How Much is a Bernese Mountain Dog? What is the True Cost of Ownership?

Animals that Sweat - Dogs
© Eve Photography/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alan Lemus

Updated: July 3, 2023

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Pet ownership is an expensive life choice that requires not only your time but money. While there’s nothing that could be possibly better than returning home after a long day to your dog’s priceless love and companionship, the financial commitment is a necessary part of giving your furry friend the best possible care. 

Data recorded by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) shows that Americans spend an average of $1,480 on their dog’s basic expenses annually. From monthly expenses to toys to dog food and treats, the cost of caring for your dog quickly adds up and should not be underestimated. 

Of course, you have to take your pooch on routine veterinary visits. The cost is likely to increase as your dog ages, so you should consider getting pet insurance while your dog is healthy and young. You could also set up an emergency fund for unexpected health emergencies.

Looking to adopt, foster, or buy a dog? Keep in mind that breeders charge higher for some pedigree dogs compared to animal shelters. The size and breed of some dogs should be considered. Some breeds, such as Chow Chow, Neapolitan Mastiff, English Bulldog, and Bernese Mountain Dog, have a high cost of ownership due to their natural tendency for a variety of health issues.

Larger dogs will cost significantly more to maintain on a monthly basis than smaller breeds due to their higher food consumption and more frequent medical needs. On the other hand, smaller dogs have longer lifespans. Thus, the lifetime cost of owning one tends to be higher than that of a larger breed.

Dogs are expensive, regardless of the breed, size, or shelter facility, and this is especially true for first-time dog parents. When you first get your dog, you have to buy things like leashes, crates, food, and water bowls.

Unless your dog chews or outgrows them, you won’t have to replace items like leashes or toys annually. Your dog might require new medications or booster shots every few years if they get sick or catch a cold. 

Be prepared to spend money on pet sitters or boarding facilities if you travel regularly. Paying a dog walker to exercise your dog will increase your expenses if you’re often busy.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a good-natured working-dog affectionately referred to as “Berner.” They originated from the city of Berne in Switzerland where they assisted with farming tasks, like guarding fields and farms on mountains.  Large and powerful Berners can pull carts, herd cattle, and serve as guard dogs

Named after the city of Berne, this breed descended from Roman Mastiffs and is one of four current species of Swiss mountain dogs. The Berner is distinguished by its longer and silkier coat. The other three species of Swiss mountain dogs are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and Appenzeller Mountain Dog.

They are adored for their gentle, easy-going temperament and love of their families, especially children. They also enjoy downtime with their families.

With their high level of trainability, Bernese mountain dogs can be socialized and open to meeting strangers. They are eager to please, fairly playful, and highly affectionate.

They’re a large-sized breed that weighs between 70 and 115 pounds and stands 23-27.5 inches tall at the shoulders. Puppies of Bernese mountain dogs even resemble stuffed animals!

These large pups are tricolored. They have some thick black fur on their body and a distinctive face pattern of white and rust. 

When compared to many other breeds, Bernese mountain dogs have relatively short lifespans, so keep that in mind before bringing one home. The Berner is susceptible to specific hereditary conditions including cancer, a blood disorder, and hip and elbow dysplasia.

Animals that Sweat - Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are wonderful, affectionate, and intelligent dogs.

©Eve Photography/Shutterstock.com

What’s the Price of Bernese Mountain Dogs?

Berners are one of the most popular and expensive dog breeds. Perhaps, they are often in demand because of their friendly disposition and trainability. A Berner puppy usually costs between $1,200 and $3,000 to purchase from a qualified breeder.

It’s important to note that the average cost of this breed varies considerably depending on the dog’s age, pedigree, gender, and breeder’s track record.

Puppies typically cost more than older dogs, just like with any other dog breed. If you don’t lead an active lifestyle, a senior dog is usually the best choice and even more affordable.

A Bernese Mountain dog’s price is definitely influenced by its genetics. Expect to pay more if it comes from a distinguished lineage. Do you know the best part? Your investment will be worthwhile since you can be sure that your dog inherited the best traits from its parents.

Surely, it will cost you more money to get a Bernese Mountain Dog from a reputable breeder as opposed to a backyard breeder or a puppy mill. Major kennel clubs certify reputable breeders, and they have years of proven experience.

