Is a Berner right for me?

They shed. We call it valuable bernerfur. You may call it a housekeeping nightmare.

Longevity is a problem in the breed, although breeders have made progress in regard to health issues over the past 30 years. Every day over 8 is a gift, but 12 and even 14 are possible. No matter what the lifespan, when they’re with you it seems like you’ve always had them and when you lose one it is always too soon.

They crave physical contact with their people. They sit on your feet. They lean on you, crawl in your lap, put their heads under your elbow while you are trying to type or drink your coffee. Some hug by wrapping a paw around your leg or shoulder. They need to be housedogs.

While generally a low- or medium-energy breed when mature, as youngsters they can be quite rowdy. And big. They need exercise and playtime.

They are usually good with other dogs and cats. Ilsa had a cat with her in the whelping box when she started labor. Of course, when the first puppy was born, he had to leave. Wiggly little puppy looked a lot like prey.

The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America bmdca.org has a wonderful website. Find lots more information on puppy and breeder selection there.