• Berny - the Austrian

    Berny was a giant yorkshire terrier of 8.5kg. My first dog of unknown origin who came to us when he was 4 years old. He has grown up and lived in Austria before rejoining me in France when he was 10 years old. After 6 months of my Erasmus stay I was finally able to keep him with me and my husband had to learn the austrian commands rapidly...

    He has left us a big emptiness when he left and has been burried in our garden.


    Surname: Burbi, Börbl, Börbsl, Börsch, ...

    Date of birth: 20/05/1996 

    Date of death: 29/06/2011 at the age of 15 years

    Height: 35 cm

    Weight: 8.5 kg

    Not castrated, never bred

    Position in the pack: The pest and Iris' mascot. Berny didn't like other dogs and he never mixed up with the husky pack. I liked the females in heat of course but he ignored the huskies the rest of the time. He had a particular, very strong dislike for Jaakko and did everything to make his life miserable. Jaakko, boss of the huskies, was very respectful of Berny and quickly treated him with the same indifference as Isis the cat. I let him correct Berny two times in the very begining but Berny just didn't get it and so we just let him be.



    • A true warrior. When Berny decides on something there is no turning back. It made him the perfect companion for walks, hiking and even bike.
    • Very attached to us and very affectionate. My husband sais that Berny was always close to me, et was almost frustrating for him.
    • Very intelligent he loved learning new tricks.


    • Very strong hunting drive with an impressing number of victims unter his belt, in spite of all our precautions
    • Very gardian he loved to catch the legs of people he didn't like.
    • Not very social. Not very well socialised he badly communicated with other dogs and took everything for a provocation.
    • His stubbornness gave me despair for quite some years


    In the begining I unleashed him naively thinking that a dog walk just happens that way, just like in the movies. Of course this didn't work out at all with Berny: he sped off alone one hour to walk alone. This is how we started out our odyssee through multiple dog schools with multiple approaches to dog training. Our first one was a dog school specialised on german shepherds and protection dog training (Berny was the only non-GSD, it was ridiculous!) and working very old school. I had the feeling that this method didn't work at all and Berny completely refused any cooperation. The two of us were less and less motivated by the lessons. So we changed to another club to start agility and on internet I got to know clicker training. We progressed a lot with clicker training because Berny simply loved it (he was very creative). We had finally found a common passion. With all of his primary passions, hunting et fighting, I had no choice but to stand in his way.

    When he was 8 years old he was finally well educated even if my husband thinks I have gone way too far (circus dog!!). But it was necessary because of his past. I have never been able to walk Berny without leash without causing death. He has killed several chicken, two ducks (one of them caught in mid-air when it was flying low) and to top it off: a deer. Berny has managed to strangle a young deer to death during the 5 minutes it took me to rejoin him in the middle of dense undergrowth.

    Berny came with me everywhere. I went everywhere on foot and Berny went with me. He came with us on vacation in France and in Norway, at the sea and in the snow. I even built him his own little X-back harness to make him pull a little.

    Berny was a real warrior. And I was glad he was so because he was only 10 years old when he started to have severe problems with arthritis. When he was 12 his knees got problems and he had a pain in his shoulders that made him walk like a bulldog, ellbows out. From 13 years onwards his hind quarters weakened with a very slowly progressing paralysis.

    This dog has faught all his life and has given us everything until the very end.


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