Bernese Mountain Dog
Large, kind-hearted pups with a strong desire to please
Bernese Mountain Dog
Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 26th, 2021
All you need to know about the Bernese Mountain Dog
If you are looking for an intelligent and hardworking dog that will be a loyal friend for life and love spending time with your family, look no further than the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Often called Berners, these pups are incredibly calm and sweet, and will devote themselves completely to you and your family members. This includes your kids as well. Berners are completely trustworthy around children.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are large and powerful and were originally bred to help with farming in Switzerland. They can be guard dogs and also pull carts.
Bernese Mountain Dogs will be protective of you and your family, but don’t worry about them becoming aggressive.
If they are not busy they will be the most satisfied if they can be by their owner’s side. It won’t matter what you do, if they can be next to you, these pups will be happy.
It is no wonder you are interested in this loyal, loving breed. However, there are some things you should know and we’ve prepared all the important info about these pups.
Group - Working
Weight - 85-110 Pounds (male) 80-105 Pounds (female)
Height - 24-28 Inches (male) 23-27 Inches (female)
Hair Length - Long
Shedding - Heavy
Lifespan - 7-10 Years
The Appearance of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The first thing you will notice about these dogs is how big they are. While their size may seem menacing at first, one look at their face will make you fall in love.
The face of a Bernese Mountain Dog shows their welcoming spirit and their dark brown eyes are expressive and full of love. They look as if they are constantly smiling. While they are still puppies, Berners resemble stuffed toys!
The coat of a Berner is thick, long, and silky. It can be straight or a bit wavy. Their ears are droopy and fall down to their lips.
The entire body of a Berner feels compact with a firm, flat back and a deep chest.
The tail of a Berner is covered with hair and has a bushy appearance.
Although they are large and muscular, these pups can be quite agile and move fast if they want to.
What colors does a Bernese Mountain Dog come in?
When it comes to the colors the situation is quite simple. The breed standard states that only one color is allowed, and that is the tricolor. Fortunately for you, that is basically the only color you will be able to find the Bernese Mountain Dog in.
The tricolor coat consists of a black coat all over the body, with rust markings on the face, chest, and legs, and a bigger white area over the chest. Usually, the tip of the tail and the paws will be white as well.
All about the Bernese Mountain Dog personality
Ever since they first started working on Swiss farms, Bernese Mountain Dogs have been winning over the hearts of their owners with their eagerness to please and intelligence. They learn very quickly and are devoted and faithful pets.
Berners pups are low-energy and despite having strong working habits, won’t mind spending the day on the couch with you. They are calm and patient, and will openly show their affection to you. It really makes sense that they are popular as pets!
While they can be a bit standoffish with strangers, they will quickly warm up to them. On the other hand, they will adore all of the members of your family and be protective of them. Berners hate being alone, so make sure there is always someone home to keep your pet company.
Bernese Mountain Dogs also have an intimidating bark. When paired with their size this makes them amazing guard dogs. Of course, they won’t possess much of a threat to anyone besides the bark. Their nature is simply that gentle and loving!
They are fearless dogs with kind hearts that will devote themselves completely to you and your family.
Is a Bernese Mountain Dog easy to train?
Berners are willing to learn and have a kind nature. They are easily motivated by food, but that might not even be necessary since they are generally so easy to train.
Their past as working dogs definitely helps this, since they are used to taking orders and listening to humans. House training won’t be an issue at all as well. Having access to outside space will help with this, naturally.
Obedience training is a must, and with this breed, it should be a joy for most owners. They will follow each of your commands without an issue and make every session feel like you’re playing.
If there is ever a slight issue just use positive reinforcement and reward your pet with some food as motivation.
How much Grooming does a Bernese Mountain Dog need?
Grooming is something that will take a lot of your time if you have a Bernese Mountain Dog for a pet. These pups shed a lot so expect to do a lot of vacuuming.
They have a double-layered coat that needs to be brushed every few days. Full grooming should be performed at least once every two months, although once a month is preferred.
