Most people recognize the Bernese Mountain Dog easily. The face of a Berner (Bernese Mountain Dog) is striking and unforgettable. The dogs massive size also makes him a head turner. Truly, the Bernese Mountain Dog is stunning to say the least.



Originating in Switzerland, the Berner is one of four Swiss mountain dogs. The largest being the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, followed by the Bernese Mountain Dog, then Appenzeller Mountain Dog, and the smallest is the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. The Berner is the most popular of these dogs in the United States. The Berner was used for a variety of purposes and was considered the all-purpose farm dog. The Berner pulled large carts, drove cattle long distances from farm to mountain pastures, and watched over the property and livestock. Berners descend from mastiff type dogs brought over by the Romans some 2,000 years ago. Those dogs were then bred with the local dogs and performed duties around the farm. When the need for the Bernese Mountain Dog began to die out as the age of industrialization and automation came in the breed was close to extinction. At the beginning of the 20th century the Bernese Mountain Dog began to revive as a companion dog and the lifestyle suits him.



Often it is assumed that the Bernese Mountain Dog is a couch potato or teddy bear type due to the breed’s large size and patient demeanor. Do not be fooled. The Berner though not hyper, is strong and muscular, reminiscent of his days climbing mountains and pulling loads. When given the opportunity to grow physically and develop muscles the Bernese is a tough and hardy dog that can withstand extreme cold. Give the Bernese Mountain Dog space to exercise and walks that get him out and about so that he does not become destructive. Hiking or working on a farm are great ways to utilize the power of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

The Bernese Mountain Dog does well with children as an adult. However, due to the breed’s size it can be dangerous to leave one with children, especially a young Bernese Mountain Dog that still loves to run and nip and play. The Berner can lean on the side of shyness and is often afraid of loud or shrill noises. The Bernese can remain puppy-like until 3 years old.

Be sure to train your Bernese Mountain Dog early on. The Berner will grow fast and if not properly trained, will become imposing with bad manners and habits. Puppy classes are highly recommended.

A mature and well trained Bernese Mountain Dog should be calm, patient, and loving. He makes a good watchdog, but should never act aggressively.



The Bernese Mountain Dog would do well in a home where he can be a farm dog, as he was meant to be. This would provide him with adequate exercise, a job to do, and a family to love and protect. You can still raise a happy healthy Berner without a farm if you can provide the necessities for your dog. The Berner is also an excellent hiking partner and master at navigating rough terrain. Many hikers have found a wonderful partner in the Bernese Mountain Dog. Find an outlet or job for your Bernese Mountain Dog and you will have a happy dog who wants to please you.


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