Bernese Mountain Dog: Character, Health, Feeding, Price, and Care
Bernese mountain dogs are a type of working dog originally bred in the Swiss Alps to help farmers with herding and carting. Today, Bernese mountain dogs are still prized for their hardworking nature, but they also make excellent companion animals.
Bernese mountain dogs are known for being intelligent, loyal, and affectionate, and they thrive on spending time with their human families. If you're thinking of adding a Bernese mountain dog to your home, here's what you need to know about their character, health, feeding, price, and care.
What Is a Bernese Mountain Dog?
Bernese mountain dogs, sometimes called "Berners," are adored for their sweet, calm demeanor and devotion to their families, especially tiny children, and other pets. They are gentle giants, bred to be hardworking and loving.
Berners are a big, strong breed of dog that have historically been used to help with farming tasks in Switzerland. They can pull carts and serve as watchdogs; therefore, they're useful for activities such as hiking or camping. When these clever, devoted dogs aren't working or playing, they're happiest near their owner's side.
Their thick, weather-resistant coat protected them from the cold Swiss mountains, and today it's one of the main things that people notice and love about Bernese mountain dogs. The coat is long, silky, and tricolored—usually black with white and rust-colored patches.
While the coat is one of the most iconic things about Bernese mountain dogs, it also requires quite a bit of care.
What Is Bernese Mountain Dog Size?
Bernese mountain dogs are giant cuddlers—weighing in at 70–115 pounds and 23–27.5 inches tall from paw to shoulder. They're also ultra-expressively with their dark brown eyes, which always seem to be smiling.
Bernese Mountain Dog: Average Lifespan
The Bernese Mountain Dog still has a shorter life expectancy than most breeds, living an average of 7 to 10 years.
How to Take Care of Your Bernese Mountain Dog's Health?
When you are the owner of a Bernese mountain dog, you'll want to take extra care to make sure that your furry friend is healthy and happy. Like all breeds, Bernese mountain dogs are prone to certain health conditions.
Here are some of the most common health problems that can affect your Bernese mountain dog:
- Joint problems
- renal diseases
To avoid some of these health problems, it's important to get your Bernese mountain dog from a reputable breeder who can provide you with health clearances for your puppy's parents.
- Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
- You should also take your Bernese mountain dog to the vet for regular check-ups and be sure to keep up with their vaccinations.
- A healthy diet and plenty of exercises are also important for keeping your Bernese mountain dog in tip-top shape.
- Berners are not made for living in apartments or condos. The ideal option is a home with a big, securely fenced yard. Because Berner is a working dog, they have a lot of energy.
- To stay in excellent shape, they need at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily; three times that amount keeps this dog breeds physically fit.
- The Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent choice for owners who live in cold climates. They have a thick coat that helps protect them from the elements, and they love playing in the snow. However, their black coat and large size are more prone to heat stroke than other breeds. If you live in a hot climate, don't allow your Berner to exercise strenuously during the day; limit exercise to early mornings or evenings when it's cooler outside.
- If you have or are planning to get a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, be aware that they go through a growth spurt between the ages of 4-7 months. This makes them more prone to developing bone problems and other injuries. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on their activity level and talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
What to Feed Your Bernese Mountain Dog?
You can help your Berner's immune system and general health by feeding him or her raw foods. Many Bernese people enjoy eating a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Give your Bernese a small amounts of yogourt, cooked meat, fish, eggs, or fresh fruits like banana, apple, or pear to introduce enzymes into their diet. In moderation, you can also offer vegetables like carrots, broccoli, squash, cooked pumpkin, and yams.
A healthy diet has enough essential nutrients, which help preserve cells, tissues, and organs.
How Much Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Cost?
Depending on the quality, Bernese Mountain Dog puppies can cost anywhere from $2000 to $3500. If you're looking for a reputable breeder in 2020, expect to pay at least $2500.
Final Thoughts on Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a versatile breed, capable of performing a number of tasks. They're gentle and loving with their family, but can be aloof with strangers. They need plenty of exercise and do their best in a home with a large, securely fenced yard. Their thick coats are well-suited for cold climates, but need to be kept cool in the heat.