Great Bernese

Dog Breed Profile

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Great Bernese History

The Great Bernese Mountain Dog is a working farm and guard dog that originated in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland. It is a large, noble, and dignified mountain dog that was originally used to herd cattle and pull carts. The first recorded references to Great Bernese date back to the 1500s. The Swiss Constitution of 1848 lists the Great Bernese as one of the four national dogs and a national symbol of Switzerland, along with the cow, the flag, and the Red Cross. The Bernese Mountain Dog that we recognize today is the product of centuries of selective breeding. The first official description of the Great Berner was published in 1884 by the Swiss Kennel Club.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin

United States Of America, Europe

Great Bernese Physical Characteristics

The Great Bernese is a medium-to-large sized and muscular breed of dog that has long, shaggy fur. Its head is broad, with straight or slightly wrinkled forehead, and a muzzle that is strong and rather pointed. Its large, oval-shaped ears hang down or can be folded over. The breed has a long, thick, drooping tail. Its colors are white with black and rust markings, or solid red, with or without small black spots.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors

Black, White, Brown, Gray, Red

Height Range

Male Height Range: 26 – 28 inches

Female Height Range: 27 – 27 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 85 – 115 lbs

Female Weight Range: 70 – 100 lbs

Great Bernese Health

Description of breed health.


7-12 yrs

Great Bernese Health Concerns

Bloat, Histicytosis, Addison’s Disease, Meningitis, Joint conditions, Entropion, Cataracts, Epilepsy, Cerebellar Abiotrophy, Kidney Problems, Color Dilution Alopecia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Great Bernese Temperament and Behaviour

The Great Berner is a friendly and outgoing breed of dog that is protective of their family and home. They are intelligent, gentle, and well-mannered. They are generally calm, but can become excited and high-strung when working.

Great Bernese Activity Requirements

The Great Berners are a mastiff-type dog with sweet, calm dispositions. They are strong, muscular, and agile. This makes them tough, hardy, and ideally suited to many types of work. They are also great companions. In general, the Great Berners are very calm and relaxed. They are loving, loyal, and gentle companions. However, they also enjoy being active and will need regular physical exercise. A daily walk or jog with your Great Bernese is a good way to keep your dog happy, healthy, and active. When they are not exercising, your Great Bernese will enjoy playing with their toys and spending time with their families.

Miles Per Day

11 miles

Activity Per Day

45 minutes

Daily Food

4 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Great Bernese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Great Bernese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Not Recognized

Great Bernese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Great Bernese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.