That Beautiful Gently Giant – The Bernese Mountain Dog

By Ruth Bird

The Bernese Mountain Dog belongs to the working group of dogs. In general, the working breeds are known for their intelligence and hardiness. The Bernese is a herding and draft dog. These dogs love the challenge of learning anything new. This dog is a surefire reason for dog obedience training. If you do not train this dog, you will have a very hard time to control it when walking. It’s sheer strength will oudo you in no time. Before you commit to this gentle giant of a dog, get a list of dog breeds and look through to make sure this is what you want.

AKC Ranking: 47

Family: Mountain Dog. Mastiff

Origin: Switzerland

Today’s function: herding

Also known as the Bernese Cattle Dog

A little bit of history:

This is the only mountain dog that has long silky hair. I read in one book that this dog can be traced back to the invasion of the Roman in Switzerland. The Roman cross bread their mastiff with the cattle dogs of Switzerland.

This dog is strong enough to withstand the cold weather and was strong enough to serve as a draft dog.

Being close to extinction, these dogs were found in the valleys of the lower Alps. Through the efforts of Dr. Heim these dogs were promoted throughout Switzerland and Europe. The first Bernese came to America in 1926 and they were granted recognition in the AKC in 1937.

Their Character

The Bernese is an easygoing, calm family dog. A Bernese dog is very sensitive and loyal and totally devoted to its family. It is also very good and gentle with children. They can be reserved with strangers. They do get along with other dogs and pets. They hate to be isolated from family activities.

The Bernese is know to mature slowly. They need firm training, but not harsh training because they are a very gently, playful, slow to mature breed. They just do not want to grow up.


Obviously, this is the kind of dog that enjoys the outdoors, and, the colder it is the better they like it. They need daily exercise, but it can be moderate exercise. This dog does not do well as an outside dog. It needs to be involved with its family.

Its coat does need brushing twice a week. Lifespan: 6-9 years.

Please make a note. These dogs can get heat stroke very easy and quickly, care must be taken in the heat.

They weigh about 90 – 120 pounds and are 25- 28 inches tall.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a little bit longer than it is tall. It is a sturdy large dog. Surprisingly it has good strength, speed and agility.

It has a soft and gentle expression and a most beautiful color. This is truly a majestic looking dog.

Ruth is actively involved in using the internet for promotion, and she finds it very exciting. Her passions pet health and dog training. She is a wife, a stepmom a dog owner and a business person. She is married for almost 30 years to Chris who has been, and still is, battling the monster MS. Two of her dogs are Certified Therapy Dogs. She is currently working from her home. Her Home Blog Her Dog Training Page

Her Pet Blog

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