More information about our wonderful dogs can be found on About Great Bernese.
Lilly is a Great Bernese female. Her sire (dad) is a Great Pyrenees and her dam (mom) is a Bernese Mountain Dog.
She is happy, nurturing, loving, calm, tolerant, playful, smart and always does the right thing in any situation.
She is as friendly as they come and loves everyone that she meets. She is up for anything and I do not think that she has had a grumpy moment in her life.
She is brave too. On at least two occasions that we witnessed, she chased bears right off of our Montana property when they got too close to our horses!
Always eager to help, she can't pass up an opportunity to help an insecure dog at the dog park and she has a big smile on her face when a toddler is crawling all over her!
Living up to the guardian breed that she is, she has helped to raise many babies of several different species of animals on our farm. We have been so grateful to her for all of the care and comfort that she has provided.
We were so happy for her when she finally had her own babies to love too! She is an unbelievable mother. Just flawless at each stage of development.
Lilly is such a good, sweet girl in every way!
Her color is so pretty. It is buff with black tips with white markings. Some call it sable.
Her eyes are light amber.
She is healthy, appropriate weight, conformationally correct with straight legs, great hips and with no ailments whatsoever. She has never been sick or injured.
We retired Lilly from breeding due to her age but she remains our dear family member and she enjoys helping to raise the next generations of puppies.
Breeding status Retired
Height at wither 27.5"
Weight 113 lbs
Max is a Great Bernese male. His sire (dad) is a Bernese Mountain Dog and his dam (mom) is a Great Pyrenees.
He is the smartest dog that we have ever been around. He has an immediate response to any request and truly seeks to do the right thing everyday.
He knows about 30 tricks. He wants to learn more but we are out of ideas! Half of the time, I can't remember all of them and I look to him to remind me the rest! He remembers some that my son taught him that I never knew about. How ironic that the dog teaches the human the tricks! I think that he missed his calling as a movie star.
He is extremely athletic, engaging, attentive, observant and entertaining.
He is also very loyal, an observer, a guardian and always on the lookout for potential threats.
He is nurturing, sensitive and loving. Just the sweetest guy.
Max is also the best dad ever! He is involved right from labor, attentively staying by Skya's side and helping to lick the newborns. He snuggles, cleans bottoms, plays when they get old enough, protects them while they are outside and teaches age appropriate dog rules.
As a Guardian Breed, Max has appointed himself as the primary protector of our family; humans, dogs, cats, horses, etc.
For this reason, he is likely to observe and assess men in their prime (or groups of people) before approaching.
Children, the elderly and most individual women are not on his watch list so he typically leans in for pets from them right away.
Max is discerning and does not put himself in a position of potential vulnerability until he deems that the strangers can be fully trusted. He likely believes that if he were to become incapacitated by a bad guy, who would protect his family? It is better to not take any chances without making a quick assessment first.
When unknown men approach him, Max discreetly and casually repositions himself to make his assessments. It may not be apparent to the stranger that Max is running a quick "Background check" on them. He has never growled at anyone and certainly has never had a reason to threaten to bite anyone. He simply observes and smells them from a distance just outside of their reach.
Once an individual has cleared his protocol, he is loyal and unreserved.
Max is a great judge of character.
Very high level dog trainers tell me that Max's combination of qualities are exactly what they seek for dogs in the top percentiles, who are trained to do the most specialised skills.
Max is also a true gentleman and demonstrates consistent daily chivalry. He gives up his seat for the ladies, he lets Skya come in and take over the leftover dinner plate that I put down for him, etc.
We really are in awe of Max and have the utmost admiration and respect for him. I cannot think of one time that he has not done the right thing.
His color is also beautiful and I am not sure that I have ever seen a dog with his exact color. It is such a vibrant color, contrasted with his black pigmentation around his eyes and nose. Some call it orange/rust.
His eyes are amber-brown.
Max is healthy, muscular and fit, conformationally correct, with straight legs, great hips, elbows, eyes and with no ailments whatsoever. He has never been sick or injured.
Height at wither 26.5"
Weight 100 lbs
Skya is a treasured member of our family. We purchased her as a puppy from another breeder.
She is an F1B Great Bernese. (Bernese Mountain Dog x Great Bernese).
She is 75% Bernese Mountain Dog and 25% Great Pyrenees.
Skya is absolutely the most remarkable, best dog ever! I would need to break out my old Thesaurus to try to find enough positive adjectives to describe this special girl.
To us, she is perfect in every way, a once in a lifetime dog.
She is flawless in her behavior, her manners and her loyalty.
Skya is just the happiest, most affectionate, sweet, good girl.
She is a great communicator with so much personality!
She is adorable, sensitive, attentive and smart. She likes to do tricks as well and knows all of the same ones as the boys.
Skya is very outgoing and seems to instantly love everyone that she meets, human or animal.
She goes out of her way to offer to help around the farm each day. She carries horse supplies for us, keeps us company on the tractor and leads the horses from one pasture to the next by carrying their lead rope in her mouth. We never taught her any of this, she simply observes the task and volunteers to help.
