How to Care for a Bernese Mountain Dog

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How to Care for a Bernese Mountain Dog. The big and lovable Bernese mountain dog is loyal and attentive to its family and needs to be a part of all activities. This dog is a quick learner, but is slow to mature. Expect to have a full-grown puppy for a couple of years.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric Dog Clippers
  • Dog Balls
  • Dog Beds
  • Dog Bones
  • Dog Brushes
  • Dog Collars
  • Dog Dish Mats
  • Dog Dishes
  • Dog Flea/tick Control Medication
  • Dog Leashes
  • Dog Shampoo
  • Dog Tags
  • High-quality Dog Food

Vaccinate your Bernese mountain dog when you first get him and make sure he gets yearly booster vaccinations to maintain immunity to diseases. Also worm your adult dog every three months and consult your veterinarian about flea-control products.

Feed your Bernese mountain dog high-grade dog food. The first ingredient should be meat if you want a quality product. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent and crude fat no less than 20 percent. Also, the fiber content should be 4 percent or less.

Remember that the Bernese mountain dog needs to spend much of its waking hours with the family and does not do well when left alone in the back yard.

Train your Bernese mountain dog when it is a puppy. Because of his large size, you'll want to teach your pet basic obedience and household manners very early. These dogs are quick learners and eager to please.

Be aware that Bernese mountain dogs take more time to mature than most breeds. Be patient and gentle in your training. This breed does not respond well to harsh training methods, as it can be sensitive.

Socialize your Bernese mountain dog when it is young to be with other people. This breed can by shy or reserved with strangers if it has not had proper socialization.

Exercise your Bernese mountain dog daily. This dog is happy to walk and does require intense running.

Brush your dog's coat every day, if possible. They are heavy shedders, shedding once or twice a year, but do not require frequent bathing because their coats rid themselves of much of the dirt they collect. Trim your dog's nails every two to three weeks.

Know that the Bernese mountain dog is prone to certain health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia (a malformation of the joints), cancer and bloat.

Expect an adult male Bernese mountain dog to grow to 24 to 28 inches and weigh between 85 and 110 pounds. Females will grow to 23 to 27 inches and weigh between 80 and 105 pounds.

Be prepared to enjoy 10 and 12 years with your dog, as this is the Bernese mountain dog's average life expectancy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to learn more about hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • The Bernese mountain dog does not have a hunting instinct but will occasionally chase smaller animals.
  • Some Bernese mountain dogs are prone to digging.
  • The Bernese mountain dog may drool at times.
  • These dogs are not natural swimmers.

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