By

Avatar photoShiloh Nevada
Last updated: 3rd February 2023

Bernese Mountain Dog

By

Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 3rd February 2023

The Bernese Mountain dog is one of the four varieties of mountain dogs of Switzerland. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Sennenhund and the Appenzeller Sennenhund are the other three members of the Mountain dog family. Its short, hanging ears and glossy, moderately long coat helps it to adapt to the biting cold of the Swiss mountains. Characterized by golden or white patches on the feet and a black face and nose, these loyal dogs guard and love their owners till death.

Bernese Mountain Dog Pictures

Quick Information

Also known as Berner, Berner Sennen, Berner Sennenhund (in Swiss German)
Coat Moderately long, silky, dense
Color Black, white and rusty
Breed Type Purebred
Group (of Breed) Working (AKC), mastiff
Lifespan 6-8 years
Weight Male: 85-120 poundsFemale: 70-100 pounds
Height (size)
Large; Male: 25-27.5 inchesFemale: 23-26 inches
Shedding Seasonal, heavy
Temperament Social, loyal, alert
Good with Children Yes
Litters 1-14 puppies at a time
Gestation Period 58-63 days
Health Concerns Cancer, including malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumor, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and osteosarcoma
Originated in Switzerland
Hypoallergenic No
Competitive Registration CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, ANKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA

Video- How to groom a Bernese mountain dog:

History

Originating in the ancient times (exact date being unknown, but probably working in the Swiss farms for more than 2,000 years), these dogs were used as livestock or farm dog that are found in old paintings. The Romans brought them with them while invading the Alps during first century B.C.

Temperament and Behavior

This ‘cute’ and friendly breed, with its calm and easy-going personality, need socialization training while still a puppy, and they would be gentle with both the owner, with the other pets like cats, the strangers and the kids, though needing time to act like mature adults, but acting like puppies for a much longer time. The Bernese mountain dog, with a dry mouth, does not drool.

Click here for the list of popular Bernese Mountain Dog mixes

Care

Exercise

Provide them with a fenced yard to run around, stretch out and play, since they are not suitable for apartment life. Do not confine them in the kennel/backyard, but take them out for jogging/walk daily, not just for its health, but for its migratory instinct.

Grooming

The heavy-shedding adult/puppy Berners shed seasonally, hence brush them at least twice a week and bathe them thoroughly with dry shampoo, if actually necessary. Brush their teeth twice/thrice weekly to avoid tartar build-up, clip nails by expert hands especially if you hear their nails tapping against the floor, clean their ears to avoid infections. Costumes for the Bernese mountain dogs, like tie, harness etc. are also available in many dog stores.

Health Problems

Their week gene pool and inbreeding make them vulnerable to many major breed-related diseases like OCD, CHD, histicytosis, elbow dysplasia, different types of cancers that are the foremost reason of the death of this breed. Minor issues might also affect their health, which include allergies, diarrhea, dry skin, joint problems, PRA, hypomyelination, gastric torsion and fragmented coronoid process. Take extra care that their body hair do not heat them up easily and give them heatstroke. Take them to the vet if any symptoms arise. Also, test their health, especially their eyes, shoulders and hips frequently.

Training

Train the alert, confident and well-behaved dog firmly, but soberly right from adoption and show your natural leadership to avoid ‘pack leader’ issues. They are fond of their owners, picking up tricks and training easily, since they are not overly dominant, and would even learn to pull wagons or carts instinctually, since they were bred mainly for drafting work.

Feeding

Give them dry dog foods like kibble. The quantity is 3 to 5 cups per day, but divided into two meals.

Interesting Facts

  • Bernese mountain dogs have been adopted by many celebrities.
  • A Bernese mountain dog named Sasha followed a goat off of a mountain cliff and then managed to survive the fall and waited for three days on an ice shelf for rescue.
  • By the end of the 19th century, the Berners faced near extinction until a duteous gentleman named Franz Schertenleib arranged for a breeding program collecting all possible specimens. This actually worked.
  • The Bernese Mountain Dog gets its name since they originated in a region named Berne in Switzerland.

3 responses to “Bernese Mountain Dog”

  1. Jack says:

    I have had dogs all my life. All kinds of mixes and usually 3 to 5 of them. Just recently I was able to rescue a Burmese/Pyrenees Mountain dog and I have made a promise to myself NEVER to be without one in the future. It is loyal beyond belief, it has a sense of humor and delights at actually smiling at me when we romp around and have fun.

  2. Maud says:

    Good points all around. Truly apaedciptre.

  3. Bambi says:

    I have had my Bernese dog for over 6 yrs and just found out on New years at a camp site we were staying at, from a lady who waz walking a dog just like mine. She said he was a Burnese mountain
    dog. Hes beautiful and hes mine. Thanks your site was very informative.
    Bambi Stewart.

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