Basics of Dog Breed : Bernese Mountain Dog

Posted on September 27 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very big dog that has all the big teddy bear. Robust and rustic, he will be able to live outside, but he loves the company of his master above all and does not appreciate being separated from it. Extremely versatile, it is a very good working dog on farmland. The Bernese Mountain Dog is known to be a relatively calm and friendly dog.

Breed Information:

Other names: Bernese Mountain Dog, Dürrbächler, Bernese Mountain Dog, Berner Sennenhund
Origin: Swiss Swiss
FCI Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds
FCI number: 45

Race history

The Bouvier Bernois is a very old breed with  origins in Switzerland near Berne. He is said to be a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff , a mastiff dog used in Roman times. From 1902, subjects of this breed were unveiled at dog shows.

In 1910, during an exhibition at Berthoud, farmers managed to present 107 subjects of this breed. From this event, the Bernese Mountain Dog gets its official name. Previously employed as a herdsman in the Swiss alpine pastures, he now serves as a mountain research dog and a pet dog.

Physical characteristics

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very big dog that has all the big teddy bear. Robust and rustic, he will be able to live outside, but he loves the company of his master above all and does not appreciate being separated from it. 

His hair is long, shiny and smooth or slightly wavy. 
Its color: tricolor (black, white, red) in the black dress. The breastplate is white in the shape of a Swiss cross. The ends of the legs are white and a white line crosses the forehead, passes between the eyes and on the muzzle. Red spots called pellets are placed above the eyes and red appears on the legs and cheeks. 
His head is short and massive, powerful, his black truffle and the skull is a little convex profile. 
His ears :are drooping, triangular and rounded at the end. 
His eyes: dark brown, almond-shaped show a keen look. 
His body is powerful, harmonious and well proportioned. The members are powerful. It is more compact than elongated and longer than high. 
His tail: black, bushy, low in the resting position, must rise at the height of the back or just above.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 40 kg and 50 kg Between 58 cm and 66 cm
Male Between 50 kg and 60 kg Between 64 cm and 70 cm

A Bernese Bouvier dog is classified as a giant .

Behavior and character

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very kind and affectionate dog , especially towards its masters. He shows them loyalty and loyalty. In constant search for affection and presence, it is quite sticky. Not aggressive and barking , he is also intelligent. Very curious, but a little timid, he does not have the predatory instinct and is therefore very kind to other pets.


This intelligent dog has a good memory which facilitates his education. It is essential to use a training based on positive reinforcement, firmness and softness. Indeed, very sensitive , he does not like everything that is violent and brutal. Very eager to learn , he needs to be congratulated when he succeeds. His adolescence is a little more delicate because he loses confidence in himself and becomes suspicious of everyone. It must be reassured. 

Early obedience training and good socialization are recommended. It must be known that it is a race slow to mature either mentally or physically. The transition to adolescencecan sometimes be difficult as its sensitivity is increased tenfold. This is a time when the severity of the owner can be difficult for him to live.


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a pretty sturdy dog. Like all major breeds, he is affected by problems with hip dysplasia and the risk of torsion of the stomach . It can also be affected by some genetic diseases because of the inbreeding which rages on its breeding . It is therefore necessary to choose the farm where you buy it and do the screening x-ray if the breeder has not done it himself beforehand.

Also, avoid running him when he comes to eat. He does not fear the weather, but with his fur, he is sensitive to heat stroke.


Major concerns
Hip dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia
Minor concerns
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Fragmentation of the coronoid process in dogs
Gastric torsion
Occasional concerns
Suggested tests
Hypoallergenic race
Scope size
Between 1 and 14 puppies

Maintenance & Hygiene


After a walk, it is not necessary to brush or wash it. Dirt on her hair will fall off after a few minutes if the dog stays dry. Like all other dogs, care should be taken to clean his ears regularly. Brush your teeth 2 to 3 times a week to prevent bad breath and tartar build-up and  cut your nails once a month .


Bath ...
A bath a year minimum is sufficient for its maintenance and preserve its beautiful coat. The transition to the bathtub can be more periodic (every 3 months or more), but the Bouvier Bernois has the particularity of owning a hair self-cleaning . 

Brushing ...
The  Bernese Mountain Dog  needs daily brushing only during heavy periods of moulting . If moult is continuous , it has stronger periods in spring and fall. The rest of the time, a weekly brushing is enough. Feel free to insist on the more provided places in hairs like the back of the thighs and ears. For brushing, it is best to use a pin or pin brush (also called "slicker") This tool will make your life easier to clear the dead hairs of the imposing coat of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Physical activity

The ideal is that it can let off steam at least an hour or an hour and a half in addition to its hygienic walks. Quite calm and obedient, it is suitable for everyone. Older people can walk around town or in the countryside safely. Often referred to as the "gentle giant", he enjoys quiet outdoor activities such as hiking.

Living conditions

For the Bernese Mountain Dog, the important thing is to stay with your masters , no matter where they live. He could live in an apartment, but he prefers to live in a house with a garden available . He will be able to let off steam and have fun. It is a dog that is very difficult to cope with changes of ownership. In a house, he tends to stay calm and relaxed .


As often industrial brands can offer foods adapted to the size, weight and even age of the Bernese Mountain Dog. The quality of croquettes varies according to the brands and is distinguished in 3 categories: " Discount ", " Premium " or " Super Premium ". It is better to favor at least the brands of croquettes called " Premium " 

On the quantity side, it is generally recommended to offer a Bernese Mountain Dog 570 grams of kibble a day . This ration should be divided into 2 meals a day .

Price and budget

The  average purchase price of  a Bouvier Bernois is around  1200 euros  for a so-called purebred puppy.

Regarding the  annual cost , it will be necessary to reserve a budget of around  1200 euros . For food , with mid - range products, croquettes will cost you around  760 euros per year . With the  usual veterinary fees (vaccination, dewormer, annual review, pest control) without taking into account the unforeseen, the note will amount to nearly  170 euros . For  hygiene and maintenance  of the Bernese Mountain Dog (shampoo, grooming, etc.), accessories (including treats), you will have to pay about  240 euros .

For all these main expenses, your Bouvier Bernois will cost you  about 100 euros per month .

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 1000 € 1500 €

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