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HISTORY The Berner was initially bred as a working farm dog in Switzerland where they worked cattle, pulled small carts, and were an all-around farm guardian and companion. Their calm and watchful temperament allows them to take everything in stride and not overreact to the chaos of children playing. All the fantastic qualities that made them exceptional working dogs still exist in the breed and make them a favorite canine companion in family homes today.  OTHER CHILDREN The Berner is fantastic with children of all ages and takes on a gentle giant’s role when they are especially young. They are natural protectors and will closely watch any young children they are introduced to. With older children, the Berner can be aloof at first, even when well socialized, but warms up quickly. One thing to be on the lookout for is a Berner may try to herd children as they run around, which is a throwback instinct to their days of herding cattle to market. Other than that, they are great with other children as they have a low reactivity level that lends itself to being watchful instead of aggressive.  Berner’s love to be part of the family and play, so it’s not uncommon for them to run around with their children and friends for a while before settling down in a comfy spot with a good view. Unless something is well and genuinely amiss, they prefer to watch and supervise other children without acting, making them ideal backyard guardians. This same temperament usually extends to other pets and small animals in the home as well, where the Berner is a relaxed and patient member of the family. OTHER PETS/SMALL ANIMALS Berner’s do quite well with small animals in the home well, even more so when raised with them. Their ancestor’s role of working cattle and protecting the farmyard, which often included small animals like chickens and barn cats, has kept the prey drive of the Berner very low. Of course, when they are young, they are much more likely to chase small animals, but once they’ve grown out of their puppyhood, you’ll find them to be very patient and accepting of small animals. Each dog is an individual, and some may have more or less prey drive depending on their unique personality. This is why it’s crucial to socialize every canine to as many people, situations, and other animals as possible from a very early age and throughout their lives. Berner’s are naturally good with other children and pets and will often simply chose not to engage rather than be aggressive. You’ll always want to supervise them with new children and pets but you’ll find the Bernese Mountain Dog an accepting and affectionate breed in most situations.  WRAP UP The Berner is a calm and steady canine that does exceptionally well with other children and small animals in the home. They can be wary of strangers, but they are a friendly breed that warms up quickly through socialization. Their low prey drive allows them to readily accept small animals in the home where they are very gentle with them. They have a watchful eye and calm disposition, making them ideal for busy households and neighborhoods.

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