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Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain DogBernese Mountain DogBernese Mountain DogA Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner Sennenhund).13-week old Bernese Mountain Dog enjoying the snow
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Bernese Mountain Dog Facts

Common Name:
Most widely used name for this species
Bernese Mountain Dog
The area where the animal first came from
Average Size:
The average length (L) or height (H) of the animal
68cm (27in)
Average Weight:
The average measurement of how heavy the animal is
40kg (88lbs)
Average Lifespan:
The average time the animal lives for
8 years
The domestic group such as cat or dog
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, White, Tan
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
The way the animal thinks, behaves or reacts
Intelligent, friendly and alert
The level of house-training needed for the animal
Should be trained from an early age due to their large size

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Bernese Mountain Dog Location

Map of Bernese Mountain Dog Locations
Map of Europe

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese temperament is a very are affectionate, loyal, faithful, stable and intelligent dog that is native to the mountains of Switzerland. The majority of Bernese are very friendly towards people, and animals including other dogs. The Bernese mountain dog is thought to be easy to train, provided the owner is patient and consistent in training as Bernese tend to need time to think things through. The Bernese mountain dog has a very nature meaning that they often get along well with other pets such as cats, and horses and small children.

The Bernese mountain dog is known not respond well to harsh treatment, however Bernese are very willing and eager to please their master. Bernese love to be encouraged with praise and treats and this gorgeous breed is very sweet and good with children, despite their great size. Overall, they are very stable in temperament, patient, and loving.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are quirky, loving dogs, craving love and affection. They love to lean against people, sit on their feet, or lie down under their legs while people are sitting.

The Bernese mountain dog is part of the Sennenhund family of dogs that include the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, all of which are similar in colour and temperament but vary in size. The Sennenhund dogs were originally used to assist in general farmwork but they are also used as mountain rescue dogs in some areas of the Swiss mountains today.

The Bernese mountain dog is one of the largest breeds of dog, with the average adult Bernese mountain dog growing to between 50 and 70 cm high. The Bernese mountain dog has a very distinctive tri-coloured coat, that is black, white and tan. It is said that the mark of well-bred Bernese is the horse-shoe shaped white marking that straddles its nose.

Bernese mountain dogs have a lower average lifespan when compared to other dog breeds that are a similar size. The average lifespan of a Bernese is approximately 8 years, where the average lifespan of a similar breeds tends to be around 11 years. The main causes of mortality in the Bernese breed are thought to be cancer and bone problems, such as hip-displacement and arthritis.

The Bernese mountain dog needs lots of exercise and loves to spend time outside. Owners should also be aware that due to the long, thick coat of the Bernese, they should be groomed regularly to keep it in good condition.

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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]