Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from Switzerland and was used as a draft dog. It was also used for herding cattle and sheep. The Bernese Mountain Dog forms part of the working group.

Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Group


Size of the Bernese Mountain Dog


Country of origin


Bernese Mountain Dog breed introduction and overview

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking dog with a soft, silky coat. It’s a gentle and placid breed with an affectionate nature. It was bred primarily as a draft dog, and can still be seen today pulling light carts, often taking children as passengers. It’s an old breed that can be traced back over 2,000 years. It’s name is taken from the canton of Berne in Switzerland and also known as the Gelbbacken or the Vieraugen.

Bernese Mountain Dog temperament

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a true gentle giant. It is a calm, good natured and placid dog. It is normally good with children and enjoys the company of humans. It normally gets along well with other dogs, and aggression is rare. With early socialisation and training the Bernese Mountain Dog can live happily with cats and other smaller pets. As with all larger dog breeds, vigorous exercise and excessive jumping should be avoided in the first year to prevent damage to joints. The Bernese is also prone to obesity.

Colour varieties of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The breed comes in just tricolour, a combination of white, tan and black.

Size and weight of the Bernese Mountain Dog

Height bitch 58-66 cms

Height dog 64-70 cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 40-55kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 40-55kgs

Exercise requirements of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very athletic dog breed that requires around 2 hours of exercise every day.

Is the Bernese Mountain Dog a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, but new owners should be aware of the high levels of exercise and mental stimulation this breed requires. Prospective owners should also consider the cost of keeping this breed, as feeding and routine veterinary treatments will be higher than average. The size of the BMD may make it impractical for many households.

Bernese Mountain Dog coat length and grooming requirements

Medium. The Bernese requires a weekly brush with a soft slicker brush or good quality bristle brush to keep the coat tangle free. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.


No. The Bernese sheds throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog breed for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is generally healthy, but owners should consult their breeder about the following health issues that have been found in the breed:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Bernese Mountain Dog

A healthy Bernese Mountain Dog should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 8-9 years.

Bernese Mountain Dog pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay from £750 for a pedigree Bernese Mountain Dog puppy and litters are often available. In fact, 459 puppies were registered with the Kennel Club in 2015. Litter sizes range from 1-14 puppies.

Estimating how much a Bernese Mountain Dog would need to be fed each day

A bitch or dog weighing 50kgs will require around 509gms of complete dry food daily. A bitch or dog weighing 50kgs will cost around £12.50 per week to feed. Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment