Dog Breeds 101: Bernese Mountain Dog

Dog Breeds 101 - Bernese Mountain Dog - WP
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The Bernese Mountain Dog was originally developed in Bern, Switzerland. No one knows exactly when the Bernese Mountain Dog was first bred. However, it is believed that when the Romans invaded Switzerland 2,000 years ago, they brought this dog’s ancestors with them. This dog was meant to be a farm dog and perform tasks such as herding cattle, protecting livestock and pulling carts. [1]

Bernese Mountain Dogs are large and muscular dogs with a distinct tri-colored coat. They are mostly black with rust and white markings. This dog has a long haired double coat that stays fairly clean on its own, but will require regular brushing and grooming. [2]

Although these dogs behave well indoors, they are happiest outside. The Bernese Mountain Dog will not do well in an apartment and will need a yard. These dogs need adequate exercise regularly or else they tend to will bark nonstop, and may even become aggressive.

These dogs are known to get along well with most people including strangers and children.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent, easy to train and can be good watchdogs. They are also claimed to be confident, alert, cheerful, and good-natured. In addition to their impressive speed, agility, and strength, Bernese Mountain Dogs are also regarded as calm and easygoing family companions. They are known for their extreme loyalty and devotion to their owners.

These dogs are not comfortable in high temperatures because of their thick coats. Depending on the season, these dogs can shed more than the average dog. Experts recommend brushing these dogs at least twice a week.

The average lifespan of a Bernese Mountain Dog is only about six to eight years. Cancer is sadly the most common cause of death amongst this breed.


[1] Jill C. Wheeler, Bernese Mountain Dogs (ABDO, 2010).

[2] Nikki Riggsbee, Bernese Mountain Dogs: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Behavior and Training (Barron’s Educational Series, 2007).

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