Post # 1
Anyone have one? DH and I are trying figure out what type of dog we want. Here are a few questions:
1. How badly do they shed?
2. Do they have a strong smell?
3. Is a 2200 sq foot duplex in the city (near a dog park) big enough for one?
Post # 3
I knew one at the kennel and it was a great dog. The only thing is that I don’t think they have a long life expectancy due to their size. I bet they shed a ton! But your place sounds big enough if you have the energy!
Post # 4
I had a neighbor that had one on the farm. Good dog, very protective and loyal. They are not really indoor dogs, they like the cold and lots of running room. My neighbors dog spent a lot of time at my place chasing turkeys at night and swimming in the cold lake water.
Post # 5
They shed a lot. Like the Grey Pyranees and other mountain-y dogs, they prefer to roam and play outside to being inside at all. No dog smells if they’re kept clean since dogs don’t sweat.
Post # 6
We had a Bernese for 6 years. Great dog, loyal and protective.
Hated new people and would bark for hours if someone new came over
She was an indoor dog. She liked to run outside but preferred to be indoors most of the time.
Had tons and tons and tons of health issues. She passed away just after her 6th birthday after thousands of dollars in vet bills. It was absolutely heartwrenching to watch.
I love Bernese mountain dogs. I would never ever get a purebred again. Now my mom has a Pyrenese x Bernese and a Newfoundlander x Bernese. I would look for a cross breed instead but that’s only beacuse of the health issues and super short lifespan not because of the dog.
Post # 7
Beautiful dogs, but tons of health issues and tons of shedding. As for the dog smell, I’d say they’re on par with any other type of dog but are a little harder to bathe/keep clean due to their size and all their hair. Mine also drooled like crazy.
Post # 8
My spouse’s best friend has one we see a lot and occasionally doggie-sit. The dog sheds massive amounts. Their house is covered in balls of fur. They apparently vacuum daily, but I can never tell the difference. He smells occasionally, but he is groomed often, so he usually doesn’t smell too bad. His breath is pretty gross though.
They have a townhouse that’s smaller than that, so I think 2200 sqft should be okay, if you take the dog out for long walks. I love the dog, but he does have an annoying habit of sticking his nose in people’s butt and crotch region because that’s where his head is, so he’s not really a dog I would introduce to people I wanted to impress. They are very sweet though.
Post # 9
I think 2200 sq ft is big enough for any type of dog – that’s a HUGE place to live.
I’m sure they shed non-stop. They have very thick undercoats! Probably would have to brush them outside a bunch! I think they are also big droolers, but I could be wrong on that. Very sweet dogs, though!
Post # 10
If you get one get a puppy and teach him to love the shop vac. For real vacuuming them will save your sanity. oh and get pet insurance!
Post # 11
Thank you guys for all of your feedback! DH and I will have to think about this a little more.
@LyndzJM: I will definitely look into cross-breeds!
Post # 12
A family friend has a bernese and they’re absolutely fabulous dogs. They prefer cold weather (some have health problems in very hot climates) and they shed like any other large, long haired dog does. Most are big fans of swimming, which is great exercise that is easy on their joints. As with all breeds, if you’re getting a purebred dog make sure that you are buying from an extremely responsible breeder who has hips/elbows etc certified going back for at least a few generations. IMO, you either do a ton of research and probably pay a hefty price for a solid purebred, or adopt a mix who will be equally fabulous with a lot less health problems than a poorly bred purebred.
I absolutely adore big breeds and find that their diet plays a HUGE role in their health, even more-so than in smaller breeds. I’m a big proponent of a raw diet which can get expensive for an animal of that size. In a large breed, a raw diet produces a shiny, odor free coat that is shed less, clean teeth, smaller/odorfree poops (less to pick up!), lean muscle and drastically less fat, which is easier on their joints. In my experience, it improves their health and their lifespan overall. If you go this route, it’s extremely important that you feed a well balanced raw diet, especially in such a large dog where bone/joint health and integrity is so important. You could do the research and make your own, buy from someone who makes it, or buy a commercial raw diet. I’ve made it myself before, tried numerous commercial brands, and ultimately settled on ordering direct from a breeder who makes it for her own kennel and sells it at an extremely reasonable price.
Post # 13
We have a Bernese crossed with an American Bulldog – we rescued him from a shelter at 6 or 7 weeks, so I’m sure those two weren’t meant to bread, but he’s amazing! He’s 7 months now, has the colors of a Bernese but with short hair. He def has the Berner temperament though: loves people and other dogs, lazy as all heck, and a total cuddle bug 🙂
Post # 14
Bernies are so gorgeous! One thing I will warn about is that I have heard they are on the whole very destructive puppies. My cousin has one, and he literally ate part of a wall. I wouldn’t say not to get one, but it is important to know these things about the breed.
Post # 15
@chocolatecoveredstrawberry: I can confirm that 🙂 Mine ate through her kennel, then through my closet door, and for dessert she ate all my heels! I came home and didn’t know whether to scream, cry, or just stare at her in sheer amazement. That’s quite the accomplishment for a 2.5 hour span! 🙂