Dog Breeds

Bernese mountain dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog will attach not only to you, but also to your children – but be aware of the fact that the young Bernese Mountain Dog will not let you sit quietly on the sofa. As a watchful and perceptive dog, he is a good, not noisy guardian.


Bernese Mountain Dog has a moderate temperament, is balanced, cheerful and sociable. At a young age, spontaneous stability increases with his behavior over time.

Strongly attached to the owner and needs close contact, so do not leave him alone for a long time. It is also not suitable for keeping in the pen – he should be able to move freely around his area and have unlimited access to the house. Representatives of this breed are usually willing to comply. At the same time, bitches are more submissive and males more self-confident, which means they can be less disciplined.

Berneńczyk as a watchful and perceptive dog is a good, not noisy guardian. It is true that he does not guard the property with such commitment as a Caucasian Shepherd, but effectively scares off uninvited guests. He usually greets warmly with people he knows, he can keep a distance from strangers, but will accept them if they are welcome by the owners. Patient and forgiving dogs of this breed perfectly get along with kids of all ages. However, due to their size and strength, they should not be left alone with a few years old, because they may accidentally knock them over. Children should not go out alone with them for walks.

Generally, the Bernese relations with their brethren and other domestic animals are correctly arranged, although there are exceptions – the source of inappropriate behavior, however, is usually found in educational errors or a defective psyche.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is active and energetic. It requires a lot of movement, but it is not a competitive man, so hiking will be better than running by bike. An adult dog should be allowed up to several hours of walking a day. Bored and runaway can destroy objects at home or dig holes in the garden. Unfortunately, most Bernese people tend to collect waste. Sometimes they chase a cat or other animal on a walk.


Originally, Bernese Mountain Dogs were used as versatile farm dogs – they guarded, guarded cattle, pulled carts with milk or other goods. A modern representative of the breed is above all an excellent family dog. Some individuals work well in dogotherapy.

Due to the large size, they are rather unsuitable for sports where high maneuverability and speed are required, but you can successfully do obedience and dog trekking. Carting shows, i.e. pulling carts, are organized in some countries.

Training and education

He is an intelligent dog, willing to work with people. He doesn’t like idleness, he learns quickly and is happy to do exercises. We will achieve more in training the more consistent and systematic we are. The right motivation is also important – a treat, praise or fun with the owner. In turn, harsh treatment will cause the mentee to lose confidence in the guide.

Bernese mountain dog

The physical conditions and disposition of adult Bernese people allow them to be used to pull sleds or carry something in their mouths, e.g. a shopping basket. Puppies should be treated warmly, but not allowed – everything can lead to arbitrariness. As soon as possible, you need to start socializing and learning basic obedience. The toddler should visit busy and noisy places, meet other animals, people and situations that he may encounter in adult life. It is also worth taking advantage of the dog kindergarten classes.

In the period of intensive growth, it is better to limit the play of the Bernese with older brethren, and during the exchange of teeth do not stretch with the rope to avoid deformation of the bite.

Who is this race for?

Berneńczyk is an excellent family dog. It does not require much experience, but it is not suitable for family members. For proper development, he needs a consistent upbringing, a large amount of movement and putting tasks before him.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • quite expensive to maintain
  • has a tendency to collect waste
  • short-lived


  • excellent family dog
  • friendly towards people
  • gets along well with children
  • will work as a watchman
  • intelligent, eager to learn
  • you can do some dog sports with him
  • tolerant of kinsmen and other domestic animals


Dogs of this breed are durable and resistant to weather conditions. Although they are usually not disturbed by frost, snow or rain, long-lasting moisture (e.g. during spring thaws) in combination with cold can adversely affect their health. During the summer heat, provide them with a shaded, cooler place to rest and constant access to a bowl of water. Long walks and workouts are best done in the early morning.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is not a long-lived breed – it lives on average eight or ten years. Many quadrupeds do not even reach this age (a small percentage of the population survives over a dozen years). This is associated with a race-prone tendency to cancer that contributes to the premature death of a significant proportion of animals.

