mountain Dog

Our Bernese Mountain Dog puppies get Denkadog Diner in the morning and evening  and in the afternoon Eukanuba Lamb & Rice.

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Bernese Mountain Dog weblogs:

Here you can find all the customer emails for people who bought here an Bernese Mountain Dog and send us photographs…

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Questionnaire:

To help you make the right choice for your future dog, we ask the following questionnaire, print and bring when you come by.

(Annex IX to the Royal Decree of 27/04/2007)

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