When you’re a dog lover, if you don’t have a dog, your home probably seems like it’s missing something. There is undoubtedly something special about having a dog running about; it makes your family feel complete. But, choosing the right dog for your family is not a task that you should take lightly, especially if you have children.
Naturally, you would want your kids and your new pup to become the best of friends, which means you need to do a little research into what breeds are a good match for homes with kids. Of course, you always need to consider the individual temperament of the actual pooch you plan to bring home, but generally, certain breeds are known for getting along with children better than others. Therefore, whether you’re buying a new pet or plan to adopt a dog, ensure you know all of your options first.
The Bernese Mountain Dog: Family Dog and Affectionate Companion
Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely affectionate and good-natured, often believed to be one of the least aggressive dogs toward humans. Their sweet dispositions, calm natures, and willingness to play make them a great companion for children.
Although you should make your final judgment once you meet your potential new furry housemate, a Bernese Mountain Dog is a pretty safe bet when it comes to a good pet. Here are 6 reasons why a Bernese Mountain Dog is the best family dog:
- A Bernese Mountain Dog has an even-temper and calm disposition, always a good fit for rowdy kids.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog is patient, so he’s tolerant of energetic kids that may want to climb all over his big, furry body.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog loves to please his owners, so if the kids want to play, the odds are good that your pup is a willing playmate.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog, although not aggressive, is protective. He’ll have a strong desire to keep your kids (and the whole family) safe.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog is loyal and devoted to his family.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog is easy to train, which is always a bonus when you have kids. It makes it easier to get the children involved in the training process.
Getting To Know the Bernese Mountain Dog
When it comes to the perfect family pet, a Bernese comes very close to hitting the mark. Bernese Mountain Dogs are devoted, friendly, intelligent, and kind. This is undoubtedly a list of traits that would appeal to any dog-owner-to-be.
However, when you’re choosing a dog for your family, it’s not all about personality. You also need to consider the basic facts about the dog breed. Factors like maintenance, size, exercise needs, trainability, health issues, and other characteristics are also important determinants for picking the right pooch for you.
For example, a Labrador could be a wonderful playmate for children, but he won’t like being cooped up all day in a tiny apartment if you’re never home. Or, you could get a smaller dog that does great with apartment life, but grooming is a nightmare, and you simply don’t have the time to deal with it properly (or the budget to have it done professionally). Basically, it’s vital to look at the big picture no matter what dog you think about bringing home.
Knowing the basics of any dog breed in the beginning, makes it less likely that you’ll be hit with any major surprises down the road.
Here are some good-to-know facts about the patient and affectionate Bernese Mountain Dog:
The average height of a Bernese Mountain Dog is between 23 and 27.5 inches, and the average weight is roughly 70 to 115 pounds. The males, as is common with most dog breeds, are usually slightly larger than the females.
A Berner, as this breed is sometimes called, lives an average of 7 to 10 years, which is a critical factor when deciding if you should adopt a younger or older dog. This fact is especially essential to keep in mind if your children are still infants or very young.
With a double coat that features a long outer coat and thick undercoat, you can expect this pup to shed quite a bit, especially during shedding season. While this dog only needs occasional baths, you need to trim the nails regularly and plan to brush him regularly, too; about once a week. During shedding season, it’s best to brush him every day. You also should check his ears often for any signs of infection and brush his teeth regularly.
Overall, this breed is healthy, but the National Breed Club recommends several evaluations, including elbow and hip evaluations, to test for things like hip dysplasia. It also suggests a cardiac exam, ophthalmologist evaluation, and a DNA test for Von Willebrand’s Disease. Additionally, like other large breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs are subject to a condition known as bloat, so knowing the facts about these potential issues is always a plus.
If you bring home a Bernese Mountain Dog, plan on spending some time every day ensuring he gets proper exercise. This breed needs at least half an hour each day of moderate activity. While this pup loves to participate in canine sports like agility training, carting, and other activities, he’s also just as content for you to snap on a leash and take him on a long hike.
Even though this pooch loves the outdoors, he also loves to be inside with his family. But, it’s crucial to provide him ample opportunities for mental stimulation, especially when you are away. You can use interactive puzzles, treat games, and other engaging dog toys, like the Rolly Cannoli, to help keep him focused and happy. Otherwise, he might end up presenting some undesirable behaviors.
Of course, early socialization and basic obedience training are critical for any dog, especially large breeds, but luckily, the Bernese is super intelligent and eager-to-please. This combination of qualities makes him very trainable, but he’s also sensitive, so harsh training methods are not very useful. Instead, stick to positive reinforcement and an upbeat attitude.
Bernese Mountain Dogs and Kids
Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are an excellent choice for homes with children, it is still essential that both your new canine companion and your kids understand how to interact with each other. Ensure that your children know how to treat a dog and behave around an animal properly. It’s also critical to review any special rules regarding your new pup pal. Likewise, as soon as you bring your new Berner home, it’s imperative that you begin training him right away and set clear expectations about what behavior is acceptable and what is off-limits.
When you’re ready to add a Bernese Mountain Dog to the family, petfinder.com is a great starting point. You can also check out The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America if you decide that you want to help an animal in need. If you’re looking for more resources and tips to help you be a super pet parent, look no further! Check out the rest of our blog; you’ll find loads of insight, suggestions, and tidbits that can help you on your dog-loving journey.