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Boris Recommends the Following Books!

Using a list compiled from the members of the Berner-L, and with special help from Traci Manning, Boris has dedicated his free time to reading these books and has great pleasure in recommending the following books to you. In order to make your choice a little easier he has included comments from some of the listers. Even he, as a humble dog, knows that your pockets aren't bottomless. However, should you do decide that you must have some of these books for your own personal library then follow the links provided and you will help Bernese Mountain Dogs far and wide, as any commission earned on the sale of these books through this web site will go to
**The BMDCA Health Fund**

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Bernd Guenter "The Bernese Mountain Dog: A Dog of Destiny " by Bernd Guenter , Hardcover: 208 pages, Publisher: Doral Publishing; (May 2004), ISBN: 0974540730

FABULOUS!! A MUST HAVE!!! FANTASTIC PHOTOS! If you do not have this book, you are NOT a real Berner person!!!
- Pat Long

You have to get Bernd Guenter's new coffee table book, "The Bernese Mountain Dog - A Dog of Destiny" - it is simply spectacular!!!!
Every photograph in Bernd's book is literally a a work of art. The detail in the photographs and the background scenery just takes your breath away. I especially love the photographs in "The Berner Circle of Life" on pages 134 through 141. Bernd chronicles the life of a newborn berner through his senior years. (I think that the Berner is Mutz) Bernd uses the same stance for the Berner from ages 5 weeks through 9 years. It is fascinating to see the progression from a puppy, to a gangly teenager, to a full grown adult male who is absolutely gorgeous!!
Not only are it the photographs that make this book a "must have" for every Berner person, but the text is also excellent. Bernd's command of the English language is absolutely amazing - he even uses the subjunctive case correctly, which most Americans don't!! The text is full of good information about the breed - you can tell that Bernd has lived with Berners and has been around Berners and their people for many years and from many countries. He is able to take that his knowledge of Berners and turn it into an interesting book that is easy to read. You will find yourself shaking your head in agreement, laughing at the antics of the Berners, gaining a lot of knowledge about Berners and staying up late at night to finish just one more chapter. It a book that you will treasure forever.
-- Joye Neff

Malcolm Beverley Willis "The Bernese Mountain Dog Today " by Malcolm Beverley Willis, Hardcover - 176 pages (January 1999) published by Howell Books Inc; ISBN: 1582450382

A very comprehensive book about the breed, backed up by data gathered from sources over the whole world. Particular emphasis is placed on breeding, looking at the principles of breeding as well as the genetic defects within the breed. A top class reference book; as you'd expect from a man with a PhD in Animal Genetics! - Wendy Beard

The most recently published book on the breed, includes an updated (REVISED from previous books) and extensive chapter on the breed's origins, comparative and detailed discussion of the AKC, KC, and FCI standards, more discussion of hereditary diseases than the other books, and quite extensive chapters on genetics (Dr. Willis is a geneticist by profession) and breeding.
There is a strong section on "important dogs", broken down by the country they were/are based in. The English section is extensive, the US and Swiss more limited, but you'll likely find many of the dogs way back in your pedigree included.
The book is interspersed with many, many, color, photos, B&W photos, and sketches...all well used to illuminate the text. Thumbing through the book and just looking at the photos will go a long way to setting a clear picture of *type* in your mind. It uses lots of small photos rather than page size portraits, but the book is printed on a semi-gloss paper which provides for EXCELLENT visual quality.
All in all, I'd say that this book is a bit more in depth and technical (though easily accessible, not textbook) than the others but I'd highly recommend it for anyone wanting to gain a more detailed understanding of the breed and certainly, for anyone planning to breed their bitch or stand their dog at stud.
- Sherri Venditti

Sharon Chestnutt Smith "The New Bernese Mountain Dog " by Sharon Chestnutt Smith,
Hardcover - 259 pages (March 1995) Howell Books Inc; ISBN: 0876050755

