Bernese Mountain Dog [Facts and Important Questions Answered]

Bernese Mountain Dog [Facts and Important Questions Answered]

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a big, strong dog with an excellent temperament. The breed originated in the Swiss Alps as a farm dog and general-purpose worker, used for everything from herding to pulling carts.

Over time these Swiss mountain dogs have become more popular as family pets because of their intelligence and gentle demeanor. They also shine in dog sports such as obedience, tracking, and agility.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about this beautiful canine.


About the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is a noble and majestic working dog.

This hardy canine thrives no matter what kind of weather it encounters because it has brains and strength – helping the dog multitask around farms or pastures throughout Switzerland thanks primarily due to an insatiable work ethic.

The silky, thick coat is tricolored: jet black, clear white, and rust.

They are recognized by their distinctive markings on the fur and face, which add to this breed’s aura of nobility while showcasing its intelligence with dark eyes that gleam perceptively when you look into them deeply enough for long enough.

Bernese Mountain Dog Breed History

The Bernese Mountain Dog is an inhabitant of the Swiss Alps, and it’s been there for hundreds of years.

The Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner Sennenhund in German) is a large dog breed, one of the four Swiss alpine herders’ dogs.

These canines have roots in Roman mastiffs and are known for their loving nature with children and excellent watchdogs on farms or ranches.

The name “Sennenhund” derives from the German term Senne (“alp pasture”) because these hounds accompanied dairymen called Sene, who were shepherds tending to livestock up high Alpine pastures when they weren’t working at ski resorts during wintertime!

Berner refers to this region where these types originated – it’s located within Switzerland’s Canton of Bern.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Bernese Mountain Dog in 1937, and it ranks 22nd on the AKC’s popularity scale.

How Were Bernese Mountain Dogs Created?

Bred in Switzerland 2,000 years ago by the Romans from Mastiffs and guard-type breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs were one of 4 varieties within Swiss Mountain dogs.

The other three included Appenzeller Sennenhunds – a small dog used as a herder; Entlebucher Sennenhund – also known as “Swissies”; Greater Swiss Mountains Dog or Saint Bernard’s cousin their easygoing temperament.

What Is The Temperament Of The Bernese Mountain Dog?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a majestic breed of dog. They have an affectionate and sweet nature that makes them extremely loveable! Berners enjoy spending time with their owners, who they live to please.

The power and strength these dogs possess are great for hard work and make them formidable protectors when the need arises.

In the table, find many personality traits of the Bernese…

hard workers
eager to lease
easily trainable
protective of family
reserved with strangers
great watchdog
not good to live in an apartment
doesn’t like to be alone
doesn’t tolerate hot weather
likes cold weather
great with kids
good with other dogs
good with other pets
not hypoallergenic
high shedding
higher tendency to bark
prone to health issues

Here is more about Bernese Mountain Dogs and whether they are a good choice for you. As with any dog breed, it is essential to know about their traits and temperament before deciding whether or not to get a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Is A Bernese Mountain Dog A Good Family Dog?

Bernese Mountain Dog is a great family pet. They enjoy spending time with their owners, who they live to please. The power and strength these dogs possess are perfect for hard family farm work and make them fearful protectors when the need occurs.

Berners love people more than other pets or small animals, so it’s best if they’re not left alone too much because they will become heartbroken without human companionship.

Berners have a happy personality that sometimes looks like depression, but this isn’t true—they look sad because of their big ol’ heavy heads on those short little legs!

These guys can be playful and have a high energy level one minute, then gentle as a lamb the next.

However, gentleness should never be mistaken for weakness, as these dogs are one of the most potent breeds in existence.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a gorgeous, rustic breed that looks like it stepped right out of an old-time painting and provides laughter to its family’s life with its clownish antics!

But, of course, these dogs are happiest when they’re serving as “man’s best friend,” so make sure you spend lots of time with a dog.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good With Kids?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is gentle and loving, so they are excellent with children of all ages. They love to play ball and retrieve sticks for the kids to throw!

Bernese Mountain Dogs love children who are active and adventurous, such as those who enjoy hiking and exploring woods.

If you’re searching for a dog that can be with your kids all the time, one to watch over them, then this is the breed for you. 

Your Bernese will do fine with a toddler as long as he or she isn’t prone to pushing the child over!

Early socialization can guarantee that this canine companion stays patient around your little ones.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good With Cats?

