Bernese Mountain Dog Care: Diet, Health, and Training Tips

Bernese Mountain Dog

Learn about the friendly Bernese Mountain Dog, from their playful nature to their dietary needs, common health concerns, and effective training methods.

Coat Type: Double
Coat Length: Medium
Male Height: 25-27.5 inches
Female Height: 23-26 inches
Male Weight: 80-115 pounds
Female Weight: 70-95 pounds
Life Expectancy: 7-10 years

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability level
Affectionate with family
Drooling level
Barking level
Coat grooming frequency
Energy level
Good with other dogs
Good with young children
Mental stimulation needs
Openness to strangers
Playfulness level
Shedding level
Trainability level
Watchdog protective nature


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the cherished Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed that has captured the hearts of families and dog enthusiasts around the globe. Renowned for their striking appearance and amiable nature, these gentle giants are as versatile as they are affectionate, excelling as both loyal companions and diligent workers.

In this guide, we delve into the world of Bernese Mountain Dogs, offering insights into their traits, care, and training that are essential for any potential or current owner. Whether you're curious about their behavior, wondering about the best ways to train them, or seeking advice on their general care, our article is designed to keep you engaged and informed. Join us as we uncover the secrets to nurturing a healthy and happy Bernese Mountain Dog, ensuring these lovable pets lead a fulfilling life by your side.

Bernese Mountain Dogs Traits and Characteristics

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their majestic appearance and friendly disposition, making them a beloved breed among families and dog enthusiasts worldwide. These gentle giants are as affectionate and loyal as they are robust and sturdy, embodying an ideal balance between a working dog's strength and a companion's warmth.

  • Affectionate with family: These dogs have a deep bond with their families and are known to show a lot of love and loyalty to their human companions.
  • Good with young children: Their gentle nature makes them excellent companions for children, often being patient and protective.
  • Good with other dogs: They tend to be sociable and can get along well with other canine friends.
  • Shedding level: Owners should be prepared for a fair amount of shedding as these dogs have a thick, double coat.
  • Coat grooming frequency: To keep their coat in good condition, regular brushing a few times a week is recommended.
  • Drooling level: They can be moderate droolers, especially after drinking water or when they're hoping for a treat.
  • Coat type: The breed has a double coat, with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat for insulation.
  • Coat length: The medium-length coat is tricolored, typically featuring a striking black base with white and rust markings.
  • Openness to strangers: Generally friendly towards strangers, making them less suitable as guard dogs but great for a social family environment.
  • Playfulness level: These dogs enjoy playtime and can be quite playful, but their size means they need to be monitored around smaller children and pets.
  • Watchdog/protective nature: They have a moderate protective instinct and can be alert watchdogs.
  • Adaptability level: They are adaptable and can adjust to various living situations if they have enough space and exercise.
  • Trainability level: Intelligent and eager to please, they respond well to consistent training.
  • Energy level: They possess a good amount of energy for play and work, requiring regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.
  • Barking level: They are not excessive barkers, but will bark to alert their owners of something unusual.
  • Mental stimulation needs: Mental engagement through training and play is important to keep them from becoming bored.
  • Size: Males typically range from 25-27.5 inches in height and weigh 80-115 pounds, while females stand about 23-26 inches tall and weigh 70-95 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: A Bernese Mountain Dog's life span is usually between 7-10 years.

These traits form a snapshot of the Bernese Mountain Dog's personality and physical characteristics. Their majestic presence combined with a friendly and calm demeanor makes them a cherished breed for those who can accommodate their size and exercise needs.

Food and Nutrition - Keeping Bernese Mountain Dogs Healthy

Bernese Mountain Dogs, like all breeds, require a balanced diet that meets their specific nutritional needs to maintain their health and vitality. As large and energetic dogs, they need high-quality dog food that provides the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

A nutrient-rich diet supports their muscular build and high energy levels, ensuring they have the stamina for daily activities. Foods that are specifically formulated for large breeds can be particularly beneficial, as they cater to the unique requirements of bigger dogs.

In addition to regular meals, it's important to incorporate healthy treats that can aid in training and dental hygiene. Our chew product, the Tibetan Dog Chew, is an excellent example of a treat that is not only natural and hand-crafted but also free from preservatives and high in protein.

While it's a fantastic complement to a Bernese Mountain Dog's diet, it should be understood that this chew is not a replacement for their main meals. It serves as a high-calorie dog treat that can satisfy their chewing instincts, which can help reduce anxiety and prevent destructive chewing behaviors.

When considering treats like our chew product, it is essential to remember that they are part of the overall diet and should be given in moderation. A balanced diet for Bernese Mountain Dogs should include measured portions of good dog food for their breed, ensuring they receive all the necessary nutrients without overfeeding.

Treats should be factored into the daily calorie intake to prevent obesity, which can lead to common health problems in the breed. Monitoring their food intake and ensuring they receive a variety of nutrients will support their longevity and quality of life.