A nice complement to the Russ/Rogers book, particularly in the area of movement, is Sharon Chestnutt Smith's-The New Bernese Mountain Dog. Especially helpful for anyone new to terms like cow-hocked, crabbing, front, rear & side movement- Sharon's book uses wonderfully fluid line drawings to clearly depict what is meant by each of these terms. - Sherri Venditti

and another review...
I like Sharon Chestnutt Smith's "The New Bernese Mountain Dog" for people just coming into the breed...especially those in the US. The Smith book touches on all aspects of the dogs in a non-intimidating kind of way. The conformation section is presented so that it's easier to understand angulation, movement, bites, ear set, and especially, the impact of markings on the visual impression, etc. Excellent use is made of line drawings to illustrate traits and movement. For fanciers in the US, you'll find extensive discussion of the early pedigrees and lots of photos of the dogs likely behind the one laying on your couch. Unfortunately, all are in B&W, no color glossies here, so the visual impact isn't quite as strong as the Willis book. - Sherri Venditti

Russ and Rogers "The Beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs : A Complete American Handbook" by Diane Russ, Shirle Rogers,
Hardcover (December 1993) Alpine Publications Inc; ISBN: 0931866553

As a newbie to purebreds as well as the breed, it gave a great overview of both. But it's the pictures I come back to. Gorgeous photos of a number of dogs loved by people of the Berner-L. - Traci Manning

The "BBMD" was a milestone as it was the first book published with a focus on the breed in North America. (Prior to that, we had the works of Petch, Simonds, and Cochrane...all coming from Great Britain.) - Sherri Venditti

Lilian Ostermiller "Bernese Mountain Dogs" by Lilian Ostermiller,
Hardcover - 192 pages (31 December, 1993) TFH Publications; ISBN: 0866225722

A book that covers the breed, and thoroughly covers all the aspects of dog ownership that the first-time dog buyer needs to know. - Pat Long

Diana Cochrane "Bernese Mountain Dog" by Diana Cochrane
Hardcover (February 1987) D Cochrane Pubns; ISBN: 0951220608

Although difficult to find, this book is well worth the investment. Beautiful pictures, good history, and all around book on Berners from the English breeder Diane Cochrane. - Pat Long

Jude Simonds "The Complete Bernese Mountain Dog" by Jude Simonds
published by Howell House, 1989; ISBN 0-87605-050-X

An excellent book that covers every aspect of Berners from a British breeder. - Pat Long

Unless it's been updated, this book was copyrighted in 1989. Good, all around book with a focus on the breed in GB, no color photos. - Sherri Venditti

by Julia Crawford "The Bernese Mountain Dog" by Julia Crawford
published by Howell House, August 2000; ISBN 1-58245-162-1

Was delighted to find a copy of Julia Crawford's new book on the shelf at Border's today. A lot of the photographs were shot at the Potomac Valley BMD Club's fall match last year. Fun to see familiar faces including a pup we bred along with her human siblings (page 19).
As many know, Julia Crawford writes the Berner column for the AKC Gazette. This book is one of the "An Owner's Guide To A Happy Healthy Pet" series, simply entitled The Bernese Mountain Dog. Published by Howell Book House, It is 158 pages long, with Berner specific information through page 94, and generic pet information in the remaining pages.
- Carol Lingley

This is a very nice book for general dog ownership information, and some very nice breed specific ownership information. What makes me crazy is that I can't find out who the dogs and people are! I do recognize Julia Crawford and her sister Elizabeth, and I'm pretty sure I recognize Esprit (Ch Rogel's Esprit de Wyemede), but I want to know the names of all the dogs and owners in the photos! (And there are some very nice photos!) There is also a chapter on dog training basics by Dr. Ian Dunbar. All in all, a nice addition to the well rounded Berner Bookshelf.
- Pat Long

Paddy Petch "The Bernese Mountain Dog" by Paddy Petch
published by Dixon Price, 1992; ISBN 0-85380-152-5

A good all round look at the breed from a British perspective- Pat Long

Mountain Dogs "The Bernese and Other Mountain Dogs" by Gerd Ludwig
published by Barrons Educational Series, 1995; ISBN 0812091353

Titled "The Bernese and Other Mountain Dogs : Bernese, Greater Swiss, Appenzellers, and Entlebuchers : Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Breeding"; this is an excellent book for reviewing the 4 different Swiss breeds. Gives good information and is very helpful in deciding on which breed best suits you and your lifestyle. It can be difficult to find information about the three lesser known Mountain Dogs, so for those looking for information about the Appenzeller, for example, this is a great start.
- Wendy Beard

