Activities For Great Berneses

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Introduction

The Great Bernese is a type of hybrid dog that was created by deliberately crossing the Great Pyrenees dog, a flock guardian dog which originated in the Pyrenees Mountains that are located between France and Spain, with the Bernese Mountain Dog, a powerful Sennunhund type dog from Germany. The mix creates a large and powerful dog that typically reaches over two feet high at the shoulder and frequently weighs over a hundred pounds. These dogs tend to receive a calm, good-natured temperament from both parent breeds, as well as a fondness for children. 

Carting

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Collar
Harness
Cart
Activity description

Large, sturdy dogs like the Great Bernese have been employed as draft animals for many centuries in multiple countries. Large dogs were often hitched to carts that carried produce, passengers, milk, and even meat to the market. Due to loads that were excessively heavy for canines, fear of transmittable diseases like rabies, and practices that were dangerous to both dogs and humans, using dogs as draft animals was made illegal in many European countries. However, many breeds enjoy this type of activity when it is properly managed, and it is often helpful in improving cardiovascular health and at maintaining muscle mass. As this dog is half Bernese Mountain dog, a dog traditionally connected to canine carting, they are particularly well-suited for this activity

Step
1
Determine suitablity
While the Great Bernese hybrids should typically be well-suited to this activity, carting is not appropriate for all individuals of this breed, particularly the young or infirm. Before starting this activity, a veterinary professional should examine your dog with a particular focus on the condition of the dog’s heart and joints. Dogs under the age of two have not fully matured physically, and carting should wait until they are older to prevent the improper formation of the joints. Calm, confident dogs with a great deal of patience are better suited to this activity.
Step
2
Choose your equipment
The activity of carting requires several different pieces of equipment such as a cart, a harness, tracers, lines or straps that run from each side of the harness to the cart, and shafts, the solid metal or wooden bars that connect the cart to the harness. There are both large four-wheeled carts and smaller two-wheeled carts that you can choose between as well as several different types of harness, depending on what type of cart your dog is pulling and how maneuverable it needs to be.
Step
3
Train your dog
Dogs that pull carts need to have a good grasp of basic commands, including leave it, sit, and stay. Those that are just starting out carting with their dog often find it helpful to locate a local club that includes experienced members and trainers who are able to help mentor them. When first training your canine companion, they will generally start by getting the dog used to wearing the harness on its own, then add the tracers, followed by empty milk jugs to get them used to the sound, all before the cart is ever attached.
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Toy Time

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Toys
Activity description

Most dogs enjoy toys, and they can help keep dogs busy when they can’t go outside or are immobile for some reason. Some breeds of dog prefer dog toys that they can chew on for a long time while others prefer puzzle toys that make them think to get the treat. Toys for your dog can reduce anxiety and can boost your dog's overall mood and outward disposition. Dog toys can also be a way to deal with issues like separation anxiety and boredom in such a way that you are allowed to be busy attending to other things nearby while your dog is safely occupied. 

Step
1
Toys that taste good
Toys that taste good typically appeal to dogs of all shapes and sizes. While chewing-based toys like the Kong are often the first to come to mind for toys that taste good, this category of toys can also include puzzle-type toys that your dog is required to manipulate in some way to release the kibble or treats as well.
Step
2
Toys that smell good
Dogs are much more sensitive to even light smells than most humans and toys that are imbued with certain smells can have a profound impact on our pets. Many dogs can be comforted by a toy made with a shirt or sock that was previously worn by their favorite person, and several varieties of toys based on the practice of aromatherapy are available at many well-stocked pet stores. Toys that smell good can also be used as a stimulating influence rather than calming and may include fetch toys like scented tennis balls or tug toys.
Step
3
Toys that make noise
Although Great Bernese dogs may not be particularly interested in squeaky toys, most terriers and other hunting or pest control dogs naturally respond to toys that make a high squeaking sound, reminiscent of natural prey animals. Other sounds that your canine companion may find stimulating or comforting when playing may include sounds like crinkling or rattling.
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Late Night Walks

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Flashlight
Leash
Lighted collar
Activity description

While late night walks may not be a favorite activity for all dogs, the Great Bernese dog is generally about half Great Pyrenees, a flock guardian dog that is one of the few domesticated canines which is naturally nocturnal, along with the Tibetan Mastiff and the Anatolian Shepherd. Taking walks at night, rather than during the heat of the day, may also help this large, heavily-furred dog to remain healthy and cool during hot summer months and you are less likely to run into other canines in the event that your canine companion is not particularly friendly towards other dogs.

Step
1
Let there be light
When walking with your dog late at night, it is important to have the correct safety equipment. LED collars, pendants, and leashes will improve the ability for others to see you, particularly if walking in or around an area that cars frequent, and collars with built-in flashlights are also available to help you and your dog see the road in front of you more clearly.
Step
2
Exercise
The overall size of the Great Bernese, combined with the thick, insulating fur, puts them more at risk for things like heatstroke when exercising during the day. Night time walks allow you and your pooch to push a little harder without as much risk. It's highly likely that your dog will very much enjoy the walk in the dark.
Step
3
Be alert
It is important to stay safe and alert when walking in the dark. Stick to areas that are not isolated or too far off the beaten path. Carry your cell phone and make sure it is charged, and bring a whistle as well. Make sure someone knows where you are going, so that you aren't left stranded if there is a misunderstanding.
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More Fun Ideas...

Food Puzzle Toys

Large dogs like the Great Bernese are more prone to disorders like bloat and items like snuffle mats and slow feeders may help to prevent this life-threatening situation

Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience, also known as Rally O, is an emerging dog sport that is based on advanced obedience training methods but in a more relaxed and casual environment.  

Conclusion

This hybrid is a large animal that was created by combining the Great Pyrenees with the Bernese Mountain dog; they are at their best when they have a suitable job. While this dog is rather relaxed around the home, they do need a great deal of socialization and vigorous activity in order to remain healthy, balanced, and calm