Breed of the Week: Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dog

Before I met Mike, I had never heard of Bernese Mountain Dogs before. Now I hear or see photos of them almost every day! I think it is time for us all to find out why he is so obsessed with this dog breed.


Bernese Mountain Dogs originally hails from Bern in Switzerland. They are closelyĀ related to other SwissĀ mountainĀ dog breeds;Ā Greater Swisse, Appenzeller & Entlebucher. All four of the breeds have the distinctive tri-colour markings, being mostly black but with rust and white markings. They were bred as all-around farm dogs, helped to herd cattle in the mountains, and even pulled carts. Carting competitions are still held.

Bernese are popular as family dogs in German-speakingĀ areas and their popularity has been growing rapidly in the USA, Canada and Australia.


Weight: from 35kg up to 55kg

Colour: Distinctive tri-colour (black/rust/white)

Life Expectancy: 7-8 years

Positive Points about Bernese Mountain Dogs

  • generally considered good-natured, placid and docile.
  • as working dogs, they need exercise, but not huge amounts and generally low intensity
  • patient and affectionate with children and other pets
  • always look like they are smiling at you!
  • intelligent and easy to train

Drawbacks of Bernese Mountain Dogs

  • you only get on average 7-8 years to spend together
  • continuallyĀ shedding – heaviest with the change of seasons.
  • with a double coat designed for the mountains, overheating occurs easily

Common health issues

  1. Almost double the death rate due to cancer of dogs on average
  2. Prone to arthritis, hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament rupture. Arthritis can start to occur by 4 years of age.
  3. Ear infections

Instafamous Aussies Bernese

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Written by Doug Spiegelhauer
Doug never had a dog growing up but as soon as he stopped moving around knew he needed a dog in his life. Enter Snoop the Beagle. Doug worked for 7 years designing and making dog treats and food for some of Australia's best brands. Now a Co-Founder of Scratch Pet Food.