Originating from large district in Switzerland, “Berne”, the Bernese was typically used as a farm / herding / drafting dog. Today, given their stable nature and lovable personality the Bernese are now a popular companion animal and a great family pet. Despite this, Bernese often prove themselves to this day as excellent obedience, agility and drafting dogs.
Bernese are impressive dogs who captivate the attention of anyone who meets them. Their teddy bear like appearance and affectionate disposition makes it hard not to love them. However, it is important to understand that Bernese are classed as a giant breed dog with females typically weighing around 40kg and males around 50kg. They should stand between 58 centimetres (at the shoulder) for the smallest bitch to 70 centimetres for the largest dog and variations in between.
Heartbreakingly, Bernese do not have the longest of life spans with their typical average age spanning between 8 - 10 years. Today, with ethical breeding we are starting to see some lucky owners have their dogs live for over 13 years, but a major issue with this breed is cancer which sees some dogs pass away in the earlier years of their life.
Other problems that are seen with Bernese (like many other large breeds) are Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. These problems are known to be hereditary but omitting this, such issues can arise from environmental factors such as too much exercise in the growth and development phases, high levels of protein in a pups diet or poor quality diets and weight issues such as a pup being overweight. This is why it is important to purchase your Bernese from a breeder who screens for Elbow and Hip Dysplasia prior to breeding, such as we do.
Bernese do have a long double coat which means you will need to spend time brushing their coat every few days to keep it from knotting up and to remove excess undercoat. If regularly maintained you should not have to spend copious amounts of time on their coats. However, even with regular brushing you will still notice hair around the place as they do shed particularly after winter as it becomes warmer. Bernese coats acts to keep them warm in cold climates, while also insulating them against the heat in the warmer months. We do not recommend or advocate you shave your dog ever. Shaved Bernese can take up to 2 years to grow back their coat to the same condition it was prior to being shaved and you can actually leave your dog less protected from the heat.
Overall, we can't imagine a more perfect breed. Everyone who has contact with a sound bernese instantly falls in love with them. We feel so lucky to share our home with this amazing breed and to be able to breed perfect pups for other lucky families.