Bernese Spirit

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Care Instructions


Avoid heavy forced exercise during 1st year of life, for example: long hikes, running after bike, jogging for more than 10 minutes, throwing ball (over & over), running up and down the stairs etc…Puppy will follow you even if it is in pain, that is our dogs nature, but young joints and bones are not hard and totally developed yet, he/she may damage them by doing so. It is O.K. for puppy to run about in a park or back yard even for hours (weather permitting) because it can rest any time he/she feels uncomfortable, tired, or in pain. It may just lay down for 2-3 minutes and then run and jump again, but he is not forced to follow and can regulate his level of comfort. Let the bones harden, ligaments and tendons strengthen and muscles develop well to support the 100 pounds of weight that is in development.


Avoid- hot sunny places without shade and water (black color attracts heat). At home if you can’t provide air conditioned area maybe cool basement floor or a fan can provide some comfort for the dog on hot days. Never leave dog in the car unattended, car can reach 120F in few minutes on a sunny day. Cracked open window in the car will not be enough for any Bernese in the summer heat. Giving dog ice cubes, wetting dogs head will keep them cooler.
In case of serious overheating rubbing alcohol applied to arm pits and groin area may help to save them.


To protect against flees, ticks, mosquitoes, heart worms, ear mites and mange we use one topical product called
Revolution it is a prescription item (you need to ask your vet about it) we apply it to the back of dog’s neck monthly during warm months, and one dose in January and we’ve never seen a flee, tick, or an ear mite on any of our dogs for years. It is safe even during pregnancy. I love that product!


Your Puppy has been vaccinated against Distemper and Parvovirus, we suggest same shot again at 9-10 weeks of age, then at 14 weeks shot of Parvovirus vaccine (we like product called NEOPAR it is very high titer vaccine covering many different strains of Parvovirus) and at 15-16 weeks of age single Distemper shot. It is said that all earlier vaccines maybe killed by mother’s immune system still active in puppy until 14-16 weeks of age, hence those 14 and 15 weeks of age vaccines are very important to give immunity to your puppy for the year to come. Parvovirus is very real and dangerous disease in puppies under 8 months of age. It is extremely contagious, very common (especially in the spring). One single ounce of infected dog feces contains about 35 millions of parvo particles, dog needs only a thousand to get infected, so you see, it doesn’t take much for a puppy to get sick. So please vaccinate! Of course you also must vaccinate according to the law for Rabies (we try to postpone this vaccine as long as we can- it has been linked to some autoimmune problems at older age). These are our suggestions but your veterinarian will be your best advisor when it comes to vaccinating and dog’s health.
Check out for info on different options from Bernese Mouintain Dog Club
This comparison came from these are parvo titer per dose
(NEOTECH, LLC) Average serial
(Pfizer) serial 183615090,
(Intervet) serial 4019001,
Duramune KF-11
(Ft.Dodge) serial 1481474A,
Duramune Max PV (2b)
(Ft.Dodge) serial 1211008,


If you have a new dog or a puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules — like what he can and can not chew and where he can and can't eliminate. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he'll think of it as his safe haven and will be happy to spend time there. For you  it will be very helpful for night time and those times when company comes, or while you are at work to keep him safe and away from electical wires and other temptations.. Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his adult size and use a divider. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: the crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Encourage puppy to enter the crate, drop some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he's eating. After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short periods of time while you're at home. Call him over to the crate and give him a treat. Give him a command to enter, such as "crate" Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you're out of his sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority of the time, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate. A crate is not a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated in it. Remember that puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than few hours at a time. Also, puppy can hold (pee and such) for as many hours as it is old, for example: 3 months old puppy will hold comfortably for 3 hours. Just because pup can hold sometimes longer, don’t expect him to do it all the time. It is more of a mental maturity then a physical ability. Crate is a great tool that may
prevent your dog from being destructive or from hurting itself.


Young puppies like to "mouth" everything. I use Bitter Apple spray on all my furniture corners weekly until puppy can be 100% trusted. You don’t want to take a chance on your favorite chair. Also, when pup is putting his mouth on something you don’t want him to, say “no” with a low voice. Never use high pitch, exited voice to train or reprimand the dog – he/she will not respond with proper respect, you need to establish an authority and low, calm voice is the key to it. Using clicker helps to establish very quick response, you can then give him a toy that he is allowed to chew on and praise him for doing so.

Understanding umbilical hernias in Berners

Check online article by Julia Crawford published in AKC Gazette and Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America


Basic grooming done once a season should provide adequate care for a coat, ears and the nails. We like when groomers use high velocity hair dryers on our dogs. This type of drying removes all loose hairs very well. Shedding is considerable since Bernese are a double-coated breed, but regular brushing and baths should control that. The heaviest shedding occurs in July/August when days are getting shorter and dog is preparing for a winter. He is blowing his coat to grow a thicker one that will protect him in the cold months ahead. Brush at that time more often. Ears should be brushed regularly- if not they will mat and you may have to trim and cut out mats that will form behind the ear.


Also, check ears on the inside for accumulated wax – this can be removed by squirting good amount of ear cleansing solution into ear canal, fold the ear and massage for a few seconds, then wipe it clean with a cotton ball (don't use q-tips). In case you want to use natural remedy 50% vodka and 50% apple cider vinegar will have the same if not better effect as the ear cleansing solution from the store. Red ears on the inside spell some type of trouble; when yeast infection is present you will see redness, sometimes swelling and specific odor, when mites infestation is in progress you will see dark waxy debris and redness (Revolution for flees also controls ear mites).
Always when in doubt check with your veterinarian.


When it comes to care for nails; if a dog has daily excess to some cement type area every day it usually will file its own nails just by walking and playing, if not they will need to be trimmed, be careful not to cut a quick (small vein inside the nail). Electric nail grinders are helpful since if you file the nail too short, by acciden,t the grinding motion and speed of the tool will seal it and dog will not bleed.

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