Quirky differences between Bert and Ernie
Updated: Dec 4, 2022
Ernie and Bert show us every day that they are individuals with unique personalities. Even though these pups may look alike, they have preferences and idiosyncrasies that are all their own!
Who's on the Wheaties box?
Bert is definitely the athlete of the family. He's springy and bouncy and can easily make the leap into the back seat of our SUV, but he mostly shows off his athletic skills with his excellent ability to catch stuff (food) in his mouth! His favorite target is popcorn, but he'll happily snag a chunk of apple, a piece of bell pepper, or a potato chip in midair. Don't get it twisted though - just because he can catch treats doesn't mean he's interested in playing fetch! Bert likes to play with tennis balls on his own by pouncing after them (or sometimes tearing the fuzz off), but if you toss a ball for him outside, you're likely to be met with a blank stare.
Ernie, on the other hand, is our clumsy boy. He is not exactly the sporty type. Ernie often prefers a boost to get in to the car and he's generally more sedentary than Bert. That's not to say he doesn't enjoy going for a walk or hike though! Ernie's a bit more cautious as we are hiking on uneven terrain and tends to second-guess himself when we're crossing narrow bridges or ledges. When we were hiking in Utah this fall, we kept joking that it was a good thing we didn't bring Ernie along because he'd definitely have found a way to step on a cactus or fall off a cliff! On our visit to Itasca State Park, we crossed a small log bridge over a stream. Midway across, Ernie stopped, backed up, and backed himself right off the edge! Luckily it was a short fall and the water was shallow so no harm done :)
Another difference between Bert and Ernie is when they choose to use their voices. Although Berners aren't guardian breeds, Ernie learned how to bark at the mailman from our old Shepherd mix Ripley and considers it his daily duty to tell the mailman (or the Amazon delivery person or the Instacart shopper...) to go away! Woof woof!
Bert doesn't usually join in with Ernie's guard dog antics (a relief), although he has been known to conspicuously look out the front window and lure Ernie away from a comfy seat on the couch. As soon as Ernie has gone to investigate the nonexistent threat, Bert sneaks up on the couch and steals Ernie's spot! Tricky tricky...
Tricks and Treats
Did you know Bert is an AKC titled Trick Dog? We took a tricks class last winter and he earned the novice title! He had to learn and demonstrate 10 different tricks from the evaluation list, and his favorite was a handler's choice skill that was actually from the "Intermediate" list: Roll over! Bert loves to demonstrate this trick, but because he's so big, he needs a pretty large clear area and plenty of space. (To learn more about AKC Trick Dog titles, click here.)
Ernie hasn't been to trick class, but his preferred tricks are paw tricks. He's all about giving high fives and shaking. These tricks are really simple to teach - we learned "shake" over the course of two beers at a brewery one afternoon! Easy and impressive - handy for meeting new friends.
To learn more about Ernie and Bert's unique personalities, check out this post!