Bernese Mountain

70-100 lbs
23-26"
Switzerland
Berner Sennenhund, Bernese Cattle Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog, lovingly known as the Berner, is one of four ancient Swiss Sennenhund Breeds. He is the only one that possesses long, flowing fur and his personality is second to none. The Berner ancestry most likely stems from a cross between the farming dogs of the Swiss Alps and the Molosser, which is a Mastiff style dog that the Romans brought with them in the first century B.C. This combination would account for the large heads and gentle personality of the Berner, paired with their amazing work ethic and strength. While the Bernese Mountain Dog was originally used as a farm dog that accompanied flocks, pulled carts, and guarded the home, they are typically just used as companion dogs today. They are excellent around children and very easy to train, yet their need to always be with the family can create issues if separation is too frequent. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large dog with long, tri-colored fur. He has a large head and paws, and will need to be groomed frequently to keep the shedding under control. Just like with most dogs, bringing a Berner puppy into the home will be a lot of work. But with consistency, training, and patience you will end up with an excellent, hard-working dog that makes for a wonderful companion.

Purpose
pulling carts, guarding livestock, companionship
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
molosser, mastiff type

Bernese Mountain Health

Sketch of Bernese Mountain
Average Size
Male Bernese Mountain size stats
Height: 25-28 inches Weight: 90-120 lbs
Female Bernese Mountain size stats
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 70-100 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Histicytosis
  • Dental Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Obesity
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Allergies
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
  • Kidney Problems
  • Color Dilution Alopecia
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • Up:Uc Ratio For Kidney Function
  • CT Scan
  • Allergy Tests

Bernese Mountain Breed History

There are four distinct breeds that make up the Swiss Sennenhund group: The Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain Dog). The Bernese Mountain Dog is the only one out of this group to have long fur. While these dogs have all been around since ancient times, it was only in the year 1902 that they truly became recognized. The Swiss Dog Club sponsored a show that drew attention to the Swiss dogs and two years later, in 1904, at an international show in Bern, the Bernese Mountain Dog obtained its name. It was in that same year that the Bernese Mountain Dog was actually recognized as a breed. In 1936, two British breeders discovered the beautiful Berners and began to breed them in England. By the time 1937 rolled around, the AKC had accepted the Bernese Mountain Dog into the official Working Class category. Ever since then this large, gorgeous breed has been working their way into the people’s hearts. While the Bernese Mountain Dog  was originally used as a hard working farm dog up in the Swiss Alps, they are most commonly enjoyed now as companion animals. These gentle giants are energetic, alert, and easy to train. Despite their slightly troublesome need to be around their humans at all times, these dogs make excellent family pets and are wonderful to have around small children.

Bernese Mountain Breed Appearance

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed that has a beautiful tri-colored coat which consists of black draped over a white chest, with brown accents. White can usually be found on the toes and tip of the tail, but perhaps the most distinguishing feature is the white blaze that travels up the forehead into a point.  These dogs have large, soulful brown eyes that tend to have a slight droop to them but are always full of life. As the Bernese Mountain Dogs have Mastiff ancestry, the Bern has a large head with large floppy ears. A proud posture and sturdy build define the body of a Bernese Mountain Dog and their large paws are a given due to their large size. Males are very masculine and wider, while the females are of a slightly slimmer build and structure. There is no doubt that with one of these dogs, people will be turning their heads wherever you go!

Appearance of Bernese Mountain
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Bernese Mountain eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Bernese Mountain nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Bernese Mountain coat
Black
brown Bernese Mountain coat
Brown
white Bernese Mountain coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Bernese Mountain wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Bernese Mountain Breed Maintenance

As a long haired dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog does require frequent brushing. They shed consistently throughout the year and of course, seasonally. If you brush your dog a couple times a week, the coat will be shiny and clean, therefore shedding dirt without too much of an issue. This is great because you don’t need to bathe your Berner often, unless of course he gets especially dirty. Otherwise, 4 to 5 times a year will suffice. The best tools for grooming your Bernese Mountain Dog are a stainless steel pin brush, a slicker brush, and a stainless steel comb with fine teeth. Other than regular brushing, keeping your dog’s nails trimmed and their ears clean is extremely important. Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to dental disease, so it is important to keep their teeth clean either with toys and sticks or regular brushing. One of the other major issues that Berners can experience is obesity. Because of this, it is vital to not overfeed your dog, no matter how big he may be getting. Always pay attention to food recommendations and speak with your vet about the best diet for your Bernese. That way you both can live a full and happy life together.

