We’re a Swiss dog, so we love Toblerone (joke – don’t really feed us Toblerone!). In fact we were the result of crossing local Swiss dogs with a type of guard dog brought over by those pesky Roman invaders. This all happened about 2,000 years ago. We’re a powerful dog, which explains why we were often used to pull small carts loaded with market produce. Our name relates to the Swiss canton of Bern(e). In Germany we’re known as the ‘Berner Sennenhund’. Sennenhund derives from the German “Senne”, meaning alpine pasture. We’re quite popular in mainland Europe but surprisingly rare elsewhere.
What do I look like?
We come in just one basic colour theme – black with tan markings and a white blaze on our head and chest. White paws and a white tail tip are a desirable bonus. Bernese Mountain dogs have quite a long, soft and silky coat which shouldn’t be curly. In stature and form we’re a pretty regular sheepdog – stocky, well-balanced with a medium skull and muzzle. Our legs are strong boned and muscular. We have a bushy tail which is raised when on the move.
What do I need from you?
OK here’s the thing – we are such an easy going dog that it is common for us to become a bit of a couch potato. To avoid this you need to give us a good routine, much like a personal trainer. As a reasonably big dog we could also benefit from plenty of living space.
What I will give in return
This may sound boastful but we’re a delightful and well-mannered dog that responds well to training and is really good humoured. So we make a great companion for country folk. We’re about as neutral in conflict as our Swiss human counterparts, so we’re unlikely to get into fights and certainly not create any. We are a good breed to home with children. We are patient things that can handle being climbed over and pushed and pulled without rebuke. We also do well with other pets and strangers.
What's our health like?
We have an unusually high mortality due to musculoskeletal causes. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, and cruciate ligament rupture were reported as the cause of death in 6% of Bernese Mountain dogs in a UK study (2% is the canine average). This is something your vet could check for on a regular basis.
How big will I get?
We can grow to around 27in (69cm) and weigh up to 90lb (41kg). This would be quite a big Bernese Mountain Dog however. Smaller dogs would be grow to around 23in (58cm).
How long should I be around for?
We don’t have particularly long lifespans – 6 to 9 years would be typical.
We’re currently recruiting breeders and adopters to go here. Could that be you?
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.