BreedsBernese Mountain DogsIs a Bernese Mountain Dog a Giant Breed? Size Classification

Is a Bernese Mountain Dog a Giant Breed? Size Classification

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed, with males reaching up to 27.5 inches in height and weighing between 80-120 pounds. Females tend to be slightly smaller, typically around 23-26 inches tall and weighing 70-100 pounds. While not officially considered a giant breed, they do have a large and sturdy build with a lot of mass weighing them down.

Are you considering adding a Bernese Mountain Dog to your family? These large, lovable pups are sure to steal your heart with their gentle nature and loving personalities. But is this breed classified as giant?

Let’s take a look at why Bernese Mountain Dogs may be considered giants, as well as the important aspects of caring for one of these beloved pets.

The Bernese Mountain Dog hails from Switzerland where they were bred to pull carts, herd livestock, and guard farms. Historically, these dogs have been known for their strength and size.

They are classified as large dogs because of their hefty builds and impressive stature. However, many consider them giant due to their heavy bone structure and powerful muscles that give them an even more substantial appearance than other breeds in the same category.

Why Bernese Mountain Dogs are Considered Giant

You’re looking at a breed that’s larger than life – the Bernese Mountain Dog. This giant breed is part of the Swiss mountain dog family and has an extensive history.

They originated in Switzerland, where they were used by farmers for herding cattle, pulling carts, and even guarding homes. The combination of their size and strength made them ideal for these tasks.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are also known as Berners because of their origins in the canton of Berne in Switzerland. They have a thick double coat which helps insulate them from cold weather and can reach up to 27 inches tall at the shoulder making them one of the largest breeds in existence. Despite their large size, these dogs need relatively little living space if given plenty of exercise on a daily basis.

These heavy-bodied dogs possess great strength and stamina despite being considered gentle giants by many owners who note how protective they are with children and other family members due to their loyal nature. Their physical capabilities combined with their sweet personalities make Berners popular companions around the world today as well as throughout history when they were first bred hundreds of years ago.

Given all this information it’s clear why Bernese Mountain Dogs are considered giant: they have an impressive body structure, extensive breed history, require minimal living space yet still offer protection for families due to their steadfast loyalty.

Next we’ll look at what characteristics make up this beloved canine companion so beloved by many families across generations everywhere!

Characteristics of the Breed

Bernese Mountain Dogs are truly a majestic breed, boasting an incredible and awe-inspiring size that is sure to leave you in disbelief! They have long, thick fur and a heavy build which gives them their large stature. Berners typically weigh between 80-115 pounds and stand 23-28 inches tall at the shoulder.

On top of their impressive size, they’re also very social dogs who love human interaction. They do best with plenty of exercise and playtime to keep them happy, active, and healthy.

The Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat is tri-colored; black with white chest marking and rust colored markings on the eyes, cheeks, legs, and tail. Their coat provides ample protection from cold weather but can require regular grooming to prevent matting.

The breed is known for its loyalty and gentleness making it an ideal companion dog as well as guardian of the family home. These gentle giants have an average lifespan of 7-10 years but can live up to 15 years with proper care. It’s important that Bernese Mountain Dogs receive important socialization early on in life so they can learn how to interact properly with other people and animals when they’re older – this will help them grow into confident adults who avoid any potential aggressive behavior later in life.

Given their activity level requirements, it’s important that owners be prepared for frequent walks or hikes as well as games like fetch or tug of war if these giant pups are going to stay healthy mentally and physically!

Caring for a Bernese Mountain Dog

When it comes to caring for a Bernese Mountain Dog, grooming, training, and exercise are all essential components.

To ensure your Bernese Mountain Dog stays healthy and happy, regular brushing of their thick coat is necessary to prevent matting as well as frequent nail trims.

Consistent obedience training is also important in order to teach your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, come, or lay down.

Finally, daily exercise in the form of walks or playtime should be provided to ensure your Bernese Mountain Dog gets sufficient physical activity.


Grooming your pup is an important part of caring for them and keeping them looking their best. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick double-coat that can be quite dense and heavy. It’s important to brush the coat regularly with a slicker brush, as this will help reduce shedding. If shedding is particularly bad, you may need to add in an occasional bath or use a de-shedding treatment such as FURminator®.

You should also trim the fur around their feet and bottom periodically to keep it neat and tidy. Additionally, regular nail trims are necessary to ensure your pup’s paws remain healthy and they don’t scratch themselves or others when playing.

With proper care, grooming your Bernese Mountain Dog shouldn’t take too much time or effort – just make sure not to leave it too long between appointments! With consistent attention, you’ll be able to maintain their beautiful look while keeping them comfortable and healthy.

Moving on from grooming, training is another key element of providing good care for your pup.