Brushes for Bernese Mountain
Pin Brush
Comb
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Bernese Mountain requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Bernese Mountain Temperament

It’s difficult to not fall in love with the sweet disposition of a Berner. They are affectionate, very intelligent, and gentle dogs. Their high tolerance makes them wonderful pets for a house with children and their playful spirit will ensure that no one is bored around them. While this dog may be playful, he isn’t high energy so that makes training and everyday interaction easy and enjoyable. The Bernese Mountain dog is protective of his family but isn’t known to be aggressive. Don’t be surprised if your Bernese is a bit hesitant when it comes to meeting new people, so be sure to introduce him to all kinds of people and situations while he is still young. That way you will end up with a patient and well-rounded dog when he grows up. Early training is important for a Bernese Mountain Dog as they can be very difficult to control once they are full grown and have reached their average weight. Leash training and self-control will be very useful if you own one of this breed.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Bernese Mountain Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Bernese Mountain Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Bernese Mountain at six months
Male Bernese Mountain size stats at six months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 40 lbs
Female Bernese Mountain size stats at six months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 35 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Bernese Mountain at 12 months
Male Bernese Mountain size stats at 12 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 65 lbs
Female Bernese Mountain size stats at 12 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 55 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Bernese Mountain at 18 months
Male Bernese Mountain size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 97 lbs
Female Bernese Mountain size stats at 18 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 85 lbs

Top Bernese Mountain Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Bernese Mountain breeders of 2018.
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Powder Keg Farm
Powder Keg Farm
Park City, Utah
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Mountain Bliss
Mountain Bliss
Candia, New Hampshire
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Blue Mountain Kennel
Blue Mountain Kennel
Boise, Idaho
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Arundel Bernese Mountain Dog Kennel
Arundel Bernese Mountain Dog Kennel
Rochester, New York
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Majestic Bear Hug Bernese Mountain Dog
Majestic Bear Hug Bernese Mountain Dog
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Swiss Destiny Bernese Mountain Dog
Swiss Destiny Bernese Mountain Dog
Otsego, Minnesota
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Bainbridge's Berners
Bainbridge's Berners
Chester, New Jersey
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Haystack Acres Bernese Mountain Dogs
Haystack Acres Bernese Mountain Dogs
Longmont, Colorado
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Holiday Bernese Mountain Dogs
Holiday Bernese Mountain Dogs
Vermillion, South Dakota
Top Bernese Mountain breeder Whipper Will Ridge
Whipper Will Ridge
Thayer, Missouri

