Bernese Mountain Dogs belong to the AKC’s working group. This breed originated in the Swiss Alps and is hardworking, good natured, and calm. This breed does exceptionally well with young children and other dogs in the family and is highly affectionate with family members. While built for hard work, the sweet nature of these dogs and their striking good looks makes them popular as family pets too. These dogs make excellent pets for people living on farmsteads but are also great family pets provided they have enough place to roam free. They have a thick, silky coat and can handle cold weather well and indeed thrive in cold climates.
While Berners get along famously well with children and the entire family, they do have a tendency to become attached to one member of the family. While not aggressive, Berners tend to maintain an aloof distance from strangers. Their imposing size can make them appear threatening, however.
The average height of a Bernese Mountain Dog is 23-27 inches and the average weight is anywhere from 70 to 115 pounds. The life expectancy of Bernese Mountain Dogs is 7-10 years on average. Standard colors in Bernese Mountain Dogs are black, rust, white, tan and combinations of these.
Bernese Mountain Dogs generally enjoy robust health, but like all large breeds, they are susceptible to bloat (a potentially dangerous gastrointestinal condition). You should discuss with your vet the signs and symptoms of bloat and what to do should it occur.
Your Bernese Mountain Dog’s thick double coat will require regular weekly brushings. This breed sheds a fair amount, even more so during shedding season. Brushing helps to remove loose hair and reduce shedding around the home.
Bernese Mountain Dogs enjoy outdoor activities and thrive with families that keep them active. They are excellent companions for humans who love to take long walks or go on hikes, camping, or backpacking.
In terms of training, Bernese Mountain Dogs are gentle and sensitive by nature and therefore do not respond well to harsh corrections. They are working dogs and are generally easily trainable. Bernese Mountain Dogs like to spend time with their family. Leaving these dogs alone for long periods of time can lead to undesirable behaviors.
As with all breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs should be fed age-appropriate dog food, whether it is commercially available food or home prepared meals. Treats should be used in limited quantities during training as they can lead to obesity in a Bernese Mountain Dog.