Bernese Mountain Dog


The Bernese Mountain Dog is perhaps the most well known of the four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs, distinct from the other three by its long, silky coat. A hardy dog who can thrive in cold weather, the Bernese Mountain Dog retains its original skills as a draft dog, herder, and watchdog. Prized in Switzerland for centuries, the breed is now popular throughout Europe and the United States, and acquired AKC recognition in 1937.


Large; females 23 to 26 inches, 70 to 100 pounds; males 25 to 271/2 inches, 70 to 120 pounds.


Tricolor (black with white and rust markings).


Alert, good natured, and calm. Extremely devoted, does well with children; gets along with other pets but is aloof with strangers.

Energy level:

Low to medium.

Best owner:

Families who include a dog in the family’s schedule and activities.


Daily moderate exercise and twiceweekly coat brushing; quality time with human family (isolation leads to bad habits and unhappiness).

Life expectancy:

8 to 10 years.