Seeing as how they do shed profusely, Berner Mountain Dogs are not hypoallergenic. Their coat contains a lot of dander, and this can be dangerous for people with even mild allergies. Look into other breeds if you are allergic!
The coat of a Berner is soft and silky but quite dense, so make sure never to forget to brush it, as the shedding can become a huge issue. If you do it regularly, the coat should constantly be in great condition.
Expect to brush your pup more often during Spring and Fall, when the shedding becomes even more extreme.
These dogs can develop ear problems, as do a lot of other breeds with droopy ears. Make sure to check the ears of your pet Berner from time to time, and if you notice any irritation or dirt, contact the vet. If you want to clean them yourself, be careful and use a damp, soft cloth.
Teeth brushing is also something that you should make a part of your Berner’s routine. Another thing you should get your dog used to early is nail trimming. If the nails of your Berner become too long it might cause pain, so make sure to trim them when you notice their length. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor you should trim them.
The Living Environment of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Berner Mountain Dogs have thick coats that make them perfect for colder climates. These pups adore the wintertime and will be especially happy if it is snowing.
Since these dogs are quite large, it is recommended that you live in a house with a yard if you plan to adopt one. It is really important that you take your pet on regular walks around the block as well. You should provide a Bernese Mountain Dog with at least a half-hour of walking or running daily.
If you live in an apartment and want one of these dogs, it is doable. They do love laying around the house, as long as they are with you. However, you will need to take them outside for walks more often. At least two times every day would be perfect.
While Berners don’t develop separation anxiety, they don’t like being left alone for too long. They can become depressed since they are so devoted to their owners. Make sure to never leave your pet home alone for more than a few hours.
The Health and Nutrition of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Unfortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs can suffer from a number of health conditions, some of which can threaten their life. These pups have a lifespan of around 7 to 10 years, which is quite short.
However, some don’t even make it to 7. The main reason they don’t live as long as most other breeds is the fact that they can get a lot of different types of cancer.
They can also suffer from other conditions that are common in large dog breeds.
- These include elbow and hip dysplasia. This is a problem with joints when the ball and socket don’t develop properly and start rubbing and grinding instead of sliding. It is more common in large dogs.
- Another condition that can be quite common is bloat, also known as the gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex. It is a stomach condition and it occurs when excess air starts accumulating inside of the stomach. This causes it to twist and stops the blood from returning to the heart.
This can be a serious, life-threatening issue and can be solved with surgery only. This condition can be prevented to a degree by feeding your pup smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
Bernese Mountain Dogs need food made from the highest quality ingredients. Consult with your veterinarian about the best one for your pet. They will also be able to tell you what the correct daily amount of food is for your Berner.
These dogs can eat a lot, so you should always monitor their diet and how much exercise they are getting.
Where does the Bernese Mountain Dog come from?
As their name implies, Bernese Mountain Dogs came from Bern, Switzerland. They originally worked as farm dogs. Their assignments included driving cattle, guarding fields and farms, as well as pulling carts.
Since farming methods started becoming more modernized, the demand for Berners started declining so their numbers lowered. Of course, the breed enthusiasts responded to this crisis quickly and started making an effort to stop the numbers from dropping.
A dog lover named Professor Albert Heim formed a breeding club for the Bernese Mountain Dog in 1907. The goal was to popularize this wonderful breed among a larger number of people.
These dogs were imported to the United States in 1926 by a Kansas farmer and were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1937.
Bernese Mountain Dog Mixes you would like to know about*
Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.
The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.
Read on to see the most popular Bernese Mountain Dogi mixes:
- Bernedoodle - Bernese Mountain Dog & Standard (or Miniature) Poodle mix
- Great Bernese - Bernese Mountain Dog & Great Pyrenees mix
- Bernakita - Bernese Mountain Dog & Akita mix
- Golden Mountain Dog - Bernese Mountain Dog & Golden Retriever mix
- Bernese Shepherd - Bernese Mountain Dog & German Shepherd mix
- Bernese Rottie - Bernese Mountain Dog & Rottweiler mix
- Labernese - Bernese Mountain Dog & Labrador Retriever mix
*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! Pets4you.com neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed.