The Bernese Mountain Dog has a great temperament. He is dependable, consistent, has a strong desire to please, and always appears to be in command. An excellent family companion, the Bernese is devoted, faithful, and affectionate to his family and needs lots of human companionship. This is not a dog to be left outdoors but, rather, he must be made a full member of the family. He has a calm and gentle disposition which makes him very good with children and other animals. He may appear to be aloof or suspicious of strangers but is never aggressive or timid. The Bernese, however, is not a guard dog. While he may bark and appear intimidating, in general, the Bernese has a very friendly nature.
A versatile breed, the Berner is seen competing in several areas, such as conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, herding, and carting. The Bernese is slow to mature physically and can take up to three years to reach full growth. Daily exercise is required to keep the adult dog fit and, like most large breeds, care must be taken to not over-exercise the young dog during the growing phase.
In appearance, the Bernese Mountain Dog is large, sturdy, strong, agile and well-balanced. The males appear distinctly masculine while the females are distinctly feminine. The tri-colored, heavy, double coat has distinctive markings — The ground color is jet-black with rich russet markings on the cheeks, a spot over each eye, a patch above the forelegs, and on all four legs between the black of the upper leg and the white of the feet. White markings are found on the chest to under the chin as well as a blaze extending into the muzzle band, white feet and a white tip of the tail. The coat is weather resistant and of moderate length with a natural sheen.
There are plenty of adult Bernese who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics. If you find such an adult, don’t let typical breed negatives worry you. When you acquire a puppy, you’re acquiring potential — what he one day will be. So typical breed characteristics are very important. But when you acquire an adult, you’re acquiring what he already is.
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