The Bernese Mountain Dog, called in Swiss German
the Berner Sennenhund, is a large breed of dog, one
of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the
Swiss Alps. Like the other Sennenhunds, the Bernese
Mountain Dog is a large, heavy dog with a distinctive
tricolored coat, black with white chest and or rust
colored markings above eyes, sides of mouth, front
of legs, and a small amount around the white chest.
An ideal of a perfectly-marked individual gives the
impression of a white horse shoe shape around the
nose and a white “Swiss cross” on the chest, when
viewed from the front.
The Bernese Mountain Dog, like all dogs, is descended
from the wolf. The breed was used as an all purpose
farm dog, for guarding property and for driving cattle
into the ground. The breed standard for the Bernese
Mountain Dog states that dogs should not be "aggressive,
anxious or distinctly shy," but rather should be "good
natured," "self-assured," "placid towards strangers,"