ABOUT THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG CLUB OF VICTORIA
The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Victoria Inc. was formed in response to the growing popularity of the breed in both Victoria and Australia. The club has been an important meeting place for Bernese Mountain Dog owners and breeders alike, and provides a valuable site for breed discussion, advice, information and above all, fun. This year the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Victoria Inc. has enjoyed many berner fun days with trips to the snow in homage of our breed's Swiss heritage, seaside frolicking at Brighton and Port Melbourne beaches, country getaways at idyllic Daylesford and Ballarat and scenic tours of Kew and Emerald Lake Park. A highlight of the year was the club's annual; Christmas Party that saw many enthusiastic berners and their owners competing in the Egg and Spoon race, sack race challenge, obedience game, (and yes, this was a hotly competitive event as berners can be very smart!) and the Goodo eating contest.
Currently the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Victoria Inc. boasts the honour of being the only club in Australia to regularly host a Championship Specialty Dog Show. This event brings together more than 100 Bernese Mountain Dogs from accross the nation, all competing for the illustrious title of Best In Show.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
The Swiss name Berner Sennenhunde, refers to the canton of Berne, where the Bernese were developed, and to the Swiss stockman (the Senn or Senner) who drives the cattle to the Alps for summer mountain grazing. The dogs accompany the Senner on such alpine journeys.
Fossilised remains of dogs, possibly Bernese Mountain Dogs, dating back to 3000 BC have been found in Switzerland. Some historians suggest that the Romans bought Mastiff type dogs to the region, which bred with native dogs, and this produced an early Bernese.
Seventeenth century paintings depict a farm dog which looks very similar to a Bernese.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, Swiss dog fanciers realised the many good qualities of the old native breeds. The Bernese we know today can be traced to the Durrbach region, south of Berne. The breed progressed steadily in Switzerland, where they have a history of farm work, guarding livestock, driving cattle and pulling carts.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are now valued in many countries as loyal companions, family pets, therapy dogs, watch dogs, and are starting to be seen more frequently in the show ring.