In this article we are going to have a closer look at the mini Bernese Mountain Dog.
The full size Bernese Mountain Dog is known for its affectionate nature and its silky, tri-colored coat.
One factor that may stop some from adopting one of these loyal companions into their home, however, is their size.
Standing at around 26 inches at the shoulder, these are very large dogs.
As a result, we have seen a spike in interest in the mini Bernese Mountain Dog.
There are factors that need to be weighed before deciding whether a mini Bernese Mountain Dog is the right choice for you.
A Little More About the Bernese Mountain Dog
So it’s understandable that some owners are a bit intimidated by his size, if not his lovely personality.
The Bernese Mountain Dog has its origins in the Swiss Alps, where it was used as a working dog on the farms in the area.
Not only was it prized for its work ethic, but also its amazing strength.
These dogs are capable of pulling many times their weight, thanks to their strong hind quarters.
Despite its great strength, as a pet, these dogs are happy living inside as long as they get a good half hour of exercise, at least, each day.
Being affectionate and loyal, it is most important that they get the chance to spend plenty of time with their family.
Often, behavioral issues in Bernese Mountain Dogs are a result of a pooch that is left alone for long periods.
These dogs are usually easy to train thanks to their eagerness to please their human companions.
Despite their size, they are known to be gentle with children.
And if you have the right equipment, they might even agree to give the kids a mini cart ride in the backyard!
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a beautiful thick tri-colored double coat, but such luscious locks require maintenance.
This will need daily brushing while the dogs are shedding and will need weekly brushes at other times.
Miniature Bernese Mountain Dog Breed – Why Are They Popular?
As we can see, the full size Bernese Mountain Dog makes a gentle and affectionate addition to the family.
They also have a beautiful, distinctive coat and a handsome face.
For that reason, they have become increasingly popular.
However, their size can be a drawback for those who do not have the room or the budget to house.
And feed a dog that averages 26 or 27 inches at the shoulder.
Miniature Bernese Mountain Dog – How Can Such Big Dogs Be Miniaturized?
There are generally three ways in which miniaturization is achieved in the dog breeding world.
Let’s have a look at them in more detail.
In the case of the Bernese Mountain Dog, miniaturization is usually achieved through crossing it with a smaller dog that looks similar.
While there are many breeds that can be crossed to produce a smaller dog which resembles a Bernese, two breeds that are commonly crossed with the Bernese Mountain Dog are the Cavalier King Charles and the miniature or toy Poodle.
Cavalier King Charles can have very similar coloring to the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Thus, the resulting cross breed looks very much like the full-size dog, only smaller.
When the Bernese Mountain Dog is crossed with a miniature Poodle, the result is a Bernedoodle.
This has become quite a popular crossbreed.
Because the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle share many personality traits in common, the temperament of these dogs is fairly predictable.
And much like that of the Bernese Mountain Dog as we discussed above.
If you would like to know more about the Bernedoodle, you can find an in-depth article about them here.
Miniaturization of dogs can also be a result of dwarfism, scientifically known as chondrodysplasia.
Dwarfism is in fact a genetic condition which not only results in shortened limbs, but other health problems as well.
There are different syndromes associated with dwarfism.
The degree to which the bones are affected can vary, as can the other health problems associated with dwarfism.
Some of these other health issues include eyesight problems, joint problems, and mobility issues.
Dwarfism can also result from a tumour or other problems with the pituitary gland.
In these cases of dwarfism, growth can be stunted while the dog remains in proportion.
Breeds With Dwarfism
This tends to affect some breeds, such as the German Shepherd, more than others.
Dogs that are born with dwarfism still deserve to live out full and enriching lives.
They can do so with proper care.
However, the ethics of deliberately breeding dogs with the condition is seriously questionable.
Especially when the dog stands to suffer as a result.
A responsible owner of a dog with such a condition also takes on any extra costs.
The owner may need to make adjustments to their living arrangements to accommodate a dog with special health care needs.
Thankfully, the Bernese Mountain Dog is not known to be prone to dwarfism.
It is rare to see dogs suffering with dwarfism being sold as miniature or toy Bernese.
Naturally Smaller Dogs
Just like us, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, even within their breed types.
Therefore, even though Bernese Mountain Dogs are big dogs, some will just be smaller.
A smaller mother and father can be bred to produce smaller offspring.
A responsible breeder would be careful to ensure that the smaller stature of the parents is not the result of a genetic condition or malnourishment.
Naturally small dogs will not suffer the same health issues that dogs with dwarfism experience.
But they will also not be hugely different in size to an average dog of that breed.
It cannot be expected that these dogs will be toy size.
Mini Bernese Mountain Dog – What Are the Drawbacks?
It is important to make sure any dogs advertised as such are not dogs that are suffering.
Either with a health condition or malnourishment.
In most cases, if you have found a mini Bernese Mountain Dog for sale, it is likely a crossbreed.
We have touched on the most common breeds that are crossed to produce so-called mini Bernese Mountain Dogs.
But bear in mind that in truth these are not a miniature Bernese Mountain Dog breed.
Such a breed does not exist.
These are crossbred dogs.
As such, there will be a level of unpredictability in the outcome of such a combination.
This is especially true in first generation crosses.
Make sure you know what the Bernese Mountain Dog has been crossed with, and do some research into the two original breeds.
This will give you some insight into what to expect as far as size, personality. and potential health problems.
Miniature Mountain Dog – In Conclusion
Given the appealing personality (and good looks) of the Bernese Mountain Dog, it was inevitable that there would be a demand for a miniature Bernese.
The way in which these dogs are bred to make them smaller does not generally involve questionable breeding techniques.
It does involve crossbreeding, however, so you will not be getting a purebred dog.
If you decide you would like a mini Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, it is still important to make sure the breeder you buy your pup from cares for their dogs properly.
They should be happy for you to meet the mother dog at the very least.
And you should be allowed to see where the puppies are housed.
Leave a Comment Below!
Have you ever met a mini Bernese Mountain Dog?
Or have you taken one into your home?
Let us know your thoughts and insights into these canine companions in the comments section below.
- Verheijen, J., Bouw, J. “Canine intervertebral disc disease: A review of etiologic and predisposing factors” The Veterinary Quarterly, 1982
- Everts, R.E., Hazewinkel, H.A.W., Rothuizen, J., van Oost, B.A “Bone disorders in the dog: A review of modern genetic strategies to find the underlying causes” The Veterinary Quarterly, 2000
- Kooistraa, H.S., Voorhoutb, G., Mola, J.A., Rijnberka, A. “Combined pituitary hormone deficiency in German shepherd dogs with dwarfism” Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 2000
- American Kennel Club