The ancestors of the Bernese Mountain Dog were Mastiffs that were brought into Switzerland by the Roman invaders more than 2,000 years ago. They interbred with local farm dogs creating somewhat smaller but equally trustworthy canines. The Bernese is one of four varieties of Swiss mountain dogs and, though they all share the same distinctive markings, it is the only one with a long coat. The breed was used to drive livestock and to pull carts to transport produce to market, primarily in the Swiss canton of Berne. When mechanization made their talents obsolete, it was feared these dogs might simply vanish, so a breeding colony was established in 1892. The breed slowly grew in strength and popularity. It was introduced to North America in the 1930s.
One of the strongest assets of this breed is its wonderful temperament. The Bernese is consistent and dependable and generally appears to be in command of any situation. Though he often is very attached to his owner, the Bernese remains an excellent family companion and protector. The breed has a strong desire to please.
Active and alert, the breed requires lots of exercise.
Adult Bernese range in height from 22-27.5 in (56-70 cm) at the shoulder and may weigh from 71-110 lb 31.5-49.5 kg).
The medium-long coat is soft and silky with a bright, natural sheen. It may have a slight wave. Beneath the longer outer coat, the Bernese carries a short, soft undercoat.
The glossy, jet-black coat is set off with distinctive russet or deep-tan markings on the legs, chest and over the eyes. The picture is completed with white feet, a blaze on the head, a cross on the chest and a white tail tip.
Vigorous brushing is needed to keep the Bernese looking trim and to keep that gloss in the coat.
Reference - www.ckc.ca