It is not uncommon for Bernese Mountain Dogs to live with cats.

They are calm and pleasant, so they will often get along with cats just fine, but if they chase a neighbor’s cat without harm, occasionally don’t be too surprised!

Despite this, these dogs still have prey drive, which can sometimes take some time adjusting when living close to felines.

However, their intelligence makes them very responsive to training which also helps make them suitable pets that might enjoy the company of kitties from an early age as well.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good With Other Animals and Pets?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually very friendly and get along with other animals of all kinds and sizes.

You’ll find that they’re great to have around if you have horses, rabbits, or even chickens around the property or a farm!

They also do well when it comes to livestock too!

If you happen to adopt one as an adult dog, though (or maybe just got him/her from your breeder), make sure he gets acquainted with them before being left alone in their presence.

Just monitor how things go at first, for safety reasons, of course.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good With Other Dogs?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are compassionate and friendly canines who will typically get along well with other dogs unless the other dog shows aggressiveness.

But some Bernese males can be aggressive toward other male canines.

Like many dog breeds, they sometimes need to be taught how to interact appropriately, and it’s best to do it from an early age, but don’t worry – Berners have the proper disposition for learning this!

Does Bernese Mountain Dog Pick a Favorite Person?

If you’re lucky enough to have a Bernese Mountain Dog in your life, they may choose one person as their favorite. This dog can’t get enough of that individual and will want lots of attention!

With this said, the BMD doesn’t play favorites with anyone else – it’ll spend time happily interacting with whoever wants to be around them.

Can a Bernese Mountain Dog Be Left Alone?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are family dogs, so they don’t do well when left alone for extended periods.

It’s important that you find out your own Berner’s tolerance point before leaving them home by themselves, so it doesn’t end up being too much for a dog.

Most dogs can tolerate spending some time in the morning without their owners around, but this does not mean your pet will enjoy being left on his/her own.

All pets differ from one another, meaning he or she might have limited patience when it comes to staying at home all day with nothing going on. 

Bernese Mountain Dog General Appearance

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, remarkable, and tri-colored dog. He’s sturdy and balanced, with males appearing more muscular than undoubtedly feminine females.

Size— Sturdy bone is of great importance in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Measured at the shoulders, males are 25-27½ inches while females are 23-26 inches. So, though appearing square, they’re a little longer than tall.

Weight— Males 80-115 lbs (36-52kg), and females 70-95 lbs (31-43kg).

Coat— The Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat is a double coat, and it has a natural shine. The outer layer of its fur can be fairly long, with some waviness or straightness to the hair. Puppies start with only one coat layer, but as they age, they build a double-layered coat.

Colors and Markings— The Bernese Mountain Dog is a tri-colored dog with the ground color black and markings of rich rust on its cheeks. They have clear white areas over each eye, around its mouth, and under the tail.

When Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Stop Growing?

The Bernese mountain dog is full-grown when they are between 18 to 24 months old.

However, the breed is slowly maturing, and it takes time for them to reach adult size, including both weight and height.

Bernese Mountain Dog Health

These are six of the most common dog-related diseases and conditions experienced by Bernese Mountain Dogs.

You may notice different illnesses from time to time with your Bernese Mountain Dog, but these are the six most common ailments you might see.

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)– One of the most common hereditary disorders in large dog breeds, Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) can lead to canine arthritis when left untreated.

This condition is characterized by a misalignment between two bones: the head of the femur, which meets with the hip socket wrongly and leads to pain in the affected joint that may not show for years.

Elbow Dysplasia– Elbow dysplasia is common in large breed dogs and can be inherited. Symptoms usually show up between the 4-10 months mark, but some instances may not even present until adulthood!

Elbow Dysplasia causes developmental abnormalities, which lead to deformity and degeneration of your dog’s elbow joints.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy– An inherited eye disease in these dogs. The retina decreases, and the dog suffers reduced vision and oftentimes blindness.

There are two types of this condition: early PRA, which can cause problems as soon as three months old; late PRA, when cells develop normally but then start degenerating later on around three to five years old, resulting in a loss of sight by age six or seven.

Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD)– Von Willebrand’s Disease is the most common blood clotting disorder in dogs.

If your dog has it, it might bleed a lot more than usual for no reason at all! Unfortunately, there’s not yet any cure, but you can get them tested to see if their Von Willebrand disease runs in the family or not.

