"Not for the fastidious" You'll hear that all the time, and it's true. Prepare yourself to become an expert on vacuum cleaners. If hair in your food's going to really turn you off, this might not be the best breed for you.

How will they fit into my lifestyle?
They'll be your constant companion, and not really on your terms. If you don't have a lot of time to spend with the dog, this isn't a good breed.

Can I depend on a berner to guard my home and family?
Just a little. They'll alert you if they think they should, but this isn't a guard dog.

How much?
$1200 - $1600 for a puppy, $100+ a month for food and supplies, plus vet bills.

How big?
Around 100 pounds, big, powerful, agile, and occasionally energetic. Just in their usual joyful exuberance, they'll playfully knock you down.

How will they fit into our family?
They love everyone around them but they're independent. They love to be with children and the rest of the family, but not in that "let's go play fetch" sort of way. They like to play by themselves, or with other dogs, but they're not going to run around with the kids.

Life span?
Can be short. The standard figure that's given is six to seven years. The Swiss say "three years young dog, three years good dog, three years old dog, everything else is a gift from God."

The usual big dog problems like hip and elbow disease. Cancer takes a lot of dogs too soon.

These are just some quick answers to the questions that I see most often. There are many books about berners, and there's a lot of information on the web (see our "featured sites" menu on our home page.) Please don't forget that the berner-l mailing list is open to all and encourages any and all questions about the breed.