Bernese Mountain Dogs: Breed Info, Pictures, Care & Traits, Gentle Giants with Big Hearts

Imagine a dog breed that combines the majestic size of a mountain guardian with the loving temperament of a cherished family companion. That’s the Bernese Mountain Dog in a nutshell! Affectionately known as Berners, these gentle giants boast a tri-colored coat as stunning as their personalities. Have you ever dreamt of a loyal companion who can keep up with your adventurous spirit yet cuddle on the couch at the end of the day? Bernese Mountain Dogs might just be your perfect match.

Bernese mountain dog frolicking in a field of wildflowers with a family
Illustration: Bernese mountain dog frolicking in a field of wildflowers with a family

History of the Bernese Mountain Dog

Hailing from the heart of the Swiss Alps, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a rich history dating back centuries.Bred as working dogs, they were invaluable partners to farmers, herding livestock and pulling carts across rugged terrain. Their strength, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty made them essential companions in the harsh Alpine environment.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are undeniably striking. Their tri-colored coat, a captivating blend of black, white, and rust, is their signature feature. Don’t let their gentle eyes fool you – these are powerful dogs with a sturdy build. But beneath that impressive size lies a heart overflowing with affection.


The Bernese Mountain Dog’s temperament is truly where they shine. These gentle giants are renowned for their sweet and loving nature.

Bernese Mountain Dogs: Beyond the Pictures

We all know the picture-perfect image of a Bernese Mountain Dog: a majestic canine frolicking through a field of wildflowers with a happy family by their side.

Bernese mountain dog playing with toys in modern apartment
Illustration: Bernese mountain dog playing with toys in modern apartment

While Berners are undeniably gorgeous and loving companions, it’s important to consider their needs and lifestyle requirements before welcoming one into your home.

Lifestyle Considerations

These gentle giants may surprise you with their moderate energy levels. While they do require daily exercise, they’re not hyperactive bouncing balls.

Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are essential to keep your Berner happy and healthy. They also thrive on companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.

Addressing Common Misconceptions

Despite their impressive size, Bernese Mountain Dogs can adapt to various living situations. While a house with a yard is ideal, apartment dwellers can provide a fulfilling life for these gentle giants with dedicated exercise routines and plenty of indoor activities.

Caring for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

So, you’ve decided to welcome a Bernese Mountain Dog into your life congratulations! These magnificent companions will shower you with love and loyalty, but like any dog breed, they have specific needs to ensure a happy and healthy life. Here’s a comprehensive guide to caring for your Bernese Mountain Dog, covering everything from nutrition to exercise and veterinary care.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are big dogs with big appetites, but it’s important to choose a high-quality dog food formulated for large breeds.

Bernese mountain dog food bowl filled with high quality dog ​​food
Illustration: Bernese mountain dog food bowl filled with high quality dog ​​food

Look for food rich in protein and essential nutrients to support their growth and development. Consulting your veterinarian is always a good idea, especially for puppies or senior Berners, to determine the most appropriate diet based on their individual needs.


As mentioned earlier, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not hyperactive, but they do require daily exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated. Aim for at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day for adult Berners. This can include a combination of walks, playtime in the park, and engaging mental activities like puzzle toys or scent work.

Berner the dog is playing fetch
Illustration: Berner the dog is playing fetch

Remember, Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent and eager to please, so training sessions can be a fun way to incorporate both physical and mental exercise.


The good news is that Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally easy to train thanks to their intelligence and willingness to please. Positive reinforcement training methods work wonders with these gentle giants.

A person training a Bernese Mountain Dog using positive reinforcement methods
Illustration: A person training a Bernese Mountain Dog using positive reinforcement methods

Reward good behavior with treats, praise, and affection, and avoid harsh punishments or yelling. Consistency and patience are key to successful training. While they may have a touch of stubbornness at times, positive reinforcement and gentle guidance will go a long way in shaping their behavior.


Don’t be fooled by their short fur – Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and excessive shedding. Brushing at least a few times a week is essential, especially during their seasonal shedding periods. A good quality brush designed for double coats will help remove loose hair and keep your Berner’s coat healthy and shiny.

Someone gently brush the Bernese Mountain Dog
Illustration: Someone gently brush the Bernese Mountain Dog

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary checkups are crucial for maintaining your Bernese Mountain Dog’s health. Schedule annual checkups with your veterinarian to monitor their overall health and discuss any concerns you might have. Bernese Mountain Dogs are unfortunately predisposed to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. These are skeletal conditions that can cause pain and lameness. Early detection and proper management through diet, exercise control, and pain medication can significantly improve your Berner’s quality of life.

