Home / Dog Breeds / Great Bernese

Great Bernese:Dog Breed Profile

The Great Bernese is a purebred, mountain dog that is extremely versatile and was discovered first in Switzerland's farmlands. They were mainly developed to pull carts, herd cattle, be loyal companions while also acting as watchdogs. They are also one of the four different types of Swiss mountain dogs and the only dog type that comes with long hair.

The dog is called Great Bernese because they come from the Canton of Bern. They are large and sturdy, along with a friendly and calm nature. As a result, they are obedient and are incredibly loyal.

The Great Bernese is a fantastic dog for a novice dog owner, mainly because they are intelligent, friendly, and quite easy to train. However, amateur dog owners should keep in mind that the Great Bernese is a large dog, and therefore handling it can be a lot tougher than it looks. They don't like to stay inside confined spaces, shed a lot of hair, and even drool a lot. The Great Bernese can prove to be a fantastic watchdog and is quite gentle towards other animals when appropriately trained.


Great Bernese Breed Picture & Video

Great Bernese Breed Characteristics

  • About Great Bernese Breed

    When it comes to the overall appearance, the Great Bernese is a large dog. The total weight ranges around 70 to 115 pounds, while the height will range between 24 and 28 inches. They have muscular and sturdy body structures which are easily hidden under their thick and long coat. The coat is said to be thick, straight, and also rough. The coat also comes in various tri-color combinations, such as brown, white, black, and rust.

    They have an overall life span of six to ten years and have medium-sized ears- which are floppy and triangular in shape. Eyes are almond-shaped, with dark brown color, along with a straight and robust nose. They also come with a plumed, long-tail combined with a compact and round feet.


Great Bernese Breed Daily Care

Hair: It should be noted that the Great Bernese shed its hair all-around the year, even during seasonal changes. Therefore, you need to perform frequent brushing as it will be able to control shedding to some extent. Moreover, it's also essential to remove all the tangles and mats inside your pooch's deep, long coat.

These dogs need occasional bath sessions, and you must use a vet-recommended shampoo for the same.

Teeth: Dental care is very crucial for this type of breed as it's prone to various plague build-up issues. Therefore, daily brushing is required to ensure that gum infections are prevented.

Ears: Apart from that, you need to check your dog's ears regularly for any dirt and debris build-up so that ear infections could be avoided.

Nails: Besides, you also need to trim your dog's nails whenever necessary. This will help promote paw health, but ensure that you don't cut the nails too short; otherwise, it may lead to bleeding.

Eyes: Lastly, make sure that you check your pooch's eyes regularly. Ensure that there's no redness or fluid discharge. In case you notice any irregularities, be sure to get in touch with your vet.

Recommended Daily Amount: It’s recommended that you provide your dog with at least four cups of high-quality dry food on a per-day basis.

What Food To Choose: Always proceed to go with a reputable dog food brand and a product that includes enough nutrients. The dog food should be balanced in terms of the required essentials, such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

How To Keep Good Shape: As the Great Bernese is a large dog breed, you need to consult your vet for relevant advice on what you need to feed your dog with. Moreover, you also need to know the correct proportions. It should be remembered that your dog's overall diet will change over time, so make sure that you stay on top of such nutritional requirements.

How Many Times To Feed Your Dog: It's suggested that you divide your daily dog food amount into two equal halves and thereby feed your dog two times a day.

The following are some of the significant health conditions that the Great Bernese tends to suffer from:

Hip Dysplasia

Condition: A situation where both the hips of the dog start developing abnormally. Some of the significant symptoms include osteoarthritis and joint problems, especially in older dogs.

Treatment: In mild cases, medications can be used to lessen the pain. In severe cases, surgery might be needed.

Elbow Dysplasia

Condition: This is a type of situation where the joints in the elbows develop abnormally, thereby leading to arthritis and other problems related to the elbow joints. This is also a genetic disorder that gets passed from the parents to the pups.

Treatment: Medications can solve mild cases, but require surgery to solve severe cases.

Histiocytosis

Condition: This can be described as a type of fast-growing cancer that occurs in various body tissues. Histiocytes are a specific type of immune cells that help in the enhancement of the body's immunity and immune response. However, when it comes to the Great Bernese, this is one of the most common ways of cancer to occur in the dog's body.

Treatment: There are two types of this disease. In case the condition is aggressive, then surgery needs to be done to remove the affected parts. If the disease is spreading slowly, then medications will be utilized to subsidize the effect.

Training Great Bernese is very easy and should be done as a regular activity throughout its life. These dogs appear confident and are also self-assured. They are not aggressive by any means, but will still be alerted when around strangers. This is why behavioral training is very required to help this dog become a great companion.

You should keep your dog busy with all kinds of activities, which will help him/her enjoy the various types of outdoor activities at hand. Always use positive reinforcements when training your dogs, such as using praises and dog treats.


When it comes to taking care, the Great Bernese requires at least an hour to hour and a half walking on a per-day basis. These dogs are generally calm, but since they're not used to staying indoors, they require sufficient outdoor exercise to remain healthy and happy.

Moreover, it will also prevent them from being overweight. They have great stamina and thereby enjoy bursts of activity.


Great Bernese Breed History

The name, Great Bernese, has been coined from its parent breeds - the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Great Pyrenees. Both of its parents have such fascinating histories. The Great Pyrenees was discovered during the Bronze Age was developed first in Siberia and Central Asia. The dog breed then traveled to the Pyrenees Mountains range located between Spain and France. The dog was first used for cattle herding and was later discovered to be the Royal Dog of France. The American Kennel Club recognized it in 1933.

On the other hand, the Bernese Mountain Dog was discovered in the midlands of Switzerland, many centuries ago. The first Bernese dog was brought to the USA in 1926 and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937. Later onwards, the Great Bernese was born in the mid-1900s.


Related Dog Care Articles