Bernese Mountain Dog Pros and Cons


Bernese Mountain Dog Pros and Cons – An In-Depth Look

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on July 21, 2023.

Learn all you need to know about the Bernese Mountain Dog before taking the plunge into pet parenthood! Get an overview of its pros and cons from practical, friendly, and authoritative advice at CaninePals.Com.

Do you think loyalty does not exist in this cruel world anymore? You probably haven’t met a Bernese Mountain dog if you answer yes.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are the most intelligent, trainable, witty, and cuddly dogs. They love to be around their owners all the time. In fact, if you have a Bernese Mountain dog in your life, you wouldn’t find any time to get bored.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are very playful and protective around the people they are familiar with, so they are more than safe around children. You may leave a child with a Bernese dog without caring for their safety. Bernese makes the best family dogs due to their friendliness and mellow personality.

Whether you live alone or are a family, Bernese Mountain dogs are perfect pets. However, like every breed, Bernese Mountain Dog pros and cons exist, which are stated in detail, along with other important facts about the Bernese breed that an owner must be familiar with.

So scroll down and get to know this delightful true-hearted dog better and be ready to fall in love with the wide-eyed Bernese beauty.

Is It Wise to Adopt a Bernese Mountain Dog? Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons

Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons
Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons

Bernese Mountain DogHistory and Origin

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known as the Berners worldwide. Having Swiss origin, farmers traditionally used Bernese dogs to pull heavy carts, protect families, and watch after the kettle.

Bernese dogs possess remarkable strength and can pull up approximately 1000 pounds, up to 10 times their original weight. There used to be karting competitions between Bernese mountain dogs in the suburbs.

Villagers used them to pull carts from one area to another, but they started to become extinct around the 20th century when other means of transportation became accessible.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is among the four types of Swiss Mountain dogs but is the only one with a silky, long coat. He thrives in the cold, mountainous weather where he comes from and was originally named after the Canton of Bern.

These dogs were used on farms for herding cattle, pulling carts, and being a family companion. He performs in events including obedience, tracking, agility, conformation, therapy, herding, and carting.

Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance

Dating back to the Canton of Bern, Bernese is one of the four Swiss Mountain dogs with long hair. The distinctive feature of Bernese Mountain Dogs is their tri-colored thick coat with an upper layer of long hair and an under layer of thin hair. Their double-layered coat makes them more suitable for cold areas, and Bernese cannot do well in a warmer climate.

Beneath the beautiful tri-colored coat, Bernese mountain dogs have well-built, athletic bodies due to their history of being hardworking and versatile farmland dogs. They have very expressive and alluring wide eyes with overall innocent-looking toy-like attractive features. They are the most common dog faces representing the dog family in pictures in children’s books or as doggie toys.

Like other Swiss dogs, his tri-colors are white, rust, and black. He needs a fair amount of exercise, and he also needs regular brushing because he sheds. As an easy-going, calm dog, he’s very good for families as he feels the strong urge to be with people and is happiest that way. He stands 23 – 27.5 inches high.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament

Do not let Berner’s energy and size fool you; inside this giant-looking sturdy dog, the body is a heart of gold. Bernese Mountain Dogs are the most loyal, sweet, and friendly companions.

Besides kettle herding, people also used to rear Bernese Mountain Dog for companionship to kill loneliness. To date, they are known for their eagerness to please their masters and their protectiveness.

Bernese Mountain Dogs can make the best adopting option for people who are naïve by nature as these dogs are easily trainable and possess a nonchalant personality.

Note: Bernese mountain dogs are intelligent, but their physical and mental progression is relatively slower than other breeds, so you must consider that your Bernese Mountain Dog’s puppyish attitude will be there for quite a while.

Wonderful Family Dog Breed

Not many dog breeds make good family dogs, but Bernese mountain dogs are an exception with striking features, trustworthy nature, high trainability factor, and smartness, Bernese ticks all the boxes of being an ideal family dog.

They are careful around children, helpful around aged, and alluringly playful around adults, so having a Bernese Mountain Dog in your house is like 24/7 entertainment and companionship.

Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Attitude

If the term people pleasing had a face, it would be of a Bernese Mountain Dog. These goofy Furballs want to be around the crowd all the time and are on their toes to please their masters.

Bernese respond quickly to pieces of training and positive reinforcement due to their innate need for obedience and owner-pleasing. You may feel like training a Bernese Mountain Dog is easier than training a kid, even though the former is a different species.

Bernese Mountain Dog Lifespan

The downside of having to rear a Bernese Mountain Dog is that it comes with heartbreak. The lifespan of Bernese Mountain Dogs is very short, and they only live for a maximum of seven to ten years. Of course, losing a dog who is so sweet and loyal is not easy for the owner, and their heartaches for days after.

Even if a Berner has an overall good health profile, they cannot make it more than ten years, for that is the limit of their life expectancy. Most owners reported that they cannot recover from the trauma of losing their lovely pet because Bernese is too sweet to lose.

Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons
Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons

Bernese Mountain Dog Grooming and Maintenance

Having a dog with a long-haired coat comes with a price. Bernese are frequent shedders, and you cannot buy a Bernese Mountain Dog without buying a vacuum to clean after him, which is another downside of owning this breed.

If you are a clean freak and cannot stand hair strands in different corners of your house, Bernese Mountain Dogs may not be the right choice as they shed like crazy, especially around fall and spring.

Besides shedding, you must trim their nails and clean their ears regularly. Apart from that, Berneses do not have uptight personalities; they have an easy-going attitude and are not high maintenance.

