Boundless Spirit

The enthusiastic Bernese Mountain Dog has brains, brawn, and a never-ending supply of love.

Last spring, Harper showed her owner that it’s possible to win and lose at the same time. While competing in a canine drafting test, in which the dog pulls a cart through an obstacle course, Jessica Briggle of Iowa praised her 6-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog enthusiastically. Harper “responded to my praise by wagging her tail, but at the same time hit an obstacle, and so failed the test.”

Though initially disappointed, Briggle realized she’d achieved her primary goal in training: to produce a happy, enthusiastic competition partner. “It was a wonderful way to flunk a test,” says Briggle, president of Heartland Bernese Mountain Dog Club. “I would rather have a happy worker than a title, any day of the week.”

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Dogs · Lifestyle