Facts and Information on the Bernese Mountain Dog Breed

Bernese Mountain Dogs are considered hardworking, intelligent, and loyal to have as a pet. They enjoy spending time with their owners. Their development was done to herd cattle, be watchdogs, and pull carts. There are four types of Swiss mountain dogs, and they are one of them. Keep reading to learn what’s it like to have a Bernese Mountain Dog as a pet. 

Breed NameBernese Mountain Dog
Other NameBerner
Dog Breed TypeWorking dogs
Parent BreedsGuard-type and Mastiff breeds
Height23-28 inches
Weight70-115 pounds
Life Expectancy6-10 years
Coat TypeDouble coat
Common ColorsTricolor, Black, White
Grooming NeedsMedium to high
TemperamentOpen-hearted, Affectionate, Intelligent
Apartment LivingSuitable for apartment living
Pet-FriendlyYes if socialized 
Health ConcernsBloat, Hip Dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s Disease
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelMedium to high
TrainabilityEasy to train
Energy LevelHigh 
Litter Size1-14 puppies 

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability 2 stars

 Adaptive to apartment living 1 star

Suitable for new owners 2 stars

Sensitivity range 4 stars

Comfortable being alone 1 star

Comfortable with cold weather 5 stars

Comfortable with hot weather 1 star

All about friendliness 5 stars

Lovable with family 5 stars

Kid-friendly 5 stars

Dog-friendly 3 stars

Frank with strangers 5 stars

Grooming and Health requirements 4 stars

Shedding quantity 5 stars

Drooling capacity 4 stars

Effortless to groom 3 stars

Overall health 1 star

Capable f weight gain 4 stars

Size 4 stars

Trainability 4 stars

Effortless to train 4 stars

Smartness 4 stars

Capable of biting 5 stars

Tendency to attack prey 5 stars

Urge to howl or bark 4 stars

Wanderlust nature 3 stars

Physical Requirements 4 stars

Energy range 4 stars

Intensity 3 stars

Exercise requirements 3 stars

Playful nature 4 stars

Vital statistics






The tricolor, flashy coat, and white-colored “swiss cross” on the chest make it easy to identify a Bernese Mountain Dog from a distance. These dogs go by the name Berner Sennenhund in Switzerland, their hometown. Apart from having beautiful coats, they are known for their heavy work duties. Earlier, they were used as draft dogs and herders in Switzerland. 

Back then, these dogs had jobs in farm life, like protecting the family, pulling carts to nearby villages for selling goods, and driving cattle. Despite being hard workers and obedient, their population almost went extinct around the 20th century when new forms of transportation were introduced to the farmers. Thanks to some sensible fanciers, this breed is still alive today.

They have not only a wonderful appearance but also beautiful personalities. The Bernese Mountain Dog is suitable for apartment living and houses with small or no yards at all. These dogs like being with their family instead of running outside. 


The Bernese Mountain Dog was developed by breeding mastiff-type dogs, and the Molosser has the biggest influence in this process. There are four types of swiss mountain dogs-Entlebucher Sennenhund, Berner Sennenhund, Appenzeller Sennenhund, and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. It is said that these four breeds were developed as a result of crossing mastiff-type dogs or the Molosser that were brought by the Romans during their invasion of the Alps around the first century B.C. and the Swiss Alps farm dogs. 

The origin of the Berners is said to be older than 2,000 years. They used to work in Swiss farms accompanying livestock, loyally serving owners, pulling carts, and acting as watchdogs. Around 1888, it is said that only 36% of the Swiss population was engaged in agriculture and needed a tough dog who could pull heavy carts and herd cattle. In 1899, the Swiss people wanted to protect their native breed and established a dog club, “Berna.” These breeds appeared in a variety of dog shows too. However, during world war I, breeding and dog shows were put on hold. When the war finished, the Bernese Mountain Dog has exported to Holland first, then to the U.S.

