A Bernese Mountain Dog lying on the grass

Introducing the Bernese Mountain Dog

Find out everything you need to know about the Bernese Mountain Dog: its characteristics, its behaviour, its training and how much one costs.


The Bernese Mountain Dog, a loving, protective dog

Portrait of a smiling Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog originally came from the Bern region of Switzerland. They were used by farmers to herd livestock and to pull carts. The Bernese Mountain Dog is known for its remarkable strength and bravery. Not just a beautiful, big dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is also very affectionate and loyal, full of unconditional love for its owner and family, with whom they form an extremely strong bond. Protective and clever, they are a popular, versatile dog. A child's best friend, this big teddy bear has plenty of surprises in store!


This section outlines the unique features of the Bernese Mountain Dog.


The Bernese Mountain Dog belongs to group 2. It includes dogs like Pinschers and Schnauzers, Mastiffs, Bernese Mountain Dogs and others.


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very big dog indeed. Between 23 inches and 27 inches at the withers, they weigh between 88 pounds and 132 pounds.

Coat length

The Bernese Mountain Dog has long hair all over its body and its coat is wonderfully soft and shiny.

Coat colour

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a tricolour coat. Its coat is primarily black, with a white chest, white markings on the paws and head and reddish-brown markings on the legs and head.

Living environment

Bernese Mountain Dogs can adapt to any environment. However, these large dogs prefer being outdoors where they can romp and roam to their heart's content.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are lovely, sweet natured pets and don't have a bad bone in their body. They get on well with other pets and are particularly fond of children.


Originally working dogs, they are hardy and fearless. As with all large dogs, they can suffer from joint problems.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are both extremely smart and extremely sensitive. They need to be trained gently and kindly. They are more likely to respond if you stick to play and affection, while remaining firm.

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The Bernese Mountain Dog, a bear of a dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a gentle giant! These big, industrious, fearless dogs look remarkably like huge, cuddly, teddy bears.

Size and weight of the Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog sitting in front of a tree

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very big dog and is part of the mastiff family. Female Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually between 25 and 26 inches, and males up to 27,5 inches.

Their weight is commensurate with their height! The females weigh between 88 and 110 pounds and the males can weigh up to 132 pounds.

These dogs are amazingly fast growers! In the first few months of its life, a Bernese Mountain Dog will gain 2 pounds a week. They only reach their final weight and size when they turn 3 years old.

The coat of the Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog running in the snow

Coat length

The Bernese Mountain Dog owes its teddy bear like appearance to its stunning coat! Its long, thick hair is incredibly soft and shiny. The hair is longer on the chest, around the neck and on the front legs.

Their thick coat gives Bernese Mountain Dogs excellent protection from the cold and inclement weather. On the other hand, they cope very badly with heat.

Coat colour

This breed's coat colour is a key feature of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Only one type of colouring is recognised for this breed: a tricolour mix of black, white and reddish-brown. Their black coat has a white cross running down the face, over the chest and onto the tips of the paws, framed by distinctive reddish-brown markings.

A Bernese Mountain Dog swimming

Coat care

The Bernese Mountain Dog doesn't have a particularly difficult coat to maintain, but it does require a certain amount of attention. These dogs shed constantly and need brushing at least once a week.

The shedding increases when they moult in spring and autumn. You should step up the brushing to every day to keep them feeling good.

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a self-cleaning coat, so 1 to 3 baths a year are all it takes to keep that beautiful coat clean, soft and shiny.

Other characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog

Two Bernese Mountain Dogs sitting next to each other

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking, powerful dog. Its body is balanced, well-proportioned and nicely rounded. Almond-shaped, deep brown eyes adorn a massive head. Long, floppy ears are set high on the head. It has strong legs and a long, thick, bushy tail.


What is the temperament of the Bernese Mountain Dog?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is an angel of a dog. Loyal, loving and protective, they have an extremely close bond with their family.

Bernese Mountain Dog category

Two Bernese Mountain Dogs ready for work

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a breed from group 2 which includes 53 breeds of dogs like Rottweiler and Schnauzers, Cane Corso, Saint Bernard and others.

Breeds in this category are typically hard workers! Whether watchdogs, guard dogs, emergency response dogs or assistance dogs, they are highly intelligent and tremendously brave. Their loyalty and devotion are beyond compare.

Behaviour of the Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog lying on the grass

A real teddy bear

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very sweet-natured dog. They are very sociable and get on just as well with other animals as with people. The Bernese Mountain Dog is undoubtedly a child's best friend! They are as cuddly as they are protective and really don't have a bad bone in their body. If there’s something they don't like, they prefer escape to confrontation.

They aren’t afraid of strangers, but if trained as a guard dog they will be watchful of people they don't know. Any suspicious behaviour will be met with a loud bark.

