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BaxterBoo Blog
February 8, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Bernese Mountain Dog

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  • Height: 23"- 28”
  • Weight: 80-110 pounds
  • Historical function: Draft work, herding
  • Modern function: Tracking, herding, watch, guarding, search and rescue, carting and competitive obedience.
  • AKC classification: Working

Physical Characteristics:

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, heavy dog with a long, distinctive tricolored coat. The base is black, and the other markings are symmetrical. The chest is white, as are the toes, the tip of the tale, and, ideally, a horseshoe shape on the face. The rust markings are featured on the cheeks reaching to the corners of the mouth, over each eye, on each side of the chest, on all four legs and underneath the tail.

History of the Breed:

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog developed in the midland regions of Switzerland, mostly around the city of Berne. They would accompany cattle out to pasture, but weren't used for herding over large ranges. They were watchful of the property, and may have been used for cart pulling.


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a cheerful, intelligent dog that loves children and makes a delightful companion that is not overly dominant. They mature slowly, so calm confident leadership works well here. They are good natured and sensitive.

  • Best suited for: Although fairly inactive indoors, Bernese Mountain Dogs do best with a large yard.
  • Preferred living conditions: These dogs prefer cooler climates and to have a job with mental and physical stimulation.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: If you are not tolerant of dog hair, this probably isn't the breed for you. Regular brushing required, moderate to heavy shedding.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk,
  • Life expectancy: Only 6-7 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to cancer

Breed Club Links: Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America Perfect Pairings: Any of our good brushes, but probably a FURminator!

Have any stories about a Bernese Mountain Dog? Please share!

Photo courtesy of 4Neus.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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