Breed overview the Bernese Mountain Dog

by Amy Cooper
Bernese Mountain Dog

Are you considering getting a Bernese Mountain Dog? Or are you just interested in the breed? Well this is the perfect place to start! This post is a short summary of the Bernese Mountain Dog breed characteristics from their size to how much exercise they need.

Breed overview

Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred in the Swiss canton of Berne and have a medium length tricolour coat. They were bred as draught dogs to pull carts for weavers. This medium length coat means that they need grooming several times a week and will shed lots! They stand at 58-70cm to the withers so are classed as a large breed and have a lifespan of under 10 years


As I mentioned above Bernese Mountain Dogs need a lot of grooming! They can get knots or matts very easily because of their medium length coat. So, have to be brushed out regularly with a slicker brush and a greyhound comb. If you want to trim your Berner at home rather than take it to a groomer you won’t need much equipment. You will need a pair of thinning sheers and a pair of either curved or straight sheers. There are plenty of good you tube videos on how to groom at home but basically you thin behind the ears, trim the feathers and neaten up the Grinch feet. Obviously, Bernese Mountain Dogs will also need their nails trimmed and teeth cleaned regularly exactly the same as all other dogs. 


Because Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed and were originally draught dogs, they don’t need a lot of exercise (up to 1 hour a day)! But as well as physical exercise like walking or swimming they also need mental stimulation. Which can be done by training, which your Berner will love, or using puzzle toys. 


Bernese Mountain Dogs, like most large breeds, are genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia. This is the biggest health concern with Berners. Other common health problems for Bernese mountain Dogs are cancer, elbow dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy portosystemic shunt, von Willebrand’s disease, panosteitis and bloat. However, all good breeders have both parents genetically tested/screened for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and eye problems. This means that when you buy a puppy you know it’s got a much smaller chance of developing these problems when its older. 


Bernese Mountain Dogs are playful, intelligent, affectionate and gentle! They are also eager to please and love to work which is why they are so easy to train and sometimes used as assistance dogs. Berners also tend to mature slowly so can behave like an oversized hyper puppy! Finally Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to form a true companionship. This means they really do want to spend time with you rather than just pleasing you for food or walks. 

So, overall Bernese Mountain Dogs are a very gentle happy go lucky breed which makes them the perfect family pet! They are also very easy to train which is why they are sometimes used as assistance dogs. This makes them perfect for first time dog owners!

P.s. You can shop all our Bernese Mountain Dog products here!

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