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Bernese Mountain Dog Information



Bernese Mountain Dogs are large, heavy, sturdy dogs that stand between twenty-three and twenty-eight inches high at the withers and usually weigh anywhere from sixty-five to over one hundred and twenty pounds.  Bernese have beautiful fur and a distinctive, unique, tri-color pattern with their head, body, legs, neck, and ears being solid black.  The thumbprints, also called ghost eyes, stockings, and cheeks are tan or rust while the blaze between their eyes, tail tip, muzzle, chest, and toes are white.  Bernese Mountain Dogs dark brown, expressive eyes are almond shaped.     


Bernese Mountain Dogs are a devoted, loyal, sensitive breed that are gentle, cheerful, great with children, and make a wonderful, easy going, loving family dog.  They normally get along with other dogs and family pets.  Not overly aggressive but natural watchdogs, the Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely intelligent, like to please and are easy to train.  Because they are very loyal, Bernese Mountain Dogs will find it difficult if they get a new owner after they are over a year and a half or older.

Grooming & Shedding

A seasonal heavy shedder, the Bernese Mountain Dogs thick, long coat requires a very good brushing two or three times a week.  During heavy shedding periods, they often require brushing daily to keep their coat looking healthy and shiny.  Bernese Mountain Dogs only require bathing when necessary and the use of dry shampoo in between when needed.  It is important to keep their nails and teeth checked and maintained regularly. 


The Bernese Mountain Dog’s origin is questionable although most believe that this mighty breed originated in the Swiss mountains as farm dogs.  Unlike other mountain dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dogs have long silky coats.  Many experts believe that this breed developed during the time Switzerland was invaded by the Romans, when flock-guarding dogs were crossed with Roman mastiffs.  The result was a breed able to endure the severe, cold, harsh mountain climate and work as draft, drover, herder, and guard dog.  This dog breed was close to extinction by the nineteenth century.  Professor Albert Heim, Franz Schertenlieb and others worked to bring the Bernese Mountain Dog back from the brink of extinction. 

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: hip and elbow dysplasia, histicytosis, OCD (growth)
  • Minor Concerns: progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), fragmented coronoid process, gastric torsion
  • Occasionally seen: hypomyelination
  • Suggested tests: hip and elbow, eye



Males 24-28 inches (61-71cm)

Females 23-27 inches (58-69cm)


Males 85-110 pounds (38-50kg)

Females 80-105 pounds (36-48kg)


6 – 10 years







Young Children


Need exercise space

Yes – large space with shade in hot weather

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