Suitable Environment for A Bernese Mountain Dog

If Bernese is an apartment dog is one of the most frequently asked questions.

Unfortunately, Bernese are not apartment dogs;

  1. a) due to their size and
  2. b) due to their activity level.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are uncomfortable in small areas, so if you want a pet to confine in a small place, this breed is not for you. Regular strolls, socialization opportunities, and a backyard to play in are a must for the Bernese Mountain Dog; otherwise, you would not be able to match the high energy level of your pup.

Bernese has this tendency to work hard- blame their origin. They may want to help you around, and sitting idle is just not in their genes, so either craft indoor dog activities to exhaust your fur-genie or assign him a daily task to curb his labor instincts.

If you cannot manage to engage your dog in different activities, the least you can do is buy a dog treadmill so that your Berner would get the chance to delve into daily exercise, and you would be able to rein in his energy level while keeping the extra calories at bay. Win-Win.

A Bernese Mountain Dog Cannot Withstand Isolation

If you have made a posh kennel for the dog you want to adopt, refrain from adopting a Bernese mountain dog because this breed does not appreciate even the most comfortable places unless they keep seeing humans around.

You may have to keep a Bernese Mountain Dog somewhere in the house where it would have frequent encounters with you and other family members. Bernese Mountain Dogs cannot bear the isolation and need to see the owner frequently; otherwise, separation anxiety starts to kick in, leading to various behavioral problems like loud barking, chewing on stuff, or digging.

If you stay outside for long hours due to work, ensure your dog has company, or he will go crazy, and his howling will drive the neighborhood nuts.

Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons
Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons

How often Should you Groom a Bernese Mountain Dog?

It’s a myth that dogs with long-hair coats must be washed frequently. More hair follicles on the body produce more natural oil, which repels the dirt and debris from accumulating and keeps the body odor away.

Bernese Mountain Dogs do not need to be bathed monthly; a bathing schedule of once every two and a half or three months is absolutely fine. However, to maintain a silky and healthy-looking Bernese Mountain Dog coat, here are some tips to follow;

Brush the Coat with a Pin Brush

A pin brush must be used to brush a Bernese coat to effectively remove dead hair strands and detangle the hair perfectly. Brushing the coat at least once a week distributes the natural oils of the body evenly on the skin, making the coat look shiny and healthy.

Check for Fleas and Ticks

The thicker the coat, the greater the chances of fleas and ticks to make a home inside. Bugs like fleas and ticks survive better in a warmer environment, and what else could be warmer than the thick coat of a double-layered dog?

Since Bernese has the thickest coat, they are always at risk of hosting fleas and ticks, so you must be extra cautious. Comb their hair with a special silicone comb designed to pull out bugs from dogs’ hair, and use the anti-fleas spray occasionally to prevent bugs and parasites.

Do not forget to check their skin folds, such as elbows, armpits, ear folds, and under-knees, as these are sites where bugs hide.

Note: If you do not want to use chemicals on your dog, you can make your homemade anti-flea spray by mixing two parts distilled water, one part baking soda, and one part lemon juice. Mix the ingredients in a bottle, shake well, and your anti-bugs spray is ready. Spray it generously on your dog once every two weeks.


Give your Bernese Mountain Dog a good wash once every two to three months. Use an organic and moisturizing shampoo to clean out dirt and debris. Use a hairdryer at a slow speed to dry the Bernese dog’s thick coat.

Do not bathe your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy every month, as overwashing can lead to dry skin, which causes itchiness and dermatitis in dogs. If you feel like priming your dog more often, gently rub it with a washcloth soaked in warm water.

Bernese Mountain Dog Allergies- Are they High Maintenance? 

These breeds suffer from various inherent allergies and diseases thanks to a Bernese Mountain Dog backyard breeding culture and restricted gene pool. The ratio of disease in Bernese Mountain dogs is similar to other regular dogs, and they are not high maintenance but rather an easy-going breed.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are susceptible to developing a certain type of cancer, hip dysplasia, eye cataracts, and skin atopy. To ensure your pup remains healthy, adopt one from a quality breeder and pay regular visits to the vet for vaccines and overall health maintenance.

Note: Bernese mountain dogs are dangerous for people with severe allergies because they are not hypoallergenic and shed hair strands with allergy-triggering dander. People allergic to dog fur may witness shortness of breath, watery eyes, and red spots on the body after frequent close encounters with the Berner.

When to Spay Bernese Mountain Dog?

Early spaying triggers phobias, trust issues, anxiety, and fear in puppies. Bernese Mountain Dogs should not be spayed before four to nine months, depending upon the vet’s suggestion after considering your dog’s medical profile, weight, and age.

Ideally, a male pup is set to spay around six months of age and the female before her first heating cycle, which is also around five to six months.

Bernese Mountain Dog Pros and Cons
Bernese Mountain Dog Pros and Cons

Bernese Mountain Dog Pros and Cons Verdict

A Bernese Mountain Dog’s friendly disposition, gentle attitude, loyalty, and devotion make it an ideal family pet. Provide a Bernese Mountain Dog with consistent grooming, an open space to play in, and joyful company, and watch your dog thrive into the world’s most gregarious and affectionate being.

Berneses are happier and feel included when they are a part of the family and do not appreciate living alone, so get a Bernese Mountain Dog only if you are ready to let your dog indulge in family activities.

They are smart but sensitive and get hurt if their owners are rude or rough with them, so prospective Bernese Mountain Dog owners must learn how to behave around a Bernese Mountain Dog to reciprocate their alluring loyalty and sweet companionship.

Find out all about the price of a Bernese Mountain Dog.

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Bernese Mountain Dog Information.


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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