History
  • The Bernese mountain dog is one of the family of Swiss mountain dogs, or Sennehunde.
  • The breed's origin is undocumented, but it may have descended from Roman mastiff-type dogs that were crossed with native Swiss flock-guarding dogs after the Roman invasion of Switzerland.
  • The cross produced a strong, cold-resistant dog that could work as a draft dog, guardian, drover and general farm dog.
  • Because no concerted effort was made to continue them as a breed, few remained by the late 1800s. These were found in the valleys of the lower Alps.
  • Professor Albert Heim promoted the dogs throughout Switzerland and encouraged their revival. The breed was dubbed the Bernese mountain dog.
  • The first Bernese came to America in 1926.
  • The AKC recognized the breed in 1937.
Bernese Mountain Dog Behavior Concerns
  • Makes a devoted and easygoing companion.
  • Gentle and good with children, but may not be playful enough for them. As with all large dogs, dogs and children should always be supervised.
  • Tends to be somewhat aloof toward strangers.
  • Fairly friendly toward strange dogs.
  • Good with other pets.
  • Learns quickly.
  • Somewhat sensitive.
  • Does best with reward-based training using food rewards.
Bernese Mountain Dog Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a calm and well-mannered housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a moderate walk or short jog.
  • The Bernese mountain dog enjoys cold weather, but doesn't do well in warm weather.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
Bernese Mountain Dog Grooming
  • Coat is moderately long, either slightly wavy or straight.
  • The coat needs only occasional brushing, once or twice every week, more often when shedding.
  • Shedding is above average.
Suggested Bernese Mountain Dog Nutritional Needs
  • Bernese mountain dogs tend to stay in good weight or be slightly overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog breed picture
Lifespan
6 - 9 years
Height
23 - 28 inches
Weight
70 - 120 pounds
Bernese Mountain Dog  Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    1 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    1 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    3 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    1 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    5 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    3 out of 5
  • Shedding
    4 out of 5
  • Barking
    1 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    4 out of 5