Bernese Mountain Dog getting a health check at the vet
Illustration: Bernese Mountain Dog getting a health check at the vet
  • Vaccinations and Parasite Prevention: Discuss the importance of keeping your Bernese Mountain Dog up-to-date on their vaccinations to protect them from common diseases. Mention the importance of regular parasite prevention medication to safeguard them against fleas, ticks, and heartworms.
  • Dental Care: Briefly talk about the importance of dental hygiene for Bernese Mountain Dogs. You can recommend regular teeth brushing or dental chews to help maintain their oral health.
  • Senior Care: As Bernese Mountain Dogs age, their needs may change. Briefly mention the importance of adjusting their exercise routines and diet to accommodate their senior years. Regular veterinary checkups become even more crucial to monitor their health and address any age-related concerns.
    By incorporating these additional details, you can provide a more comprehensive overview of veterinary care for Bernese Mountain Dogs. So you should consider the lifespan of Bernese Mountain dogs.

Living with a Bernese Mountain Dog

Living with a Bernese Mountain Dog is an enriching experience filled with joy, companionship, and perhaps a few playful “woofs” along the way. These gentle giants are known for their loving nature and devotion to their families.

Family Life

Bernese Mountain Dogs are wonderful family companions. Their gentle and patient temperament makes them fantastic with children, provided proper supervision is always in place when young kids interact with any dog breed. They thrive on being part of the family and will shower everyone with affection.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are natural athletes at heart. They’ll happily accompany you on hikes, jogs, or swims. Their intelligence also makes them well-suited for dog sports like carting or agility training, offering a fun way to bond and challenge them mentally.

Common Behavioral Issues

While Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally well-behaved, some common issues can arise. Barking, chewing, and separation anxiety are potential concerns. The key is addressing these issues early on with positive reinforcement training, providing your Berner with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and creating a comfortable environment when you leave them alone.

Finding a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

So, you’ve fallen head over heels for the Bernese Mountain Dog breed, and the dream of a furry, loyal companion dances in your head. But before you bring home that adorable puppy, it’s crucial to become a responsible owner. Here’s a guide to finding a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy ethically and ensuring you’re prepared to welcome one into your life.

Choosing a Breeder

Resist the urge to jump on the bandwagon of cute puppy pictures online. Responsible breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs. Look for breeders who perform health testing on parent dogs, ensure proper socialization for puppies, and prioritize ethical breeding practices. Consider contacting the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America for reputable breeder recommendations.

Rescue or Adoption

Don’t discount the possibility of adopting a Bernese Mountain Dog from a rescue organization. These amazing organizations often have wonderful Berners in need of loving homes. Adopting a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry companion.

Bernese Mountain Dogs: Beyond the Expected – Fun Facts to Surprise You!

We all know Bernese Mountain Dogs are stunning, intelligent, and loving companions. But did you know they have some surprising quirks and hidden talents?

  • Yodeling Vocalizations: While not a true yodel, Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to emit high-pitched cries that resemble one, especially when excited or playful. This unique vocalization adds to their charm and playful personality.
  • Water Enthusiasts: Despite their thick fur, Bernese Mountain Dogs often have a surprising love for water. Splashing in lakes, retrieving toys from pools, or even enjoying a kiddie pool on a hot day can be a fun way to keep them cool and provide exercise.

In their native Switzerland, Bernese Mountain Dogs were once known as “Cheese Dogs” They were used to pull carts laden with cheese from farms to markets. While you might not want to share your entire cheeseboard, a small piece as a training treat can be a delightful reward for your Berner.


The Bernese Mountain Dog is more than just a beautiful breed they’re loyal companions, playful partners, and furry members of the family. If you’re looking for a dog with a gentle heart, an adventurous spirit, and a love for cuddles, a Bernese Mountain Dog might just be your perfect match. Just remember, responsible ownership is key. Learn more and join the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America to learn more from everyone.


Can Bernese Mountain Dogs live in apartments?

While Bernese Mountain Dogs are large, they can adapt to apartment living with proper exercise routines and activities that meet their physical and mental needs.

How much shedding do Bernese Mountain Dogs have?

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick double coat that sheds seasonally, requiring regular brushing to manage loose fur.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs good with children?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their gentle and patient temperament, making them excellent companions for children with proper supervision.

What are some unique Bernese Mountain Dog behaviors?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their “yodeling” vocalizations, love of water, and historical nickname as “Cheese Dogs.”

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs need to be groomed professionally?

Regular brushing at home is sufficient for most Bernese Mountain Dogs. Professional grooming can be beneficial occasionally, especially during shedding seasons.

Leave a Comment