If you want a cuddle dog that is big enough to hold, fluffy, but also has a fantastic personality, the Bernese Mountain Dog breed might be for you!
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about this magnificent dog breed. They have the qualities and personalities that make them unique and admirable for dog enthusiasts. But before you adopt them, explore their daily needs and demands and if they are a fit for you or not!
|1-1.5 hours daily
|Intelligent, Extroverts, Laid back
Origin of the Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog, also known as the Berner Sennenhund, originated from the Swiss Alpes. They spent their early lives as working dogs for the farmers. Their ancestral history is not so clear, but they are said to be the descendants of mastiffs! These dogs are super versatile, as they can literally do anything and everything! Whether pulling the carts, guarding, hunting small animals, or being trustworthy companions—this furry buddy has it all.
One of the most fascinating things is that these dogs have been here for the past 2000 years. From local farm dogs to the Bernese Mountain Dog we know today—it was one hell of a journey! Later, dog clubs and organizations recognized this dog breed and gave it more popularity.
Appearance of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog has the physical characteristics set it apart from other dog breeds. Here are the details about their appearance:
1. Size and build
Bernese Mountain Dog is a large-sized teddy-looking pet! They usually stand somewhere between 23-27 inches while weighing around 70-115 pounds. Just like in most cases, the females are slightly smaller than the males. Besides, these dogs have a solid build that sometimes makes them look cute yet intimidating!
One of the most eye-catching features of the Bernese Mountain Dog breed is their fur coat. They have a wavy overcoat with a dense and warm undercoat. The coat layer is pretty thick and long, so they flare in the air when they run. As for the colors, they come in three main colors: white, rust, and black.
Besides, these dogs have the cutest muzzle that complements their medium-sized dark eyes. Also, their triangular ears covered in fur are often erect and are like, “I can hear you even from 50 miles away!”
Personality and Temperament
Now that you know about the history and physical attributes of this furry breed, let’s move on to the personality traits and temperament:
1. Gentle giants
Besides having the most “teddy-est qualities,” the Bernese Mountain Dog breed can be called the gentle giant. They are strong built and large but are super sensitive and gentle with everyone around them. These dogs have a soft spot for the children and playing games with them.
If you want a super trainable pet who looks cute, then Bernese Mountain Dog is for you! These dogs are intelligent, witty, and fast learners. You can teach them new commands and obedience with the help of positive reinforcement techniques. They respond well to their owners.
Another personality trait is that they love to be around hooman gatherings. Although not all dogs are the same, with proper socialization, these dogs can adapt to social situations. Also, as they are suitable for forming emotional bonds, Bernese Mountain Dogs stay pretty content around strangers.
4. Laid back…sometimes!
Somedays, Bernese Mountain Dogs may have a mellow demeanor. Especially during summer mornings, you may find them sitting under the sun and enjoying themselves. They are not hyperactive dogs, but they are easygoing and will not refuse to be trained.
The “Sennenhund” in their name translates to “alpine herdsman’s dog,” which signifies their primary purpose!
Grooming Needs of the Bernese Mountain Dog
Every dog breed has specific grooming needs, and in the case of Bernese Mountain Dogs, they are high maintenance! As these dogs are not hypoallergenic, you must give extra attention to their hygiene and grooming! So here is a guide for you:
One of the challenging parts of adopting them is brushing them. You will need to brush them at least 4-5 times a week—which is a lot! Also, you might need to do it more often during shedding seasons. We recommend using de-matting tools, slicker brushes, and bristle brushes to brush them. These dog supplies will keep your dog’s fur healthy and maintain natural oils.
2. Bathing and cleaning
Fortunately, their bathing needs are not so high! You only need to bathe this breed once in two or three months. If you bathe them every week, they can lose their natural oils and face skin infections. Hence, we recommend that you use dog-friendly shampoos, conditioners, and soaps to maintain their good skin health.
Moreover, every now and then, you should take a damp cloth to clean:
- Ear wax build-up
- Dirt under the paws
- Eye boogers
- Debris or dirt build-up
The Bernese Mountain Dog breed has a thick, dense, long fur coat, so you must trim it from a few places! You can also do it at home by carefully trimming off the hair ends from their eyes, ears, mouths, etc. It is never too late to give your dog a “clean dog look.” However, please never shave them; shaving will expose your dog’s skin to the sun directly.
Exercise and Training Needs
The Bernese Mountain Dog requires at least 1-1.5 hours of training every day. The training should be rigorous, and you must be super patient and consistent with this dog. The best thing is that they are easy to train as they are always ready to hit the road! Here is a guide for you to train this breed:
1. Daily walks
Walking is a great way to start the day! It will warm your dog up for the coming exercises. During their walking session, you can also teach your dog basic obedience commands, give them leash training, and, of course- rewarding Bernese Mountain Dog with treats goes without saying!
Another activity that Bernese Mountain Dogs should do is agility training! Enrolling them in agility courses or making one indoors would be best. This will not only be mentally stimulating but also physically tiring. Such activities will definitely keep your dog healthy.
3. Early socialization
Fortunately, the breed is quite a social bee! But to keep their confidence up, you should give them early socialization training. It is essential that every dog gets it to be more adaptable and less shy in public.
To sum it up, if you are a first-time dog owner, congratulations! Because you can adopt this breed and live a happy life with it. The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is easy to train and can adapt well to the surroundings. However, you must go the extra mile for their grooming needs and brush their fur coats!
Nevertheless, these gentle giants are super adorable, and well, if you are a gossip queen yourself and who needs a furry buddy who can give you all the neighborhood gossip—the Bernese Mountain Dog is a match for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the most prominent reasons why Bernese mountain dog’s lifespan is shorter than other breeds is because these dogs are prone to cancer (article). The reasons why it happens do not have much evidence to back up, but cancer is one of the major causes of early death in this dog breed.
Yes! These dogs are known for their gentle demeanor towards the owner and their human family members. The Bernese Mountain Dog is super patient, gels well with children and is a perfect companion due to their calm temperament.
Unfortunately, No. The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is not hypoallergenic. This means if you and someone in your family are sensitive to allergens, this dog breed might not be suitable. They shed the most during shedding seasons, which can be controlled by proper grooming.
As long as you give proper training, nutrition, lifestyle, and grooming, this breed can live in an apartment. You should provide them access to outdoor spaces where they can run and exercise.
Not at all! The Bernese Mountain Dog is not at all aggressive. In fact, they are very calm and patient in their day-to-day life. Their over-excitement and energy levels can sometimes translate into aggressive slobbery kisses. Other than that, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a “chill dude” attitude unless they feel a threat.