Bernese Mountain Dog

Working Group

Bernese Mountain dog ditting in front of white background.

Height at Shoulders

Females 23-26 in, Males 25-27.5 in

Weight

Females 70-90 lbs, Males 80-115 lbs

Life Expectancy

7-10 yrs

History

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of 4 Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. The term "Sennenhund" comes from German "senne", meaning "alpine pasture" and "hund", meaning dog. "Bernese" refers to the canton of Bern where they originated. The breed originated as a multi-purpose farm dog, droving cattle, guarding livestock, and pulling carts to support Switzerland's huge dairy industry. They also served as gentle, affectionate, and warm companions to the farmers' families at night. Although the use of farming machines in the 19th century made the Bernese Mountain Dog more obsolete, enough fans of the breed existed to prevent its extinction.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Bernese Mountain Dogs will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

Loyal, affectionate, and gentle with a happy-go-lucky attitude

Profuse shedders and droolers

Intelligent, love to learn, and generally easy to train

Very family-oriented and want to be involved in everything

Slow to mature mentally and physically- remain in "puppyhood" for a few years