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A bit of historical facts about Bernese Dogs – where do I come from?

Bernese Mountain Dog comes from the family of mountain farm dogs that formerly lived on the alpine lowlands in Switzerland in Durrbach, a small town where it was used for work, mainly as a dog watching the farmyard, and later often as a sled dog, carrying milk cans.

The history of the Bernese Mountain Dog begins at the end of the 19th century, when in 1892, the first farm dog was brought to Burgdorf from Durrbach. An owner of a roadhouse and a tavern in Durrbach breeded dogs, whose yearly task was to watch the yard, while in the summer he had to watch cows and sheep during pasture; he also performed drawing works. These dogs had long hair (long hair provided greater protection against cold and the dog was supposed to watch the farmyard throughout the year, including winter) and their size was really impressive (large dogs scared off pedlars and beggars). These dogs showed no sign of aggression or hunting instincts and they were not very excitable. They did not have to protect the yard, but to guard it: durrbachler was supposed to bark at the intruder and alert the farmer when something was happening. Soon people in Burgdorf started to breed a “special dog breed called durrbachlers”, a durrbachler club was established and the first Bernese Dogs (durrbachlers) were entered in the Swiss pedigree book. The 1st International Dog Show in Langenthal in 1908, during which the first issues related to the model of this breed were decided, was a breakthrough in the process of shaping the modern Bernese Mountain Dog. Durrbachlers were judged by Professor Albert Haim who was called the “father” of this breed. Soon after, the name of the “Schweizerischer-Durbach-Club” was changed into “Berner-Sonnenhund-Klub”. The name Bernese Mountain Dog started to be more and more popular. In the selection process people were guided by Albert Heim’s recommendations related to the appearance and character of Bernese Mountain Dog. Today, we can say that it was Albert Heim who created a model breed of a dog that is beautiful, devoted, friendly to people and animals, warm-hearted as well as willing to work for its master, serious, respectful and avoiding conflicts with other dogs.
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