The Ultimate Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Guide

Bernese Mountain Dog

Originating from the farmlands of Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a remarkably versatile, easy-going, and beautiful breed of working dog. Their growth and breeding were promoted due to their excellent capabilities in helping with herding cattle, pulling carts, and being watchdogs and loyal canine companions.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of the only four types of Swiss Mountain Dogs, and among them, the only one having long coat hair.

The heritage and ancestry of these dogs can be traced back to the Canton of Bern or Berne.

Even though they’re a pretty sizeable and strong dog breed, Bernese Mountain Dogs have an amiable and calm disposition. They also take well to being taught compliance, obedience, trailing and chasing, herding, and carting.

Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Information

Any newbie dog parent would be impressed by the stunning, tri-colored Bernese Mountain Dogs’ friendly disposition, intellect, and high trainability.

However, naive dog owners should keep in mind that these dogs are pretty big and have high energy, which, at times, can make handling them a little difficult.

On top of that, they may shed and bark a bit too much.

Despite that, Bernese Mountain Dogs are quite popular. If you can keep up with their grooming needs and put time and effort into training them the right way, these dogs will show you wholehearted love and loyalty.

A well-trained Bernese makes an invaluable canine companion that will treasure your entire family — even the little kids and newborns. With proper socialization training, they’ll even greet visitors and guests amicably.

Perhaps no breed of dogs has a higher predisposition for friendliness than Bernese Mountain Dogs.

All in all, if you’re ready to dedicate your time and energy to train them right, you’ll never regret owning these incredible dogs.

Bernese Mountain Dog History and Heritage

A prominent breed that stands out as the most influential in the evolution of Bernese Mountain Dogs is the Molosser.

Bernese Mountain Dogs, also called the Berners have been around for over 2,000 years. They’re believed to come into existence by the cross-breeding between farm dogs of the Swiss Alps and the Molossers, which came alongside the Romans that invaded the Alps in circa 25 BC.

Quietly tucked away in the small housing at the Alps pulling carts, watching over the livestock, standing guard, and providing their owners with companionship and obedience for about 1900 years, their qualities were finally recognized and appreciated when in 1888 the Swiss people needed a helping hand, well, a helping paw.

Only 36% of the Swiss population were engaged in growing crops and agriculture in 1888. They needed a strong dog to pull carts filled with goods. As it happened, Berners were a perfect fit for it.

In 1899, Bernese owners founded a dog club called Berna which further popularized these “Swiss Shepherd Dogs” and eventually in 1902, the Swiss Kennel Club officially recognized these wonderful hounds as a breed.

Qualities of Bernese Mountain Dogs

Aside from being abundantly blessed in the looks department, Berners have an excellent temperament.

They’re calm but very social and outgoing. Sometimes they may even act a little silly when playing.

However, sadly, these dogs have a short life span: 6 to 8 years.

In their relatively short life, you’ll see many qualities in them, including:

Loyalty and Affection

The Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for being loyal, faithful, and loving. They’re always eager to please their owners and often do so with their intelligence and manageability.

What’s best, they have a pretty lively and easy-going behavior in general.

Being Family-Friendly

Bernese Mountain Dogs are family-friendly and love to spend their time playing and simply being around everyone.

Additionally, they do very well with children of all ages.

Easily Trainable

Since these pooches were raised to be working dogs, Bernese are highly trainable and exceptionally adept at learning new things.

May Act Like Big Babies

If you’re planning to own Bernese Mountain Dogs, this is an aspect of their personality that you should be aware of beforehand. They’re slow to grow mature, both physically and mentally.

They may remain puppyish when other dogs of the same age start to behave a little like adults. What’s more, they have a delicate personality. This means their feelings may be easily hurt if you make them undergo harsh corrections or scoldings.

Buying and Raising Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually priced between $800 to $2,000. Depending on the breed variation, lineage, and location their pricing may go as high as $2,500, or even more. A top-notch Bernese Mountain Dog with an official record of having a finer lineage may even be priced at a whopping $10,000 mark.

Of course, if you’re lucky, you might find a Bernese at a nearby shelter or adoption center where you can likely get the pup for much less.

We recommend that you always spend a little time with the Bernese Mountain Dog you intend to adopt for the purpose of bonding with it and knowing a little about its individual personality. If possible, meet its siblings or parents as well to better gauge how the pup will turn out when it grows up.

Bernese Mountain Dog Training and Socialization

Just like every other dog out there, Bernese Mountain dogs need exposure to a wide variety of people, objects, sounds, and sights when they’re young and growing. This will help them grow into a well-rounded dog that doesn’t negatively or strongly react to new experiences.

For helping your Bernese pup socialize, enrolling them in a puppy kindergarten class would be a great idea.

Additionally, you can invite visitors or routinely take your pup to busy areas, stores, or parks so that they may gain the much-needed exposure to a wide spectrum of people, objects, and other dogs.  

How to Adopt a Bernese Mountain Dog

If you’re looking for a Bernese Mountain Dog, we recommend starting your search at a nearby adoption center or rescue shelter. You’ll be helping reputable shelters do what they do best – giving dogs the love and care they need, along with a chance to find their forever humans and families.

Learn more about your favorite dog breeds at The Dog’s Avenue.

Editor’s Note

This article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not to be used as a replacement for veterinary advice. Factors like a dog’s age, health, and diet can impact the safety of a food, activity, or product for the dog.

You should regularly consult with your dog’s veterinarian to learn how you can provide the best care for your dog. Always ask your dog’s veterinarian before giving your dog a new food or trying out a new activity or product.