Histiocytosis– Histiocytosis is a type of cancer in which histiocytes, white blood cells (essential for fighting infection and inflammation), reproduce too much and invade various tissues.

This hereditary disease can be sporadic among other dog breeds, but it’s the most typical cancer with Bernese mountain dogs – including 25% of all cases. With two forms: Malignant, which causes death within weeks, or Systemic form, where episodes come and go until eventually leading to death.

Bloat or a Gastric Torsion– Gastric torsion is a common condition in dogs that fills the stomach with gas, fluid, or food and causes it to grow. If this happens too far down into the dog’s body, blood circulation will become cut off from its heart and upper digestive tract while also putting pressure on its lungs.

The death of tissue can happen within hours if left untreated; fortunately, vets are usually able to save these types of cases by surgically correcting gastric torsion before any serious damage occurs!

Bernese Mountain Dog Care

It might take a bit higher maintenance to care for the Bernese Mountain Dog than for other smaller and shorter hair dog breeds.

How Much Exercise Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are playful and energetic! But, to maintain the happiness of Berners, they need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. These can be long walks by the river or a walk in the woods if you live near them, or easy hikes.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent companion on any adventure where there’s room to be active outdoors and to satisfy the dog’s exercise needs.

The Bernese mountain dog is an exceptional companion for active owners.

You can often find these dogs on camping trips, backpacking adventures, and carting races with children in tow, among other things such as agility, obedience training, or tracking competitions.

How Much Food Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Needs?

When it comes to feeding, the best rule of thumb is that a healthy Bernese Mountain Dog will eat about 4-6 cups of high-grade food per day, divided into three meals.

As the puppy grows, it will often eat less than an adult portion. At six months of age and above, the food intake will most likely decrease.

However, it will vary depending on how active they are and the climate they live in. 

Feeding your Bernese some raw foods or a diet with fresh food can promote their immune system function and health in general. 

How Often Should You Brush Your Bernese Mountain Dog?

The Bernese mountain dog has an undercoat that sheds all year long, no matter what climate it lives in.

This means there’s always work to be done when taking care of these pups; brushing them at least three or four times every week ensures healthy hair growth and skin condition while also preventing mats from forming.

What kind of brush do you use on a Bernese mountain dog?

The Double-Sided Pin Bristle Brush is an excellent brush for Bernese Mountain Dogs.

The brush is a 2-in-1 system that helps keep the topcoat clean, decreases shedding, and eliminates knots.

It works best with dogs with medium to long coats, which can help reduce matting.

Brush in the direction of their fur growth starting at the rear end of your pet’s body, then work forward until the dog’s coat is entirely brushed out!

How Often To Bathe Bernese Mountain Dog?

When it comes to bathing your Berner, you might be wondering how often is too often.

Bathing a Bernese Mountain Dog more than once every 2-3 months can dry out their natural oils and leave them feeling uncomfortable.

For those times when your pet’s coat gets extra dirty, you can bathe him more often. But don’t make it a routine!

Berners have a thick coat resistant to dirt.

Natural oiliness can make Berner’s fur hard or impossible to groom, so you should bathe them for more accessible coat care.

How Often Should You Brush Their Teeth?

Brushing your Berner’s teeth is a routine that should be done at least two or three times every week.

Brushing their teeth daily is recommended if you want them to have the best chance of avoiding gum disease, cavities, bad breath, and other dental problems!

How Often Should You Cut Your Berner’s Nails?

Trim his nails once or twice a week and clip them as needed until they reach an appropriate length, then use blunt scissors between his toes every two weeks for maintenance.

This decreases the chance that the dog will slip on wet surfaces while walking or running.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs High Maintenance?

The Bernese mountain dog is higher maintenance due to its need for frequent brushing/grooming and increased amount of time spent interacting with humans.

However, it’s also prone to shedding hair that can make them ill-suited for warmer climates, making this type of pup even harder to manage if you live in small places, such as apartments where there isn’t enough space for them be active.

Does Bernese Mountain Dog Stinks (Smell)?

In Bernese Mountain Dogs, it is unlikely that they will smell unless owners neglect their dog for a long time.

If you get them wet, in this case, they might start to stink just like any other pet would if not taken care of properly.

Occasional bathing and regular grooming are keys to reducing both smell and fur on your pup!

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Easy To Train?

The Bernese Mountain Dog breed will be easy to train, assuming you start early on socialization and obedience training.

These dogs are bright and eager to please, so they’ll usually follow your lead when it comes time for the lessons.