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Health Information of Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are magnificent creatures that bring joy to their families, but like all breeds, they come with specific health concerns that owners should be aware of. With a life expectancy of 7-10 years, it is crucial to be proactive in managing their health to ensure they live full, vibrant lives. Here are some common health issues along with care tips to help these lovely dogs maintain their well-being:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia: These are common conditions in larger breeds where the joints may develop improperly, which can lead to arthritis or lameness. Maintaining a healthy weight and proper nutrition can help manage these conditions.
  • Cancer: Sadly, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a higher risk of certain types of cancer. Early detection through regular veterinary check-ups can be life-saving.
  • Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus): This serious condition affects many large, deep-chested breeds. Preventive measures include feeding smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding vigorous exercise around feeding times.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): An eye condition that can lead to blindness, regular eye exams are recommended to catch any signs early.
  • Heart diseases: As with many large breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be prone to various heart conditions, so regular veterinary monitoring is important.

To support the health of Bernese Mountain Dogs, incorporating antler chews can be beneficial. These chews are known for being long-lasting and can aid in dental hygiene by helping to reduce plaque and tartar build-up. Chewing is a natural behavior that can also promote mental well-being by providing mental stimulation and reducing stress.

In addition to these specific concerns, general dog health tips for Bernese Mountain Dogs include:

  • Regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and support joint health.
  • Consistent grooming to manage their thick coats and reduce shedding.
  • Mental stimulation to prevent boredom and anxiety, which can manifest in destructive behaviors.
  • Routine veterinary care, including vaccinations, parasite prevention, and health screenings.

Owners should always be vigilant for any signs of illness and seek professional veterinary help immediately if there are any concerns about their Bernese Mountain Dog's health. Early intervention is often key to successful treatment and the longevity of these loving companions.

How To Train and Care Bernese Mountain Dogs

Training Bernese Mountain Dogs can be a rewarding experience due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. It is important to start training early using positive reinforcement techniques, which encourage good behavior by rewarding it with treats, praise, or play.

Consistency and patience are key in training, as they help the dog understand what is expected of them. Short, frequent training sessions are more effective than longer, less frequent ones, as they keep the dog's attention and reduce the likelihood of frustration for both the dog and the trainer.

Our Puffs products can be excellent training aids for Bernese Mountain Dogs. These treats, which contain the same natural ingredients as the Tibetan Dog Chew, such as yak and cow milk, salt, and lime juice, are a healthy way to motivate dogs during training sessions.

Since they are high in protein and low in fat, they can be used frequently without worrying about the dog's calorie intake. The size and texture of the Puffs make them convenient for training as they can be quickly given as a reward for following a command, and their tastiness helps to maintain the dog's focus and interest in the training task at hand.

When using treats like our Puffs products, it's important to incorporate them as part of the dog's overall diet and not to overfeed. As with any treat, they should be given in moderation to prevent weight gain.

Along with regular treats, it's essential to provide routine care, including exercise, grooming, and regular vet check-ups, to keep your Bernese Mountain Dog healthy and happy. Remember to always use commands clearly and consistently, and to end training sessions on a positive note, ensuring your dog remains enthusiastic about learning.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bernese Mountain Dogs

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs good family pets?

Yes, they are excellent family pets. They are known for being affectionate with family members, good with young children, and friendly with other pets.

How much exercise do Bernese Mountain Dogs need?

They require regular exercise to maintain their health and energy level. Daily walks and play sessions are recommended, along with activities that stimulate them mentally and physically.

What are the best training methods for Bernese Mountain Dogs?

Positive reinforcement methods work best, as they respond well to treats, praise, and play when they exhibit good behavior. Consistency in commands and routines is also important for effective training.

How often should I groom my Bernese Mountain Dog?

Regular grooming is essential due to their medium-length, double coat. Brushing a few times a week helps manage shedding and prevents matting.

Can Bernese Mountain Dogs adapt to living in apartments?

While they can adapt to various living situations, they do best in homes with more space due to their size and energy level.

What are common health issues in Bernese Mountain Dogs?

Some common issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, bloat, progressive retinal atrophy, and heart diseases. Regular vet visits and awareness of these conditions are crucial.

What kind of food should I feed my Bernese Mountain Dog?

They should be fed high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs. Foods formulated for large breeds are often suitable. Treats should be given in moderation and factored into their overall diet.

How do I deal with my Bernese Mountain Dog's chewing behavior?

Provide them with durable chew toys or treats like our Puffs products to satisfy their chewing instincts. This can help prevent destructive chewing and support dental health.

How can I prevent my Bernese Mountain Dog from gaining too much weight?

Monitor their diet, provide balanced nutrition, and ensure they get enough exercise. Treats should be given as part of their diet but not in excess.

Should I be concerned about barking with a Bernese Mountain Dog?

They are not known for excessive barking, but they will bark to alert their owners of something unusual. Training can help manage their barking behavior.

Remember, these are general care questions, and each dog is unique. Always consult with a veterinarian for advice tailored to your specific dog's needs.


This article shares information about dog breeds for educational purposes only, using the American Kennel Club (AKC) as our main source because they're experts on dog breeds. But remember, every dog is unique. What we share might not fit every single dog, even if they are from the same breed. If your dog needs help, whether it's for health or behavior, it's always best to talk to a vet or a dog trainer. They can give advice that fits your pet's specific needs.

We want to help you learn about dogs and how to take care of them, but we can't replace professional advice. Always check with a professional if you're not sure about something to make sure your dog is healthy and happy.