Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons

Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons & More Interesting Facts!

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

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 to be around children. You may leave a child with a Bernese dog without having to care for the child’s safety. Bernese, due to their friendliness and mellow personality, make the best family dogs.

Whether you live alone or you are a family, Bernese Mountain dogs are a perfect pet. However, like every breed, there exists Bernese Mountain Dogs’ pros and cons which are stated here, 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

History and Origin

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

Bernese dogs possess remarkable strength and can pull up approximately 1000 pounds which makes 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 as well, but they started to become extinct around the 20th century when other means of transportation came to be 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.


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-coloured 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 areas that are cold, 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 to represent the dog family in the form of pictures in children’s books or as doggie toys.

His tri-colours are white, rust and black, like other Swiss dogs. He needs a fair amount of exercise and, because he sheds, he also needs regular brushing. 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.


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 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 will have to consider the fact that the puppyish attitude of your Berner is going to 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 Berner in your house is like 24/7 entertainment and companionship.

Pleasing 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 they 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.


The downside of having to rear a Bernese 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 are not able to make it more than ten years, for that is the limit of their life expectancy. Most owners reported that they are not able to recover from the trauma of losing their lovely pet because Bernese are too sweet to lose.

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

Grooming and Maintenance

Having a dog with a long-haired coat comes with a price. Bernese are frequent shedders, and you cannot buy a Berner 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 for you as they shed like crazy, especially around fall and spring.

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

Suitable Environment for Bernese

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 do not feel comfortable in small areas, so if you are looking for 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 have 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’s activities to exhaust your fur-genie or assign him a daily task to curb down 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.

Bernese 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 Berner somewhere in the house where it would have frequent encounters with you and other family members. Bernese mountain dogs cannot bear the isolation, and they need to see the owner very frequently; otherwise, the separation anxiety starts to kick in, which leads to various behavioral problems like loud barking, chewing on stuff, or digging.

If you stay outside for long hours due to work, make sure your dog has company, or he will go crazy, and his howling would 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 need to be washed very frequently. More hair follicles on the body produce more natural oil, which repels the dirt and debris from getting accumulated and keeps the body odor away.

Bernese Mountain dogs do not need to be bathed every month, and 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 coat, here are some tips to follow;

Brush the Coat with a Pin Brush

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 are 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 a risk of hosting fleas and ticks, so you need to be extra cautious. Comb their hair with a special silicone comb designed to pull out bugs from dog’s hair and use the anti-fleas spray once in a while 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 fleas 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 pup every month as over-washing can lead to dry skin, which causes itchiness and dermatitis in dogs. If you feel like priming your dog more often, just give it a gentle rubdown with a washcloth soaked in warm water.

Bernese Mountain Dog Allergies- Are they High Maintenance? 

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

Bernese mountain dogs are susceptible to develop a certain type of cancer, hip dysplasia, eye cataracts, and skin atopy. To make sure 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 that carry allergy-triggering dander. People who are 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 the medial profile, weight, and age of your dog.

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 of age.

Bernese Mountain Dogs’ Pros and Cons Verdict

The friendly disposition, gentle attitude, loyalty, and devotedness of a Bernese mountain dog make it an ideal pet for families. Provide a Berner consistent grooming, an open space to play in, joyful company, and watch your dog thrive into the most gregarious and affectionate being in the world.

Berneses are happier and feel included when they are a part of the family and do not appreciate living alone, so get a Berner 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 the prospective 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.