Some steps will help with potty training. The first step is to observe and notice when your pup tries to go where it isn’t supposed.

Once this happens, take them outside immediately and it’s best if they’re used to going out often.

Take the dog outdoors again for about ten minutes before giving up on trying since most dogs need less than 10-15 minutes max of freedom from their house confinement.

Just make sure it’s near the same place every time because consistency helps get results!

Your Bernese Mountain Dog should be able to learn a variety of commands, including how to walk on a leash and easy commands such as sit, stay, come, and similar.

Train sessions only last 5 minutes maximum or up to 5 times per day for tremendous success!

A Berner that has been obedience-trained will enjoy supervised freedom of off-leash walks with you in a safe environment.

Bernese Mountain Dog Lifespan

Bernese Mountain Dog’s life expectancy is short, and they only live for 7-10 years.

According to the American Kennel Club, these dogs usually live for around 10 years. But this varies between individuals and can be as low as 6 or 8.

Some Berners live as long as 12 or 13 years; however, this is rare.

Why Is The Bernese Mountain Dog Lifespan So Short?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a four-legged friend with many health problems contributing to its short life span.

One of the most notable factors in their short life expectancy is cancer, which affects over 25% of dogs at some point during their lives.

It can cause death within as little as six months from diagnosis for 50% percent of those afflicted.

Another reason they suffer a shorter life span than other dog breeds is that they are prone to hip dysplasia, arthritis, cruciate ligament rupture, and mobility issues like difficulty walking or getting up after laying down.

These conditions often lead to pain and sometimes even require extensive surgery if left untreated.

How Much Does Bernese Mountain Dog Shed?

Bernese Mountain dogs are known for their dense fur, which means they shed a lot.

Adult Berners typically shed moderately all year round and usually go through two “shedding seasons” – one in the fall that lasts about 4 weeks even though they are not considered seasonal shedders.

In those few weeks, the old hair falls out to make room for new growth, followed by another shedding season around April or May when days get longer, so there is more light exposure and less darkness at night.

Young puppies start to lose their puppy coats starting as early as 7-9 months of age; this way, they can grow into an adult double-layered coat with each thinner layer providing insulation against heat loss during colder winter weather!

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are not hypoallergenic, which means they’re probably not the right breed for you if you have severe allergies to dogs.

The dander in Bernese’s fur can trigger an allergic reaction by making it hard to breathe or leave your throat feeling dry and scratchy. You may experience a runny nose, watery eyes, red bumps on your skin, or even hives!

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good For Allergy Sufferers?

Even though Bernese Mountain dogs may not be the best breed for those with allergies, it is possible to enjoy a wonderful life with this dog.

An allergic person will likely feel uncomfortable around these animals to some level.

But if you take an allergy test and manage your symptoms accordingly, there are ways that both you and the Bernese live in harmony together!

There are many ways of reducing dog allergen levels, including grooming your doggie friend or keeping them away from things that trigger their sensitivities, like dirt and certain plants.

More About Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese future owners and dog lovers have numerous questions about this lovely breed, and the following answers and facts should answer a lot of them up.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Farm Dogs?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a great dog breed for farms. With their large size and love of being outdoors, they’re perfect at working around livestock or carrying heavy loads from one area to another on the farm.

They originally came about as all-purpose dogs that could work with people and handled themselves in any circumstances.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Guard Dogs?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is alert. This breed makes a great family watchdog because they are large enough to scare off invaders but not so aggressive that it becomes difficult for them to be around children or other pets in the home.

The perfect choice of pet if you want both securities with your pup as well as lots of love.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Hunters?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent, friendly-natured dogs that make excellent companions.

However, their prey drive is not strong enough to hunt dogs because they lack the endurance and focus needed for this sport.

Instead, they can be trained in tracking or search & rescue work, which some people find useful when hunting game animals like deer or wild boar since these breeds have a high scenting ability.

Can the Bernese Mountain Dog Be Aggressive?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally not aggressive dogs.

They are a sensitive dog breed that responds well to obedience training, and for that reason is very unlikely for Berners to misbehave.

They enjoy being around other pets and humans. Still, they may be aggressive towards certain males of their kind.

Berners need to get the right training from an early age and have plenty of affection bestowed on them by their owners to ensure their loving nature doesn’t become disruptive.

Do Bernese Dogs Bark A Lot?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are diligent and alert, traits that make them excellent watchdogs.

