These lovable dogs are built for hard labor. However, they are also gorgeous animals. Bernese mountain dogs, or Berners, have a calm demeanor and love to go for a hike or walk with their humans. If you have a Berner or plan to get one, you quickly find out what it’s like to be the center of someone’s world.


Bernese mountain dogs stand up to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. Their long coats consist of thick, silky strands of white, black and rust-colored fur. A white blaze on the chest, light brown markings above the eyes and other markings distinguish the breed. Plus, many owners believe their Berners carry themselves with nobility.

These highly intelligent dogs love the cold weather, which makes sense since they originate from Swiss farmlands. Although these dogs react gently toward the entire family, they often attach more deeply to one person. However, they usually remain reserved around strangers.

Temperament and Upkeep

Bernese Mountain Dogs go through a typical adolescent stage but then calm down as they mature. These devoted, loyal and gentle dogs make great companions for children.

Berners require moderate exercise daily and respond well to leash walking. Brushing out the coat at least once a week can help your pet stay comfortable in hot weather.

Health Considerations

  • Major concerns: canine hip dysplasia, mast cell tumor, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion
  • Minor concerns: entropion, ectropion, cataract, subvalvular aortic stenosis
  • Suggested tests: elbow, eye, cardiac, hip
  • Life span: up to 9 years
  • Prone to heatstroke