Great Bernese

70-100 lbs
26-27"
United States, Western Europe
Bernese Mountain dog
Great Pyrenees

Great Bernese are stoic and striking large dogs. They are fairly active and love to be around family members. Great Bernese typically live up to 12 years and weigh between 70 and 115 pounds. When they are full grown, they can be anywhere between 24 and 28 inches tall. Great Bernese have a long and ample coat that comes in tri-color variations of white, black, and brown or red. They can also be beige with badger, grey, reddish brown, and tan markings. This big designer breed is known for being well-mannered and calm, though it is not very popular. And although both its parent breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Great Bernese is not.

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
Mid 1900s
Ancestry
Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees

Great Bernese Health

Average Size
Male Great Bernese size stats
Height: 26-28 inches Weight: 85-115 lbs
Female Great Bernese size stats
Height: 27-27 inches Weight: 70-100 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Bloat
  • Histicytosis
  • Addison's Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Joint conditions
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
  • Kidney Problems
  • Color Dilution Alopecia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Occasional Tests
  • Biopsy
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Spinal Tap
  • Internal Imaging (x-ray, CT scan, MRI, etc.)
  • Blood And Urine Analysis
  • Blood and Urine Tests
  • Neurological Testing
  • Orthopedic Exam
  • Ocular Exam
  • Skin and Hair Exams

Great Bernese Breed History

The Great Bernese gets its name from its parent breeds: the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Great Pyrenees – both of which have long and interesting histories. The Great Pyrenees is closely related to the Kuvasz and is thought to have been in Europe as long ago as the Bronze Age.  First though, this majestic canine developed in Central Asia or Siberia, then travelled to the Pyrenees Mountain region between France and Spain. This intelligent breed was at first used for sheep herding  but later was declared the royal dog of France where they were employed as guard dogs for the French elite. Internationally,  Canada began to import the Great Pyrenees to breed with other large dogs, as did the United States. In 1933, it joined the American Kennel Club's roster of dogs. The Great Bernese’s other parent, the Bernese Mountain Dog, is from the midlands of Switzerland where it has worked on farms for centuries. It is one of four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs and shares similar distinctive coloring with other varieties; however, it is the only variety with a long, silky coat. The first Bernese Mountain Dog was brought to the United States in 1926 and received American Kennel Club recognition shortly after in 1937. The mating of these two parent breeds has resulted in a very large, loyal dog that has been bred since the mid 1900s. 

Great Bernese Breed Appearance

The Great Bernese is a large dog with a regal presence. It typically weighs between 70 and 115 pounds. When full grown, Great Berneses grow to be between 24 and 28 inches tall. They have sturdy and muscular builds that are hidden under their long and ample coat. The coat is generally straight, thick, and rough and comes in tri-color combinations of black, white, brown or rust. Some Great Bernese are beige with badger, grey, reddish brown, or tan markings. This breed also has a dense and woolly under coat, which is typically a base color of white or beige. Its ears are medium in size, floppy, and triangular with a rounded tip. Great Berneses have dark brown, almond shaped eyes, as well as a strong and straight muzzle with a scissor bite. This breed also has a long, plumed tail and round, compact feet.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Great Bernese eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Great Bernese nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Great Bernese coat
Black
white Great Bernese coat
White
brown Great Bernese coat
Brown
gray Great Bernese coat
Gray
red Great Bernese coat
Red
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Great Bernese straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Great Bernese Breed Maintenance

Great Bernese shed all the time with heavy bouts during seasonal change. Frequent brushing with a pin or slicker brush can control shedding to some extent, but is important to remove inevitable mats and tangles in this dog’s long coat. Great Bernese only need an occasional bath, but should have their teeth brushed daily, and nails clipped once or twice a month. Diligent dental care is particularly important for this breed since it is prone to serious plaque buildup. Owners may want to consider using a dental rinse in their dog’s water to avoid dental and gum infections. Beyond this, Great Bernese should have their ears checked regularly for wax build up and debris to avoid infection.

Brushes for Great Bernese
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Dematter
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Great Bernese requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Great Bernese Temperament

This hybrid’s temperament is dependent on the behavioral traits it inherits from both parent breeds -  some will be more like the Great Pyrenees, while others more like Bernese Mountain Dogs. In general, Great Berneses are known for their calm demeanor and loyal dispositions. They are gentle, affectionate, and intelligent animals. This breed typically gets attached to one person in the household and will seek that person’s attention and affection whenever possible. Still, this breed gets along with other people, animals and children; because of its large size, it should be monitored around very small or young companions. Great Bernese are also natural guard dogs. As a result, they can be territorial and vocal if they perceive a threat. They are not, however, known to be aggressive. They can also be playful, but prefer to romp outside in cool whether rather than indoors. When inside, they like to lounge around the house with “their person” or other members of the family.

