Spotlight on...The Bernese Mountain Dog

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

The Bernese Mountain Dog

Size:  Large, 75-120 lbs.

Grooming needs:  Heavy shedder; regular brushing required.

Exercise needs:  Medium energy.  

Environment:  Inside with family. Regular outdoor exercise. Climate controlled against high heat.

Temperament:  Calm, good natured.

Life Expectancy:  7 years.

Interesting Fact:  The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dog. Out of the four, the “Berner” is the only breed with a long, silky coat. The BMD thrives in cold weather, and is a working dog. The breed worked in Switzerland as a watchful farm dog and farmer’s companion. Unlike some working dogs, they were not built for herding large range cattle or other livestock. They may have been used to pull carts.  

Appearance:  The Berner has a happy expression, expressive eyes and pendant ears. He is slightly longer than he is tall, and is a sturdy, well-built dog with a deep chest. The coat is long and silky with a bushy tail, and like the other Swiss breeds, they are tricolored: black, rust and white. They have a beautiful coat and striking appearance.

Personality:  This is an intelligent, strong, affectionate dog. Today Berners participate in a variety of activities such as obedience, carting, agility and therapy work. This versatile breed makes a great family dog as long as they are given adequate exercise. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a steady temperament and loves to be a part of the family/household. They tend to be calm and patient, and do well with other pets. Like other breeds, if not well socialized as puppies, they may be shy with strangers. This large breed may consider themselves lap dogs, and are very loving with their people. Due to their background, Berners are also watchful and alert.       

Best Match:  Couch potatoes need not apply: the Bernese Mountain Dog loves to romp in the snow, walk in the fields, and engage in daily physical activity. Double-coated, Berners tend to shed considerably, especially during spring and fall, and require frequent brushing. When the undercoat is shed, the long, outer guard coat keeps the dog cool. If you’re not a fan of dog hair in the home, this may not be a match for you. This versatile breed is a great fit for many types of pet parents, as long as they get the attention and exercise they need.

Featured Adoptable:: Hippie is a senior Bernese Mountain Dog / Hound mix who is blind. He is a sweet, friendly, easygoing boy as soon as he can identify you by scent and sound. He likes walks, and just needs a little help steering around things he might bump into. He’s a favorite at the shelter. To meet Hippie, contact Clatsop County Animal Control at 503-861-7387, 1315 SE 19th St in Warrenton, OR, or email

Megan Mahan lives in Eugene with her boyfriend, Jacob, their adopted yellow Lab Maddie, many saltwater fish, and two miniature Silver Appleyard ducks, Louie and Olive.