Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large, iconic and regal looking dog. Their long-haired, tricolor coat of black, rust and white make them an easy to recognize and beautiful breed.
Bernese Mountain Dogs, nicknamed ‘Berners’, are intelligent, friendly and extremely high energy. Their thick long coat stands up well to cold weather, like the climate in the Swiss mountains where they were used to guard animal flocks, pull carts, and herd cattle for centuries.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are a popular breed that is loyal, social, and great with kids. They're natural-born guard dogs that will keep your home and family safe. Keep in mind that their size, high energy, and working-breed tendencies mean they’ll do best in a home with a lot of space and plenty of exercise.
Read on to learn more about this stunning large breed dog
Physical Traits and Health of Bernese Mountain Dogs
Bernese Mountain Dogs stand between 23 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 85 and 115 pounds, with females being on the smaller end of the spectrum. Yes, Berners are quite big!
Due to their size, they have a slightly shorter life expectancy at just 7-10 years. Like many other large breed dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to a number of health issues such as obesity, hip dysplasia, bloat, and some cancers.
Bernese Mountain dogs are known for their regal, long-haired, double coat. This hallmark of the breed makes for some pretty serious shedding every day in addition to two major shedding seasons twice a year when they blow their coat. Brushing 1-3 times per week is considered a must for this breed.
Personality and Lifestyle of Bernese Mountain Dogs
Bernese Mountain Dogs are best known for the super friendly dispositions and are ranked as one of the best breeds for families with children. They are playful and energetic, but once they are full-grown are also able to be gentle, kind, and adaptable to the unpredictable energy of kids.
Berners are highly intelligent working breed dogs. They are often referred to as an “all-purpose” farm dog because of their ability to herd, guard and pull around the farm in every season. Because of these traits, this breed requires a lot of exercise, especially when they are young.
Because of their social and sensitive nature, Bernese Mountain Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement training. They love to be with their family and don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. In fact, you may see them act up or start chewing if they are left alone too often.
Drawbacks to Bernese Mountain Dogs
This breed is friendly, loyal, and great for active families. But there are a few perceived drawbacks that don’t make them a perfect fit for every family. Here are some things to keep in mind before adding a Bernese Mountain Dog to your pack:
- This is a very large dog! Make sure your home’s interior and yard has the space for a Bernese Mountain Dog
- Because of their size, it’s important that they are well-trained and socialized. They’re not difficult to train, but you do need to put in the time to have them under good voice control
- Berners are a working breed that’s bred for mountain farms! In other words, this dog will need a LOT of exercise and mental stimulation. Make sure you are up for this commitment
Thinking about a Bernese Mountain Dog for your family?
There’s no doubt about it, Bernese Mountain Dogs are beautiful and popular large breed dogs. Just be sure that your lifestyle matches up to the active needs of this breed before adding one to your pack.
If you have an outdoorsy and active family, there’s usually someone at home, and you have kids that love to get outside, a Bernese Mountain Dog could be a great fit.
Do you have a Bernese Mountain Dog in your pack? We’d love to hear about them below!