Farm dogs by heritage, Bernese Mountain Dogs need a moderate amount of exercise as well as consistent obedience training.
As a double-coated breed, they also tend to shed, and so require regular brushing. Their gentle, easygoing manner and the need to be close to their people makes them a good fit for families.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a giant breed and has a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Using a good pin brush and slicker will make grooming a Berner an easy task to remove mats and tangles. This frequent brushing and the occasional bath will keep their coat in good condition. Their nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Adult Bernese Mountain Dogs are mild-tempered, and at 80 to 100 pounds can be described as “gentle giants.” They love outdoor activities, like hiking or even pulling young children in a cart. In the home, they tend to be relaxed, quiet, and affectionate and are eager to please their owners. As long as they are properly exercised, they don’t often bark or act out.
Bernese Mountain Dog &HEALTH
Like all breeds there may be some health issues. BMD health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, bloat, sub-aortic stenosis, autoimmune diseases, skin and coat problems, thyroid disorders, von Willebrand's disease, and eye disorders (ectropion and entropion, cataracts, PRA). Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but many Bernese Mountain Dogs are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Bernese Mountain Dog can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, Inc. (BMDCA) and its affiliate Berner-Garde strongly support ongoing health research. BMD owners are encouraged to report health information to the Berner-Garde open database and to use its vast database.