Photo by Ronaldo F Cabuhat

Bernese Mountain Dog - Breed profile

Origin: Switzerland
Colors: Tri-colored
Size: Extra large
Type of Owner: Novice
Exercise: Needs daily exercise
Grooming: Regular grooming necessary
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Dominance: Low
Noise: Not a barker

Breed video: Bernese Mountain Dog

Physical characteristics

The Bernese Mountain dog is a striking, tri-colored large breed of dog. It is one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps.
They are intelligent, strong and agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which they were bred. The weight of Berners is around 70-120 pounds, and the height of these dogs is around 23-28 inches.


By nature, Bernese Mountain dogs are alert and affectionate dogs, also gentle, easy-going and tolerant. They are usually excellent with children. They are very loving, affectionate, loyal, faithful, stable, intelligent, but can sometimes be shy. They tend to be quite well behaved in the house, but will need activity and exercise.
They do not do well when isolated from people or activity. All large dogs should be well socialized when young, and given regular training and activities throughout their lives. Their intelligence is said to be above average and they are eager to learn.

Coat and Grooming

The tri-colored coat will generally be black with white chest and tan (or rust) colored markings above eyes, sides of mouth, front of legs, and a small amount around the white chest.
Although the coat of the Bernese Mountain dog does shed, the grooming and maintenance requirements are not all that high since it's quite dirt and water resistant.
Twice weekly brushing of his thick coat should suffice under normal circumstances,
although this will need to be increased during periods of warmer weather.


The lifespan The Bernese Mountain dog is very short, 7-9 years, compared to other dogs its size. Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs in general, but Berners have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than other breeds. Unfortunately Berners also have an unusually high mortality due to musculoskeletal causes.

Read also: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog