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The Bernese Mountain Dog, a dog that looks like a big teddy bear

Under its teddy bear look, the Bernese Mountain Dog is considered a utility animal since it is solicited as a civil protection dog or guide dog for the blind. This big, friendly, quiet and never aggressive dog evolves easily in large families but will prefer to have a large garden at his disposal rather than live in an apartment.

Characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful and muscular dog that can reach 70 cm for males and 66 cm for females. It owes its teddy-bear appearance to its long, slightly wavy or smooth coat, which can be tricolored or black with generally white tips on the tail and legs. The muzzle, forehead line and the area between the eyes are also white. The cheeks, eyes and paws have red spots known as "pellets" in dog parlance.

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a powerful head, triangular ears that are set high but fall to the sides, and very bright, almond-shaped, dark brown eyes.

History of the Bernese Mountain Dog breed

Belonging to the molossoid breeds of which the oldest known is the Tibetan Mastiff, the Bernese Mountain Dog would have appeared in Switzerland, in two villages located near Bern which are Dürrbach and Berthoud. The ancestor of this breed would have been used by the Romans to pull the loads of dairy products or as a herdsman. It was also used as a fighting dog in the past. Because of its origins as a draught dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog was for a long time called the poor man's horse. In Switzerland, it became one of the most famous dogs for searching in the snow. Some associations also use its skills as a guide for the blind. The official recognition of the breed was made in 1913.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Bernese Mountain Dog

Affectionate and calm, the Bernese Mountain Dog has a great need for human contact and remains very loyal to its masters. Moreover, it supports very hardly the change of owner. This strong attachment to the members of its family is even worth the nickname of "pot de colle" in the canine sphere. Although it is not very sporty, this dog will not be reluctant to go for a few long walks. He will not dare to move too far from his masters at the time of his walks, it is thus possible to let him roam without leash. In a desire to protect his family, the Bernese Mountain Dog can also be suspicious of strangers. Nevertheless, he will calm down as soon as he feels that there is no danger.

As for its living environment, as it is a mountain dog, it will prefer large spaces to narrow places. Notice to those who have a garden in their home, this dog is made for you.

Food and main health problems of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a greedy animal. For his well-being and health, it is advisable to take time to prepare home-made meals and not to give him leftovers. If this is not possible due to lack of time, premium type kibbles are suitable for a daily quantity of 570 grams divided into two meals.

On the health side, although it is known for its robustness, this breed is not immune to certain disorders such as stomach torsion or hip dysplasia. The Bernese Mountain Dog is also one of the breeds that can be frequently affected by cancers, including those of genetic origin.