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[Big Breed Spotlight] Bernese Mountain Dog

At Big Dog Plaid, we love ALL big dogs, but if there's one breed we're a bit biased towards, it's Bernese Mountain Dogs.

About Bernese Mountain Dogs

Can you blame us? Look at that face!


When it comes to big dogs, you can't get much bigger than a Berner (unless of course you're a Newfie, or a Saint Bernard, or a Neapolitan Mastiff... but we're getting ahead of ourselves).

Because of their telltale coloring and size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are some of the most recognizable pups around. Here are some more fun facts about the Bernese Mountain Dog breed.

Stats & Quick Tips

  • In 2016, Bernese Mountain Dogs were the 30th most popular dog breed in the U.S.
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs were officially recognized by the AKC in 1937 


The Bernese Mountain Dog is aristocratic in appearance, and ancient in lineage. These dogs were bred to work as draft dogs and watchdogs in the farmyards mainly in the Canton of Berne, Switzerland. The Bernese Mountain Dog was first brought to the United States in 1926.


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, heavy dog with a distinctive tricolored coat, black with white chest and or rust colored markings above the eyes, on the sides of the mouth, and on the front of the legs (

Full grown Bernese Mountain Dogs range in size from 90 pounds up to 130 pounds, with males generally growing larger than females (90-120 lb average weight, compared to 70-100 lb average weight for females). Part of this is due to the lion-mane-like ruff that males develop into their 2nd year. Since Berners are such a large breed, they won't reach full size until about 2 years old.


The Bernese mountain dog is an easygoing, calm family companion (that is, after it leaves its adolescent stage). It is sensitive, loyal and extremely devoted. It is gentle with children and often reserved with strangers. It generally gets along well with other dogs and pets ( 

The breed desires human companionship, and these dogs are very dialed into their humans. Although Bernese Mountain Dogs will get along with the entire family, they'll often become more attached to one lucky human. 

Berner's attitudes toward strangers vary from friendly to aloof, but the most common temperament fault is excessive shyness, either towards everyone or a specific group of people. Bernese Mountain Dog puppies need a lot of socialization so they do not become too timid or develop fear-based behaviors.

Berners can be protective since they develop intense bonds with their owners, and can act as watchdogs - they will bark and alert their owners to a strangers arrival. They are lovers, not fighters, so their protectiveness typically doesn't range beyond warning barks.


Maintenance & Need-to-Knows for Owners

Grooming - Regular grooming and brushing is recommended for these fluffy dogs. They shed seasonally, so be prepared to vacuum often.

Training - Berners are easy to train because they have an intense desire to please their owners. 

Exercise - Like many big dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs are relatively low-energy, and do not require high amounts of exercise. Owners who are frequently away or busy might find this breed suitable for their lifestyle.

Environment - Since they are big dogs, Berners do better in homes with lots space for them to lounge and lope about; they are not well-suited for apartment living. This breed is tough in the cold weather - they love the snow! But, they will struggle in high-heat regions.

Bernese Mountain Dog in Snow

Did You Know? 

The Bernese Mountain Dog is actually one of four varieties of Swiss mountain dogs. The other three are the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Bernese Mountain Dog shares similar distinctive coloring with other varieties, but is the only one with a long, silky coat. 

What are some other fun facts about Bernese Mountain Dogs (surely we didn't cover everything). Share in the comments!

 Love Bernese Mountain Dogs as much as we do? Check out our dedicated Bernese Mountain Dog Pinterest board here. 

1 comment

  • We just got our bandannas, and absolutely LOVE them! Very nicely made, and the quality surpassed my expectations! Thank you!

    Debbie Cannavale

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