- Other names:
- Berner Sennenhund
- Bernese Cattle Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog (aka Bernur Sennenhund in Switzerland) is one of several similar looking breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs. This name translates to "alpine pasture dog" and indeed the breed did originate in the lower Alps region of Bern where these dogs worked as cart pulling and herding dogs on farms. Although they require daily exercise, they are not very high energy dogs so large apartments and indoors of houses will suit this breed just fine.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are loyal companions and are not suited for outdoor living because they enjoy being in the presence of the owner and/or family. These dogs do best in cool to very cold weather as you can see by the thick coat and hardy build, so they should not live in warm or hot climates. They should be exercised at night or early morning so warmer temperatures can be avoided. Bernies are not guard dogs and are not aggressive. This breed is easily trained and enjoys being tasked.
Unfortunately, there is less genetic diversity in purebred dogs and so due to this limited gene pool these dogs have several common health issues. Arthritis and cancer are serious issues that happen at much higher frequency and much earlier age compared to most other breeds (they are at least twice as susceptible) Owners should be capable and willing to cover these veterinary bills.