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Bernese Mountain Dog Personality Traits

Bernese mountain dog

Friendly is the word that comes to mind when talking about Bernese Mountain Dog personality traits. Bernese Mountain Dogs were initially raised in the Swiss countryside to herd livestock, pull carts, do guard duty, and serve as loving family pets.

Though large and strong, these dogs are friendly and calm.

Bernese Mountain Dog personality traits

Inexperienced dog owners may be drawn to this breed’s friendliness and eagerness to please, but they are not good for beginners for the following reasons:

  • Not easy to handle due to its high energy and large size.
  • Not suitable for life in a small apartment.
  • They shed a lot.
  • They drool, and you need to clean their faces occasionally.
  • They also tend to bark rather loudly due to their watchdog instincts.
  • Can chase smaller animals and engage in rough play.

Suitable for experienced owners

But with the care of an experienced owner, the Bernese Mountain Dog can grow up to be gentle, loving, and loyal friends. The Bernese may be right for you if you are able to:

  • Meet the exercise and activity needs of these high-energy dogs.
  • Keep them in a house with a large backyard or open space.
  • Tend to their grooming, training and health needs.


Bernese mountain dogs are huge, weighing 70-115 pounds and standing 23-27.5 inches high at the shoulder, with a friendly attitude and expressive dark brown eyes. Bernese mountain dog puppies even have the appearance of soft dog toys.

These strong dogs have a thick black coat and unique white and rust patterns on their faces. The smooth, medium-length coat can be straight or somewhat wavy.


The Bernese mountain dog is vigilant and kind. As working dogs, they appreciate the challenge of learning new things. Because of their huge size, they need to be obedience trained at a young age to make them good family companions.

The instinct to guard and work is still very strong in this breed. As a household pet, the Bernese will appreciate some physical activity and a task to do. They want to please you!

Living Requirements

Berners are best suited to colder climates due to their thick coats. 

Bernese mountain dogs appreciate having space to explore, so having a fenced-in yard and regular walks are necessary. Every day, at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or running is recommended.

This dog is a fantastic companion for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, and it can even pull children in carts. Tracking, agility, and herding are among the tasks that Bernese mountain dogs excel at.

Family Dog

A Bernese can be a great family dog and a loyal friend if it is socialized and trained from a young age.

Bernese can get along well with children and even welcome visitors if they are socialized early.Though they are good with children, they can sometimes accidentally knock down small children in their enthusiasm.

As mentioned earlier, they are not right for apartment living and require a fenced backyard to run around.

They enjoy being part of family activities and are happiest when interacting with other members of their household. If left alone, they might bite, dig, or chew.

The Bernese can also live with other pets, but due to their large size, it’s important to supervise the interactions and focus on early training and socialization.


As a working dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog takes well to training. However, it’s best to start training early along with socialization since the Berner can grow to become very large when fully mature.

The Bernese Mountain Dog matures slowly, both physically and mentally. They tend to behave like puppies for a while and attain adult weight and height when they are 2 or 3 years old.

Avoid harsh training methods with the Bernese, as you can easily hurt their feelings.


The Bernese have a short life span of 7 to 10 years, and there are health problems because of inbreeding within the relatively small gene pool of the breed.

It is not necessary that all Bernese should get any or all of the diseases, but it’s good to be aware of the potential health issues before getting one for your home.

Cancer is one of the disorders that might affect the health of a Bernese mountain dog. They are also susceptible to a few ailments typically found in large dogs, such as elbow and hip dysplasia, blood issues, and eye problems.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, often known as bloat, is a gastrointestinal ailment that occurs when air accumulates in the stomach, causing it to twist. Bloat can be fatal and necessitates immediate surgery. Owners should talk to their vet about the risks of these diseases and how to keep them from getting worse.

Veterinary Care

You could end up with expensive vet bills due to the breed’s health problems.


The Bernese shed moderately throughout the year and heavily during spring and fall.


You should feed the Bernese a diet that is right for a large, active dog with a lot of energy.

Consult your veterinarian or nutritionist in order to determine the proper diet and amount of food to give your Bernese. The dietary needs will also vary based on the dog’s age: puppy, adult, and senior. 


  • Brushing several times throughout the week reduces the amount of dog hair around the house and keeps the coat healthy and mat-free.
  • Bathing every month or so will keep them clean.
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth at least twice a week is recommended if not everyday. 
  • Trim your dog’s nails once in a month to prevent rips. 
  • Every week, you should check your pet’s ears for redness or a smell, which could be signs of an infection.
  • Make grooming a happy experience full of praise and rewards, and you’ll set the stage for smooth veterinarian tests as well as other care when they’re an adult.


Berners require room to walk about and play because of their large bodies and modest amounts of energy. Daily moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walks, hikes, and fetch games, should last at least 30 minutes.

Given their high level of athleticism, Berners may participate in canine sports including obedience, agility, tracking, and carting. They will benefit from the mental and physical challenge provided by this.

High ownership cost

The cost of obtaining and maintaining a Bernese Mountain Dog as a pet is relatively high. Both their food costs and health insurance premiums can be expensive.

As a large breed of dog and due to some of the health concerns you may end up paying more for insurance and vet services. 


Bernese Mountain Dogs personality traits are endearing to say the least. Loving and good natured, these gentle giants can be the ideal family dog. They are also good with children due to their calmness and willingness to play.

If you have the space and the financial means to care for a Bernese Mountain Dog then you should definitely go for one. The important thing is to be aware of the breed and their requirements before taking the plunge.