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Bernese Mountain Dog

enero 12, 2021


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a canine breed originating from the central countryside of the canton of Bern. Some local breeders promoted and increased the spread of these autochthonous specimens and morphologically belonging to the Molossian-Lupoid category as a guard, draft and cattle dog (the Bernese Mountain Dog risked extinction due to various crosses with local breeds). In 1907, the «Swiss Dürrbächler Club» set the parameters of the canine breed and promoted the breeding and diffusion of the Bernese Mountain Dog especially in Switzerland and in Southern Germany. Today the examples of the canine breed, appreciated for the tricolor coat with well defined markings and patches, are more than anything else considered esteemed family dogs.

Characteristics and behavior of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The character of the Bernese Mountain Dog is sweet, affectionate and protective (especially towards his family). When a specimen becomes attached to two members of the family unit, it obeys and reserves them absolute attention and fidelity. In terms of socialization, the Bernese Mountain Dog easily sympathizes with other dogs, even if it takes time to do so (in this sense it is advisable to socialize with other dogs from a very young age).

Bernese Bovarno puppies

The Bernese Mountain Dog puppy looks like a sweet and cuddly big dog destined to grow into a big and strong dog. The handsome physical strength can only be managed with training, consistent driving and good socialization (otherwise, in fact, the Bernese Mountain Dog will not respect the rules and needs that will be set later). Being genetically predisposed to hip and / or elbow dysplasia, it is advisable not to subject the Bernese Mountain Dog puppy to excessive physical effort, especially in the first months of life.


The feeding of the Bernese Mountain Dog must be calibrated according to the specific needs and different stages of growth of the specimen: breastfeeding, weaning and growth.

  • from 0 to 4 weeks, the puppy must supply himself exclusively with colostrum or a liquid that allows him to acquire from the mother the antibodies essential for the formation of the immune defenses;
  • from 4 to 6 weeks, the animal must be encouraged to come into contact with solid foods mostly composed of one part of warm water and one part of dry food suitable for growth (it will have to gradually increase at the expense of the liquid part);
  • from 6 weeks to adult weight, the dog must receive an energy intake inversely proportional to its age in 3 meals.
  • in adulthood, to avoid diseases such as obesity or diabetes, it is advisable to administer 2 meals a day well rationed, regular and spaced.

Grooming and hygiene

The coat of the Bernese Mountain Dog requires habitual and regular care. A specimen of the Bernese Mountain Dog it has a long and thick coat, a hair that very often traps plant residues and parasites and therefore requires daily or weekly care (a couple of minutes a day or more time a couple of times a week).

In areas of spread of Lyme disease or Borreliosis (tick-borne disease) and especially in conjunction with the tick season It is essential to inspect the Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat every day (the transmission of the disease foresees that the parasite remains attached to the animal for at least 48 hours).

Health, checks and vaccinations

From a genetic point of view, the most common pathologies in the Bernese Mountain Dog are: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, malignant histocytosis and other tumors such as fibrosarcoma, lymphosarcoma and osteosarcoma. All these tumors considerably shorten the life expectancy of the Bernese Mountain Dog (around 7 years of life). In addition to regular visits to the treating veterinarian, the classic vaccinations carried out in the first months of life of the Bernese Mountain Dog against distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and rabies are recommended. Deworming (the elimination of parasites present in the stomach) and regular anti-parasitic protection (in particular against filariasis and leishmaniasis) are recommended.

Bovarno del Bernese standard

  • Head The head must be powerful, with a harmonious volume and not too heavy.
  • Eyes The eyes should be dark brown, almond-shaped, with tightly fitting lids to the eyeball. They must neither be protruding nor too deep set.
  • Ears The ears should be triangular in shape, rounded slightly towards the tip, set high and of medium size. When the dog is at rest they hang down and adhere to the head; when the dog is attentive, the posterior part of the hairline rises while the front edge of the ear remains close to the cheek.
  • Mouth Strong teeth must have a scissor bite, although pincer bite is tolerated. The lips must be tight and black.
  • Neck The neck must be vigorous, muscular and of medium length.
  • Body The body must present a harmonious downward fusion of the neck with the withers, and then straighten up and become horizontal. The cross section of the long rib cage is of a rounded oval.
  • Tail The tail must be bushy at least up to the hock, carried low at rest and at the height of the back line in motion.
  • Front limbs The forelegs, seen from the front, must be straight, parallel and quite wide apart.
  • Hind limbs The hind legs, seen from behind, must be straight, parallel and not too closed.
  • Feet The feet must be short and rounded, with closed toes; arched (mostly in the forelegs) and not turned in or out.
  • Coat and color The coat must be long and shiny, smooth or slightly wavy. The basic color must be absolute black with dark red-brown markings on the cheeks, above the eyes, on the four limbs and on the chest and with white designs on the head, sides of the nose bridge, throat and chest. A small white spot on the nape and a small white spot on the anus are also tolerated.