In March 2012 my husband and I were astonishingly lucky to become the proud “parents” to a beautiful 3 year old Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner Sennenhund in the land of their origin) called Gina.
She was born in Augsburg and with her first owners, traveled from Germany to Austria and back again. She’s a seasoned traveler now and with us, she has been to Belgium, Holland and all over the place in Germany where we currently live.
We try, at every opportunity, to take her everywhere with us – luckily, Germany is a dog-loving country and pretty much anywhere you go (restaurants, pubs, parks, shopping centers) you can take your dog with you. As long as they are well behaved, of course!
We are looking for a place for our dog to swim in our area, as she has a great love of water (surprising for a Berner) and of course we can’t wait for our first winter with her!
I am not a “purebred is better” type person at all – most of my many dogs have been rescued dogs, and a lot of them have even been in their “golden years” when we got them. But in the case of the Bernese Mountain dog, it’s best to find a reputable breeder, or a breed rescue specific organisation if you are contemplating one of these amazing dogs. Unfortunately, possibly due to their small genetic pool (they are a relatively rare breed, especially outside Europe) they are prone to cancerous diseases and other rather nasty ailments. The Berner Garde organisation is gathering a genetic database of all Bernese Mountain Dogs to aid in developing a stronger, healthier and more long-lived breed.
We have had nothing but fun with our amazing Berner, so far, and we are being positive about her long future ahead with us!