The relatively high cost of Bernese Mountain Dog breeders reflects the quality of breeding, grooming expenses, and training of this dog. 

Adopting from a rescue group or animal shelter is a sure way to get this dog affordably and more ethically. This will cost you between $350 and $550 and includes vaccinations, check-ups, and the neutering/spaying of your Bernese Mountain Dog. 

The decision to adopt a dog from a shelter might carry some risks. On one hand, you can make significant financial savings. However, the history of these dogs is usually unknown. They might not have received the proper care when they were puppies, which increases their likelihood of developing behavioral and health issues later on. However, it is better to adopt your dog instead of buying them so you can rescue a dog that otherwise might be put down or grow old in a shelter, alone. There are many shelter dogs that need a loving home.

Initial Setup and Supplies for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

There are expenses associated with owning a Bernese Mountain dog for the first time. They include pet care supplies and other essentials that will aid the dog’s transition to a new home.

We have compiled a list of essential items for your Berner to feel at home.

Food and Water Bowls

Usually, these range in price from $15 – $35. Stainless steel dog feeding bowls are advised over plastic ones because they are rust-proof, more durable, last longer, and are better for the environment.

Dog bed

You can invest $50- $110 on a dog bed to provide your Bernese Mountain Dog with the maximum level of comfort while they sleep. Dog beds give your dog a comfortable place to rest while also preventing breed-specific conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia.

Dog Food and Treats

Make sure your Berner dog has access to a nutrient-rich and balanced diet that supports slow, steady growth, which reduces the risk of joint problems and other problems. To get this, you may have to pay $100-$120. While you try different wet and dry dog food to find your dog’s preference, get expert recommendations from your veterinarian. Ensure that your dog doesn’t overeat and gain weight as a result of treats and other extra food.

Toys

Chew toys, which can be bought for $30- $50, support the development of teeth and the overall oral health of your dog. They also serve as a safer option to real bones.

Leashes and Collars

With their medium exercise needs, Bernese mountain dogs can benefit from an active lifestyle. You can get a good leash and collar between  $15 and $40 for when you want to go on walks with your Berner.

Dog Crate

This helps to control curious and active dogs. For a large breed like the Bernese Mountain Dog, a crate will run you anywhere from $60 to $500. Additionally, this can be used to housetrain your Berner and encourage positive behavior.

Bernese Mountain Dog puppies in snow

Bernese Mountain Dogs are easily trainable and are great with children.

©iStock.com/vetdoctor

Grooming essentials

This dog’s coat sheds a lot, especially in the spring and fall. Brush your dog thoroughly at least once a week to remove loose fur. Check their ears for any dirt as well as redness, swelling, or odor.

You can save money on dog grooming by keeping items like a dog brush, a nail trimmer, a toothbrush, and dog shampoo on hand. These can range in price from $40 to $180.

Other items include:

  • Initial vaccine shots: $75-200
  • Deworming, flea, and tick medications: $50-200
  • Initial vet visits: $100-300
  • Dog License: $10-20
  • Neutering and Spaying: $50-500
  • Microchip: $40-60
  • Miscellaneous supplies: $15–30

Having a Bernese Mountain Dog will cost you the sums listed above just as an initial investment. It does not include the expenditure costs of supplies your dog will require as they develop.

Annual Cost of Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog

As you work out the possible cost of owning a Berner, you should have an idea of the annual breakdown of maintenance expenses. Also, you should consider shopping for high-quality items that are durable.

  • Leashes and collars: $30-50
  • Dog bed and crate: $160-$230
  • Food and treats: $900–1,200
  • Toys: $30–150
  • Pet insurance: $800–1,500
  • Grooming kit: $200–500
  • Routine veterinary visits: $200–400
  • Deworming, flea, and tick medications: $150–250
  • Vaccinations: $80–250
  • Miscellaneous supplies: $30–50
  • Other potential costs including doggy daycare, dog walking and training: $190-290

Conclusion

Do you have what it takes to care for a Bernese Mountain Dog? As a responsible dog parent, you must be fully capable of keeping your Berner safe and healthy.

Keep in mind that having a Bernese Mountain Dog is an ongoing full-time commitment. You must be able to pay for the puppy as well as upkeep costs such as high-quality food and medical treatment.

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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