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Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese-Mountain-Dog

An Affectionate Family Dog

Calm, intelligent, trainable

Bernese Mountain Dogs are sensitive, lovable, and loyal, large dogs. Berners are a bit reserved around strangers but they get along with dogs and other animals. These dogs are prone to boredom and should not be left alone for long periods of time. They do well in cold climates, and have a hard time in the heat. Berners make great companions for families and those who love the outdoors. This breed requires moderate everyday exercise such as a walk or hike.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:23-27.5 in. Weight:70-120 lb Lifespan:6-9 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
2

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
4

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
5

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: These large and smart dogs have lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

Dental: Bernese Mountain Dogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

 

 

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a calm and gentle companion, if properly socialized. Females may be significantly smaller than males.

Positive Traits: 

  • An excellent family dog that loves human companionship 

  • Good with children and other pets 

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable 

  • Loyal and loving companion 

  • Good watchdog with a loud bark 

  • Intelligent and easy to train 

Negative Traits: 

  • Sheds quite a bit and needs to be brushed regularly 

  • Prone to a number of health problems 

  • Needs regular exercise to prevent chewing, digging, and other problems stemming from boredom 

  • Sensitive, matures slowly 

  • Standoffish toward strangers 

  • Doesn’t do well in the heat

Whether you are considering adding a new Bernese Mountain Dog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Bernese Mountain Dog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Bernese Mountain Dog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some issues a Bernese Mountain Dog could encounter:

The Bernese Mountain Dog originated in the mountainous regions of Switzerland in the early 18th century and was used for droving, guarding, and draft work. The Berner is still often seen pulling carts in drafting events around the country. They are a large breed that can be slow to mature, so strenuous activity must be limited during their growth period. The Bernese has an average lifespan of 7-9 years and is known to suffer from some common conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer. 

Consult with a veterinarian if your Bernese Mountain Dog shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen 

  • General reluctance to run or play 

  • Cloudiness to eye lens 

  • Stiffness or reluctance to rise/sit/use stairs 

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing 

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

  • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea 

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss 

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse 

  • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness 

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting 

  • Gums that are a color other than bright pink 

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • Care

    Routine Care: These large and smart dogs have lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

    Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

    Dental: Bernese Mountain Dogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

     

     

  • Characteristics

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is a calm and gentle companion, if properly socialized. Females may be significantly smaller than males.

    Positive Traits: 

    • An excellent family dog that loves human companionship 

    • Good with children and other pets 

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable 

    • Loyal and loving companion 

    • Good watchdog with a loud bark 

    • Intelligent and easy to train 

    Negative Traits: 

    • Sheds quite a bit and needs to be brushed regularly 

    • Prone to a number of health problems 

    • Needs regular exercise to prevent chewing, digging, and other problems stemming from boredom 

    • Sensitive, matures slowly 

    • Standoffish toward strangers 

    • Doesn’t do well in the heat

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Bernese Mountain Dog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Bernese Mountain Dog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Bernese Mountain Dog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some issues a Bernese Mountain Dog could encounter:

  • History

    The Bernese Mountain Dog originated in the mountainous regions of Switzerland in the early 18th century and was used for droving, guarding, and draft work. The Berner is still often seen pulling carts in drafting events around the country. They are a large breed that can be slow to mature, so strenuous activity must be limited during their growth period. The Bernese has an average lifespan of 7-9 years and is known to suffer from some common conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer. 

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Bernese Mountain Dog shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen 

    • General reluctance to run or play 

    • Cloudiness to eye lens 

    • Stiffness or reluctance to rise/sit/use stairs 

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing 

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

    • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea 

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss 

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse 

    • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness 

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting 

    • Gums that are a color other than bright pink 

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

Bernese Mountain Dog Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Bernese Mountain Dog breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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