Bernese mountain dog

The most common are: histiocytosis – a genetically transmitted disease, as a result of which the body’s own cells are destroyed by cancer-modified histiocytes (cells of the immune system); hemangiosarcoma (angiosarcoma) – an aggressive, rapidly spreading disease that affects the blood vessels, which leads to the formation of tumors in almost every part of the body (usually in the spleen and heart); mastocytoma, i.e. a mast cell tumor – depending on its stage and location, it may have a benign or malignant course, metastasizing to many organs.

There is hip dysplasia (x-rays of the hip are required for farm animals – the acceptable result is A, B, C) and less often the elbow. Occasionally there are eye diseases – entropy (eyelid curl) and ectropium (dislocation) and sporadically – progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and retinal dysplasia (RD).

Sometimes osteochondrosis (OCD), enostosis (juvenile bone inflammation), gastric enlargement and torsion, ear inflammation and allergies of various causes occur. Epilepsy and degenerative myelopathy (DM) also appear – a disease that destroys the spinal cord.


Bernese men usually have an excellent appetite and easily gain weight, which is why they must not be overfed. The type of food should be adapted to the dog’s lifestyle and should not be served between meals. It is best to use good quality ready-made foods for large breeds with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin (this is the most appropriate way to raise a puppy until the end of growth).

We have to supplement ourselves with food prepared with calcium and vitamin preparations and protecting joints. During the period of intense molting, it is worth using specifics that accelerate the rebuilding of the coat and improve the condition of the skin, with the addition of unsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and -6). The daily portion for an adult dog is best divided into two smaller ones and give him rest after eating.


Bernese, who spend most of their time outside the house, molt twice a year: in spring and autumn. In bitches, hair loss can be associated with the sexual cycle. Dogs kept in flats usually lose their hair throughout the year. It can be cleaned quite easily – it is soft and does not stick to the ground.

A representative of this breed is enough to brush once a week (only during the replacement of the coat you need to do it more often) using a brush with a box with longer wires, as well as metal combs of different density. Particular attention should be paid to the coat behind the ears, on the neck, thighs (trousers) and tail, where smelt is formed. They should not be cut, but separated gently with fingers and combed (special preparations will facilitate this).

You can also use the hook trimmer during the molting period. After each walk outside the city, you need to remove turnips, grass blades, seeds from the hair.

Bernese drip as needed in shampoos for long-haired or hypoallergenic dogs for sensitive skin. It is also worth applying a conditioner or balm to your hair for a few minutes. After thorough rinsing and squeezing with a towel, it is recommended to use a dryer – the hair itself dries for a long time and creases. It should also be remembered in the summer, if the student swims daily. Humidity and high air temperatures that persist in heavy clothing can cause inflammation and skin diseases.

Regularly check your ears and teeth, cut the fur between the pads and shorten the claws if the dog does not rub them by itself. Preparation for the exhibition usually needs to be started a little earlier, although this is not the rule – it all depends on the dog’s condition and coat. Usually, a slight correction is made to the hair on the ears, paws, trousers and tail. Various tools are used for this – thinning scissors, razor, ordinary or hook trimmer – depending on the quality and quantity of the hair. It is best to take a Bernese fish a few days before the show.

Bernese mountain dog

During the molting period, a shampoo that optically increases the volume of the coat will be useful, while with a large amount of hair, one that will shine it will be better; conditioner is also used. Then thoroughly dry the dog with a dryer set at medium temperature, combing the coat with a thin metal brush in the direction of its growth. Antistatic fluid can be used before entering the ring.

We present the Bernese on a ring matched to the coat. It can be issued from freehand (without touching) or setting it accordingly (the choice of method depends on the dog’s temperament). From the puppy, you need to get used to the pupil for care, showing teeth, touching different parts of the body.


