The Pennine Bernese Carters are a group of Bernese Mountain Dog owners who have got together with the sole purpose of showing the public what the breed was originally used for in it's native land.
The owners come from various parts of the North of the country, ranging from Liverpool in the West to Cleethorpes in the East and as far North as Newcastle. As we span the whole width of the country the name of Pennine was thought to be suitable to describe us all. The group is not paid for it's appearances but collect money for charities on a voluntary basis.
The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from the Bern area of Switzerland where it was used as a farm dog for herding, guarding and draught work. The latter being it's best known use.
The Bernese are a large breed with distinctive black, white and tan markings and often give the appearance that they are smiling. This matches their temperament of being a very people friendly animal. The dogs do like to please their owners and especially when they are pulling their carts as shown by their excitement and a great wagging of tails.
The group often bring with them puppies so that they can socialise and get used to the sights and sounds of public gatherings. It also gives them the chance to see the adult dogs carting and hear the sounds of the rattles of the carts. This helps them to become familiar with the carting work so that when they are older they take to it quite readily. The young dogs are introduced to their harness when they are almost full grown but will not become fully fledged carters until they are fully grown at about 18 months old.
We do welcome other Bernese Mountain Dog owners to come along to meet and talk with us at these events and, if they so wish and there is time available, we will help them to try their dogs in harness.
Although we have a very busy time it is great fun for all who take part at these very varied meetings and the dogs love it!