This is a good book for new owners of Berners, who are also interested in knowing more about the other Swiss breeds.
- Alpenhorn Review

"Bernese Mountain Dog" by Louise Harper
published by Interpet, August 2002; ISBN 1903098785

A comprehensive, very well written and colorful book on all aspects of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Published in England (year 2000). In addition to an authoritative, lively text, this book presents over 135 breed specific photographs in full colour, which prove to be as informative as they are attractive.
Hardcover, 155 pages. Book size 8.5 x 6.8 inches. Quite heavy -- approx. 20 oz
Text from the back cover:
"Waving the tri-coloured flag of his native Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog stops the crowd with his attractive jet black, rich red and white coat and his outgoing, good-natured smile. Fanciers regard the Bernese Mountain Dog as the most friendly and warm-hearted of all working dogs. His heritage as a resourceful farm dog and drafting dog recommends him as a handyman about the home as well as an attentive watchdog. The Bernese Mountain Dog, though successful in the show ring for his self-confidence, naturally silky, shimmering coat and striking colouration, is primarily a kind and devoted family dog, whose trainability and love of children make him one of the most desirable companion dogs in the world."

Unlike many other dog breed books, this book pictures Bernese Mountain Dogs only - no general pictures showing arbitrary dogs. It has pictures of Bernese Mountain Dog puppies, Bernese Mountain Dogs visiting the Vet, Bernese Mountain Dogs being showed, being trained etc. - this book is 100% Bernese Mountain Dog!
- Judith Johnson

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Foreign Language

Berner Sennehund by Bernd Günter"Berner Sennenhund" by Bernd Günter
published by Kynos Verlag Mürlenbach, 1993; ISBN 3-924008-92-2

By a member of the Berner-L! Wonderful photos. I'm sure that those of you who do have the book will agree with me. My favourite is of the group of puppies all staring attentively up at the lady in the middle. (Now all you listers will HAVE to buy the book to find out what I'm talking about!) - Wendy Beard

Worth it just for the photographs alone, but even better if you happen to read German! - Pat Long

For more reviews, click the bone

Anne Iversen "BERNER SENNEN I DANMARK" by Anne Marietta Iversen
published by Forlaget Kongsvang, 1994. ISBN 87-984854-6-6

Beautiful photographs of many of the Danish dogs, and pedigrees of almost a dozen of them as well.- Pat Long

Bouvier Bernois The 90th Year Anniversary issue from the Swiss Club:
"Schweizerischer Klub für Berner Sennenhunde / Club Suisse du Bouvier Bernois"
Published 1997

This is a lovely book with information about all the Swiss kennels, and many of the top dogs as well.- Pat Long

Available in Europe from Margret Bärtschi for SFr20 inc. postage

Hunde: sehen, zuechten, erleben. Das Buch vom Berner Sennenhund" by Margret Bärtschi & Hansjoachim Spengler
Gebundene Ausgabe - 776 Seiten (1994) Paul Haupt, Bern; ISBN: 3258049874

My all time favorite Berner "textbook" is written in German and I have no idea whether it has ever been translated into English. It is incredibly comprehensive and covers every imaginable aspect of Berner characteristics from a breeding point of view. Although the main emphasis of the book would be most pertinent to current or prospective breeders, it also contains a detailed history of the BMD, great photos and some lovely sections in what it's like to live with one of these bears. It is quite "technical" - and I do confess to having fallen asleep many a night over some elaborate descriptions of a certain hereditary defect (and I now also know more about phenotype and genotype that I ever wanted to know) - nevertheless, I think this book is a MUST read for anyone seriously interested in showing/breeding/ or even acquiring their first Berner. I love it!
- Michaela & Harvey (who obviously did NOT agree with what Ms. Baertschi & Mr. Spengler had to say about correct ear carriage and thus promptly chewed the relevant pages in their book as a young pup!)

