Know about The Bernese Mountain dog

 Bernese Mountain dog

Bernese Mountain dog

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The Bernese Mountain dog, also known as the Berner Sennenhund in German is one of the breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs. This mountain dog was initially kept as a general farm dog. Previously, Sennenhunde were also used as draft animals to pull carts. The breed was officially established in 1907. In 1937, the American Kennel Club recognized it as a member of the Working Group.



The dog was used for almost all purposes such as drive dairy cattle, guarding property etc. This breed was initially known as the Dürrbächler.  In 1900s, fanciers displayed the few instances of the large dogs at some shows in Berne. By 1910, there were almost 107 members of the breed who were registered. There is a photograph  of a working Bernese Mountain Dog, of the date 1905 at the Fumee Fall rest area in Quinnesec, MI.



Four breeds of Sennenhund

The four breeds of Sennenhund are:

  • Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss mountain dog)
  • Berner Sennenhund ( Bernese mountain dog)
  • Appenzeller Sennenhund  (Appenzeller)
  • Entlebucher Sennenhund ( Entlebucher mountain dog)


Like Sennenhunde, the Bernese mountain dog is black with white chest and has rust coloured markings over eyes, front of legs and sides of mouth. It is a huge, heavy dog with a unique tri-coloured coat. A “Swiss kiss”, a white mark located behind the neck, but may be a part of the neck. The AKC breed has blue eye colour and any ground colour other than black.


Height and weight ranges

Height for male: 25–27.5 in (64–70 cm) and for female: 23–26 in (58–66 cm).

Weight for male: 85–125 lb (39–57 kg) and for female: 80–120 lb (36–54 kg).

Build and proportions

The Bernese mountain dog is a highly muscular dog and is slightly longer than it is tall.



According to the breed standard for the Bernese mountain dog the dogs should not be aggressive or distinctly shy, but should be placid towards strangers and docile. Bernese need exercise and activities; usually outdoor dogs, though well-behaved in the house. They do not have a great deal of endurance. They can move with astonishing bursts of speed for their size when motivated. Bernese mountain dogs are very affectionate, happy and patient.

Bernese Mountain Dog

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Medical problems

The leading cause of health issue which cause to death is Cancer as they have a higher rate of fatal cancer than others. The different types of cancer which they suffer are lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumour, malignant histiocytosis, fibrosarcoma and osteosarcoma. Several other inherited medical issues that these dogs go through are malignant histiocytosis, progressive retinal atrophy, hypomyelinogenesis and possibly hypoadrenocorticism and cataracts. The dog is easily prone to histiocytic sarcoma, which is a cancer of the muscle tissue and it is very aggressive, mostly in large dogs.


Owners have to be three times more likely than others in reporting muscular or skeletal issues in their dogs. The most usually reported musculoskeletal issues are about hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, arthritis and osteochondritis.

Life expectancy

They do not live for more compared to others of similar size. The average life expectancy is about 10 to 12 years, but it has significantly decreased to 6 to 8 years. Most other breeds of a similar size have a median life span of 10 to11 years.




They have a calm nature which makes natural for pulling wagons or smart carts. With adequate training they enjoy giving children rides in a cart or participating in a parade. They shed almost for the full year but the heaviest shedding is when seasonal changes occur. They need only one bath in some months depending upon its activities. Special attention is needed to take care of ears of the dog, as they can trap dirt, bacteria and liquid easily.

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