breed
breed

Bernese Mountain Dog

avatarChristy McDowell, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Height23 - 27.5"
Weight85 - 110 lbs
TypeWorking
Life Expectancy8 - 10 years
Area of OriginSwitzerland

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog originally from the Swiss Alps. They were primarily bred to pull carts to market, but were also successful as watchdogs, drovers, and pets. Berners are excellent companion animals; they love to play with children, as well as other dogs. This friendliness, combined with a protective streak, makes them an ideal family pet. This beautiful breed is known to be extremely goofy and sociable. Being around family is their ideal environment and they relish entertaining loved ones.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Bernese Mountain Dogs From?

The amiable Bernese Mountain dog is an old Swiss breed that was originally used for herding and drafting. They are believed to be the result of cross breeding between Roman Mastiffs and farm dogs from various parts of Switzerland. The breed is extremely patient and laid-back, making them unsuitable for herd or farm guarding jobs.

Over the centuries, they faded from popularity as other breeds, like the St. Bernard, took their place. They were nearly extinct by the end of the 19th Century, until Herr Franz Schertenleib and Albert Heim took a great interest in reviving the breed. They were quite successful, and the Berner was recognized by the AKC in 1936.

Where Are Bernese Mountain Dogs From?

The amiable Bernese Mountain dog is an old Swiss breed that was originally used for herding and drafting. They are believed to be the result of cross breeding between Roman Mastiffs and farm dogs from various parts of Switzerland. The breed is extremely patient and laid-back, making them unsuitable for herd or farm guarding jobs.

Over the centuries, they faded from popularity as other breeds, like the St. Bernard, took their place. They were nearly extinct by the end of the 19th Century, until Herr Franz Schertenleib and Albert Heim took a great interest in reviving the breed. They were quite successful, and the Berner was recognized by the AKC in 1936.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

Bernese Mountain Dogs require a nutritious diet. They tend towards obesity if sedentary, so monitoring calorie intake is a must. Careful measurement of meals and judicious treat feeding will help keep your Berner at a healthy weight.

Caring for a Bernese Mountain Dog

What Kind of Diet Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Healthy?

Do You Need to Train a Bernese Mountain Dog?

How Much Exercise Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

Bernese Mountain Dogs require a nutritious diet. They tend towards obesity if sedentary, so monitoring calorie intake is a must. Careful measurement of meals and judicious treat feeding will help keep your Berner at a healthy weight.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Bernese Mountain Dog?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are big in both stature and personality. They have distinctive markings common to the Mountain Dog family, though Berners are the only members with long fur. Their average height is 25 – 27.5″ for males and 23 – 26″ for females. They generally weigh 85 – 110 pounds.

Berners’ eyes are dark brown, gentle, and intelligent. Their heads are flat and wide, with a straight muzzle and black nose. Droopy ears are set toward the top of the head, and are relaxed towards the face unless alert. At attention, the ears are lifted slightly and carried forward to frame the face.

The body of the Berner is strong and muscular, yet agile. They are deep chested with straight backs.

Yes, the Bernese tail is furry and held downward when relaxed. At attention, the tail may be carried up.

The forelimbs are straight and the elbows are held close to the chest. Feet are small, and dewclaws can be removed if necessary.

The Bernese Mountain Dog has an easily recognizable color pattern. They are tri-colored: primarily black with white and rust markings. The coat is thick and of medium length, and may be wavy.

The hindlimbs are muscular and straight when viewed from behind. Dewclaws are removed.

Bernese Mountain Dog Facts

1

Berners are one of four mountain dogs from the Alpine region. The rest are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhund, and Entlebucher Mountain Dog.

2

In Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is called the Berner Sennenhund.

3

Berners are incredibly strong and excel at pulling carts. In modern competition, they are judged by both their pulling ability and the amount of control they have over the cart.

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References

  • Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., 2020.
  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995.

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