De Berner Sennenhond, R. Stevens De Berner Sennenhond by R. Stevens
Paperback | Tirion Natuur | 1998; ISBN 905210123X

R. Stevens is the co-founder of the Dutch Association of Bernese Mountain Dogs and was their first secretary. Many people know him as a puppy co-ordinator from Holland and also from Switzerland
A great deal of information is given about the breed standard. A book for both breeders and enthusiasts.
- Wendy Beard

"De Berner Sennenhond" by Ruud Haak
Hardcover | Zuid Boekprodukties | 1996 ; ISBN 9062486916

A Dutch book, by the editor of the magazine "Onze Hond". Neat and compact, this book gives an extensive history of the breed.
- Wendy

"De Berner Sennenhond" by D. Hamer
Paperback | Welzo Media Prod. bv | 1999; ISBN 9058210030

A pocket book, in Dutch. Gives advice on buying, feeding, care, behaviour, sickness and breeding. More of a generic guide for people looking into buying a Berner than a book for owners wanting to know more about the breed.
- Wendy Beard

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Berner Tails

Nose to Nose; A Memoir of Healing by Barry J. Schieber

Paperback: 110 pages
Publisher: Silent Moon Books; ISBN: 0972145702; (August 1, 2002)

Nose to Nose is a wonderful story describing the therapy dog work that Barry Schieber and his Berner Moritz do at a Hospital near his home in Montana. Not only does Moritz sound like the best of Berners, but the work he has done is very touching as well. Get this book if you ever have any desire to do therapy work with your dogs. Or if you just enjoy a good read! And the cover has a wonderful photo of Moritz as well!
- Pat Long

Hank & Company, Paws for Therapy by Jeanne Schoech
6" X 9", 92 pages, $11.98
ISBN: 0-9761646-0-4

"It began by a mountain lake when the author met a dog -- Not just any dog. A special, very large canine. She just knew that one day this kind of dog must be part of her life. And so it happened. The dog, a Bernese Mt. Dog named Hank became a family member and much more -- A welcome presence in restaurants, a visitor to Alzheimer patients, a reading companion for elementary students, and emotional support and mutual caretaker for special- needs students. This is a story celebrating the human-canine bond and of love, given and received, unconditionally."

More info at The book may also be ordered directly from the author or snail mail to: Bernerlife Publishing, PO Box 1468, Salida, CO 81201

Also Available through Order your copy now!

"Farmer's Garden" : Rhymes for 2 Voices by David L. Harrison, Illustrated by Arden Johnson-Petrov

Hardcover - 32 pages (September 2000)
Boyds Mills Pr; ISBN: 1563977761

An inquisitive Bernese Mountain Dog asks many questions of the colorful characters on the farm. The dog featured in the book is modelled on Arden's very own berner, Bear! For more details and illustrations from her books, visit Arden's site

Available from Order your copy now!

It would make a great present for the young (or old) Berner-lover in your home!

"Before Santa Was Santa" by Gareth Lee and Susan Ellenbee with illustrations by Mary Garbe

This is a special Christmas book for every Berner Lover and tells the 'true' story of Kris Kringle's first draft team. This 32 page hardcover book features over 30 watercolor illustrations of Bernese and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.
Available from:
The BMDCA Specialty 2002 Ways and Means
Eve Lapolla at By Jove has signed copies available for $16.95 plus shipping

Jan Gleiter "Lie Down With Dogs" by Jan Gleiter
St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1996, ISBN: 0312961758

Mystery for young adults. Has a Bernese Mtn. Dog named Sirius in it. My Sirius and I are waiting for our royalties! Good book for age it was written for.
- Lynne Weber

Mountain Dog Rescue "Mountain Dog Rescue" by Coleen Hubbard
ISBN: 0590189778

Number 3 in the "Dog Tails" series. The cover says "A Story of a Bernese Mtn. Dog." A boy and his dog...and a life to save! Another good children's paperback.
- Lynne Weber

"Cleaver of the Good Luck Diner" by James Duffy
Hardcover (30 April, 1989) Prentice Hall & IBD; ISBN: 0380710730

Cleaver of the Good Luck Diner, a novel about a Berner and his family who run a diner, by James Duffy
- Val Whiteford

Cleaver, a 100 pound plus Bernese Mountain Dog, protects his family and their Good Luck Diner and foils an attempted robbery. The story tells of his role in protecting his family and getting the parents to reconcile their differences, as well as his role with the children in the family.