Great Bernese Activity Requirements

Great Bernese have a fair amount of energy and require daily exercise to remain healthy. They do not enjoy playing indoors. This breed much prefers walking or hiking in cool conditions. In fact, the Great Bernese does best in colder climates due to their heavy coat and undercoat. Depending on the individual personality, they may even enjoy the occasional romp in the dog park. Beyond this, they love to lay around indoors and watch their family members or “guard” the house. Because of its size, the Great Bernese needs a lot of space – both inside and out – and is better suited for larger homes in suburban or rural areas.

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

Great Bernese Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$2.75 - $3.00
Monthly Cost
$80.00 - $90.00

Great Bernese Owner Experiences

Maple
4 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing with her toys
playing in the snow.
going for walks
We have only had her for a short time. She is loving towards all people and all of our other pets, in particular one of our cats. She has been hard to potty train and we are still working on it. I also like to call her Sharknado because she had wicked sharp claws when we first got her and wicked sharp teeth. We are still in the I love to bite anything stage. (Antlers work well for chewing on.
1 week, 4 days ago
Dexter
2 Years
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Dexter is such a great dog. He's the most lovey and affectionate dog I've ever had. He just loves every person and dog he meets. The great bernese breed is so awesome and they are beautiful dogs. The only downsides are stubbornness in their personality and a TON of shredding. But honestly to me, he is perfect.
4 weeks, 1 day ago
Bernie
6 Months
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking, playing in the yard
So far, he’s been a very quick learner. He is friendly and wants to play a couple times of the day. Sometimes he can be mischievous and that can be frustrating when he is so big. He is very expressive and fun.
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Daisy
6 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Long walks
Running around and barking at stuff
morning runs
Our dog is very sweet! She’s incredibly intellegent but the downside is she is very stubborn and will think for herself. She knows left from right, basic agility, when to stop walking, etc, but she has yet to grasp drop it for the simple reason of if she doesn’t want to drop it, she won’t. She’s very vocal and loves to communicate in any way she can, and always barks at people she doesn’t know walking by (neighbors are fine). She cannot get enough of interaction, wether with other dogs, people, or even our cats. Overall a great dog!!
2 months, 2 weeks ago
Bear
3 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Bear is a very loving puppy. He is kind and has the most ibcredibly soft fur. He has been able to learn 4 commands and learns so quickly. His recall is wonderful. He has been crate trained and sleeps through the night with no accidents . we love him !
2 months, 3 weeks ago
Zeus
8 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Very affectionate. Loves to lean on you. Great with children. Slow with house training and can be stubborn.
3 months, 2 weeks ago
Piper
3 Years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
They can be very stubborn. But amazing dogs
4 months ago
Bear
5 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Bear is a great family dog and definitely plays the guard dog role. He is very shy of strangers and other dogs. He barks at anyone who comes over or walks by the street. He is quick to train for obedience, but house training seemed to take a bit longer. He is fully house trained at this point. He is smart, energetic, very agile (he can jump over the couch), affectionate to everyone in the family, eager to please, very sensitive and loves food!
4 months, 4 weeks ago
Bowie
10 Weeks
5 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
naps
Therapy Training
Chase
My new pup is incredibly intelligent and eager to please. We’ve had him for two weeks and he often sits at the door to go potty outside and has very few accidents. He’s quite lazy and it can be hard to convince him to run around or go on walks.
5 months, 2 weeks ago
Bear
3 Months
1 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
She is wonderful.Biting and playing hard though.
6 months, 4 weeks ago
Bernie
9 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walks
Tug-of-war
Cuddling
Fetch
Our dog is awesome, super smart and very affectionate. Although he does have some separation anxiety
7 months, 3 weeks ago
Hercules
5 Months
5 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
lounging
Walking
Love them! So wonderful & gentle with all of our children ages newborn-9 years old (as well as all other children who have come into our home). They do tend to bark...a lot. Ours are still fairly young & aren’t quite aware of just how big they are. Mother is Great Pyrenees (ours) Father is Bernese belonging to a friend. We kept 2 (1 female & 1 male) of the litter of 9...the smallest & largest of the litter. My family adores them!
11 months ago
Gypsy
4 Months
6 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Playing in the snow
Cuddling
Playfulness
Just got our baby a month ago. She is just perfect. A little rough with the house training but it's getting better.
11 months, 1 week ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd