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Powerful and built for hard work, the Bernese Mountain dog is distinguishable for its tri-colored coat, black and white chest, and rust colored markings. Self-confident and good-natured, Berners are one of the world’s best-loved breeds.
See the fact file below for more information on the Bernese Mountain Dog or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Bernese Mountain Dog worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY AND ORIGIN
- The Molosser is an ancient breed that influenced a number of varieties of the Mastiff-type dogs, even the Bernese Mountain dog.
- There are four Swiss Sennenhund breeds: Appenzeller Sennenhund, Entlebucher Sennenhund, Greater Swiss Mountain dog, and Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain dog). These four dogs were the results from crosses between farm dogs of the Swiss Alps and the Molosser or Mastiff dogs brought by the invading Romans during the first century B.C.
- The name Sennenhund originated from the German word Senne, meaning “pasture,” and Hund, meaning “dog,” as they accompanied the Alpine farmers called Senn.
- For more than two millenniums, Berners used to work on farms in the Swiss Alps, dragging carts, attending to livestock, guarding fields, and staying loyal to their owners.
- In 1902, Swiss Mountain dogs rose to popularity when a Swiss Dog Club sponsored an event at Ostermundigen, Switzerland.
- In 1904, these breeds joined several events, drawing more attention from the public. A Swiss Dog Club funded a group for Swiss “Shepherd dogs,” including the mountain dogs, at an international dog show in Bern. This same year, the Swiss Kennel Club acknowledged the Bernese Mountain dog as a breed.
- During World War I, dog shows and breeding declined; however, after this long-time armed conflict, first Berners were brought to Holland and then to the United States – although this breed was not yet acknowledged by the American Kennel Club.
- In 1936, two British breeders started introducing Berners to England, thus the first litter of Bernese Mountain puppies was born. A pair of Berners from Switzerland was imported by the Glen Shadow Kennel in Louisiana.
- In early 1937, Glen Shadow received a letter from the AKC, categorizing the Bernese Mountain dog as a new breed under the working class.
- In 1968, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America was established, having 62 members and 43 registered dogs.
- These dogs were reintroduced in Great Britain since its decline after World War II. In 1981, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America became a member club of the AKC. Nine years later, the AKC accepted the current Bernese Mountain dog standards.
- Males are larger than females, standing at 25 to 27 inches; however, females only reach a height of 23 to 26 inches. Both have a strong and muscular build and are usually longer than they are tall. Berners weigh around 75 to 120 pounds (34 to 54 kilograms).
- They have dark brown eyes, medium-sized triangular ears that are slightly rounded at the tip, broad skulls with a defined stop, and strong muzzles. Berners are dry-mouthed breeds with teeth that meet in a scissor bite.
- They also have sturdy necks and deep chests. Their tails are bushy, forming an upward swirl when they become alarmed. Their forequarters and hindquarters are round and compact with well-arched toes.
- Berners have thick and silky double coats with a longer outer coat and wooly undercoat. Generally tri-colored, most of their body is covered with jet-black fur with rich rust and bright white. They also have recognizable markings on the coat and face, including a distinctive white marking on the chest that resembles an inverted cross, a white blaze at the center of the eyes, and white tips on the tail.
- Berners are sweet, smart, and alert breeds. They love to be with their owner’s family and do well in family activities. They mature gradually – they become full-grown long before they show signs of mental maturity.
- Although protective of their owners, these dogs are not really aggressive. Berners become standoffish and shy towards unfamiliar visitors, so it is important for owners to expose their dogs to a number of people, animals, and situations at an early age.
- They love the great outdoors, although these dogs are well-behaved inside their owner’s house. Berners also need daily exercise, but they do not have a great deal of endurance.
- Berners have a number of health problems because of their small genetic foundation and for unknown reasons that are yet undiscovered.
- That is why their life span is short, only about 7 to 10 years.
- Hip dysplasia. An abnormality in the hip socket, causing crippling lameness and painful joint inflammation, such as arthritis.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). An eye condition that may lead to blindness.
- Cancer. Different types of cancer can afflict some Berners and can result in an early death. Abnormal swelling of a sore or bump, sores that do not recover, bleeding from any open wounds, and difficulty with breathing are some of the symptoms of cancer.
- Portosystemic Shunt (PSS). An inborn abnormality in which blood vessels do not let blood pass through the liver, resulting in uncleansed blood.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease. Nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from surgery and during heat cycles, and bloody stool leads to a blood disorder that has an effect in the clotting process.
- Gastric Torsion. A critical condition that usually plagues large, deep-chested dogs. Also known as bloat, this is usually common among older dogs and occurs when the stomach is filled with gas or air and then twists (torsion).
- A home with a large, fenced yard is preferable since Berners cannot adapt that well in apartments and small spaces. Since they are active breeds, they need regular vigorous exercise.
- Since they have thick coats, they shed a lot and are highly sensitive to heat. It is best for owners to give their Berners plenty of shade, fresh water, and air conditioning during the summer.
- Brush their teeth at least two or three times a week, and trim their nails once or twice a month. Their ears should also be checked every week to avoid bad odor, redness, or any infections.
Bernese Mountain Dog Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Bernese Mountain Dogs across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bernese Mountain Dog worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Bernese Mountain dog which is distinguishable for its tri-colored coat, black and white chest, and rust colored markings. Self-confident and good-natured, Berners are one of the world’s best-loved breeds.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Bernese Mountain Dog Facts
- Meet Berner
- Breed Standards
- Berner Check
- Berner’s Life Story
- Other Mountain Dogs
- Berner and Friends
- Owner’s Duties
- Bring Home Berner
- Adopt Little Berner
- Tracing Roots
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Link will appear as Bernese Mountain Dog Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 5, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.