The site was last updated on
24 Aug 2000
Name of breed:
Bernese Mountain Dog
Mountain Dog or Bernese Sennenhund is named after the canton of Berne in Switzerland,
where it arrived with Caesar's army and was subsequently bred. Like other Swiss mountain
dogs, such as the Great Swiss, it has Mastiff characteristics. The breed is believed to
descend from the Molossus dog of ancient Greece and Rome, with some Rottweiler, Saint
Bernard and Newfoundland blood discernible in its ancestry.
The Bernese has
worked as herder and flock guardian in its native land, and is still used to pull milk
carts up Swiss mountainsides. In Britain it frequently puts an appearance, in harness, at
fêtes and similar events in order to raise money for charity. This large, gentle dog has
steady gained popularity in the USA and Britain over the past few years, both as a pet and
as a show dog, and is popular throughout Europe.
Size: Height at withers: dogs 64-70 cm (25-27.5 in) bitches 58-66 cm (23-26 in)
Weight: about 39.6kg (88lb)
moderately long, and straight or slightly wavy, with a bright natural sheen.
Colors: Jet black, with rich, reddish brown markings on cheeks, over eyes, on legs and
chest; some white markings on head, chest, tip of tail and feet are permissible.
The Bernese Mountain Dog makes a good pet for those with sufficient space, being amiable
towards children and other pets. It needs regular brushing and plenty of exercise.