Bernese Mountain Dogs: A 101 Guide To Their Breeds, Unique Temperaments And Personality Traits- April 2024

Bernese Mountain Dogs, often affectionately referred to as “Berners,” are large, strikingly beautiful dogs known for their gentle behavior, intelligence, and loyalty. Originating from the Swiss Alps, Switzerland, they were historically used as working dogs, assisting farmers with tasks such as herding cattle, pulling carts, and guarding property. Now, they are also considered household pets due to their calm and quiet nature, loyal behavior, and cool temperament.

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Known as a patient breed, these giant, furry balls typically show friendly gestures towards humans and other animals and don’t pose any danger, including to those individuals who are extremely afraid of dogs.

In this blog, we will explore their breeds, temperaments, and personality traits, helping you understand how these giant creatures can be adorable yet useful for you.

Bernese mountain dogs

A 101 Guide: Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese mountain dogs are a medium-sized, squarely built breed of dog commonly found in Bern, Switzerland, and the Swiss Alps. Are you unsure if a Bernese mountain dog is right for you? Let’s explore similar breeds and their characteristics.

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St. Bernards

St. Bernards are known for their charming temperament and suitability as family pets. They are just like Bernese mountain dogs. Due to their obedient personalities and strength, they are your best guardians and protectors. The best characteristic of these gentle giants is that they are loyal, which makes them special companions. Their affection toward their families also makes them reliable guardians of the home.

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Great Pyrenees

Bernese mountain dog breeders include the Pyrenees, which are highly adorable puppies who show remarkable patience and love to their master. They are a bit more vocal and love to express themselves by howling and barking. Due to their obedient nature and protective instincts, they are highly suitable as a beloved companion for you and your family.


Mastiffs are known for their enormous size, larger than Bernese mountain dogs. Like Bernese mountain dogs, they are cordial and family-oriented and are considered ideal pets for households, especially for those looking for a loyal and loving companion.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian shepherd dog is a fairly gigantic dog breed that differs from all the other species of its kind. These dogs have a thick, short coat, a long tail, and straight-front shoulder. This breed is quite different from others, as it is stubborn and strong-willed, requires socialization, and is very athletic and powerful. It spends most of its time playing and performing tasks with gratitude.

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The Akbash is a livestock protector dog native to Turkey and is also one of Turkey’s national dog breeds. Purebred Akbash is only seen in a white coat color and is huge in size with a lean figure. They are usually drained, relatively low in energy, and not very playful or funny. They are bred to lie with herds for hours, silently protecting them and not doing any other tasks other than this.

bernese dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs Personality Traits

Knowing your dog’s personality traits is important for understanding its behavior and requirements. In this blog, we will discover several personality traits of Bernese mountain dogs.

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The Temperament Of The Bernese Mountain Dogs

Researching a dog’s temperament is essential. This helps understand how well they live with children, family members, and strangers. Bernese mountain dogs have a relaxed and intelligent personality. Such dogs are easy to train, loyal, and trustworthy. They are playful and enjoyable, so they won’t let you get bored during your daily tasks.

Also, they always try to get your attention and love napping and relaxing after heavy-duty work. Despite being a large breed, they are quite gentle with children and more protective. They are calm and peaceful, making them a perfect choice for household dogs.

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Affectionate And Intelligent Nature

Bernese Mountain Dogs display deep affection for their family members. They are very intelligent and can be easily trained, as they are fully equipped to understand and comprehend their owners’ demands, which in turn creates a strong bond between the two.

Read more: Bernese Mountain Dog Facts

Tolerant Personality

Bernese mountain dog characteristics include their gentle and calm nature, showing incredible patience in various situations. Their calmness makes them an ideal choice for domestic dog breeds, as they are easy to deal with and are lovely to spend time with.

Family-Focused And Active Nature

Berners are extremely playful pets. They thrive in the company of their masters and love engaging in playful activities. They love hiking in the mountains, relaxing on the couch in the evening, catching prey, and hunting with you.

Protective Qualities

Bernese Mountain Dogs have protective instincts toward their family members, but they never show aggression, even with such a personality. They have a natural feeling of loyalty, which makes them take care of their family members and property, providing them security 24/7.

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Socializing Nature

Socializing personalities help you get along with people around you easily, and Bernese mountain dogs have a friendly social nature. To further refine their social skills and confidence, they must interact with various people, animals, and environments from a young age.

Protective Instincts

Protective instincts, especially towards children, are one of their key qualities. They have a natural tendency to safeguard and look after children. They are often vigilant and attentive around kids, always monitoring their activities to avoid any potential threats.

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General Appearance

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, strong breed with an eye-catching tri-colored coat. According to the AKC breed, they are recognized with tri-colored patterns of black, rust, and white. Small spots of the rust hue should appear on the eyebrows, cheeks, chest, legs, and tail tip. Additionally, some of them have a white Swiss cross on their chest.

Size Of Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese mountain dogs are a large breed. Males typically stand 25-28 inches (60-80 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh 80-115 pounds (36-52 kg), while females are slightly smaller, standing 20-26 inches (48-66 cm) tall and weighing 70-95 pounds (32-43 kg).

Head And Neck

Their heads are broad, with a straight or slightly muzzle. They have a black, elongated nose and medium-sized, triangular-shaped ears. They have attractive, dark-colored, almond-shaped eyes (this can vary for different species).

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Fur Color

Fur color is also associated with some genetic issues, as the gene is multifactorial and causes related diseases with specific patterns of color.


Bernese mountain dogs with Merle coats are unique but uncommon because of how genes work.

Solid White

Some Bernese Mountain Dogs are solid white. This color is due to genes and affects both their coat color and hearing health, potentially leading to deafness.

Read more: The 3 Bernese Mountain Dog Colors

Rare Brown

Bernese mountain dogs can have a rare brown coat because of changes in their genes, potentially leading to skin problems like sunburn or disorders, as their skin is more sensitive to sunlight.

Front Quarters

Their shoulders are flat, well-muscled, and never slack. When the dog is upright, it’s powerful; its straight legs are positioned firmly behind its shoulders. The pasterns are never weak, but they do slope very slightly. Dewclaws might be taken out. The toes are well-arched, and the feet are compact and round.

bernese mountain dog nutrition

Nutrition Of Bernese Dogs

The Bernese mountain dog does well on quality food, either industrially manufactured or homemade. Your dog’s diet should be monitored for a healthy lifestyle, whether it is a puppy or an adult. Thus, maintaining its daily calorie consumption must be ideal. Get a routine checkup with your vet for nutritional health, bowel movement, a normal life, and a healthy lifestyle. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

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Bernese Mountain Dogs Lifespan

These mountain dogs have an average lifespan of around six to 12 years, depending on their health conditions. The shorter life span could be due to an increased risk of cancer and other fatal diseases. Also, they are prone to getting infected by microorganisms, resulting in diseases like arthritis, dysplasia, and corneal infections, just to name a few.


In simple terms, Bernese mountain dogs are adorable, highly protective, loving, giant species. They can be your perfect life partner, supporting you in your daily tasks, guarding you, and protecting your kids. These characteristics of Bernese make them the perfect choice for you and your loved ones.

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They can steal the spotlight because of their cool, calm temperaments and attractive eyes. These animals are tough, strong, muscular, and highly alert and come in multiple colors, which can differ due to multifactorial genetics.

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Katie is a passionate writer and avid reader with a deep love for pets. Her mission is to assist pet parents in providing the best care possible for their furry friends. In addition to her work in the pet industry, Katie also tackles serious issues such as human rights violations and crime, and is tirelessly advocating for a society where minority voices are heard loud and clear.