01 Mar So You Think You’d Like A Bernese ?
Considerations before becoming a Bernese Mountain Dog owner
The following are suggestions of some points to consider BEFORE you search for your puppy and much of it would apply to many breeds. There is much more thought and responsibility involved in owning any large and powerful dog than just having the money to pay the food and vet’s bills.
Initial Thoughts – Can you Cope ?
Before trying to obtain a Bernese puppy make sure that you have the ability, time, space, resources and most importantly willingness to care for him adequately.
This is not a breed which always takes kindly to being shut up alone for long periods away from his family, particularly whilst young. He is a loving and giving friend but if neglected he can grow into a boisterous problem by which time retraining is very difficult.
Generally Bernese are willing to please and therefore relatively easy to train to an acceptable level of behaviour and this should be done whilst young. There is nothing more frustrating to a Bernese lover than a dog presented with a “temperament problem” which merely lacks some basic domestic behaviour training, which many experienced owners perform in an acceptable fashion as part of daily life.
Are you prepared to ensure that he learns such acceptable behaviour from you, either alone or with the help of a local training class ?.
There are all too many anti-dog lobbies nowadays and another large uncontrollable dog gives them just the type of ammunition they are looking for and the Dangerous Dogs Act, whilst not originally initiated to deal with Bernese could easily be applied to ANY DOG if it is out of control in a public area and this could lead to distressing consequences.
Can you afford to feed a large dog?.
Once mature Bernese do not eat as much as most outsiders seem to think but whilst growing can consume large amounts of a quality diet for a year or more.
Make sure that you have the financial resources to cope with any veterinary bills you might incur as well as routine inoculations etc. Most Bernese bought from reputable breeders come with a period of insurance and it is strongly recommended that this is continued.
Be happy that your garden and house can stand the impact of a large dog. You do not need to have a massive plot but dogs should not be encouraged or allowed to foul in parks, on pavements or similar public places so your garden may have to bear the brunt of the “consequences”. If they do foul an improper place you should at all times be prepared to clean up after your own dog.
Whilst “teething” some puppies can go through a destructive phase if not encouraged to play with their own chewing toys and, when left unsupervised for just a short time, even a youngster can do a lot of damage to your favourite furniture. Have you the time (and inclination) to take him daily walks and sufficient time to give sufficient regular grooming?.
Are you satisfied that ALL your family are happy with the prospect of a large dog entering their home. If a member of a family does not want this addition then problems can ensue. Small children can also be a problem either aggravating the dog or opening doors, gates etc. Growing dogs need to have a place and time to rest from the attentions of toddlers and children and many breeders are very reluctant to sell puppies to households with small children.