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Bernese Mountain Dog Facts

Origin: Switzerland
Lifespan: 7-10 years
Breed Group: Working
Coat Type: Thick, long, and silky
Coat Colours: Tri-Coloured (black, white, and rust)
Temperament: Gentle, Affectionate, Intelligent
Height: 58-70 cm (23-28 inches)
Weight: 36-54 kg (80-120 lbs)

Introduction

Bernese Mountain Dog for Sale Ireland

The Bernese Mountain Dog, also called the Berner Sennenhund or Bernese Cattle Dog, is a large-sized purebred canine belonging to the Working category. This breed’s appearance and size are influenced by the characteristics of its parents, a topic we’ll explore further in the following chapters.

These charming dogs are of medium energy, possessing a good-natured and self-assured disposition. While they may not possess great endurance, they can move swiftly for short bursts.

Not only are they a sizable and robust family dog, but they also serve as vigilant watchdogs, exhibiting tolerance, gentleness toward children, and a generally placid demeanor around strangers. Among the Swiss Mountain dog varieties, including the Appenzeller, Berner, Entlebucher, and Greater Swiss, the Bernese Mountain Dog is the sole long-haired representative, deriving its name from Switzerland’s capital, Bern.

Social and active, Bernese Mountain Dogs maintain their boisterous puppy energy well into their senior years, necessitating regular training and exercise routines to prevent excess weight gain. These amiable and sturdy canines typically get along well with other dogs and animals, relishing opportunities for socialization.

Below, we’ll delve into the history, characteristics, and unique traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog, while also exploring their availability all over Ireland, from Dublin to Cork and beyond.

A Brief History

The Bernese Mountain Dog, often affectionately referred to as the “Bernie,” has a rich history that can be traced back to Switzerland. However, its roots in Ireland have also deepened over the years, with these gentle giants becoming cherished members of households all across the country.

The breed was originally developed in the Swiss Alps, where it worked as a versatile farm dog. With their strength and reliability, Bernese Mountain Dogs were essential for pulling carts, herding livestock, and guarding the homesteads.

Origins in Switzerland

The roots of the Bernese Mountain Dog can be traced back to the picturesque Swiss Alps, specifically the canton of Bern. These remarkable dogs have a lineage that reaches back over 2,000 years, believed to be descendants of Roman Mastiffs introduced to the region centuries ago.

Originally bred as versatile working dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs played a pivotal role in the lives of Swiss farmers. Their strong and intelligent nature made them indispensable for a wide range of tasks, from herding livestock to pulling carts and safeguarding property. Beyond their work, they forged deep bonds with the families who relied on their loyalty and companionship.

Facing Decline and Resurgence

The late 19th century marked a challenging period for the Bernese Mountain Dog. The advent of agricultural mechanization and modernization led to a decline in their numbers as their traditional roles diminished.

Despite the odds, the breed was saved from the brink of extinction through the unwavering dedication of breed enthusiasts. Their commitment ensured the survival and eventual flourishing of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

In a significant milestone, the Swiss Kennel Club officially recognized the Bernese Mountain Dog as a distinct breed in 1907. This recognition laid the foundation for the breed’s global journey.

A Worldwide Phenomenon

The popularity of the Bernese Mountain Dog transcended Swiss borders, spreading across Europe, into Ireland, and eventually reaching North America in the 1920s.

While their primary role as working farm dogs has evolved, Bernese Mountain Dogs have found new vocations as cherished family pets, therapy dogs, and show dogs.

Bernese Mountain Dog: Did you know?

  • The Bernese Mountain Dog goes by various names, including “Bernese Cattle Dog,” “Berner Sennenhund,” “Bovaro Bernese,” “Bouvier Bernois,” “Duerrbaechler,” and “Dürrbächhund.”
  • A common nickname for the Bernese Mountain Dog is the “Berner.”
  • The oldest recorded Bernese Mountain Dog lived an impressive 15 years.
  • This breed’s incredible strength allows it to haul up to ten times its weight, approximately 1,000 pounds (453 kg).
  • In 2015, a Bernese Mountain Dog named “Nico” achieved hero status by saving two people from drowning in a California rip current, preventing them from being swept out to sea.

Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies

If you’re considering bringing a Bernese Mountain Dog into your life, you’ll likely start by searching for puppies. In Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and many other counties in Ireland, there are breeders and enthusiasts who specialize in these magnificent dogs. Bernese Mountain Dog puppies are known for their adorable appearance, with their distinctive tri-color coat and soulful eyes.

It’s important to research reputable breeders in your area to ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-cared-for puppy. Consider visiting breeders, asking questions about the puppy’s lineage, and making sure they adhere to ethical breeding practices.

Miniature Bernese Mountain Dog

While the standard Bernese Mountain Dog is known for its imposing size and strength, there’s a smaller version of this breed called the Miniature Bernese Mountain Dog. This compact version retains all the charm and characteristics of the standard breed but in a more manageable package.

The Miniature Bernese Mountain Dog can be an excellent choice for families living in smaller homes or apartments, as they require less space than their larger counterparts. They still possess the same loving and friendly temperament that makes Bernese Mountain Dogs such wonderful companions.

Size and Weight

One of the most defining features of the Bernese Mountain Dog is its impressive size and weight.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large and robust breed. Males typically stand between 25 to 27.5 inches (64 to 70 cm) at the shoulder, while females measure slightly smaller, ranging from 23 to 26 inches (58 to 66 cm). In terms of weight, males generally weigh between 80 to 115 pounds (36 to 52 kg), and females weigh between 70 to 95 pounds (32 to 43 kg).

