Bernese Mountain Dog


A large sized Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)23-28in (58-71cm)
Weight80-120lbs (36-55kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black with white patches
Lifespan8-10 years
Energy LevelLow
Litter size1-14
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsLow
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if left

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a robust and sturdy dog that wears a keen and alert expression. This is a strong, compact dog with thick bones, a wide chest, a broad head, and slightly triangular ears. The tail is long and bushy. It has a striking and distinct appearance largely thanks to its beautiful coat, which is medium length, wavy or straight, and coloured jet black with white and rust markings.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are friendly and affectionate gentle giants when properly socialised from puppyhood, and they do like to be around people. They make great pets and companions and are suitable for experienced and non-experienced owners alike. Although they are intelligent, they are relatively easy to train and make good guard or watch dogs, despite not being too aggressive by nature. They have steady and even temperaments and some can be a little shy, and they get along well with children and other animals. However, as these are large dogs they could easily knock smaller children over unintentionally when playing and so are more suitable for older kids. Bernese Mountain Dogs reaction to strangers can vary: some are aloof, while others can be friendly depending on the personality of the individual dog. Some of the males can also be a little on the dominant side, and females can become dependant on a single person to whom they attach themselves. These dogs may find it difficult to adjust to new homes.

History & Skills

Bernese Mountain Dogs originate from Switzerland, with an ancestry dating back over two thousand years. It is thought they developed from mastiffs crossed with flock herding dogs that were brought over when the Romans invaded the country, and were originally used for farm work. They almost died out in the 1800s due to the overwhelming popularity of the Saint Bernard before their number was stabilised, and the breed is now becoming increasingly popular. These days they are still skilled in farm work and its other skills include herding, tracking, and search and rescue.

Breed Specific Ailments

Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to live between 8-10 years. Some of the health problems associated with this breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, tumours, thyroid problems, PRA, histiocytosis, autoimmune problems, and skin allergies.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are medium shedders that also shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, and so are not best suited to those with allergies. However, their grooming requirements are reasonable. The coat will need brushing twice a week, although this will need increasing during the periods of heavy shedding.

Exercise & Environment

Bernese Mountain Dogs will need a daily walk, which should meet most of this breed's exercise needs, although care is needed during the first six months to prevent joint problems. During puppyhood, exercise should be restricted to the garden or yard. These dogs thrive in colder climates rather than warmer ones, and love to frolic in the snow.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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