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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Strikingly aristocratic, Bernese Mountain dogs are one of the most attractive of the Swiss working dogs. But don’t be misled by their big size. Berners are sensitive, extremely devoted and above all, super sweet dogs. 

The Bernese Mountain Dog breed will suit a home-loving owner who has space for this gentle giant, likes grooming and enjoys an affectionate but not particularly active companion, and doesn’t mind some canine drool. 

6–10 years
The Bernese Mountain dog is always tricoloured with a jet-black coat, white muzzle and blaze, white chest, white paws and white tail tips. A rich chestnut or tan colour separates the black and white on the legs and cheeks
Kennel Club group
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Giant dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left alone with training
Generally healthy breed

The Bernese Mountain dog breed can suffer from: 
- Hip dysplasia 
- Elbow dysplasia 
- Degenerative myelopathy which is a condition which causes progressive paralysis in a dog's hindlimbs.
- Hot spots which are patches of skin which become sore and infected.
- Cruciate disease where the ligament in the knee becomes damaged resulting in limping and pain. 
- Histiocytic sarcomas which are a type of cancer.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme
- Elbow dysplasia screening scheme

Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance

Boasting a strong and sturdy build, friendly disposition and a soft and silky coat with a thick underlay, this dog breed is cherished for being large and lovable. Given the Bernese Mountain Dog size, their proud gait, and their charming temperament, they have an almost noble-looking appearance so they’re sure to get noticed wherever they are. 

Bernese Mountain Dog Personality

Bernese Mountain dogs are good-natured pets, who love to be included in all aspects of family life, and make wonderful companions. They are affectionate, patient, and especially good with children, protecting them if necessary. They are social and need to be with people and given plenty of affection. Bernese Mountain Dogs will generally bark to advise the arrival of visitors but will soon settle down again. Provided they have been introduced to cats, and other household animals when young, they will live with them happily. 

Bernese Mountain Dog Fun Facts 

  • One of their previous jobs was as a farmer’s hand, as many of the local farmers couldn’t afford horses, so they would use their strong dogs to pull carts of produce to market. 
  • Their name refers to where they were bred: ‘Bern Canton’ – a region in central Switzerland. 
  • The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is extremely strong and can pull up to 10 times their own weight. 
  • They possess goofball personalities, and can be a bit slower to mature than other dogs, so they retain their puppylike attitudes well into adulthood. 
  • Interestingly, many owners of the Bernese Mountain Dog claim that they can understand laughter and when they do something that makes their owner laugh, they’ll likely repeat it! 


Do Bernese Mountain Dogs make good pets? 

Due to their affectionate and calm spirits, the Bernese Mountain Dog breed makes an excellent pet and can also get along really nicely with children. 

What are the cons of a Bernese Mountain Dog? 

Unfortunately, the biggest con of owning a Berner is their short lifespan as they don’t generally live more than 10 years. They also need plenty of space given the large Bernese Mountain dog size, and can be prone to anxiety attacks. 

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs bark a lot? 

As their instinct is to protect and be a watchdog, Berners can be quite vocal and have a tendency to bark loudly. 

Is a Bernese Mountain Dog lazy? 

Yes, Berners can be quite lazy and will like sitting next to their owners when at home but it’s important to try and exercise them a few minutes a day.