She is healthy, conformationally correct with straight legs and genetically good hips. She has never been sick.
It appeared that the end of her tail had previously been broken when she arrived from her breeder and it got more pronounced over time so the end of her tail curls up.
When she was age 5 months, she got accidently stepped on by a colt and it minorly hurt her hip and tore her anterior cruciate ligament (knee).
She recovered quickly and maintained her stability and agility so we are still undecided as to whether or not she should have the surgery to repair her anterior cruciate ligament. Our veterinarian states that she is doing great either way and he shared that he runs marathons without his ACL.
Skya received a clean bill of health and a full reproductive exam (with hip x-rays) before breeding but ever since she got hurt, she "puppy sits" off to one side, most likely because full knee flexion is limited with a torn ACL, as it was for me when I tore my ACL.
Skya is very athletic and agile.
Although we bought her with initial hopes of breeding her to both Max and Spot, the size difference between Skya and Spot is just too great so for her safety, she will only be bred to Max.
Skya's puppies are larger than we expected. Averaging 25 lbs at 10 weeks, 60 lbs at age 6 months and Skya's size at 7 months. Thus far, all of her puppies will be bigger than their mom.
She is tri-colored.
Her eyes are amber.
Height at wither 25"
Weight 75 lbs
The poor doggies were ready to get back to the air conditioning on this 113° day.
Skya always offers to help us carry things.
She also offers to lead the horses for us.
She is an owner trained Cardiac Alert Dog. She is flawless in any public setting, including busy airports.
Spoticus is a Great Bernese Male. His parent's are Max and Lilly.
"Spot" really got the best of both of his amazing parents. If you combine the descriptions of Max and Lilly above, that totally describes Spot!
He is such a love. He is as affectionate as could be and so full of happiness everyday.
He is very playful and sweet so we can count on him to provide hours of entertainment. He really makes us smile, we just can't resist his adorable personality.
Spot loves it when we laugh and he quickly and joyfully finds us from anywhere in the house, at the sound of laughter. He never wants to miss out on anything funny.
He has a true gift for spreading enthusiasm and joy.
He is up for anything, as if it were his favorite activity. Well, maybe not baths, that he just tolerates with a sad look on face but he has a special zest and enthusiasm for life for sure.
Just like Max, he learned about 30 tricks too, until we ran out of ideas. Also like Max, he is sensitive and empathetic.
He absolutely loves helping to raise the puppies. His first brothers and sisters were born when he was 7-months-old and from that litter on, he pretty much never left them, aside from his potty breaks.
Even when Max, Lilly and Skya take a break, Spoticus is with the puppies. He cleans them, comforts, snuggles, teaches and plays for hours on end.
Perhaps it was because we gave him so many kisses as a puppy that he offers both dog kisses (licks) but more often, he mimics human kisses by bumping his mouth on us.
At least once per day, when I am working at my computer, I receive surprise "Bump Kisses" from Spot.
We were amazed to see that Spot also gives Bump Kisses to his little siblings. How remarkable that a dog uses a human sign of affection on another dog.
He also gives the best hugs. He sits, we get down on our knees and then puts his front legs over our shoulders, looks in to our eyes, gives us a kiss and then closes his eyes and tucks his head in to our chest. He offers hugs every day.
Sometimes he asks for permission to do the standing version and he is taller than me for those hugs. What a sweetheart.
Spot is healthy, conformationally correct with straight legs, great hips and with no ailments whatsoever. He has never been sick or injured.
He is a big boy but quite agile. He is taller than both of his parents.
Spot has very unique coloring for a Great Bernese. He could almost be described as a tri-colored merle. He has a black undercoat with white tips, black spots and the tri-colored, black, rust and white markings of a Bernese.
Spoticus was the sire of a few litters of adorable puppies (with other breeders) but since he cannot be bred to Lilly (his mom) or Skya (he is too big compared to Skya), he has now been neutered. He loves helping to raise his little brothers and sisters and always takes on an active role from the time they are born.
His eyes were such a bright blue when he was a puppy, then green, brown and finally light amber.
Breeding status Retired
Height at wither 28.5"
Weight 116 lbs
12-month-old Spoticus after he
saved a small dog from being swept out to sea.
There was a lot of rain that day, the tide was going out and the turbulent river outlet swept a small dog out into the current in an instant.
A small child had thrown a ball for the dog, who went after it but the ball disappeared into the rapids.
We were horrified to see the little dog get swept away and it seemed like he was under water more than his nose was above water.
It was heartbreaking to hear the child screaming his dogs name.
It was too dangerous for my son or me to attempt a rescue so we thought we were helplessly witnessing a tragedy, when we saw Spot sprint past us and leap into the raging river, on his own initiative, to rescue the dog.
In an instant, he calculated were he could intercept the dog down current.
He timed it perfectly, got himself spun around and used his own body to stop the small dog from being swept out into the ocean.
Spot was also getting swept away but he managed to swim back to shore with the little dog pressed up against his side by the strong current.
Spot was born in the Arizona desert and he had been to the beach for the first time the day before.
He had no experience with rivers, oceans, hydrodynamics or rescue.
It makes me cry remembering...