History of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is no stranger to hard work.  A hardy dog who thrives in cold weather, the Berner’s brain and brawn helped him to work hard on the farms and pastures in Switzerland. They were bred to herd cattle, be watchdogs, pull carts and to be loyal companions.

The Berner is instantly recognizable with their tri-color coat and white “Swiss Cross” on their chest. Underneath that beautiful coat of fur is a stout dog well suited for demanding work. These gentle giants have traditionally been used in Switzerland as herders and draft dogs.

Family Dog

Bernese mountain dogs are smart, hardworking, and loyal dogs who love to spend time with their human family.
They’re beloved for their sweet, calm nature and their love for their families. When they’re not working or playing, these intelligent and loyal dogs are happiest at their owner’s side, wherever that may be. Berners are generally calm but are always up for a walk with the owner, whom they live to please.  Of course, he needs to live indoors with his family, but he thrives on cold-weather outdoor activities and will happily join you for hikes, camping, backpacking and a good romp in the snow.

Bernese Mountain Dogs get along with the whole family and are particularly gentle with children. This big, silly dog is a gentle giant that sometimes forgets his size when wanting to be in your lap!  He desires lots of love and attention and returns it with kisses and loyalty.  Berners look menacing but aren’t threatening and they maintain a cautious distance with strangers.

They should certainly have access to a securely fenced yard, free to lounge about, but when the family is home, the Bernese should be with them.  Socialization is very important beginning when your Berner is just a puppy.  Socialization molds your Bernese into the dog he will be, whether good or bad.  Check out tips on how Socialization can make or break your Bernese Mountain Dog.

Bernese also make excellent therapy dogs since they have a gentle, easy-going temperament as well as being the perfect height for standing at a bedside to be petted.

Bernese Mountain Dog Trainability

Since they were bred to be a hard working dog, the Bernese likes to learn and can easily be trained. Due to their large size, usually about 100 pounds-when mature, early obedience training and socialization are highly recommended.  New owners should be aware that the Bernese is a slow maturing dog, both physically and mentally. They may remain puppyish for a lengthy time. Additionally, the Bernese Mountain Dog has a “fragile” personality; their feelings are easily hurt, and they don’t respond well to yelling or harsh corrections.  The Berner does have a stubborn streak and early socialization usually corrects this.

Grooming a Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large dog with their beautiful medium-long tri-colored fur. The thick, silky and medium-long coat is tri-colored; jet black, clear white and rust.  They have a thick double coat of fur and shed regularly, more so during certain times of the year. Spring and Fall seem to be the highest times for the shedding. They’ll need a weekly to daily brushing session to help remove loose hair, stickers, weed seeds and debris from the fur. Weekly brushing will also help keep them cooler in the summer months.  Brushing sessions also create a bond between owner and dog, making it an enjoyable experience.  You can check out how to groom your Bernese Mountain Dog here for some easy suggestions.

Just like with most dogs, bringing a Berner puppy into the home will be work. If you’re consistent with training and patient with you’re puppy, you’ll end up with an excellent, loyal dog that makes an amazing companion.