Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
If you have just brought home a Bernese Mountain Dog, or have talked to a good breeder and will be doing so soon, congratulations! They are an excellent dog and make a great member of the family.
As you probably already know, they are not only mountain dogs, they are also farm dogs. Here in Brazil they are known as “boiadeiros”, or cattle dogs. They are big and tough enough to work cattle, pull carts, and watch out for the kids when they were out on hikes in the high pastures of the Swiss Alps. The dogs are docile and have excellent personalities, and when properly socialized are almost never shy.
Their Health Is Their Major Pitfall
The dark side of the Bernese Mountain Dog has nothing to do with his personality. They die of cancer more that any other breed—one statistic is that almost half of them die of diseases like mast cell tumors, lymphosarcomas, and osteosarcomas, while only about one-quarter of other dogs succumb to cancer.
There are other things to be concerned about too. Many of the dogs have hip dysplasia, osteochondritis, and cruciate ligament problems, and then develop arthritis later on. Other dogs have retinal atrophy (PRA) and other less common inherited problems.
All of those medical problems make a big difference. The average life span is only about 6-8 years. If you still have not picked your new Bernese Mountain Dog, try to find a breeder who focuses on longevity.
When you do bring your puppy home, pick out a great name!
Swiss Family Names That Are Great for Your Dog
|Most popular||Less popular||Fewer still!|
Swiss Boys Names That Would Be Good for Your Dog
The most popular names in the German areas of Switzerland are:
Two syllable names that end in a vowel are best when calling your dog, so Luca and Nico are the best choices here.
And in the French areas, the following names are popular:
In the Italian areas, most of the boys' names are long and not really appropriate for your new dog.
Swiss Girls Names for Your Berner
If you want a German name for your new Berner girl, try:
All of these names are two syllables and end in a vowel, so dogs learn them quickly and respond to them during obedience training.
Or if you want a name popular in the French areas of Switzerland:
Anna, Emma, and Lena are also popular in the Italian part of Switzerland.
A Few Swiss Celebrities to Name Your Dog After
Famous Swiss Heroes:
- Andress (as in Ursula, the James Bond girl)
- Calvin (although I am not sure you would want to think of him when you call your dog, and I am almost positive he would not want a dog named after him)
- Heidi (the fictional character)
- Renée (Zellweger, the famous actress)
- Wilhem (Tell, the famous Swiss archer)
Have you chosen among several good names for your new Berner puppy? Don’t narrow it down to just one until you have met the dog and spent some time learning her personality. Some names just don’t fit.
You should take a few minutes and read the names I would never give a dog. Some things just don’t work, like naming your puppy something silly or using a name just like one of the dogs you already have.
You also do not want to name your new puppy an overused dog name. It seems like everyone has chosen one of them, and if you decide you want another “Max” or “Bella”, beware that half the dogs at the park might come running when you call your new dog.
Whatever you choose, have fun and take a lot of pictures. Bernese Mountain puppies grow up fast.
More Articles About Dogs . . .
- Five Giant Dog Breeds With Short Lifespans
Sad statistics, and a few ideas that might help.
- How to Train a Crazy, Chewy, Nippy Puppy
Even when you manage to get control of the housebreaking issue, your new puppy is still going to provide you with plenty of perplexing problems. This article provides a few tips on how to deal with some of the most common puppy problems.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 08, 2014:
I don't think Ajej would even get them as a special treat at those prices! I could buy a kilo of shrimp for less than that. We all know the benefits of seafood for dogs, right? I might even give her one or two.
Bob Bamberg on January 08, 2014:
Yeah, I just saw the misspelling, too. I know how to spell her name, so I must have had a finger spasm. It was more a mistype than misspell.
Those chicken feet are processed, the same way pigs' ears, beef trachea, bully sticks and other body parts are. And, yes, they're that expensive. This store has lower prices than most pet supply stores, and they get $1.29 each. I also sent you a picture of the beef trachea, usually called moo tubes, and they're $4.79 each at this store. I've seen them for as much as $5.99 elsewhere. A common price is $4.99. And these are only about 6 inches long.
I'll bet Ajej would only get them as really special treats at those prices.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 07, 2014:
Hi Eiddwen, thanks for stopping by. Some of my Swiss neighbors have these dogs here too, but they would be a lot more comfortable where you live. It is really hot for them here.
Bob, I recently saw Ajej´s name written up in "The English Patient" when he was discussing desert winds around the world. He misspelled it too!!!
Thanks for the pictures of the chicken feet. I enlarged the picture to look at the price but was not sure I was reading it right. Are they really that expensive there? Those look dehyrated; I still like the fresh ones, raw or sauteed in a little butter!
Eiddwen from Wales on January 07, 2014:
What a wonderful hub ;I have only known one of this breed and his name was Caesar.
Thoroughly enjoyed this one and voting up.
Bob Bamberg on January 07, 2014:
Another fun and interesting hub, Doc. It must take a lot of research to come up with all these names. It's hard to top the name Arjej, though! Voted up, useful and interesting.