The Bernese Rottie is a cross between a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog and a purebred Rottweiler. A large dog given to relaxing and lounging when not at work. It is inactive indoors, but due to its size, still requires space in which to move freely. It is ideal for suburban and rural areas, rather than urban living.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the four Sennenhund, or dogs of the Swiss herdsmen working the mountainous pastures of the Alps. Large and heavy, with a double coat to protect it from harsh weather, the Bernese Mountain Dog was traditionally bred to guard property and drive livestock from the farms to the market.
The Rottweiler is a German breed that was the preference of livestock farmers in pulling their carts and droving livestock to market. Originating from the town of Rottweil, the dog's origins is believed to be that of native German dogs crossed with mastiffs or molosser-type dogs brought by the Roman Legion as they traveled through the area.
The Bernese Rottie is predominantly black, with some possible white marks on its nose, chest, and paws. Tan or mahogany points may be present.
The Bernese Rottie has a double coat, its primary protection against working in extreme cold. The Berrnese Mountain Dog is the only one among the Sennenhund to possess a long and silky coat, while the Rottweiler possesses a dense, hard top coat that is short and coarse. The Bernese Rottie may inherit either coat type, but unless it has acclimated to a warmer weather, it will always have an undercoat.
Coming from working breeds long depended upon by people for protection and productivity, the Bernese Rottie is typically a calm, quiet animal with great strength and endurance for work, and the inbred intelligence to make decisions even away from its owner. It is a self-assured dog, but nevertheless reserved with strange company, and completely devoted and loyal to its master. It is an all-purpose dog, able to stand watch and guard, herd, draft, pull, and still be a pleasant companion for children and adults alike. It is an alert animal, but prefers to conserve its energy and rest when not needed for work.
A good brushing twice weekly will help keep the coat clean and get rid of shed hair, which may otherwise get caught in surrounding fur and start mats. Bathing is recommended only as necessary. Shedding may be regular throughout the year, and heavy once or twice, when the dog is in its season.
Socialization and obedience are critical for this breed, as it may be harder to handle when grown due to its size. A well-trained and socialized Bernese Rottie will get along with other dogs or animals, especially those it has grown up with.
The Bernese Rottie, being a large dog, can be prone to obesity and bloat. Meals should be in small servings instead of one big one, and activity should be taken well before or after eating. It is inactive indoors, but will need to be exercised daily for at least an hour, to stimulate it and help keep its weight down. A cramped living space is not ideal for the Bernese Rottie, and it is best kept where there is regular access to wide open space, such as farms and the countryside.