It’s a good thing to know that these dogs are very protective of their territory! They growl and bark when people come up because they don’t want strangers walking into the home.

This can also lead to a great amount of barking, which is not always ideal for those living in close quarters with the dog or neighbors nearby.

But because they’re so observant, this makes them fantastic guard dogs! So when you hear these friendly big guys bark, it’s hard not to smile – sure enough, their voice carries far!

Though Bernese Mountain Dog barks come out as big deep sounds, training will help curb excessive noise levels.

Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Howl?

Bernese Mountain dogs love to howl. Berners are a few breeds that can produce a true howl, often used by breed members for oral communication purposes such as attracting attention or announcing their presence.

Howling could also be considered an emergency alert system in some cases.

When high-pitched noises like house and car alarms, ambulances, and other vehicles go off, Berners will let out these long-drawn-out cries to make sure they’re heard across great distances.

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Drool?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a breed that doesn’t drool excessively, but those with loose jowls can produce a lot. When they do drool, you will find saliva everywhere, including on your dog and all over the furniture!

When Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Calm Down?

The average Bernese Mountain Dog will calm down at about 3-4 years old. But for some, hyperactivity may continue past their four-year mark!

It is not surprising to see these dogs living in a family with children or other pets to play with and have fun with throughout the day.

Not all people are aware of this breed’s high activity levels when choosing one as an addition to their home.

Hence, you must research them thoroughly before making your final decision on which dog would be best suited for your lifestyle needs.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good For Apartments?

Berner’s can live in an apartment but are happiest when they live in a house with a yard or on the farm.

However, if you choose to get one of these dogs and need it to stay in an apartment, there are some important considerations for finding your new best friend their perfect home.

First off, find the lower floor level- Berner’s do not like many stairs, including going up more than two flights onto another flight of stairs (especially as they age).

Next, seek out apartments with elevators so the dog can come up without getting worn down by taking too many steps.

Finally, make sure he/she gets enough daily exercise and playtime because busier means happier!

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good For First Time Owners?

While Berners can be okay for the novice owners who did their thorough research on a breed and prepared themselves for owning a large, active dog, if you have small children at home or live in an apartment, this might not be the best fit.

These dogs need to run around often, so they don’t get bored too quickly – which means extra work to keep up with exercise needs as well as finding places outside to play off-leash.

The Bernese Mountain Dog’s size and high energy make it difficult enough to handle them when walking, let alone taking care of any mischievous antics like climbing furniture!

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Swimmers?

One of the things about Bernese Mountain Dogs is that they are not great swimmers, but they are good swimmers.

This might seem like a bad thing, but because these dogs come from Switzerland and typically live in mountainous environments, it’s expected from the breed.

They weren’t bred to swim – there just wasn’t any water around where their ancestors lived!

But some breeds learn slowly or need a bit more encouragement than others to get used to swimming for fun rather than necessity.

Owners should always be aware of their dog’s health when you start taking them on adventures into deeper waters, so if anything goes wrong with either one of you, then at least someone will know what to do next (or who can help).

It sounds obvious, but getting an appropriate life jacket for Bernese is advisable.

Bernese Mountain Dog Price

Future owners can expect to pay anywhere between $800-$2,000 for a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. The average price is around $1,200 – but it depends on demand and availability at the time of purchase.

The quality of the Bernese Mountain Dog puppies is among the most important determinants that affect their price.

Where To Buy Bernese Mountain Dog?

The best place to find the Bernese Mountain Dog is on the American Kennel Club marketplace website.

AKC Marketplace is the best place to purchase a dog. AKC puppies are healthier, friendlier, and calmer than any other breed because they come from registered litters that follow all of the strict guidelines set out by the American Kennel Club.

Bernese Mountain Dog Adoption

The number of Bernese Mountain Dogs in shelters and rescue centers could be decreased remarkably if more people adopt pets rather than buying them.

When you adopt a Bernese, you not only save a loving and caring family dog but also open up shelter space for another pet who urgently needs it.

Where To Adopt Bernese Mountain Dog?

Finding your future Bernese is an exciting process, and there are many places to look. The primary place you should check out is the local animal shelter; they might have a lucky dog for you!

Another good idea would be checking with rescue organizations in your area – chances are someone has a perfect pet that needs adoption too.

Some online places you can check for Bernese are:

  • adopt-a-pet website
  • Bernese Mountain Dog Club Of America Rescue

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