Bernese Mountain Dog Information

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(Berner, Berner Sennenhund) The Bernese Mountain Dog is a hardy breed with a sturdy, heavy build and a beautiful double coat. Their compact body is well muscled and features a broad, deep chest. The brisket reaches to at least the level of the elbows. They have a wide head with a slight furrow down the middle and a pair of average-sized, triangular-shaped ears. Their teeth meet in a scissors bite and their dark eyes possess a gentle expression. The noses of this breed are black in color and the tail is long, bushy, and carried low or in a slight upward curve. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a comparatively long double coat that is straight or slightly wavy in texture. The coat is weather-resistant and tri-color. A white blaze is present on the chest and white markings are apparent on the head and toes. Rust markings over the eyes, cheeks, sides of the chest, under the tail, and on each eye are also visible.

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Bernese mountain dogs are tri-colored with rusty brown markings on their legs and face, jet black and white on their chests and feet. The white chest marking forms a swiss cross. They come in Brown, Black and White. Any other colors are considered a fault.

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The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very gentle breed with a cheerful disposition. They love children and are highly intelligent and easy to train. They are not naturally aggressive but they make excellent watchdogs. A true companion, the Bernese Mountain Dog is very loyal and will likely have trouble adjusting to a new owner after he is 18 months old. They are alert, self-confident, and cheerful. They are never sharp or timid, and they maintain their puppy-like demeanor for a long time. This breed loves spending time with its people, and they shouldn’t be locked away or kept in a kennel. Bernese Mountain Dogs are a comparatively sensitive breed. They should be properly socialized and well socialized as puppies.

Most Bernese Mountain Dogs are not highly energetic and love to play with their owners. They may require several walks a day and weekly trips to the dog park. They love the cold and do great in cold climates.

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23 – 28 inches
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85 – 110 pounds

Male: 85-110 pounds Female: 80-105 pounds
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General Health

The Bernese Mountain Dog is susceptible to cancer. They have an average life span of 6 to 8 years because of this disease. The BMD Club of America is heavily researching this issue to see if it can be resolved. Despite the breed’s proneness to cancer, there are few major health concerns. Like the majority of other large dog breeds, there is an increased likelihood for hip and elbow dysplasia. Bloat and eyelid problems may be prevalent in some lines of this breed. They Bernese Mountain Dog averages 8 puppies per litter.

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While the exact origination of the Bernese Mountain Dog is unclear, it is believed that the breed came about on Swiss mountain farms. From the end of the 18th century, paintings depicted a breed of dog that heavily resembles the Bernese Mountain Dog. By the end of the 19th century, many foreign dogs were being imported to Switzerland and there was danger that native breeds would become extinct. Professor Albert Heim, a man by the name of Franz Schertenleib, and several other dedicated people led efforts to preserve the native breeds of Switzerland by locating remaining specimens and stabilizing the Berner Sennenhund as a distinct breed. The Bernese Mountain Dog is named for the Berne canton of Switzerland. The breed has a number of natural talents including tracking, guarding, carting, competitive obedience, herding, and search & rescue.

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The Bernese Mountain Dog’s long, thick double coat needs daily to weekly brushing. Extra care should be given to the coat during shedding season. Bathing or dry shampooing should be administered as necessary. This breed sheds heavily during shedding season.

This breed requires a significant amount of time for brushing. Daily bushings are necessary to keep a smooth shiny coat.

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Ideal Environment

The Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t accustomed to life in a small household or apartment. They are comparatively inactive indoors and are happiest with at least a large-sized, fenced-in yard. Because of the breed’s thick coat, they prefer cooler climates and are uncomfortable in warm weather. They are a large, active dog breed that needs regular daily exercise.

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Dog Training!

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Bernese Mountain Dog Q&A

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Can this dog run long distances? 5 to 6 miles at a time.

From what I've learned - these are not long distance running dogs and they have a lower energy level. However, they excel in obedience, search & rescue, carting and tracking.


If you adopt a Bernese Mountain dog puppy into a family that already has a small dog, will there be any serious consequences or problems, or will they eventually adjust?

Bernese Mt. Dogs usually get along well with other animals so there should be no problems adjusting.


Is it possible to predict when bmd are puppies, how wavy their hair will be when they grow up? Although it's not a preferred look on this dog, I love the wavy on the dog.


Do Bernese Moutain Dogs slobber at all?

Mine does not slobber.


Are Bernese Mountain dogs good farm dogs?

Yes, they would be good on a farm. As for sleeping outdoors that is okay, as long as that is what he or she wants. If they act like they want to be in with you, as mine does, definitely let them sleep inside.


Is this breed of dog bad for someone with allergies or asthma?

It depends on what your allergies are, if it is dog hair, be warned, they shed a lot, if it is outdoor elements, don't leave the dog out, or brush well before bringing in.


What is the average price to pay for a puppy.

$600-1200 is the standard price for a pet-quality dog guaranteed against heart/hip problems. Expect to pay $1000-1800 for a show-quality dog. Additionally, if you wish to acquire a female for breeding purposes, some breeders will require a much higher price for that puppy.Be wary of cheap Bernese Mountain Dogs. This is a breed in demand, and unscrupulous puppy mills do exist that pump out hundreds of unhealthy, poor-quality dogs a year.


I live in Tampa, FL. How would a Berner do in Florida?

Not well. The Berner has such a heavy coat, that he/she would need to remain indoors for most months out of the year.


We have a small yard 440square meters in total (the house takes up majority of it). We are looking at getting a Bernese Mountain Dog and plan on taking him for a walk everyday (there is a huge dog park at the end of the street). How do you think he will cope in a yard that small?

Fine as long as you keep up with walking him.


Does the bernese have to be in a fenced in yard? Will they stay around home or do they run? I have a 100 acre farm.

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