Their robust build and strong bones make them well-suited for various tasks, from pulling heavy loads to navigating rugged terrain. This breed’s impressive physique makes them a striking presence in any Irish county.

Coat & Colors

The Bernese Mountain Dog boasts a stunning coat that’s a hallmark of the breed. Their fur is dense, long, and silky, with a striking tri-color pattern. This pattern consists of a predominantly black body with rich rust and white markings on the face, chest, and legs. Their coat is not only beautiful but also provides protection against the harsh mountain climates they were originally bred to withstand.

In Ireland, this coat can be both an asset and a challenge. While it keeps them warm during the cooler months in counties like Limerick, it can require regular grooming to keep them looking their best. Regular brushing and occasional baths are necessary to prevent matting and maintain their elegant appearance.

Standard Tricolor

The hallmark of the Bernese Mountain Dog breed is its distinctive tricolour coat. This standard coat pattern features a rich combination of jet black, rust, and white markings. It is the most common and widely recognized colour variation for this breed.

Traditional Tricolor

The traditional tricolour Bernese Mountain Dog boasts a jet-black base coat adorned with vibrant rust-coloured markings. These rich rust hues accentuate the cheeks, eyebrows, chest, and legs of the dog. Crisp white markings provide a striking contrast on the chest, face, and paws. This classic tricolour combination epitomizes the breed’s iconic appearance.

Sable

While less prevalent, the sable variation introduces a unique twist to the Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat. In this variation, the black base coat takes on a lighter, more brownish hue. Rust markings, though less prominent, still grace the dog’s features. The sable Bernese Mountain Dog may display a mottled or brindle-like appearance, with a captivating blend of lighter and darker shades across its coat.

Reverse Tricolour

The reverse tricolour variation presents a bold departure from the standard coat pattern. Here, the predominantly white coat replaces the black base. Striking rust markings emerge on the head, ears, and legs, while black patches adorn the body. This inversion creates a visually stunning and attention-grabbing appearance, characterized by a dramatic contrast between the white and darker markings.

Diverse White Markings

While all Bernese Mountain Dogs possess white markings to some degree, there is room for diversity within this category. Some individuals may exhibit more extensive white areas on their coat, which can encompass larger portions of the face, chest, or paws. Though not as common as the standard tricolour, Bernese Mountain Dogs with increased white markings remain true to the breed standard while offering a unique twist on the classic tricolour look.

Temperament

The Bernese Mountain Dog is renowned for its gentle and affectionate temperament. They are known to be friendly, loyal, and excellent with children, making them an ideal family pet. Their kind disposition also extends to other animals, making them good companions for other pets in your home.

In Dublin’s bustling city life, the Bernese Mountain Dog’s calm and composed nature can be a comforting presence. They are known to be obedient and trainable, although early socialization and consistent training are essential to ensure they grow into well-mannered dogs.

Gentle and Patient

One of the standout qualities of the Bernese Mountain Dog is its natural gentleness and patience. This breed’s calm and tolerant nature makes it an excellent choice for families, especially those with children. Their gentle temperament allows them to be affectionate and understanding companions, always ready to provide comfort.

Loyal and Devoted

Bernese Mountain Dogs are renowned for their unparalleled loyalty and devotion to their families. They establish strong bonds with their human companions and are known for their unwavering commitment. Their desire for human companionship makes them exceptional family pets and steadfast protectors.

Intelligent and Eager to Please

Intelligence is another hallmark of the Bernese Mountain Dog. This breed is not only intelligent but also eager to please its owners. They are quick learners and respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement training methods. Their combination of intelligence and the desire to please makes them adaptable and versatile in various canine activities.

Friendly and Sociable

Friendliness and sociability come naturally to Bernese Mountain Dogs. Their kind and amiable nature makes them approachable and welcoming to both people and other animals. They are well-suited for social interactions, including encounters with other dogs, cats, and small pets, especially when they receive proper socialization from an early age.

Protective Instinct

While typically friendly and gentle, Bernese Mountain Dogs also possess a protective instinct when it comes to their family and territory. They remain vigilant and will use their bark to alert their owners to potential threats. Their protective nature, coupled with their imposing size, can serve as a deterrent to potential intruders.

Bernese Mountain Dog for Sale in Ireland

Now that you’ve learned about the Bernese Mountain Dog’s history, characteristics, and temperament, you might be wondering where to find one in Ireland. There are various options when it comes to acquiring a Bernese Mountain Dog, including breeders, rescue organizations, and classified ads.

DogsIreland.ie: Our website, DogsIreland.ie, is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to dogs in Ireland, offers valuable resources for those seeking Bernese Mountain Dogs for sale in the country. With its extensive listings and user-friendly interface, we provide a convenient and trustworthy way to explore available Bernese Mountain Dog pups or dogs.

Breeders: Reputable breeders can be found in different Irish counties. They specialize in raising healthy and well-socialized Bernese Mountain Dog puppies. Be sure to ask about health certifications and meet the puppy’s parents to get a sense of their lineage.

Rescue Organizations: Consider adopting a Bernese Mountain Dog from a rescue organization or shelter. Many loving dogs are in need of homes, and adopting can be a rewarding experience. Check with rescue groups in your area for available dogs.

Useful Links

To help you on your journey to becoming a proud Bernese Mountain Dog owner in Ireland, here are some useful links to explore:

  • Irish Kennel Club: The IKC is the national canine organization in Ireland and offers resources on responsible dog ownership and breed standards.
  • Local Animal Shelters: If you’re considering adoption, check out local animal shelters and rescue organizations to find Bernese Mountain Dogs in need of loving homes.