Two British breeders began importing this breed in 1936, and their first litter took birth in England. The Bernese Mountain of America was established in 1968 and later became a member of the American Kennel Club. 


The breeding of the Bernese Mountain Dog was done with some tough work to make them muscular and strong. A male Berner can grow between 25-28 inches, and a female Berner can grow tall between 23-26 inches. 


The Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to be alert, smart, and affectionate. They have a tolerant, serene, and calm personalities. They are happy to be involved in family activities as they love family time. One of the most noticeable features of this breed is its huge size. Start training them early so that they can behave well inside as well as outside the house. They grow in size way sooner than they grow mentally. 

These dogs are family protectors that don’t lead to aggression. They might get a little alert and shy around strangers; that’s why socialization becomes necessary to take them out of their shells. The Bernese Mountain Dogs love pleasing their owners, making it easier to train them. 

They are said to have low energy levels and want to spend quality time with their owners, even if it means being couch potatoes. Their history as watchdogs, plus their loud bark, makes them great watchdogs. However, there’s no serious threat behind their loud barking.


There are some health issues associated with the Bernese Mountain Dog because of irresponsible breeding. Well, if you’re considering getting this breed as your pet, you should be aware of these health issues too.

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cancer
  • Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)
  • Panosteitis
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Gastric Torsion


Some say that the Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t suitable for apartment living. There’s some truth to this statement, as they need a yard to run around because of their huge size. However, they can live in an apartment as long as they get to spend time with their humans and get enough exercise. These dogs can survive even in the coldest temperatures thanks to their thick coat. This coat becomes a problem in the summer season as the chances of getting a heat stroke become high. 

Don’t take them outside for too long when it’s hot outside; switch outside time to evening or morning. Make sure you’re keeping them cool even inside the house using A.C.s or fans. The Bernese Mountain Dogs need special care if you’re willing to take them home. They grow rapidly during the age of 4-7 months, which increases the chances of injury and bone disorders. 

Feeding and Diet

The Bernese Mountain Dogs are large, so a diet plan should be made keeping in mind their size. Well, you might get this breed at any size or age, so you should always take your vet’s consideration. A vet will make a diet plan for your dog, keeping in mind their unique dietary requirements. During the summer season, you should keep fresh water available to your pet every time to keep them cool. 

Coat color and grooming

The Bernese Mountain dog has a double thick coat- a wooly undercoat and a long outer coat. Their coat is usually seen as tricolor with large portions of jet black-colored hair with bright white and rich rust. You’ll notice a white cross-type mark on their chest which is known as the “swiss cross.” They look beautiful, and to maintain this beauty, you should bathe them once in three months. Tartar buildup can destroy your pet’s gum health, so brushing their teeth twice or thrice a week should help avoid that. Trim their nails when you start hearing a scratching sound when they walk. 

Children and other pets

The Bernese Mountain Dogs make excellent family pets because of their gentle nature towards kids. They will behave well with kids who behave well with them. So it’s always necessary to socialize with your dog and teach your kids how to behave with your pet. Tell your kids to maintain a distance when your dog is eating or trying to snatch their meal, as it can lead to aggression even with well-mannered dogs. These dogs bond well with other pets, and too, however, their size can become a problem sometimes. Always supervise your pet’s play session with other kids and pets. 


The Bernese Mountain Dog looks magnificent, but it comes with a cost which is heavy shedding. They shed moderately throughout the year and heavily shedding during fall and spring. Brush their coat more than twice a week to remove loose hair. 

Male vs. Female attitude

The attitude of a Bernese Mountain Dog is said to be gentle, intelligent, and lovely regardless of their gender. 


The Berners are said to be low-energy dogs, but they still need exercise both mentally and physically. 

Little known facts. 

 The Berners can pull about ten times their weight surpassing even 1,000 pounds. 

FAQ on breed

  1. Where do the Bernese Mountain dog breeds come from?


  1. What is the best diet routine for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

High-quality dog food and limited treats.

  1. How much exercise is required for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

30 minutes a day.

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