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Old 05-20-2012, 08:23 PM
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Default Bernese Mountain Dogs as watch dogs??

I've thought it over for quite a while, and i know now that i don't need a guard dog. I just want a dog that will scare any strange people or things by the bark and size alone. But i want a watch dog that is VERY alert and will bark at pretty much anything different or weird. I've been looking at Labradors now, but they seem too friendly for me.

So, I've now come down to the Bernese Mountain Dog. But my questions are, how good of a watch dog are they? And is there size good enough to scare intruders? I know they are alert and tend to bark at strangers, but HOW alert are they, and are quick to sound the alarm with new things?? Because this is something I really want.

I don't have any personal experience, so do any of you guys know? I really need to know.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:44 PM
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My friend had a great Berner that would have fit the bill perfectly. I suspect he would have even backed up the threat to a point if pushed. He was very quick to bark when people came to the door or bothered her out walking, and had no problem getting in their face about it. He was great with anyone invited in.

Having said that, they got another Berner from the same breeder when the first died, and I don't think he's displayed any of the same tendencies.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:57 PM
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I haven't personally been around a lot of berners, but I know that they tend to be very friendly to most people. Their size and color, though, would scare a lot of people away. I don't know if they bark a lot.

My collie is very much a "bark first, ask questions later" kind of dog. Most of the time his barking is really annoying and I'm doing all I know how to do to lessen it a little bit.... But it's also nice to know that if there was a real threat he'd definately let me know. He's actually VERY friendly, he just likes to hear his own voice. Collies also come in tri color, mostly black with some tan and white, similar to the berners, so that color would also be more intimidating to intruders.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:17 PM
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I know one Bernese Mountain Dog and I wouldn't call him a barker, or quick to sound the alarm...but if he thought something was not right, he would sound the alarm and if he saw someone in his space that wasn't supposed to be there he would bark and put on a show. But if you want a dog that will bark at everything (even "normal" things), then I don't think that would be the breed for you.

(Have you looked in to English Shepherds? They aren't a big breed, but I could see one working for you.)
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:47 AM
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In size, appearance, and sound, they would most definitely scare people off. In temperament, you're more likely to get licked to death than anything. I personally have never met a Berner that was less people-loving than a golden.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:06 AM
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Being a watch/guard dog was part of the Berner's history, although I think that the modern Berner is pretty far removed from the dogs of the past. I have known several in a home setting. One was a very serious guard dog dog, the rest were more alerters.

One thing you have to consider with Berners is there is a lot of issues with early cancer in the breed and many dog not live very long. I have known Berners who had cancer by 2 or 3 years old and 9-10 is considered old for them. I'm not saying you shouldn't get one because of that but it is definitely something you should be aware of.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halee.R View Post
How good of a watch dog are they?
This, of course, varies from individual to individual but, from my experience with many individuals of the breed, if having an effective watch dog is of paramount importance to you, you may want to look elsewhere.
In general, it's not that they're terrible as watch dogs, it's just that this is simply not one of their forte's; with this in mind, there are many, and far better choices.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Halee.R View Post
And is there size good enough to scare intruders?
They're certainly large enough to cause most people, who know little about dogs, to take pause and (re)consider. There are those lines are sharper than others but, generally speaking, as others have already pointed out, many (if not most?) of these guys are cream puffs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halee.R View Post
I know they are alert and tend to bark at strangers, but HOW alert are they, and are quick to sound the alarm with new things??
Lovely dogs, but I wouldn't want to rely on their alertness.

If you truly love the breed, perhaps one of these as a visual deterrent, along with a small, alert watch dog could be an option?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Halee.R View Post
I've thought it over for quite a while, and i know now that i don't need a guard dog.
Only slightly off-topic, there are many (very formidable) guardian-type dogs which make mediocre watch dogs. Often (but not always), they are simply too self-confident to bark frenetically at every benign visitor at the front door, or at any strange noise in the house.

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