A Bernese Mountain Dog glued to its master

Out of sight but never out of mind

Bernese Mountain Dogs hate to be alone. These very affectionate, demonstrative dogs need to show their owners just how much they love them. This means they can be a little clingy and have a tendency to follow their owners everywhere and they can be possessive around other dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs need an attentive owner who is with them most of the time to provide the emotional security they need, as well as a stable home environment.

The Bernese Mountain Dog's living environment

A Bernese Mountain Dog on a lead near its master

An outdoor dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs adapt easily to almost any environment, but they prefer somewhere they have plenty of space to play, run around and relax. Their thick fur makes them excellent outdoor dogs! While they're not built for hot weather, they do love water. They’ll always be on board for a trip to the seaside or a walk around a lake.

A bundle of energy!

Despite their teddy-bear looks and easy-going nature, Bernese Mountain Dogs need an opportunity to burn off some energy every day. To keep them happy and healthy, they need to be kept busy with a variety of activities: walking, running, playing and agility games.

Training the Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog who feels his master's touch

Hard work pays off

The Bernese Mountain Dog is many things, including self-assured. If they think a command is pointless or unnecessary, they just won't do it. It’s important to start their training as early as possible and to learn to understand their needs. The best way to train these wonderful dogs is with lots of praise and rewards! As a breed, they absolutely adore their owners so praise from their favourite person will go a long way towards successful training.

Socialisation is also crucial. Bernese Mountain Dogs are naturally outgoing and need plenty of interaction with other dogs and people to develop sound social skills.

Lastly, remember that Bernese Mountain Dogs are quick to grow but slow to mature, which is why it's so important to ensure they get consistent, structured training.

Once properly trained, Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely obedient.

A Bernese Mountain Dog out of the water

An utility dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog has proven its versatility time and again! Originally a farm dog with a unique ability to both guard and herd livestock, the Bernese Mountain Dog was also used by traders as a draught dog to pull their carts.

Nowadays, they also make excellent assistance dogs for disabled people. Their protective nature and loving affection are a lifeline for these individuals.

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How to take care of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a powerful, sturdy breed of dog. As with all large dogs, they can suffer from joint problems at some point in their lives.

The health of the Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog with its head on the ground


By and large, Bernese Mountain Dogs are very healthy dogs. However, due to their considerable size, they can suffer from joint problems including hip dysplasia and cruciate problems. If they are overly active after eating and don't take time out to digest their food, they could develop gastric torsion, more commonly known as bloat, which results in a dangerous build-up of gas and liquid in the stomach.

Inbreeding by less scrupulous breeders can lead to serious genetic disorders.

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a life expectancy of between 7 and 10 years. This not a hypoallergenic breed.

A Bernese Mountain Dog puppy trying to cross a fence

Routine care

Routine care will keep your Bernese Mountain Dog as healthy as possible. It's important for your dog to have regular veterinary check-ups to make sure they get the care they need at the right time, including vaccinations, worming and flea treatment.

At home, you should be brushing your dog's teeth 2 to 3 times a week to prevent tartar build-up and bad breath. You should also clean their ears regularly (particularly if they like to swim) and clip their claws once a month.

Feeding the Bernese Mountain Dog

Four Bernese Mountain Dogs sitting on the grass

Daily requirements

Like all dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs need a balanced diet to stay healthy. The best choice for them is good quality kibble, rich in nutrients, proteins and vitamins.

Bernese Mountain Dogs do have a tendency to put on weight, so avoid too much processed food or treats and give them their meals at set times.

If they are particularly active, you can supplement their diet with chicken, red meat and fish.


What does a Bernese Mountain Dog cost?

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very popular breed and there are plenty of British breeders. There are a few things you should think about before you bring one home.

How to choose your Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog and her sitting puppy

Finding the right breeder

First and foremost, you should visit the breeder before you decide, to see the puppies' living conditions, their behaviour and their health. You should always be able to see them with their mum. You can also ask for the parents' health records and tests for any genetic conditions.

Mandatory electronic identification, like microchipping, is not always mandated at the federal level in the United States for cats and dogs.

But microchipping is widely acknowledged as a successful way to permanently identify pets and increase the possibility of reuniting lost pets with their owners, even in the absence of universal regulations. As a pet owner, it is advised to inform yourself about municipal laws to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your pet.

A Bernese Mountain Dog lying on the grass with his toys

The price of a Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog puppy will usually set you back between


. On top of that you need to factor in veterinary fees and food. These costs come to roughly


a year.

Which dog breed is right for you?

Which dog breed is right for you?

Take the test to find out!

Choosing a dog that matches your personality and lifestyle will ensure your well-being and his!