Bernese Mountain Owner Experiences

Bernie
19 Months
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He's an AMAZING addition to our family. He does very well in our apartment. He is learning about 2-3 new words weekly....so he's super easy to train. You must be prepared to spend more money on vet expenses, grooming and the food bill. Wish I had a 2nd Berner and wish I had lived with a Berner all my life. Amazing with babies, toddlers, and other smaller animals. Extremely loyal. Trained 2b a service dog.
4 months, 1 week ago
Beau
10 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
relax
Tug-of-war
Road trip
He is the sweetest, cutest thing.
6 months ago
Piper
11 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Soccer
she so cute we went thought a lot of carpets but she is kind and loves giving hugs
9 months, 1 week ago
12 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
When I walked a one year old, he was sweet and trained well. This particular Bernese Mountain dog liked me instantly. It was probably benefical that the owner has used wag often. The dog knew how to walk beside me and listen to commands. The first time I walked him, I had to tell him a few times to sit. He took a little while to do it. On our second walk, he listen to commands the first time. This time he trusted me more. It also helped that the Ower met me to hand him off for the walk. We would go the trail and he would sniff constantly. Although if you started to jog, he would keep up with you. Around other dogs, he was friendly but wasnt over the top to meet everyone. His owner originally gave us thirty minutes to walk but extended it an extra thirty. An hour is a great for the Bernese. This type of breed has a lot of energy and is excited to be out in nature. I'm unsure if this Mountain dog has is own personality or all Bernese are like this, but he liked to mark everything. In the hour of our walk, he peed about 20 times.
10 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Run
Play
I've walked 2 Bernese Mountain dogs and they were both extremely friendly! Liked holding the leash in their mouth as they walked/ran. Sometimes would lie down and not want to move, just wanted to be petted. Very unbothered by other dogs.
10 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Nap
Eating Snacks
Shake
Look out the window
I have walked and looked after a few different Bernese Mountain dogs here in Brooklyn. These dogs were all very similar in their energy and personality, living up to their reputation as gentle giants. While on a walk, the Bernese Mountain dog lumbers around, slowly taking in the sights the sounds, while looking to meet new friends around every corner. Their large size and good looks makes them quite an attraction while out and about. Be prepared for many people to come up and want to pet and meet the Bernie. Their amazing personality makes these encounters stress free, as the Bernie's are always receptive to new friends. The Bernie's are never in a rush so don't look to cover a ton of ground on the walk. Enjoy a leisurely stroll with these amazing dogs.
10 months ago
4 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Running
Jumping
kiss
Fetch
Chase
bark
lick
Baloo is such a wonderful little doggie! I actually ended up being his permanent dog walker! Over the past months it’s been fun to watch him grow and learn! I communicated with the owner quite often from sending videos and funny pictures of her pup! Since she is a new dog owner it’s been nice that she has asked my advice on occasion in regards to her doggie! It’s more than just a dog walk it’s building a relationship with the owner :)!!
10 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
pet
Walk
I walked two brother and sister Bernese Mountain Dogs and they are beautiful dogs. They are very well trained. One was not too much of a walker, but she listened when I told her to keep moving. They loved to sniff around at everything including poles, garbage bags and passing people. They are huge. To walk one, let alone two, you have to be prepared and strong. They can be pullers which requires strength to hold them back. They are also very hairy. Their hair is long and beautiful, but their shedding is insane. They attract a lot of attention for their size and beauty. They love the attention. They love to be pet and they love to give affection right back with licks and kisses.
10 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Bernese Mountain Dogs have to be one of my favorite dogs! I have walked one and have worked with them in the past. I have met a few that will literally just sit on my feet! Cutest thing ever! They are just such happy and easy going dogs. The one that I have walked on leash did absolutely amazing. He was so easy to walk and never had an issue with him. They are such lovable dogs and I just always want to cuddle with them! They are always very gentle and I have never known one to be aggressive. They always seem to have a smile on their face and a wagging tail. I can’t imagine a better family dog than a Bernese Mountain Dog!
10 months ago
8 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
This puppy was absolutely a pleasure. He was very energetic and friendly. He just wanted to run around as fast and as much as possible. He was also very alert. Any time he heard a noise, he stopped and looked around to determine the source. He would wait for more movement and if he saw nothing else, he would continue on. These dogs are very big, even as puppies, so it is important to establish control, because sometimes they don't realize how strong they are. If you don't set boundaries, they will walk you! Very sweet and well behaved nonetheless!
10 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Run
Play
bark
Walk
