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Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large working breed with a sweet, loving temperament. This native to Switzerland makes an ideal family pet.

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Physical Characteristics
  • Large, square build
  • Broad head, black nose, dark eyes
  • Triangular-shaped ears
  • Thick, furry tail
  • Coat: Long, sleek fur can be straight or wavy
  • Colors are black, white and tan
  • Height: 23-28 inches
  • Weight: 80-100 pounds for females and 90-120 for males
  • Average lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Sweet, gentle, smart, even-tempered, loyal, sensitive
  • Interaction with people: Good family pet; good with children. Friendly with strangers
  • Interaction with animals: Good with other pets and dogs
  • Level of attention needed: Needs significant love and attention; thrives on human companionship
  • Training: Easily trained; needs early socialization
  • Protection: Good watchdog
Medical Conditions
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • Not recommended for apartments
  • Best in rural areas
  • Prefers cooler climates
Other Facts
  • Also known as a Berner Sennenhund
  • One of four varieties of Swiss mountain dogs
  • First brought to the U.S. in 1926
  • Used in Swiss homes as both a companion pet and a working dog
Breed History
  • Native to Switzerland
  • Most likely descended from farm dogs in the Swiss mountains
  • Included in paintings from the 1700s
  • Used to drive cattle and guard farms
  • After near extinction in the 1800s, fanciers Herr Franz Schertenleib and Albert Heim saved the breed
  • Given its present name in 1908
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America For breed rescue opportunities, visit BMDCA Rescue
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