There is a sequel, Cleaver and Company, but both books are out of print, but may be available in used book stores or at the library.
- Alpenhorn Review

A Cobtown Christmas "A Cobtown Christmas" by Julia Van Nutt
Hardcover - 32 pages (October 13, 1998) Doubleday; ISBN: 0385325568

A picture book about a Berner named Jingle.
- Val Whiteford

Gingerbread Baby "Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett
School & Library Binding - 33 pages (October 1999) Putnam Pub Group Juv; ISBN: 0399234446

A picture book in a Swiss mountainside setting.
- Val Whiteford

I'd like to call a book to your attention, "The Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett. I won it at our club's raffle, and am enchanted! The detail is just so so perfect!
No, it's not ABOUT a berner, it's the old "Catch me if you can, I'm the Gingerbread Man" but this time it is a cheeky gingerbread baby who jumps out of the over when they check to see if it's done! This little brat runs around the farm and environs taunting everyone (but even the fox doesn't get him in this version), and he hides in a milk can of the milk and cheese man Of course the milk can is on a cart being pulled by a BERNER!! The whole town seems to be chasing the gingerbread baby, with the berner (still with the cart and the milk and cheese man) leading the pack!
The illustrations are just toooo charming, and there is a cute and happy ending. Great book for the little ones, and of course, enjoyable for the rest of us.
- Marianne Becktel

Jan Brett has her own website with downloadable masks of the characters from "The Gingerbread Baby". Visit it here.

Hector Protector "Hector Protector " Tracey Campbell Pearson
Board book: 14 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.36 x 5.94 x 6.32
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); (September 8, 2004)
ISBN: 0374308608

Book Description
Nursery rhymes that toddlers will relate to.
Hector Protector was dressed all in green;
Hector Protector was sent to the Queen . . .

Hector is an obliging dog who lets his toddler friend clothe him in jacket, scarf, and sock. On the boy and dog's visiting rounds, however, the Queen (mom) and King (dad) are not terribly receptive when Hector jumps all over them. "So Hector Protector was sent back again" -- for a nap with his friend on the floor.

Dogs & Puppies "Animal-Shaped Board Books: Dogs & Puppies " Deni Bown and photographers David Ward and Steve Shott
Hardcover - 10 pages Board edition (April 1996) DK Publishing; ISBN: 0789406217

This is a sturdy, ten page board book for toddlers and the front cover is a face of a Bernese Mountain Dog. - Alpenhorn Review

Dog Heaven "Dog heaven " Illustrated by Cynthia Rylant
School & Library Binding - 32 pages (September 1995) Scholastic Trade; ISBN: 0590417010

This is a simple story: a dog's vision of what heaven is. - Alpenhorn Review

how to talk to your dog "How to Talk to Your Dog" by Jean Craighead George & Illustrated by Sue Truesdell
Harper Collins Publishers,NY,USA. 26pp; ISBN 0-06-027092-6

Just got this from Children's Book of the Month Club: "How to Talk to Your Dog" by Jean Craighead George & Illustrated by Sue Truesdell. It's only 26pp., clear concise, and fun. Within 10 minutes of opening the book together my 7 & 4 year old boys were giggling with delight that their "hello" greeting of sniffing Sadie and Ben's noses elicited the "correct" response of return sniffs and ears pulled back and close to head. The books that get used most in this house are those that grab the kids right away. This is one of them. We have not yet purchased the "How to Talk to Your Cat" version, but there is one.
- Susan Kowitz

"Howling For Home" by Joan Carris
Springboard Books 1992, ISBN: 0316130176

The author presents a Bernese Mountain Dog's view of puppyhood. Beau, a BMD, describes going to the vet, attending obedience training and relates funny episodes about his untrained family. He tells how his family doesn't understand that he is used to wide-open spaces, hearty food and real jobs like guarding the home and herding cattle. He goes in search for his old home. - Alpenhorn Review

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