I have walked a handful of Bernese Mountain Dogs through Walk. In fact, my very first walk was with one of them. They are large oafs that love to get outside to roughhouse with either you or their dog friends. Major emphasis on “oaf”. The very first one I walked, and a somewhat regular client of mine, lives in her crate with her sister, a little tiny Dachshund. Yes, I know what you are thinking. It was just as funny a sight as you can imagine. The second they ran out of the crate, they were wrestling with each other like crazy. Bernese Mountain Dogs can be thought of as oversized lap dogs because of how affectionate they are towards everybody. I notice they tend to shed a fair amount. I highly recommend walking them if you get the chance. But fair warning: bring larger dog poop bags.
10 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
Greeting People and Dogs
Rolling
Walking
Bernese Mountain dogs are big teddy bears. They are obviously very large and therefore can pull and be harder to maneuver where you would like but usually they don't even realize they are pulling they are just doing their thing. They are not fast walkers, they like to stroll, roll and sniff. In my experience, let them indulge in this because it is what they prefer. They love attention and get very excited to see you, beware of slobber :)
10 months ago
12 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
The Bernese Mountain dog I have walked was a very old dog, she was 12 years old but had a smile on her face everytime I came to walk her. She couldn't actually get up to walk anymore so I really just went over to give her attention and she was just the sweetest dog, she loved to be pet and when attention was not giving to her she would ask for more. One of the best dogs I have come across.
10 months ago
Nine Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I found this particular breed of dog frighteningly strong. The one I walked also had some aggression towards people and nearly bit a woman’s hand even though he was growling and I warned her to stay back. Oh well. You can’t fix stupid 🙈. Because I felt powerless in this interaction (the dog easily outweighed me) I decided it was best to not walk any more Berners.
10 months ago
6 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Laying in the sun
Sniffing grass
I walked a super sweet Bernese Mountain dog named Mozart. He was 6 years old, and definitely wasn’t going anywhere fast! He liked to take his time walking to the park (I don’t blame him, in hilly San Francisco), sniffing the grass, sniffing other dogs, and occasionally stopping to lay in the sun and take a break from walking. Surprisingly, this dog was timid toward humans who were either loud or moved too quickly in their advance to pet him. Though this guy (and Bernese dogs in general), are large, fluffy, and known to be super friendly, Mozart had been scarred by too many people approaching him from all angles as a puppy, and was therefore afraid of most who approached him. I loved walking this pup, and he was definitely well exercised by the time we got back to his apartment.
10 months ago
4 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
This particular Bernese was still a pup, and we had play date instead of a walk because he was too young to be leash trained. He was definitely the highlight of my day! He was very large for a puppy his age, and very VERY clumsy. His paws and head were extremely larger to the rest of his body, so he ran into and tripped over EVERYTHING in his path! However, he was very intelligent and perceptive as much as he was playful and rambunctious. I could tell he was easily trainable given how reliable he would stop all and any activity when his name was said during a command. At just 4 months had at least 5 tricks in his repertoire and seemed to be almost completely house trained. Given his energy level and size at such a young age, it seemed natural to spend a lot of time chasing and tackling each other as an appropriate play style or his breed. He would playfully nip, but never hard enough cause harm and was very food oriented so treats were effective reinforcement. He loved belly rubs and affection as much as he enjoyed rough play which suggests his breed is very loyal and affectionate to their owners with high levels of energy that would call for long and frequent walks. He enjoyed climbing up and down his owner's property as well as sniffing around in bushes and tall grass, seeming to be very explorative in nature but very responsive and affectionate towards humans.
10 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
sunbathing
Rolling around
Cuddling
Love these dogs! Such big beautiful fluffy teddy bears and with such good temperament. They’re forever big puppies. Always had a blast getting to have this breed as my companion. Super sweet dogs absolute love bugs. They don’t know their own size so don’t be surprised if they want to become lap dogs cause they will and often go right to your lap. Beautiful long flowing coats, big floppy ears, and a face to die for. They are often big good balls and are amazing household pets for the entire family to love especially the little ones of the house. They generally become attached to the kids and the kids absolutely love them.
10 months ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Running
Jumping
greeting
smelling
Fetching
Exploring
Playing
They’ve both been super hyped as soon I as walked in but nonetheless seem easy to train as they are always well mannered. Powerful as heck when they’re pullers but definitely don’t know their full strength given their size lol they love to run and explore everything around them not just the typical smells; also super affectionate and playful
10 months ago
9 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Exploring
Sniffing
These dogs are very sweet. The dog I walked was friendly and happy to walk.
10 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
petting
Walking
All of the Bernese Mountain dogs that I have walked have been so wonderful. They have always been so friendly and loving and have always enjoyed being out and about. I have walked several in the snow and they are not phased at all by the cold snow on their feet like other dogs have been. For being such big dogs, they have never pulled too hard or been difficult to walk. They have been friendly both with myself as a walker and with other dogs.
10 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
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