The Bernese Mountain Dog, also known as the Berner Sennenhund or Bouvier Bernois, is just one of four tri-colored Swiss Mountain Dog breeds that also include the Appenzeller Sennenhund, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Sturdy and strong, the Bernese was originally used to drive cattle to pasture and act as farm watchdogs. The breed was also commonly seen hauling carts of groceries in the mountains of their native Canton of Berne, Switzerland, earning them their name and the distinction of being known as the "Clydesdales of the Dog World." It is believed that they were developed by crossing native Swiss Mountain Dogs with Roman military dogs that were brought to Switzerland during the Roman invasion over 2,000 years ago, which resulted in a large, strong, farming breed that could handle the harsh conditions of their homeland. By the end of the 19th century, these beautiful dogs nearly went extinct, but because of the dedication of breed enthusiasts such as Professor Albert Heim and Herr Franz Schertenleib, the Bernese Mountain Dog is now one of the most recognized breeds in the world.
Well-known for their good-natured personality, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a very powerful, balanced, and efficient farming breed that is most recognized by their beautiful tri-colored coat which serves to protect them from the cold conditions of their native Switzerland. They have a thick, moderately long, straight or slightly wavy coat that is predominantly black with symmetrical white and rust markings on the head, chest, legs, and under the tail. Bernese Mountain Dogs have medium-sized ears, dark brown, slightly oval-shaped eyes with a dark-colored nose to match, and a straight muzzle. The breed's medium-long length tail is bushy with a white tip.
Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to be affectionate, calm, faithful, and above all, loyal. They also can make an excellent watchdog and companion because of their heritage and demeanor. Although swift and efficient, the Bernese should not be seen as aggressive or hostile towards strangers but may seem aloof. Known to be an eager learner, they are very responsive to their trainer's voice. Positive reinforcement and consistent obedience training from puppyhood are important for this easy-going mountain dog to make sure they will be self-assured and friendly as a mature adult. Due to their large size and activeness, the breed may be best suited for a family with access to a large area for them to roam around in to remain happy and healthy. The calm and docile Bernese Mountain Dog can make a great playmate for older children or other dogs and are even known to keep their puppy-like temperament well into adulthood, but since some dogs may have a stronger prey drive than others, small pets in the household should be supervised. With a watchful instinct, sociable personality, and general friendly disposition, the Bernese loves spending time with their families and are adaptable enough to fit into a variety of households.