VCA Animal Hospitals

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Basic Bernese Mountain Dog Information

  • Lifespan: 6 - 9 years
  • Height: 23 - 28 inches
  • Weight: 70 - 120 pounds


Medical Conditions Seen in Bernese Mountain Dogs


Bernese Mountain Dog Traits

  • Joggin Partner
         
  • Lap Dog
         
  • Good with Children
         
  • Warm Weather
         
  • Cold Weather
         
  • Grooming Requirements
         
  • Shedding
         
  • Barking
         
  • Ease of Training
         


Bernese Mountain Dog History

  • The Bernese mountain dog is one of the family of Swiss mountain dogs, or Sennehunde.
  • The breed's origin is undocumented, but it may have descended from Roman mastiff-type dogs that were crossed with native Swiss flock-guarding dogs after the Roman invasion of Switzerland.
  • The cross produced a strong, cold-resistant dog that could work as a draft dog, guardian, drover and general farm dog.
  • Because no concerted effort was made to continue them as a breed, few remained by the late 1800s. These were found in the valleys of the lower Alps.
  • Professor Albert Heim promoted the dogs throughout Switzerland and encouraged their revival. The breed was dubbed the Bernese mountain dog.
  • The first Bernese came to America in 1926.
  • The AKC recognized the breed in 1937.


Bernese Mountain Dog Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a devoted and easygoing companion.
  • Gentle and good with children, but may not be playful enough for them. As with all large dogs, dogs and children should always be supervised.
  • Tends to be somewhat aloof toward strangers.
  • Fairly friendly toward strange dogs.
  • Good with other pets.
  • Learns quickly.
  • Somewhat sensitive.
  • Does best with reward-based training using food rewards.


Bernese Mountain Dog Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a calm and well-mannered housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a moderate walk or short jog.
  • The Bernese mountain dog enjoys cold weather, but doesn't do well in warm weather.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.


Bernese Mountain Dog Grooming

  • Coat is moderately long, either slightly wavy or straight.
  • The coat needs only occasional brushing, once or twice every week, more often when shedding.
  • Shedding is above average.


Suggested Bernese Mountain Dog Nutritional Needs

  • Bernese mountain dogs tend to stay in good weight or be slightly overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.


Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.


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