Puppies leave my kennel when they are 8 weeks old. They have first vacinnate, deworm (twice time) and tatoo. Each puppy get:
– pedigree of parents and their certificate of titles;
– food for first days in new home (Royal Canin or Hill’s);
– some information about breed
– pet passport of EU
The owner will get pedigree of puppy after few months because of Polish Cynologique Society rules. It is very pleasant for me when I get infomation about my puppies and their photos later. It is source of knowledge about their dewelopment and health.
Training the dogs causes no problems, but from early beginning you should show proceeding consistency. If you do it, the dogs become faithful and obedient companion. Of course, it is not easy to be tough to fluffy, charming ball, but you must be wise – otherwise you may loose your position of leader. Never apply any force, avoid shouting. It is ineffective and stressing for the dog. When the dog is about a year old, he may start to be afraid of strangers. So the whole period of growing up let him often have contacts with adults and children. But you cannot force him to anything. Any force activities increase his fear. Contrary to anything what you may think about his “professional activities” (remember that Bernese Dogs were used to guard cattle), the pastoral dogs’ character is stable and quiet. He needs to be busy, needs movement, not necessary wide spread area. Don’t forget he used to be a farm dog. He is fully satisfied with regular, long walks (certainly except some short walks in a day).
What is the most important for training? You have to show your feelings to the dog, (excellent motivation), never punish him, remain consistent and enable contacts with people and other dogs.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are very wise and like to be properly trained. They love to make his master happy (and of course to get their favourite dainties, which are the golden mean to get him well-trained). Training should be started when your dog is a puppy. Two months old Bernese is not too young to learn such basic elements as to be held in leash, to come to his master when called, to relieve nature outside, etc. Perhaps it is difficult to keep your fluffy-ball reminding puppy disciplined, but you have to be aware that he remains a pup only a few months. When he becomes over 50 kilograms grown-up and ill-bred dog it stops to be funny. The training has to be conducted consistently e.g. if you do not allow him to sleep on your bed – never let him do it. Your dog doesn’t understand why his master allowed him to do it one day and forbade the next. Bernese is very vindictive and he always intends to have the same freedom as he used to have when he was young. Thus a proper method of training is very important. Pastoral Bernese Dogs are very receptive and emotional animals; therefore they should be treated gently. Shouting is unecessary; the pup looses feeling of safety. It is absolutely not permissible to beat the dog or use any corporal punishment – the dog doesn’t understand what is going on (instead he learns to be afraid of his master – what makes a contact between the dog and his master difficult or impossible.) It is too easy to destroy psyche of such receptive creature. Avoid any aggression from him. Bernese has got a number of genes of guard and defendant. Never attacks and shows aggression when there is no need. The only way to let acting the other, dark character is to let him defend members of the family or their property. Training him to become defendant is not the best idea. PT (I, II) is enough. Bernese Dogs show inborn inclination to being trained and to cooperate with a guide. However they may loose it easy and quickly if treated not gently. Never let strangers caress and keep in hands your puppy. The puppy needs care but it is not a toy. It hopes you defend him when small (against people and strange dogs). When it gets older (5, 6 months) it can start to look around and become familiar with the world. On the other hand never separate your pup from dogs and people. Let him watch them and learn that they are not scary and danger.
Bernese Mountain Dog is friendly to people, always eager to serve. Through ages he was used to guard cattle and farms. Causing no problems, engaging, emotional and warm, he knows how to be useful in various situations; moreover, being useful is a pleasure for him. As he is a rural dog, he’s got intensively developed aptitude for territory. In spite he is not a defensive type of dog, he appears to be an excellent guard. It proves how even-tempered he is. He is untrusting to intruders, but non aggressive. Bernese Dog is the one characterising with inborn greatness of soul, perfect for a family, who loves massive animals. He adores children. Remaining of stable character he never attacks domestic cats, hens or horses on meadow nearby. Cheerfulness and devotion to his masters predispose him to usable work, but for him the greatest pleasure is to be a companion for his master. Never mind being a big dog, he know how to behave so quite that you may forget he is somewhere closely. Therefore no wonder that with so many advantages he takes the precedence among Molossoid mountain dogs. Bernese Mountain Dog is priced for companionship, friendly and nice attitude. He likes to be with a group of people, he adores children in a very special way. He is capable to get accommodated to a way of living of any family. He likes to keep everything under control and to know what’s going on around. It’s an animal of moderate temperament, docile, faithful and very devoted. He should be powerful, brave and stable; on the other hand he should show neither unjustified aggressiveness nor fear. His good quality is no inclination to poaching and vagrancy. His proper development requires close relations with his master; he shouldn’t be separated from the family. With his strong sense of possession he proved to be an excellent guard, watchful but never noisy. He alarms about any imminence with short but clear barking. He is not an aggressive dog, possible intruders are afraid of him because of his appearance. Anyhow it doesn’t mean that he is ready to let anybody in or to attack his master. He keeps watching any strangers from the time they come in till their visit is ended. At a moment of danger he knows how to behave in a purposeful way, and because he is a wise dog, it’s enough for him to keep an attacker standing still. Willing eagerly to be watching any objects which belong to his master is characteristic for this breed. This sort of instinct may be strengthened with appropriate training.
Bernese Mountain Dog is intelligent, eager to be taught anything new. He character is strong, sometimes he appears to be stubborn, therefore any training should be started as soon as possible, his teacher should be patient and consistent, exercises of varied types. The dog doesn’t like monotony, so he gets bored when forced to obey the same orders.
It’s true that Bernese Dogs, like other big dogs, live not too long. An average life span is 9-10 years. They are neither more nor less receptive than their big brothers. A pup from a well-known breed, properly fed and neatly brought, has a chance to get easy life. However three diseases should be taken into consideration:
– Elbow joint displacement: also that abnormality occurs often among the massive dogs.
– Entoprion, ectoprion (eyelid introversion): the disease considered to be a disqualifying defect may cause conjunctivitis and even blindness. However a number of dogs suffering the disease is getting diminished.
Bernese Pastoral Dog is large and heavy (45, 55 kg at the average). An increase of a pup weight is even up to 3kg/week (at about 3 to 6 months age). This fact should let his master realize how excellent food he requires. Specially in a time when he keeps growing up. It’s time when skeleton gets developing, the same as teeth and coat, also the hormonal system starts functioning. Any neglecting may cause bad results. Having Bernese, a master should never forget about buying the top quality food. The best is dry food for massive dogs’ pups (as GILPA, EUKANUBA, ROYAL CANIN).