The Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog

14.05.2019. 15:33:00

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large-sized dog breed, that originated from Switzerland, and was officially established in 1907. Throughout history these dogs were used as working dogs, most often for herding cattle, and a number of farm-related tasks.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are large, heavy and powerful dogs built for hard work, but also have gentle and affectionate, non-aggressive nature. Males are 25-27 inches (64-70 cm), and females are 23-26 inches (58-66 cm) tall. They weight from 75 to 120 lbs (34-54 kg). Bernese Mountain Dogs are a classic example of what is called „gentle giants “. They are easy-gong and get along with other animals and their entire family, especially children, with whom these dogs are extremely patient, and therefore this breed is widely popular among families with children.

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Are Bernese Mountain dogs easy to train?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is highly trainable respond very well to positive encouragement. This dog requires consistent but gentle hand. Although most of the members of this breed are easy to train, sometimes, males can be stubborn and/or dominant, especially when during adolescence. During this age, some males will also be aggressive towards other males.

Are Bernese Mountain dogs affectionate?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely loyal and eager to please their humans. This is mostly the reason why these dogs are prone to separation anxiety. They enjoy spending time with their family and so they tend to be destructive when left alone for too long. The Bernese mountain dog is a devoted friend who will enjoy accompanying the family everywhere. They thrive on human companionship. They are very protective of their family and make excellent watchdogs. Proper socialization will help ensure that the Bernese is patient with other dogs and with children. If they are not socialized properly, they can be shy around new people and could be afraid of unusual sights and sounds. Socialization is mandatory to teach the Bernese Mountain Dog how to behave properly in the house and with other people.

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The Bernese Mountain dog - training

Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are perfectly happy resting and napping clenched next to their owners, these dogs need to be provided with enough exercise. They don't need intensive trainings or running exercise, but they need a decent yard or regular moderate walks around the block, or outgoings to the woods (where is colder). Because of their thick black coat, they are prone to heat stroke. Their favorite activity is romping around and playing in the snow. Their thick, silky and moderate long, tricolored furry coat does well in cold climates. Described coat requires frequent brushing to keep it clean. Bernese Mountain Dog's coat sheds moderately year-round (it sheds heavily during seasonal changes, twice a year). Regular brushing will reduce the amount of hair around the house.

The Bernese Mountain dog - health issues

The biggest drawback with this breed is that members of Bernese Mountain Dog breed are prone to some serious health problems and a short lifespan. An average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog is approximately 7 to 8 years, with cancer being the leading cause of early death for these dogs. Symptoms of cancer include abnormal swelling of a sore or bump, difficulty with breathing, sores that don’t heal… They are also prone to arthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Von Willebrand's Disease (a blood disorder that affects the clotting process), ligament ruptures, etc.  Because of predispositions for these diseases, veterinary care can be expensive.  

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The Bernese Mountain dog - breeders

Because of their popularity, some people have bred dogs of lesser quality and have been selling them to unaware and unsuspecting buyers. These dogs health history is often a disaster. In order to reduce the possibility of getting this kind of a Bernese, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder or pet store. Find a decent breeder that will show you health certificates and health clearances of both puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.  Because this breed is naturally prone to some serious health conditions, these precautionary measures won’t eliminate the possibility of your dog getting sick, but will reduce it. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited health problems until it grows up.

Here at World Dog Finder we work exclusively with breeders of the highest standards and require them to send us the neccesery documents that show us they are registered with the FCI and their countries cynology association. 

FUN FACT: A white marking on the Bernese Mountain Dog’s chest is called “the Swiss cross”. 


World Dog Finder team