picture of a bernese mountain dog in nature and the text : bmdtutorials.com - bernese mountain dog tutorials by a dog parent, for dog parents

A list of random but useful dog facts (part 1)

As a Bernese Mountain Dog parent, these are some of the dog things I find relevant for our breed, although I suspect they're relevant for most breeds. It's just a list, but I’m planning to write dedicated articles about most items on it.

As always, don't just take my word for what you read on this website, I'm only a dog parent. So use your own critical thinking and/or consult with a trustworthy dog professional. Now here's the list:

  1. Praise, treats and kindness is the mantra when it comes to dog interaction (and human interaction or any inter-species interaction for that matter). But, because both humans and animals are subject to moods, I find it useful to apply some compassion and self-compassion here.

    For example, when I'm in a bad mood, I tend to lash out on those around me, and I don't like that. So, when I realize I'm in a bad mood, I try to occupy myself in a different room until I'm back to my normal self again.

  2. Dog socialization means giving your dog plenty of positive experiences with the things and creatures he will encounter in his usual life, so he knows what is normal and expected.

    This includes things and creatures not present during his first 6 to 12 months, but that could be present at a later time, such as babies, or umbrellas, or boats, or cows, or dancing and clapping hands. In my experience, socialization is the most important thing you can do for your dog.

  3. There are already a few countries in the world where the dog gets a vaccine only if necessary.

    For example, the vet will do blood work to check if the dog is immune to rabies. If the number of antibodies against rabies is high enough, it means the dog is immune for now, so no vaccine is administered.

    The tests are done periodically. If the number of antibodies has dropped under the acceptable threshold, the vet administers the vaccine.

    This is awesome and I hope it becomes the norm in all countries, because vaccines are great, they save lives, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing.

  4. There is a 70% chance a dog will actually behave and look as expected for his specific breed.

    Some examples:

    • A Border Collie has a 70% chance of being interested in herding
    • A Bernese Mountain Dog has a 70% of being somewhat worried about strangers (which is my personal translation of the terminology "aloof with strangers" that we often see in descriptions of this breed) and this is why I'm a strong advocate for extra-extra-extra-socializing Bernese Mountain Dog puppies

  5. Puppies chew on cables, remotes, shoes, they swallow socks, underwear and gloves
  6. Puppy bladders are tiny and can't hold a lot of pee, so they need to be emptied often, every hour or so at first. Then, as the puppy grows, the bladder grows and it can hold more pee so it needs to be emptied less often.
  7. In the first weeks of their lives, puppies don't realize they need to pee or poop, their bodies just do it for them without their conscious control.

    In time, they begin to realize they need to pee or poop, but they can't do much about it. They begin to learn to control their bladder and bowels.

    The last step is they realize they need to pee or poop and they can hold it until they get to an appropriate spot for pooping or peeing.