Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament – More About This Big Breed

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known as “The Greatest” because they have a very high level of intelligence and loyalty. They are loyal companions with great natural ability. Their love for their owners is so strong that it makes them difficult to train. However, if trained properly, these dogs will do anything your family asks of them! These dogs were bred to hunt wild game such as deer or elk. Some of them are even used for guarding livestock.

These dogs are extremely athletic and graceful. They are highly intelligent and can learn new tricks quickly. Many of them excel at agility competitions.

Other than hunting, some of them enjoy hiking, swimming, running and playing fetch with other pets. There are many different types of Bernese Mountain Dogs that vary greatly in temperament and appearance (color). Some look like miniature huskies while others resemble miniature pugs or bulldogs.

There are several breeds of Bernese Mountain Dogs, but there are only two that are recognized by the AKC: the Great Pyrenees and the Mastiff. Both of these breeds have similar characteristics and both have been bred for years to fulfill specific tasks. The Mastiffs tend to be larger than their smaller cousins, but they still maintain a small stature.

The Great Pyrenes are smaller than their bigger brothers, but they still retain a large build.

These dogs are very large and sturdy. They have massive heads with small ears and short tails. Their body is slightly longer than it is tall.

The fur can be any number of colors including black, white, brown, or gray. It is usually very dense and can be found growing on most parts of the body. They shed little to no fur.

Dogs of this breed are very patient with children, but they should be watched around smaller ones because of their large size. It’s always a good idea to teach children how to behave around dogs, and these lessons will also prove useful with the dog of this breed. These dogs are naturally calm and docile.

Great care should be taken if you decide to introduce one into a home that already contains other pets because they may have a natural instinct to dominate other animals. Also, these dogs should not be trusted with other small animals such as cats because some specimens have been known to hunt them.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament – More About This Big Breed - Dog Puppy Site

As one would assume, these animals are not good as guard dogs. In fact, they tend to be friendly toward all people and become bewildered or frightened when faced with hostility. They make excellent watchdogs because of their deep voices and intimidating size.

They will bark at the slightest disturbance.

The average weight for this breed is between 100 and 150 pounds for males, and 85 to 115 pounds for females. The average height is 23 to 28 inches for males, and 21.5 to 27 inches for females.

As with all breeds, there are some restrictions on the Great Pyrenees. Some are obvious, like the inability to live in apartments. These dogs need a lot of space.

They have heavy coats that can cause them to get too hot in warm weather and too cold in colder weather without enough clothing. Grooming is also a necessity. These factors make it impossible for these dogs to live in apartments or other areas where space is limited or lacking.

While the Great Pyrenees is a very healthy breed, there are some conditions that can afflict them. Some of these are allergies to certain foods, hip dysplasia (which all large breeds are susceptible to), bloat, cancer and ear infections. Ear infections are probably the most common because of the dog’s long ears.

The ears need to be cleaned regularly to avoid infection.

The Great Pyrenees tends to be a very quiet dog. When it is alone it sometimes will let out a single bark or not bark at all. When around other dogs or people they have a tendency to keep barking until told to stop.

These dogs are one of the most intelligent breeds and can be easily trained if started at an early age. Owners must show patience when training this breed because it may take longer for the dog to understand what is wanted. These dogs have been known to disobey commands if they do not feel that the person in charge has enough authority.

The Great Pyrenees tends to form a strong bond with just one person, and it will be very friendly towards all strangers unless its master tells it to do otherwise. It is a natural guardian.

The Great Pyrenees is a calm dog. It does not get overexcited when playing or exploring and is not prone to being noisy except when it makes a find. These dogs have an amazing sense of smell and are used as search and rescue dogs as well as stockdogs because of this.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament – More About This Big Breed - DogPuppySite.com

They can be used to find both people and animals such as lost children or escaped cattle. They are also sometimes used to detect drugs and explosives.

The Great Pyrenees is a large dog that makes an excellent guard dog. As its name suggests, it comes from the mountains of the Pyrenees where it used to live in the wild and protect flocks of sheep from predators. In fact, it is one of the oldest breeds of livestock guardian dogs .

It has developed into a breed with a strong instinct to protect those under its care and is often described as an especially gentle and reliable guardian for children. It has a close bond with its owner, especially children. It is an affectionate dog that likes to follow its owners around and is known to be quiet and calm.

In the United States the Great Pyrenees was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Mortality of purebred and mixed-breed dogs in Denmark by HF Proschowsky, H Rugbjerg, AK Ersbøll – Preventive veterinary medicine, 2003 – Elsevier

Distraction index as a risk factor for osteoarthritis associated with hip dysplasia in four large dog breeds* by JJ Runge, SP Kelly, TP Gregor… – Journal of small …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library

Causes of death and the impact of histiocytic sarcoma on the life expectancy of the Dutch population of Bernese mountain dogs and Flat-coated retrievers by SA Erich, GR Rutteman, E Teske – The Veterinary Journal, 2013 – Elsevier

Analysis of genetic variation in 28 dog breed populations with 100 microsatellite markers by DN Irion, AL Schaffer, TR Famula… – Journal of …, 2003 – academic.oup.com

Prevalence of canine hip dysplasia in Switzerland between 1995 and 2016-A retrospective study in 5 common large breeds by S Ohlerth, B Geiser, M Flückiger… – Frontiers in veterinary …, 2019 – frontiersin.org

Genetic variation and genetic trends in hip and elbow dysplasia in Swedish Rottweiler and Bernese Mountain Dog by S Malm, WF Fikse, B Danell… – … of animal breeding and …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library