The Bernese Mountain dog originated in the Swiss mountains. Many 18th century paintings show dogs that look like a Bernese type dog. The breed was named for the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. They were working dogs particularly good at draft work, pulling carts to market. They also were used to drive dairy cattle, to watch over the farm and as companions to the farmers. By the end of the 19th century many other working dogs were being imported to Switzerland, which brought the numbers of the Bernese down as workers began to use other types of dogs. An effort was made by a group of people including Professor Albert Heim and Franz Schertenleib to preserve the breed. They went around finding what remaining dogs they could in order to stabilize the Bernese. Today the breed makes a wonderful companion and they still to this day enjoy whatever draft work you can give them. The breed’s talents are tracking, herding, watch, guarding, search and rescue, carting and competitive obedience.