Bernese Mountain Dog | Dog Breed Guide

Bernese Mountain Dog | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a sweet, sociable dog who is good with children and other pets. He enjoys outdoor activities so he is a good walking or hiking companion.

Weight – Male: 80-115 pounds; Female: 70-95 pounds 

Height – Male: 25-27.5 inches; Female: 23-26 inches  

Life Expectancy: 7-10 years

Group: Working group

Temperament: calm, good natured, intelligent

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large farm dog that originated in Switzerland near the city of Berne. The “Berner” was both a companion and a watchdog for his family. The sturdy dog, which can pull many times his own weight, was also put to work pulling carts filled with milk and cheese. 

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a thick, tricolor double coat of black, rust and white that can be straight or slightly wavy. He is good with children and other pets. He’s devoted to his family so he doesn’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. He doesn’t vocalize a lot but is a good watchdog. As with other breeds, early training and socialization are important. 

Because the Bernese Mountain Dog was bred to be a working dog, he is easily trained and eager to please, so he will excel at agility and herding events. He’s also a great therapy dog because of his temperament and his thick, huggable coat. 

Because of his size, he may not be the best choice for apartment living.

Though Berners are indoor dogs, they enjoy the outdoors and are good companions on hikes or camping trips. They enjoy pulling children in carts, and there are carting events and competitions where the dogs can show off their skills.


The Bernese Mountain Dog has a double coat that sheds, especially during twice yearly shedding seasons. Frequent brushing (2-3 times a week and daily during shedding season) is required to keep the coat healthy and looking good. You’ll also want to clean his ears, clip his nails, brush his teeth and give him the occasional bath.

Energy Level

The Bernese Mountain Dog does well with 30 minutes of daily exercise and loves outdoor activities. He is a good walking or hiking partner.

Health Concerns

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Bloat

Health problems to be aware of among Bernese Mountain Dogs include hip and elbow dysplasia and eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy They are also susceptible to bloat, a life-threatening condition where the dog’s stomach fills with gas and the pressure on the dog’s diaphragm constricts breathing. Fortunately, pet health insurance can cover these conditions, provided enrollment occurs before any symptoms appear.