4 min read

The Guide to Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy


Written by Wag! Staff

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 08/21/2023, edited: 08/29/2023

Although it could be argued that there’s no such thing as a low-maintenance puppy, it’s particularly true when it comes to newborn Bernese Mountain Dog puppies.

Not only are they bigger at this tender age than many fully-grown canines, but they’ve got bundles of energy and a thick coat that needs a fair bit of attention.

However, parents of this breed will tell you that it’s well worth the effort as Berners make for loyal and loveable companions. However, there are a couple of things you need to know before embarking on this journey together.

In this introduction to Bernese Mountain puppies, you’ll learn:

  • How to get your life ready for a Berner pup

  • What to feed this large breed

  • Top tips for training and socialization

Like many dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs are susceptible to a list of diseases and health conditions — a comprehensive pet insurance policy will keep them protected against the worst of these and you can find an array of great options through Wag!

A Brief Intro to Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of four Sennunhunds, a variety of worker dog from the Swiss Alps. Aside from the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog — or Berner as they’re sometimes affectionately known — is the largest of these.

This hefty size has been put to good use over the years by local farmers, whether that was herding cattle, pulling equipment or guarding against predators. However, they were also coveted for their gentle nature within the family home.

Although they have played an important role in central European society for centuries, the breed was only recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1937. Since then, they have surged in popularity on this side of the Atlantic and were the 22nd most popular dog breed in the USA as of 2022, according to data from the AKC.

Getting Your Home Ready for a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Introducing a puppy into your life requires a lot of preparation and it’s something that shouldn’t be entered into hard-heartedly. This means investing in lots of equipment and freeing up time in your schedule that can be dedicated to your new friend.

When it comes to extra-large breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog, there’s even more to think about. These hefty hounds can grow to be as tall as 27.5 inches and weigh as much as 115 pounds.

To start, take a look around your living space — is it big enough to comfortably accommodate a fully-grown Bernese Mountain Dog? Is there enough room for them to run about in the backyard? The same enquiries need to be made about your vehicle, too.

Think about the long-term, as well. Some landlords of rented homes can be particular when it comes to the size of dogs permitted at their property and this is often the case when it comes to holiday accommodation, too.

If you can’t guarantee a Berner the living space it needs, you might need to look at a more manageable-sized dog.

Feeding a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Puppies have specific needs when it comes to nutrition, which is why you’ll find no end of pet food recipes geared towards them — our partner Dog Food Advisor has compiled a handy list of the best here if you need inspiration.

Is there anything different when it comes to Bernese Mountain Dog puppies? Well, one thing new parents need to be prepared for is the fact this breed eats a lot. We mean a lot.

And they’d probably eat more if you let them, so you need to be strict with recommended amounts at mealtimes. Berners are particularly prone to obesity, which comes with an endless list of secondary health conditions that they’d do best to avoid.

Parents also need to be careful with tasty treats at this formative point of life. It’s commonly advised to only give a dog 10% of their calorific allowance through treats, but you can easily lose track of this figure when you’re teaching them new tricks and routines. Look for low-fat or low-calorie options if available.

Looking for tasty treats for teaching your puppy? Dog Food Advisor has a list of the best that’ll have them obeying your commands in no time at all.

Another thing to be wary of is giving your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy too much calcium as a puppy. The breed is prone to elbow and hip dysplasia later in life, which can sometimes develop after excessive calcium in a puppy’s diet.

Any dog food that meets the AAFCO’s Growth and Maintenance nutrient profile will contain a suitable amount of calcium for developing bones.

Grooming a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

As well as being large in stature, Bernese Mountain Dogs are also famous for their thick coat. This is certainly easy on the eye, but we’d be lying if we were to say it requires no maintenance.

There’s an awful lot of shedding from this double coat, particularly during the warmer months of the year. This requires parents to brush their puppy at least once a week to remove some of the loose hair.

In addition, you should get your puppy used to having their nails clipped, teeth brushed and ears cleaned regularly as soon as possible — trust us when we say it’s easier to do this when they’re smaller than when they’re much larger and capable of putting up resistance.

Training and Socialization of a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Despite their intimidating size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are big softies really. However, they still need to undergo effective socialization at a young age to prevent behavioral issues in later life.

This is especially crucial for larger breeds — people and other dogs are naturally a lot more scared of animals the size of a fully-grown Berner when they bark or jump up as opposed to smaller pets.

Fortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs are easy to train with a bit of effort and patience — they used to be loyal working animals in the Swiss mountains, remember.

Be sure to introduce them to lots of different people, dogs and situations while they’re young as well to ensure they get used to all this stimulation

Whether it’s jabs or spaying, puppies are normally in and out of the vet’s during their first year —
a wellness plan can cover this routine care and keep your dog in fine health.

Comments (4)



We love our Burner! He's a gentle giant.
comment photo



We absolutely love our mixed Berners. We are seniors who love both breeds but can't handle the size. Adding an F1 and and F1B was the best decision ever. The best "berner"lookalike is the F1. You shared Good and helpful information!
comment photo

Leave a comment

Your name




Add photo(s) of your petoptional