The Incomparable Bernese Mountain Dog: What Do You Know About the “Berner”?

January 30, 2018

The Bernese Mountain Dog might be one of the lesser known Swiss Mountain breeds, but it has certainly gained quite a following!


The Bernese Mountain Dog, affectionately called the Berner, is a large working breed from Europe. The name refers to his Swiss homeland. The Berner was originally an essential part of farm life. They drove cattle, protected the family, and would pull loaded carts to nearby villages. The Bernese Mountain Dog nearly became extinct in the early 20th century, when more modern and expedient means of transportation became accessible to farmers. In 1968, a group of admirers refused to let this majestic breed fade away, thus the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America was founded, with 62 members and 43 registered Berners.

bernese mountain dog

What to Expect with a Bernese Mountain Dog at Home

The Bernese Mountain dog is steady tempered and easygoing. They are gentle natured, polite, and non-aggressive and typically get along with other pets. The male, however, is can sometimes be aggressive towards other males, but this is pretty rare. He can be aloof with strangers and sometimes shy, despite their large size. Socialize your puppy to various people and dogs early on and consistently to help keep them calm and friendly. He does well with children of all ages, but sometimes Bernese are not aware of their size and can knock down small children accidently. Otherwise, they are a very gentle, loving breed!


Exercise and Grooming Requirements

The Bernese has a signature long, thick coat, a very good thing to have way up in the freezing temperatures of the Swiss Alps! But not so good for shedding, unfortunately. A good de-shedding shampoo and brushing routine would serve new owners well and keep their Berner’s hair from ending up all over the place. The Bernese is also a working breed and they have the stamina to go with it, so daily walks, romps in a large yard or dog park and learning new tricks are all good ways to keep them exercised and occupied!