Now that you know the basics of grooming a Bernese Mountain Dog, it’s time to move on to training. Training is key to raising a well-behaved and healthy dog. Bernese Mountain Dogs are highly intelligent, so they can easily learn commands and tricks with positive reinforcement. They also have strong socialization needs, so early socialization is essential for them to be comfortable around other people and animals.

Here are four ways you can train your Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Use Positive Reinforcement – Praise your pup when they perform desired behaviors or obey commands. Rewarding them with treats or toys is also effective as long as it’s done in moderation.
  • Start Socialization Early – Introduce your pup to new environments and people from an early age so they can learn how to behave in different situations. This will help prevent any fear-based behaviors later on down the line.
  • Provide Mental Stimulation – Teach your pup basic obedience commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “come” but don’t forget about providing mental stimulation too! Teaching them more complex tricks like rolling over or fetching objects will keep their mind engaged and help build a stronger bond between you two.
  • Be Patient & Consistent – Training takes time and consistency is key when teaching your pup new things. Make sure that everyone in the family is using the same commands with the same expectations so there’s no confusion for your pup.

With regular training sessions, patience, and consistency, you’ll soon have a well-behaved Bernese Mountain Dog who loves learning new things!

Now let’s move on to discussing how much exercise this giant breed needs…


Exercise is an essential part of caring for a Bernese Mountain Dog, as these majestic canine companions are considered a large breed due to their heavy builds.

Exercise duration and intensity should be tailored to the individual dog’s age, fitness levels, and other health considerations. A good rule of thumb is that adult dogs should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, while puppies need gradually increased amounts as they mature into adulthood.

It’s important to note that Bernese Mountain Dogs do not tolerate heat very well and should not be exercised during hot weather or in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

To ensure your pup stays healthy and fit, you can take them on regular walks or jogs around the neighborhood, or incorporate activities such as swimming or agility classes to keep them active and entertained.

Diet and health considerations are also important aspects when it comes to owning a Bernese Mountain Dog – proper nutrition is key to keeping your pup happy and strong!

Diet and Health Considerations

Proper nutrition and exercise are essential for a healthy lifestyle, contrasting with the giant size of these furry friends. Bernese Mountain Dogs, however, require special dietary needs to maintain their health and wellbeing. They benefit from high-quality kibble that is specially formulated for large breeds; this should be broken down into two or three meals per day. Additionally, treats should be kept to a minimum in order to avoid weight gain in the dog.

Being a giant breed also means that Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to certain health risks more than other breeds. This includes hip dysplasia – an abnormal formation of the hip socket which can cause lameness and joint pain – as well as elbow dysplasia and bloat. It is important for owners to take extra care when looking after their Bernese Mountain Dog by ensuring they have regular checkups at the vet every 6-12 months or as recommended by their veterinarian.

Another factor to consider when caring for these dogs is keeping them cool during hot weather; their long coat can make it difficult for them to regulate body temperature in warm climates. Owners should provide plenty of water and shade whenever possible on hot days so that they do not overheat. Also, brushing should be done regularly in order to remove dirt, debris, dead hair, and reduce shedding around the house.

With proper nutrition and exercise habits monitored closely along with regular vet visits, potential owners can ensure that their beloved pet stays healthy throughout its lifetime. Owning a giant breed comes with its own challenges but can also bring lots of joy when cared for properly!

Potential Challenges of Owning a Giant Breed

Owning a giant breed can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it does come with its own set of challenges worth considering:

  1. Socialization – Giant breeds, like the Bernese Mountain Dog, can often require more socialization than other smaller breeds due to their size. This is because they may appear intimidating or overwhelming to some people and animals, so early socialization is key for them to learn how to behave appropriately in all kinds of environments.
  2. Space needs – Large breeds also need more space than a small dog would. This means that if you live in a small apartment or house, owning one of these dogs might not be ideal as they require plenty of room to move around.
  3. Exercise needs – Typically large breeds tend to have higher exercise requirements due to their size and energy levels, so they will need daily walks and other activities in order for them to stay healthy and happy.
  4. Veterinary costs – Owning a large breed also comes with higher veterinary costs compared to owning a smaller breed because they are prone to certain health problems such as hip dysplasia or bloat which can be expensive treatments for pet owners. As such, taking out pet insurance is highly recommended when owning any type of animal regardless of their size.

No matter what size your pet is, it’s important that you consider all the potential challenges associated with it before making the commitment of ownership. This way, you can make sure your furry friend will have the best life possible!


You’ve done your research and now you have a better understanding of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

You know that these beautiful dogs are considered a giant breed due to their heavy builds, and you’re aware of their unique characteristics.

Caring for this breed can be challenging, but with the right diet and health considerations, owning a Bernese Mountain Dog can be incredibly rewarding.

The best part about having one of these gentle giants is watching them thrive in their forever home.

They’ll bring joy into your life in so many incredible ways; it’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

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