Dog Breed

Bernese Mountain Dog

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Primary image of Bernese Mountain Dog dog breed
Full Name
Bernese Mountain Dog
Alternate Names
Berner
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Life Span
7 - 10 years
Weight
70 - 120 pounds
Description

The Bernese Mountain dog is from the Sennenhund family of breeds. They are a tricolor dog with a gorgeous thick double coat. The Bernese should never be an anxious or aggressive dog- making them a perfect large family dog. They are excellent swimming dogs and are good-natured, self-assured, and docile. Finding an aggressive Bernese is very rare.

Because of their easy going temperment, combined with stunning beauty, the demand for these dogs has shot up in the last decade or so. With higher demand, also comes a higher price point. Another downside is that the average lifespan of the Bernese is only around 8 years, making them one of the lowest lifespans of any dog breed.

Origin
Switzerland
Bred For
Draft work and mountain rescue operations
Attachments
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog good with children?

    Yes! The Bernese Mountain Dog is naturally friendly with children. As always, socialization is always important, but the Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent dog for anyone with small children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog friendly with strangers?

    Yes! The Bernese Mountain Dog is naturally friendly with everyone. As always, socialization is always important, but the Bernese Mountain Dog typically loves everyone they meet
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog friendly with other dogs?

    Yes! The Bernese Mountain Dog naturally loves other dogs. As always, socialization is always important, but the Bernese Mountain Dog typically gets along with every dog it meets
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog like to cuddle?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog appreciates affection and that includes kisses and snuggles!
    Playfulness

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog like to play?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog will almost always be ready for play! The Bernese Mountain Dog is great for a family with children, or otherwise, an environment that is always ready for play.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog make a good service dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog can be a service dog with the proper training. Bernese Mountain Dogs are not the most common service dog, but they certainly can be if their personality matches- smart, patient, and extremely dedicated to their owner.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog good for first-time owners?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is a good breed for first-time owners. A good fit for first-time owners are friendly breeds that are motivated to please their owner. This means they can be trained, and are rarely aggressive and overpowering.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Bernese Mountain Dog be trained?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog can be trained very well. With discipline and a routine training program the Bernese Mountain Dog can be incredibly well-trained.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog shed a lot?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog sheds a lot! They may still shed less than a few other breeds, but be prepared for dog hair throughout the home and on your clothes.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog easy to groom?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog requires a good amount of grooming work. It is possible to do it yourself, but you need to plan on dedicating weekly grooming sessions at the minimum.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog need a lot of exercise?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog requires an average amount of exercise. You should be ready to dedicate a couple of short walks or a larger dog park session each day for your Bernese Mountain Dog to be happy and fulfilled.
    Personality
    Intelligence

    How smart is the Bernese Mountain Dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Bernese Mountain Dog bark? Does the Bernese Mountain Dog bark too much?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog occasionally barks, but only for specific reasons such as when they need something, for protection, etc.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog a good guard dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog would not make a good guard dog. They can be alert, but typically do not have the desire or instinct to take on "guarding" as their job.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog good at staying alone? Is the Bernese Mountain Dog independent?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is not very independent and does not do great when left behind for longer than a couple of hours. This is one of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog a good apartment dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.
    Size

    How big is the Bernese Mountain Dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. In the "giant" category!
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Bernese Mountain Dog tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog does not tolerate hot weather very well, and we would not recommend having a Bernese Mountain Dog if you live in a very hot weather climate. At the minimum, they would need a home with air conditioning.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Bernese Mountain Dog tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog does very well in cold weather, and loves the snow. They were built for it!
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog try to run away?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog does not have a large drive to run away. They can still be distracted and run, so precautions should be taken, but overall they have a less than average urge to run away.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog a healthy dog? The health of a Bernese Mountain Dog should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Bernese Mountain Dog has many health problems that should be considered. The Bernese Mountain Dog can still live a perfectly healthy life, but it's important to consider all of these health risks ahead of time.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Bernese Mountain Dog?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog has a good amount of energy and it's important to give the Bernese Mountain Dog daily walks and ideally run time as well. A well-exercised dog is easier to train, and will be happier and have less likelihood for destructive habits.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Bernese Mountain Dog drool?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog drools a decent amount, especially if that irresistible food is nearby.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Bernese Mountain Dog have a large prey drive? Does the Bernese Mountain Dog like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog has some prey drive, so should not be left alone with very small animals such as birds, mice, or gerbils, but with some gradual introduction should be fine living with a cat in the same home.
    Athleticism

    Is the Bernese Mountain Dog atheltic?

    The Bernese Mountain Dog is athletic and has average levels of endurance. They need a lot of exercise, and can be an exercise partner as long as it's nothing too extreme.
  1. Working
  2. Mountain Type
  3. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a purebred dog that belongs to the Mountain Type sub group, which falls under the larger Working dog breed group.
Working group: Working dogs encompass a wide range of different breeds- but they all were bred to assist people, so they are used to working hard. It is important for them to feel they have a "job" as their roles traditionally have varied from rescuing people to pulling sleds. Because of their large size and intensity, they may be a handful for first time dog owners. On the other side, they can be trained well, so any owner who can exercise and dedicate to training their working dog, will be well rewarded. A common misconception may be that the working dog's jobs are only in physically challenging jobs; actually working dogs can also make excellent service dogs, since they are also kind and attentive to their owners.
Mountain Type sub-group: Mountain type dogs are rustic, powerful, and majestic. They are not a good dog for first time owners since they are demanding, and need an owner who they can respect and appreciate. Of course they need loving just like any other dog, but they are unique because they have these additional "expectations". In addition, mountain type dogs want to feel they always have some sort of "job" to do since they were bred to either protect a property or flock. Mountain dogs are similar to livestock guardian dogs in many ways, but have been raised on the mountains, and typically are better suited for extreme weather conditions, particularly cold weather. Mountain dogs are not always friendly with strangers or other dogs, since they are used to being in charge, and are protective. However, with family and small children they can be extremely loving, and enjoy a night cuddled up alongside you. Mountain Dogs bark a lot and love being outdoors, so they are probably the worst dog for an apartment.

Bernese Mountain Dogs for sale or adoption

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