Bernese Mountain Dog

Dog Breed Profile

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Bernese Mountain Dog History

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large Swiss breed of working and pastoral dog, widely known as a herder and draft dog. The Berner Sennenhund, as it is known in German-speaking Switzerland, is the national canine of Switzerland. The origin of the name “Bernese” is not clear, but it is widely believed to originate from the Alemannic word bern, meaning bear. The Berner Sennenhund is descended from the Great Pyrenees, a now-extinct northern mountain shepherding dog breed. The dogs were first imported to Switzerland from Dauphiné in southern France in the 15th century, where they were used for herding cattle and pulling carts. The Berner Sennenhund was officially recognized as a separate breed in 1890. Due to its large size, the Berner is often used for draught work and police work, as well as for search and rescue. The Bernese Mountain Dog is also a popular family pet.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin



Molossus, Mastiff

Bernese Mountain Dog Physical Characteristics

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very large, heavyset breed of dog that is typically between 28 and 32 inches at the withers and between 90 and 150 pounds in weight. They have a thick, heavy, compact build and a dense, weather-resistant double coat of fur that is either tricolor (black, white, and red), brindle, or solid. They have a large head with a pronounced stop. Their large brown eyes are almond shaped, wide-set, and expressive. They have long, thick, dark lips. They have a heavy beard and mustache. Their nose is broad, flat, and black.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors


Height Range

Male Height Range: 25 – 28 inches

Female Height Range: 23 – 26 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 90 – 120 lbs

Female Weight Range: 70 – 100 lbs

Bernese Mountain Dog Health

Description of breed health.


7-10 yrs

Bernese Mountain Dog Health Concerns

Hip And Elbow Dysplasia, Bloat, Histicytosis, Dental Disease, Meningitis, Obesity, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Allergies, Epilepsy, Cerebellar Abiotrophy, Kidney Problems, Color Dilution Alopecia

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament and Behaviour

The Bernese Mountain Dog is an energetic and friendly breed that is great for families and children. They are eager and willing to please, but are also independent and strong-willed. They are protective of their families and will alert their owners to the presence of any potential danger.

Bernese Mountain Dog Activity Requirements

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a working dog that originated in the Swiss Alps. They are strong, intelligent, and agile, which makes them well-suited for a number of different jobs. While they are one of the top working breeds, they don’t have the energy level needed for sporting competitions. They do, however, need daily exercise and mental stimulation. While Berners are not a very high energy breed, they still do best when they have some space to do their “business.” They need room to run and play in an enclosed area. If you live in an apartment, a fenced-in backyard or a dog park are the best places to take your Berner.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

2.5 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Bernese Mountain Dog is part of the Working group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

Bernese Mountain Dog is part of the Working group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Bernese Mountain Dog is part of the Utility group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Bernese Mountain Dog is part of the Working Dog group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.