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Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Information

No one can say for certain how the Bernese Mountain Dog came about, though it has certainly exited in Switzerland for a very long time. The leading theory is that the Bernese Mountain Dog is the result of crossbreeding between Roman war mastiffs and herding dogs native to Switzerland. This combination created a large dog that was well suited to living in the frosty Alps, and that could serve as both a draft animal and herder. The Bernese is one of four different Swiss Mountain Dogs, and is distinctive for being the only one with a long coat; the other three are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, and the Appenzeller Sennenhund.

Lack of interest in breeding the Bernese Mountain Dog led to its near extinction toward the end of the 19th century, but the breed was saved by the efforts of Professor Albert Heim and Swiss dog fancier Franz Schertenleib. The Bernese Mountain Dog first reached the United States in 1926, and received American Kennel Club recognition in 1937. The Bernese Mountain Dog is still used to herd livestock, but these days you are more likely to see it as a house pet.

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