During walks in the city of Bernese we lead on a strong leash – at a young age many dogs of this breed exhibit strong pulling tendencies. You should use solid collars (those lined with dyed felt or made of artificially dyed leather may stain the white fur on the neck) or chains.

The toys should be large enough that the dog does not swallow them – balls, rubber and plush mascots, cotton cords, natural chews (smoked ears, tendons, masseurs) work.


The ancestors of the Bernese Mountain Dog should be sought among ancient molossus whose progenitor was the Tibetan dog. They have now arrived in Switzerland with Roman legions, which was confirmed by the archaeologists’ discovery of the clay lamp from Vindonissa, which showed the image of a long-haired dog with a wrapped tail. However, it was not possible to determine where the find really came from and what size the animal was depicted on it.

In turn, excavations carried out in the 1920s near the Lake Zurich (Zurichsee) discovered the skull of a dog from the Bronze Age, which resembled the skull of modern representatives of the breed. It is possible, therefore, that between 1000 and 600 BC, i.e. long before the Roman invasion, large quadrupeds of the Bernese type lived in these areas.

The first descriptions mention heavily built animals with a large head and usually a black coat. The color of the robe was associated with local superstitions – it was believed that black color chases away evil spirits, which is why most dogs kept by villagers had such fur. The proximity of the Alps and the cold climate meant that quadrupeds with long, thick bristles were preferred.

At the end of the 19th century, three-colored dogs appeared quite frequently in the Durrbach area. The owner of a local inn kept them to guard the bypass. Guests captivated by the beauty and intelligence of these quadrupeds willingly bought puppies from him. The popularity of this place meant that initially representatives of this breed were called durrbachlers. Earlier, terms such as gelbbachler (with yellow cheeks) or vieraugler – four-eyed (because of spots above the eyes) were used.

The lack of uniform breeding policy and the growing interest in Bernardine meant that the Bernese man almost became extinct. At the turn of the century, several breeders – including prof. Albert Heim, Max Sieber, Fritz Probst and Franz Schertenleib – started the planned breeding of Swiss breeds, including Bernese Mountain Dogs.

In 1902, Bernese people were shown at the exhibition for the first time, and five years later the Swiss Durrbachler Club was established, whose chairman was Fritz Probst, and prof. Albert Heim developed the first template. In 1913, the name Durrbachler was changed to Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain Dog).

Bernese mountain dog

At the end of the 1940s, breeders came to the conclusion that the then Bernese deviated significantly from their image of this breed and decided to introduce a selected black Newfoundland to the population once (this was meticulously planned, but at the time of mating there was no formal consent yet, so they appeared speculation about accidental mating).

This move resulted in a more stocky figure, slightly improved health and partly a Bernese character.

Bernese Mountain Dog in Poland

The first Bernese appeared in Poland in 1979. It was imported from the Czech Republic by Danuta Lonc (kennel Lon-Da), female Alona from Jihlavska, who in 1981 gave birth to the first litter, but her offspring did not have a major impact on the breeding.

Only brought from Germany by Ewa Urbanowicz (Gawra Bear kennel) Anja v. Rothenhubel and Artos vom Lessinghof initiated the development of the breed in our country.


Bernese Mountain Dog – group II FCI, section 3, reference number 45

  • Origin:  Switzerland
  • Size:  height at the withers of dogs 64-70 cm, bitches 58-66 cm
  • Coat:  long, shiny, straight or slightly wavy
  • Ointment:  jet black basic ointment with dark brown-red tan over the eyes, on the cheeks, chest, limbs and under the tail; white markings appear on the head in the form of asymmetrical arrow that widens towards the nose; white mark appears on the throat and passes to the chest; desirable white markings on all paws (on the forelegs they cannot reach further than the center of the metacarpus) and the white end of the tail; small white patches on the neck and under the tail are tolerated
  • Maturity: 2.5 years
  • Lifespan : 8-10 years
  • Weather resistance:  high

Interesting facts

Bernese ancestors should be sought among ancient molosses. The ancestor of this breed was the Tibetan dog.

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