Is a Bernese Mountain Dog a dangerous dog?

Close your eyes and imagine a dog that’s huge – bigger than an average person when it stands on its hind legs. This dog is the stuff of both dreams and nightmares; a behemoth that is as friendly as a Labrador and as intimidating as a Rottweiler. It’s stuffed like a teddy bear and roars like a lion… but what if we told you that such a beast exists in the world of canines? Yes, they are the humble yet giant, the Bernese Mountain Dogs, or ‘Berners’ as they are lovingly dubbed!

Wait, but did we just say…a beast? So, does that mean Bernese Mountain Dogs are dangerous? Well, to answer that question let’s first learn a bit more about these intriguing creatures.

Originating in Switzerland, Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred to be the Swiss farmer’s helping hand, with tasks including herding livestock, pulling carts, and being a watchful companion. The Berner is one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. Designed to withstand the chilly weather, they are recognized by their tri-colored long, silky fur that gives them an enchanting, majestic, yet somewhat imposing appearance.

Many people often confuse them as threatening, all thanks to their size, which on average for males can be anywhere from 25 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder with a weight spanning from 80 to 115 pounds. Females are typically just a smidgeon smaller. Now, that’s a big dog! Their size might be intimidating, but once you get to know a Bernese Mountain dog, you’ll be more in awe than in fear.

But don’t let the Bernese Mountain Dog’s size fool you. Underneath that brawny structure beats a heart of gold. They have an extraordinary love for humans and an unending loyalty that could make even the greatest of knights look paltry. They don’t just like their human families, they love them, and they show it with their friendly, calm, and patient demeanor.

This calm demeanor is one of the salient traits that qualifies the Bernese Mountain dog as an excellent family dog. They are known for their gentleness and patience with children, protective nature towards their human families, and their compatibility with other pets. They are not a one-man dog, but rather a dog for the entire family. Each family member is likely to get a slice of their love and not to mention, their colossal sizes are perfect for bear-hugs, both giving and receiving!

However, any dog, regardless of breed, can become dangerous if it is mistreated, neglected, or inadequately trained. A few incidents have been reported where Bernese Mountain Dogs have exhibited aggressive behavior. But, that is not the norm, and often it is the unfortunate result of irresponsible ownership.

Teaching a Bernese Mountain Dog good canine manners starts when they are a puppy. Like all dogs, Bernese Mountains need to be socialized – that is, exposed to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences – when they are young. This ensures they grow up to be a well-rounded dog.

Training a Bernese can be a joyous task as they are intelligent and eager to please, which is an exciting combo for any dog owner. They tend to respond well to reward-based training using treats or favorite toys. However, also like any other intelligent breed, Bernese Mountains can be stubborn at times. Consistency is the key to train any dog, so don’t plan on skipping any training day.

One thing you might have to deal with when living with a Bernese Mountain dog is their vocal nature. They are known for being quite vocal with a variety of barks, howls, moans, and oddly human-sounding noises. While this doesn’t equate to danger or aggression, it might be something to consider if you crave peace and quiet or have grumpy neighbors!

Keep in mind that no two dogs are perfectly alike. Therefore, while it’s useful to consider the general characteristics and temperament of a breed, never forget that your dog, like you, is an individual with their unique personality traits.

To sum it up, aren’t we all a little dangerous if not treated and trained properly? The Berners, by nature, are not dangerous dogs! Before assuming anything about this breed or any dog breed, remember that a dog’s behavior is influenced far more by their training and upbringing than by their breed. After all, Bernese Mountain dogs are the “teddy-bears” of the dog world and not the “beasts” they are sometimes mistaken for.

So if you’re willing to commit time, love, and training to a new furry member of your family –give a Bernese a chance. You’ll get more than just a pet, you’ll have a gentle yet protective companion, a loving family member, and a big fluffy friend who is more than willing to give bear-hugs all day long!

In a world quick to label and stereotype, the Bernese Mountain Dog serves as a great reminder that appearances can be deceiving and that love, training, and kindness can bring out the best in everyone, even our four-legged friends. After all, aren’t these lessons worth learning?