Meet the breed: Bernese Mountain Dog

Oct 26, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Image: Rhonda Venezia Photographer/Moment Open/Getty Images

With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, finding the right dog can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. Find out everything you need to know about the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Breed

  • Good with kids
  • Working dog
  • Easy grooming
  • Pleasant temperament
  • Low maintenance

breeder

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Overview

With a natural knack for the working lifestyle, this gentle giant was made for heavy lifting. Bred to help farmers pull carts and drive livestock, the Bernese Mountain Dog has been known to carry upwards of 1000 pounds of weight. Today, most "Berners" excel at providing companionship and make excellent family pets, although they still prefer farm living with ample room to roam over city dwelling and tight quarters.

Bernese Mountain Dog breed standards

Is this breed right for you?

Calling all farmers, acreage owners and great outdoor enthusiasts: This breed thrives on open land, room to roam and work to pick up. Implied in this breed's name, the Bernese Mountain Dog was bred with a thick coat to sustain him in cold weather and a strong, muscular frame for hours of work and climbing. This people-oriented breed absolutely loves being around its human counterparts and protecting the little ones while they play. Although the Bernese Mountain Dog is low-maintenance in terms of grooming, you may opt to brush that thick coat regularly to control its constant shedding.

bernese mountain dog breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Bernese Mountain Dog

Rising early and taking in the cool brisk mountain air before heading to work on the farm starts the day off just right for the Bernese Mountain Dog. Pulling anything from kids to livestock, you'll often see this breed smiling with a cart in tow. Just be aware not to push his limits; due to his size the Bernese Mountain Dog is prone to hip and joint issues. A great companion and watchdog, a Berner's perfect day wouldn't be complete without love and hugs from his human family.

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