- Berner Sennenhund
Country/Date of origin:
- 100 BC
- Females: 23 to 26 inches
- Males: 25 to 27-1/2 inches
- 87 to 90 pounds
- A very dominant, take-charge animal.
- Pleasant to be around.
- Cautious with strangers.
- Loyal and steadfast.
- A serious nature is innate.
- Does not fawn.
- Learns slowly but it retains what it is taught.
One of four tri-colored dogs from the Swiss mountains, the Bernese is the only long-haired member of the quartet. It is the only one of the four that is not a herding dog. It was bred in the area around Berne as a draft animal. Its primary job was to haul milk (down the mountains) to market, but it is also a superb guard dog and will drove cattle when necessary. This dog, of the mastiff family, is a descendant of dogs that invading Roman soldiers brought as livestock guards and drovers 2,000 years ago. This is the most popular of the four breeds.
- Have a rather compact build for their size.
- The tail is of medium length and is carried low. It is not altered.
- The ears hang slightly forward and are held next to the face. They are not altered.
- Long and slightly wavy, without being curly. It is exceptionally thick.
- Color is very important. There is only one permissible: jet-black, with deep tan or rust markings on all legs.
- A white blaze on the head (extending between the eyes) and a white chest marking (known as a cross) are essential.
- White paws are preferred.
- Moderate to heavy grooming needed.
- Seasonal shedding is heavy.
Health and Wellness:
- Hip dysplasia.
- Elbow dysplasia.
- Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
- Histiocytic sarcomas.
What you should know:
- Nicknamed the bear cub.
- If used to guard cattle, the Berner is a tyrant. It keeps all its charges in line with a firm paw.