Bernese Mountain dog

Bernese Mountain dog


Origin and brief history

The Bernese Mountain dog is a large breed of dog that hails from the Alps region of Switzerland. As large dogs they were originally used for much different work around farms such as pulling carts and machinery as well as guarding the farm. As big dogs they were also very useful in herding cows over long distances. Despite their long history the breed was not officially recognized until the early 20th century with the first breeding club being formed in Burgdoff.



They are a very patient breed and will happily allow children to play and climb on them without reacting, due to this they are very good family dogs and are very calm throughout the house. They get on well with other pets and actively socialize with all around them. Being breed for stamina they enjoy long walks and being outdoors for extended periods of time, If not given sufficient exercise they can become grouchy and noisy.



Bernese mountain dogs have very thick coats and shed all through the year especially during changes in the seasons and need to be brushed at least once a week. Depending on how much time is spent outside they may need to be bathed anywhere from 1 to 3 months in frequency. As they have very hairy ears they are very prone to ear infections and bacteria being trapped so it’s important to check their ears each month.


Specification of breed

These dogs are very large maxing out at 105 pounds for females and 115 pounds for males and come up to 29 inches tall with their bodies being longer in proportion to their height. They have flattened heads and long bushy tails with multi colored coats and a lot of white patches especially on their chests and legs.


Buyer beware

This breed has a low life expectancy of 6-8 years with the highest cancer rate among all dogs with a full half of all dogs succumbing to this disease by the age of 6 years old. The other main health problem is eye problems with cataracts being the main one. Owners should be prepared for a large and energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise and stimulation. As an outdoors dog they benefit from a large garden and at least one long walk per day with 2-3 shorter walks in between. Make sure to keep a close eye on the gait of the dog as they can have muscular problems develop in later life as a result of the amount of exercise needed.


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