Is a Bernese Mountain Dog a good first dog?

If you’ve ever looked into a Bernese Mountain Dog’s large, expressive eyes, then you’ve probably felt a tug at your heartstrings. These big, lovable dogs, known for their clouds of long, silky fur, and their likable nature, are a standout breed. With their characteristic tricolor coat, people who love large dogs find it almost impossible to resist their charm and the unwavering loyalty they offer.

For first-time pet parents, it might be tempting to bring one of these gentle giants into your home. But is it a good idea? Would a Bernese Mountain Dog make an excellent first dog? Before we begin our exploration, there’s an interesting fact that you might not already know. Did you know that Bernese Mountain Dogs originally hail from Switzerland and were initially used as cattle herding dogs, they transported goods and even pulled carts carrying products from dairy farms to nearby markets? Their strength and stamina made them a reliable workforce!

Now, wouldn’t that be charming, having your very own Swiss charmer at home? But it’s not all about charm when you’re deciding on your first pet. A lot of considerations need to be taken into account. Let’s delve into that.

Having a Bernese Mountain Dog as your first pooch – The Pros

First, let’s talk about why a Bernese Mountain Dog might indeed be an excellent choice for first-time pet owners.

1. Friendly and Affectionate: Bernese Mountain Dogs are incredibly sociable and doting, especially towards their chosen human families. They get along fantastically with children and other household pets. For families looking to own their first pet, a Bernese can easily become a welcomed and cherished member.

2. Patient and Gentle: Their patient and gentle nature makes them ideal companions for those new to dog parenting. This removes a lot of potential difficulties that can come up with more high-energy dog breeds.

3. Intelligent and Trainable: Bernese Mountain Dogs are highly intelligent, and they respond well to training – which is great for first-time dog owners since it means that their pets will be more likely to listen and learn.

4. Loyal: Their unwavering loyalty is another reason why they might be a great first dog. When properly socialized and trained, these dogs can be an incredible addition to any family.

But as they say, nothing is entirely rosy. There are some things you need to know before you decide to go with a Bernese as your first dog.

A Bernese Mountain Dog as a first pet – The Cons

1. Size: Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs. Females can weigh between 70 and 95 pounds, while the males can tip the scale at 80 to 115 pounds. This means you’ll need to have ample space in your home and backyard to house them comfortably.

2. Lifespan: This breed typically has a shorter lifespan, averaging around 7-10 years. This fact can be heartbreaking for owners as it means saying goodbye way too soon.

3. Health Problems: Bernese Mountain Dogs are susceptible to certain health problems, including certain types of cancer and musculoskeletal issues. It’s wise to be financially prepared for vet visits and potential health challenges.

4. Shedding: With that thick, beautiful coat comes lots of shedding. If you or a family member have allergies to dog dander, this breed might not be a good option.

5. Daily Exercise: While not as high energy as some breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog still needs daily exercise to keep fit and healthy. These dogs love to play, so set aside time each day for walks and playtime.

In conclusion, the answer to the question “Is a Bernese Mountain Dog a good first dog?” isn’t a simple yes or no. The better way to answer this would be to say: “It depends.” It depends on your living arrangements, your ability to handle their grooming and health needs, and your willingness to invest time and love into their relatively short lives. If you can handle these commitments, you just might find out how truly wonderful it is to share your home with one of these gentle giants.

A Bernese Mountain Dog can become a deeply loved part of your family, one that is devoted, protective, and full of life. Like any decision, especially ones that involve commitment, doing your homework first is essential. If done well, you will reap the joy and rewards of having a loving, loyal, and adoring Bernese Mountain Dog. Simply put in the work required from the start, and you’ll set the stage for a rewarding pet parenting experience.

In any case, isn’t it time we stopped asking ourselves if we are ready for a dog, and instead ask, “Is the dog ready for us?” After all, it’s not just about our readiness, but also about providing the right and loving home for these furry little lives. So, make sure you are fully prepared to embark on this wonderful journey of dog ownership. It can be challenging, but undeniably it is one of the most rewarding experiences one could ever have!