8 Facts About Bernese Mountain Dogs

three bernese mountain dog puppies sitting in grass

The Berner is known as a fluffy, lovable dog that also makes a fantastic family pet. Their sweet, gentle demeanor and playful, friendly personality make them a popular dog breed for families and single owners alike. Here are a few more facts about Bernese Mountain Dogs:

1. Bernese Mountain Dogs Were Originally Farm Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs were originally bred to work as overall farm dogs in the Swiss mountains. This meant they needed to be strong and able to handle a variety of weather as well as rough mountain terrain.

The Berner was often found pulling carts to market, guarding and herding livestock, guarding the farm in general, and more. They pretty much handled and helped out with whatever was needed around the farm while also being a beloved family pet. They can still be found working on the farm, but are more commonly found as a family pet and companion.

2. They Can Learn and Respond Well to Hand Signals

As an intelligent dog that is eager to please and happy to work, the Bernese Mountain Dog is highly trainable and a good fit for owners of all experience levels. With their trainability and working dog background, they tend to be adept at picking up on both verbal commands and learning to respond to hand signals.

There are plenty of hand signals you can teach your dog. With a Berner, it can be worth it to train them to respond to both verbal cues and hand signals. They’ll love the opportunity to learn something new and you might find that hand signals come in handy the next time your beloved Berner is running around the yard or the dog park.

3. Berners Are Like Big Teddy Bears

Not only are Bernese Mountain Dogs large and fluffy, but they also tend to have a teddy bear-like personality. They tend to be friendly, sweet, gentle, affectionate, and more. They love to cuddle and enjoy receiving hugs and attention. This means they get along well with children and also tend to make great therapy dogs.

4. They Tend to Have a High Prey Drive

Although they are an open and friendly dog, they do tend to have a high prey drive. So, if you have other smaller pets in the household, you will need to plan on some extra socialization and training with them.

You want to make sure your Berner recognizes other family pets as part of the family and not potential prey for them to chase. You also want to be careful with letting your Bernese Mountain Dog off-leash. Many of them can learn to handle being off-leash and still listen to their owner while others find the urge to chase and wander too strong.

5. Bernese Mountain Dogs Aren’t High Energy, But They Play Hard

Although they are a working breed, Bernese Mountain Dogs do not tend to be a high-energy dog breed. They tend to sit in a more moderate range. However, when they play, they play hard and intensely until they are tired. Berners do tend to wear out more quickly in warm weather as they prefer cooler temperatures, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them when they’re out in high temperatures.

One of the great things about the Bernese Mountain Dog is that they are a strong and versatile dog breed, so they can often handle a wide variety of activities. You can teach your dog how to play frisbee, take them hiking with you, see if they like swimming, go to the dog park, train them for dog sports, and more. Once they’ve finished growing, don’t be afraid to try new things with them; you might end up finding a new favorite activity.

6. They Love the Cold

Because Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred in the mountains, it’s no surprise these dogs prefer the cooler weather. While Berners live indoors with their family, they will enjoy spending some time outdoors when the temperatures are nice and chilly.

As one of the dog breeds that love winter, they will also enjoy cold-weather activities like hiking, backpacking, and any snow activities. You’ll notice their playful nature come out as they thrive in the cooler weather!

7. Bernese Mountain Dogs Are Good at Sports

Despite their large size and laid-back demeanor, Berners are really versatile in dog sports. Because they are a working breed, they love to work hard. They are exceptional at activities like carting and drafting, but they also are good at agility and obedience.

8. They Used to be Delivery Dogs

This breed was once used to deliver products in the Swiss Alps. Because of their stocky build, they were quite proficient at pulling carts. Bernese Mountain Dogs were commonly used to deliver cheese and other dairy products and could usually pull up to 1,000 pounds. Using Bernese Mountain Dogs to cart supplies may have begun in Switzerland, but this spread to surrounding countries and areas.

These are just a few facts about Bernese Mountain Dogs. A Berner can be a great fit for families with children or single owners who can give them the attention, mental stimulation, and exercise they need to be happy and healthy.

If you think this could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them and then check out the available Bernese Mountain Dog puppies. You might end up finding your new best friend!